Hooray for rebuttal and dialogue!
Not sure I’m taking at face value that a thriving downtown is a requirement of a city, but a downtown in crisis cannot help. It seems to always serve as a central gathering place, and it would be a waste to not take advantage of the transportation hub that it is. All good points about the revenue it raises; hard to know if those are being generated elsewhere in the city or have left for other cities. In any case, residents, unhoused neighbors, businesses and others downtown are not well right now. I hope our future Mayor considers the suffering happening downtown by real people; corporations will move along and do just fine wherever they land.
Such an easy softball you pitched to knock out of the park Lorena. I suggest a career change.
OMG the Stranger has sold out to the DBA! Cue the rending of garments.
Do we actually need a "plan"? How about "Get your fucking vaccine and let's all go back to work"? That's my plan. Can I be Mayor now?
@3 mean "DSA". Not the DESC, not the SDCI...
Nirm Rice revived downtown Seattle, when it sucked in the mid-90's. Hope our next mayor can do the same.
When I hear fellow Democrats bitching about downtown, and then walk around abandoned blocks downtown (abandoned except for the screaming psychotics) it's not a good sign. It's gonna take more than a cluster of tourists at Pike Place Market to fix things.
Fascinating. Gonzalez is given space in the Stranger and disses the DSA, and the Stranger feels compelled to give space to extremely narrow downtown monied interests. When it comes to covering police however they mostly promote, mostly by lack of critique, the bullshit of Seattle's political class, and when someone offers them cogent rebuttals -- ones that don't repeat the absurd dichotomy of defund/abolish versus status quo -- they consistently refuse to publish them.
I am one of the many downtown workers that have been working from home. But I gave up spending any money downtown due to the rising costs, particularly eating out. I'll never forget paying $11 for a small bowl of watery vegetable soup - that was the last straw, paying over ten bucks for something worse than a can of Campbell's soup. And that was about 7-8 years ago. Have to wonder how many others feel the same. So no worries Lorena. My absence from downtown is not hurting your tax coffers as I made a decision years ago to stop spending any money while at work.
While we are on the subject - what, exactly, is wrong with consumers spreading out their spending geographically? Where is the crime in spending your hard earned money closer to your own home, your own community? So I am spending more of my money in Pierce county, where I actually LIVE - why is this seen as a problem? Why does downtown Seattle insist on sucking everything out of the room, every fucking tax dollar from every fucking downtown worker? Many times I have stood on Second Avenue after work, waiting for my bus, watching the chaotic, frantic "get out of downtown" mayhem. Why do we need to live this way? From the POV of a person living in the county to the south, glad to get downtown Seattle out of their lives, this whining about tax revenue loss from people that only go to Seattle to work is pretty offensive. "How DARE you take your money and spend it in your OWN community..."
@8 plenty of brick and mortar retail in my neighborhood in Pierce county - even a busy/thriving Barnes and Noble despite Amazon's existence. I have lost count of the times I've shopped for something in an attempt to buy local, only to come home and buy from an on-line retailer because NO ONE carried what I needed. I don't think ANY area can keep the incredible diversity of shit we want on hand in brick and mortar stores. Our species' tendency to adopt a multitude of interests, preferences, hobbies and other diversions exceeds the ability of any city to keep it all in stock. The 'we can get anything we want via mail' has been let out of the bag - never to be put back.
Pat L dear, there's not been a time when downtown Seattle "sucked". At least not by my midwest Rust Belt standards.
But there is an interesting parallel between today's downtown troubles and the troubles of the 90's: Both involved the shuttering of department stores (Frederick & Nelson and I. Magnin in the 90's, The store formerly known as The Bon Marche in 2020)
Those stores, as archaic as they may seem, supported a lot of jobs, a lot of vendors, a lot of foot traffic, and a lot of the surrounding small businesses.
@11, Well, if people don't want to shop in B&M there's nothing you can do to stop them. How many stores did the Sears and Roebuck Catalog close or nip in the bud? Same thing different time. Different but similar effect. What did WallyWorld do? Same thing. I grew up when all Department Stores had thick Catalogs that people mail ordered through and the poor mailman was lugging boxes (and so we're delivery drivers) right to your doorstep! Go Figure!
But times have changed of course. Right?
Then quit shopping Amazon then. 'But I never shop Amazon I'm a hero of Social Justice'.
Fine. And may I add to that good luck.
Your other point. No, Government is not the Resurrected Christ to Save you.
How Amazon succeeded without a tall sign still blows me away.
Publishing this op-ed really insults Stranger readers. Large corporations leave downtown because the cost, inconvenience, and utter extravagance of downtown offices doesn't make sense anymore. Who should fix that? Seattle middle class home owners, of course! And why should we fix it? So that Jon Scholes organization can maintain its membership? Did I miss something. Let's see, Scholes argues that the city should subsidize downtown businesses, because no one wants to go there to eat, or see a movie, or shop at its crappy corporate stores? Rents are too hoigh for local or regional businesses to locate downtown, so Seattle's middile class taxpayers should subsidize them. Why? BTW, Norm Rice did nothing for downtown except participate in a sketchy property deal and accelerate the tear down of all the beautiful historic buildings downtown that were actually an attraction. They were replaced with ugly new buildings and new corporate businesses to provide money for Rice, his business associates, and the out-of-town developers. You want to know who destroyed downtown? Norm Rice. Why dont you try and get your money from him, Jon Scholes?
And, despite the fuss about Amazon, Lorena still has no plan and has dissed downtown.
The Stranger is right to publish this op-Ed because so many of us trust this source and need at least a modicum of objectivity.
Lorena is the wrong leader for revitalization of Seattle and needs to be pushed from her current perch and denied the Mayoral role she’s seeking because we deserve better than her narrow-minded, short sighted approach to governing.
Also: As a downtown living person who has been through hell, I appreciate the DSA position of advocacy for this neighborhood. Jon Scholes must understand that we here living in downtown are Stranger readers.
I appreciate Jon addressing Lorena’s narrow-minded perspective and standing up for our neighborhood and city core.
Kudos to The Stranger for sharing both sides of this story.
If you don't check off all the boxes for Mrs. Gonzales she could give a crap about you. It's just a fact of her extreme devotion to identity politics. Also I'm so tired of having people come visit me and then return home to tell all their friends that Seattle is a shit show and stay the f*** away.
The Stranger Actually Allowing a Rebuttal....from the democratic center. A miracle!
Hope is kindled. Will Seattle see a shift to common sense and the center point of politics?
As Churchill had two great quotes which might be applicable:
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
"Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else."
I think Seattle has come to this point.... its time to do the "right thing" again...the left has failed.
When I moved here three decades ago, I was impressed at how festive and inviting the Seattle downtown core was, compared to other large cites in the US. While the pandemic accelerated the process, the drastic increase in retail and property crime is eliminating all the things that made downtown an attractive place to visit and live. I want a candidate with a plan that supports business owners, a reduction in street crimes, AND supports more shelters for the homeless. Any candidate that chooses one over the other needs to look for the nearest exit.
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