I just sent this email note to Honorable Ed Murray, mayor of Seattle, Hyeok Kim, deputy mayor of Seattle and members of the city council regarding the NIMBY response in Ballard (neighborhood of Seattle) to the mayor’s siting one of three tent encampments.
I am writing to express my support for the Ballard tent encampment. Seattle needs a comprehensive housing policy and inclusive programs to eliminate homelessness. As Bill Hobson, the recently retired director of Downtown Emergency Service Center, has stated we need to spend about as much as the [highway 99] tunnel is costing to end homelessness. For me services and housing for poor and vulnerable people are preferred uses of public monies to privileging real estate interests. Unless we start to tax those beneficiaries of present policies, we will continue to need modest self governing communities such as tent encampments to address needs. For too long Seattle has courted the ideologies of Le Corbusier and ignored the warnings of architectural historian Vincent Scully. I live in north Ballard and have worked near this site. I look forward to your progressive leadership that facilitates people determining their own housing and community building.