Kshama Sawant Joins Call to "Save the Showbox"



Maybe if there was more housing then more people would have a place to live.


Housing prices are a supply/demand issue. It is counter productive to be campaigning for lower housing prices while also campaigning to stop more housing from being built.


She just hates developers because capitalism. It's like hating farmers and blocking them from farming while demanding more tomatoes.


Living in new buildings is not affordable, unless you’re the type to have have been given more than others your whole life and want to live better than everyone else for next to nothing.

Or, your equal, the third world refugee.

Also, she’s never been there.


Even Stalin lamented the treating down of historic treasures in old St. Petersburg.


"quickest dollar for the largest for-profit developers, with little regard for the needs and desires of the rest of us."

Sawant also needs to understand the nature of private ownership. If you don't own the property, and you're not trying to buy it, it's not up to you.

If Seattle residents really want to keep the Showbox, they should pool resources and offer to buy it from the developers. That is the only fair option. Any government involvement would only server to erode the rights of property owners.


The CM's stance on this supports the notion Her dislike of certain groups of people is more important than her support of affordable housing.


Well of course she did. There's news coverage after all. Has she ever found anything news-worthy that she hasn't jumped in front of?


Yeah, fuck our history, our culture, our art, our identity - the insatiable demands of the Invisible Hand are all that matters...


Separate call to action: if you value the local music scene, please attend more shows, buy more albums and other merchandise. If we fail to support the music scene, we won't have one.


You know, I can't believe they're going to tear down the Showbox and I'm upset about it. But don't you think (I do) that given Seattle is displacing large swaths of human beings, pushing people out of their homes, out of the city, AND saying "too bad you aren't wealthy enough to live here anymore, sucks to be you, too bad, you can't always live where you want to live, get a better job, this city is only for the obscenely wealthy now!" makes the mourning and outrage about the destruction of a music venue, shitty, stupid, and shallow?

I mean, let's talk about privilege and entitlement for a minute. if the Showbox was being ripped down to build 422 affordable apartments (not just for single people, but also for families) for those working in the city making minimum wage, I'd be all for it. I love music, I've seen thousands of shows in my lifetime, and I loved seeing shows at the Showbox, but is there any degree of self-reflection or empathy for others in this fight to save this music venue when REAL PEOPLE AND THEIR LIVES ARE BEING DESTROYED ON A DAILY BASIS?


Came here to post what @6 said. If there is truly widespread public support for preserving the Showbox, then it should be a simple matter to raise the funds to purchase the building.

I suspect we could find more pressing issues to throw money at, but for reasons I don't understand, preserving the Showbox appears to be more important to some than developing low-income housing, addressing the opioid epedimic, providing mental health treatment, and funding basic education.


Trolls working hard today


@6: Have you ever tried to build or demolish anything on property that you "own"? Other people always get a say. Try cutting down a large tree where you live and see what happens.


Ha, oh Comrade Sawant... you haven’t met an issue you can’t find a way to grandstand for, have you?

Better start printing up those “Save The Showbox” signs at City Hall.


Since when is Sawant in the business of intervening on behalf of private business?

Saving the showbox makes as much sense as sending money to the Mariners for stadium improvements.


Has she ever met a Bandwagon she didn't want to hop on?


If Sawant is serious about preserving the old building, she would insist the property taxes be reduced to those paid when the building was first put up. Owners are being screwed royally by the political elite (Sawant being one of them) when they are required to pay 2018 property taxes on a building that is generating limited revenue.


@18 10 zillion times no. Big mismatches between land value and intensity of usage (a concert venue is a low to moderate usage, yet the Showbox sits on one of the most valuable plots of land in the city) is a recipe for future disaster.


I'm surprised she's fighting so hard for a venue that's owned by a massive conglomerate. But I guess it plays well with the kids in her district.


Also, what about the Showbox is historical? Serious question. I've seen many shows there, and it is fine but not exactly the best venue of all time. This seems more like a last gasp at saving "old Seattle"


@13, very true, you came out to comment


@21: the building has seen much of seattle's musical history from duke ellington to the ramones to prince. the building is 100 years old. the current design is 80 years old - 1939 in a town that's barely older than that. it is streamline modern design, inside and out. it is relatively intact inside and out, and fully occupied. the ballroom format makes it the best, and most popular, place for seeing 1000-person rock shows in the city. shorter people can see the band from the upper levels. there is no longer any place like it in the city or the region since we've torn down the coliseum, the music box, & the king cat.

stop asking this question.

the city landmarked a freaking tire store on broadway between pike and pine. how is that more historical than the showbox?


@19 10 zillion times No, what? Did you understand what I wrote? I said The Show Box is of a "low to moderate usage" (as you said), or as I said generating limited revenue. But the property taxes on the building are not limited, they have been going up and up and up.

Sawant refuses to address these financial realities.


@19 You seem to think that by virtue of buying a building, the owner has a right to make a profit from the property, and anything that stands in the way of that is wrong. Many of us have no problem with with telling the landlord they are stuck with keeping the Showbox an active music venue, with all of its amenities maintained and intact, regardless as to whether that makes or loses money for them.


@6 " If you don't own the property, and you're not trying to buy it, it's not up to you."

quite delusional given that planning for development is controlled by the representatives of the people.

We'll let you know when and if we need your investment. You are, of course, quite free to make proposals like everyone else.


@25 and @26 -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarianism -- Authoritarianism is a rather ugly thing to be proud of.


@25 you seem to have no idea about much of anything. Firstly, if the owner wanted the showbox to stay, it'd be staying. The made the other choice.

Secondly, land use policies should not, best-practice, disconnect land tax from land value. It leads to some bizarre distortions down the line. Once you've cut aside the Showbox, you can't legally close the barn door - it's a bonanza. Eventually you have the rich and powerful paying lower taxes while mom & pop are paying full freight.

And just because you're nostalgic for the time you got a BJ after Sufjan Stevens? Pretty weak sauce.


if we keep the showbox as a public good, then we have to turn it into an emergency homeless shelter on days & nights there's no shows. located close to all the service agencies and transit, and not used at least 75% of the time. helps with housing crisis and stays a music venue.

and make it present some of the glorious history in a public format - where are any of the picts, stories and artifacts of its past? a landmark should display those to the public.


@28 What makes you think I care what the owner wants? Also, what makes you think I had any intention of cutting the owner a deal? What I'm talking about is so limiting the property's use that the owner of the building will eventually have no choice but to sell the building at a lost to either the city, or some non-profit. Now, should a non-profit own the property, and maintain the Showbox as a public music venue, then of course the city and county should subsidize that by not taxing the property. Property rights should become meaningless when the needs of historical preservation are more important.


@27 I'm not a liberal, and I do believe that the needs of the many always trump the privileges of property. You seem to think that the power of wealth is superior to the power of the people, and that the greed of the few outweighs the needs of the people.