Ugh, the "Neoliberal" smear. There it is again.

What exactly is Eisenberg supposed to do to satisfy the protestors - close?
Ike's has been the best thing to happen to my neighborhood in many years, and that corner has never been so safe and bustling with business. After so many years of violence and crime around there, it's finally starting to improve.

And unlike the church, Ike's pays taxes.
@ Max - at one point the protesters were demanding a percentage of Ike's profits.
the obsession with blaming a series of complicated problems on "white and or gay people move into a neighborhood" is one of the worst things that's ever happened to the national discourse on poverty. It distracts from helping the people it claims to serve.

displacement sucks, white people are freaking obnoxious, my eyes nearly rolled out of my head when I stepped into the store

attacking the problem from this angle will do nothing to fix the systemic issues that keep marginalized minorities and low income households poor and in communities with low social capital
Let's not forget the Church (23rd Ave’s Mount Calvary Christian Center) that's been leading this charge is run by a fucking anti-gay bigot scum bag Pastor Reggie Witherspoon. He, and they, have an agenda. They're against legal weed entirely. It's the worst of identity politics wrapped up in evangelical fervor.

Man. You know I usually am right with folks on many of these gentrification issues. But like the new boogie man "cultural appropriation" Gentrification has become just rhetorical cudgel you can throw around when ever you don't like something. Or if you want to rile a bunch of knee jerkers on the left. The Stranger USED to be a little more savvy about this sort of thing.

Anyway. The question is Eisenberg just supposed to hand over the keys to his shop to protestors? What is it they want?
I do agree with the protesters in that there is an inherent injustice in effect for the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people currently in jail or burdened with criminal records for minor pot offenses or low-level dealing in a state where such activities are now perfectly legal, and I think the solution is to enact legislation similar to what Oregon did as part of their legalization process and allow those individuals an opportunity to expunge the convictions. I would go a step further and suggest the State also immediately release all those currently incarcerated for such offenses; that in and of itself would go some distance towards healing this gaping wound that has traditionally and dis-proportionally impacted citizens of color.

But that also invites the question: why do the protesters think Eisenberg himself should be the brunt of their ire? He didn't bust anyone or put them in jail, and the gentrification of Squire Park (the name of the neighborhood in-question that I imagine not many of the protesters are even aware) began long before Uncle Ike's took over what had been for many years a blighted, some might say cursed, piece of real estate. Furthermore, Mount Calvary's "lawsuit" was pure bullshit from the start, and everyone who lived in the vicinity of 23rd & E. Union (as I did for over a decade until just recently), knew their "youth center" was nothing more than an abandoned, surplus building that hadn't been actively utilized by the church for years, not to mention the fact that they had never lifted so much as a finger in all that time to make even the slightest effort to curb or protest against the flagrant, open-are drug emporium that operated on and around that intersection right beneath their morally-indignant uplifted noses.

In short, Eisenberg is simply a convenient, easy target for them to direct their frustration at a system that hasn't served the community in the manner it deserved; but he's not where they should be aiming.
Why is the fuck is Shelly Seacrest so annoying to listen to? I just can't figure it out.
There's gonna be weed for sale on 23rd and Union whether or not Unkle Ike's is there, a situation that I-502 was hoping to improve.
@ 7 - agreed, but since Ike's has lines of customers out the door on a daily basis that ain't gonna happen.
So... they don't want pot to be legally sold next to the church, but then they bring up the fact that cannabis used to be illegally sold on the same street corner? Uhhhh... okay?

We're not going to fix the problems of the drug war and heal as a community if we keep on pointing fingers at everyone else. The strident divisiveness in this country has really reached a boiling point.

The big problem with Uncle Ike's is that it's so damn expensive. Prices are too high compared to other dispensaries, and they don't carry enough growers--particularly growers who have cheaper product.

Also, the whole neoliberal thing really comes out of nowhere. It's like someone just copy-pasted it from an opinion piece they've read elsewhere. It's bad journalism backed up by absolutely nothing except for the fact that this guy is a business owner. Capitalism is not the same as neoliberalism; conflating the two is asinine obfuscation, and masks larger problems within our society, like institutional rigidity, the breakdown of trust and accountability in our democratic processes, and deep-seated systemic racism. Also, closer to home, it ignores the issues in this city and state concerning our awful, AWFUL tax code, the lack of affordable housing, the ACTUAL neoliberal supply-side economics experiments we're enacting with Boeing, Amazon, et al, and the erosion of public education at a local and state level. But, hey, just waste your energy getting pissed off at people spending too much money on legal cannabis. Clearly that's at the top of the list of "major problems in Seattle". Fucking A. It's a symptom of deeper problems--even if the activists somehow managed to close Uncle Ike's, they haven't solved any real problems. They're just putting a shitty band-aid on a gunshot wound. Which would be very Seattle of them, come to think of it!
Is Seacrest serious with the points she's trying to make about "keeping children safe from seeing alcohol sold"?

You know they sell it at Safeway, right?
Eh, yeah, I've thought about it and... I'll accept the neoliberal vision of color-blind capitalism, markets, and laws, if it's well regulated and progressively taxed, over god knows what alternative Ansel would present.

@ 12 and not only is alcohol sold at Safeway, but also at the gas station directly across the street from this Church, and at the liquor store at 23rd and Union Mid Town Center directly across the street from Ike's.

Think of the children!
@Spiffy D: That liquor store has been there a very long time, and definitely goes to the point that Secrest was making about no one having a liquor store open near a school in Upper Queen Anne, or whatever.

But I agree that it's difficult for me to take seriously their complaints when a bar and liquor store have been there so long, apparently at no danger to church-goers or children, and the prospect of stoned gentrifiers (and tourists) is a lot less worrisome to me that those same people after a shot or five.

There's been lots of stories about this dispute and the liquor store has been brought up, but I can't remember them ever addressing why they weren't protesting it before. Their original protests are what reminded me Ike's was there and to check it out in the first place.
@7 its the Al Sharpton / Rainbow Coalition approach to extortion. Oops, I mean activism.
Hey, at least they weren't being anti-semitic this time!
There's 6 dispensaries north of Lake Union, all residing within a variety of analogous locations in regards to churches, children, and community services (parks, centers, bus stops, etc.). I hate to pile on this—there's certainly a more perfect version of a dispensary opening in the CD—but Ike's just isn't the villain here. Also, I'm not too petty to point out those liquor stores have been there far longer than that church.

@15 [your last paragraph] You're right, total Streisand Effect happening here.
They are mad because people they know have been selling weed to the community for years and have not made much money on it or have been jailed, and now some white lookin' Jewish guy has moved in and is running a successful business.

Jealous that they are not making money, they are basically demanding he leave or give them a piece of their profits because as a white looking Jewish man, they do not believe he as a right to make money in "their" neighborhood.

A righteous mix of bigotry, racism, stupidity, and outright greed from this particular community is on full display.
The "gentrification " thing: too little, too late. Maybe the pastor and his family should have bought a house in the CD instead of Renton. Also, he's worked harder on shutting down a legal business than he ever did against the people slinging rocks on that corner .
Times change, neighborhoods change. And Ike's is doing a lot more for that intersection than Jack-in-the-Box (or that stupid church) ever did.

Somebody did a song about it not too long ago.…

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