Tent architecture can be quite (watch your step) hostile, unfortuantely. Good for SAM.


Oh give me a break. There are tents everywhere. Everywhere. Can we just go to the museum without running the gauntlet of vagrants?

You know what’s really hostile? Violent junkies skulking around every freaking corner these days. Not one local politician has even the most remote plan of action to stop the open air mental ward/drug bazaar. To suggest these vagrants are responsible for anything is mean…


Good for SAM. It’s private property… sorry, tenties.

It’s not SAMs job to solve homelessness. Why should SAM have to deal with the mess created by City Council?


I want to see one of those bollards used in a Stranger Hump (TM) film!


"The workers' representative admitted that there have been needles, feces, and other belongings left around the building that their Environmental Services department—the janitors—is expected to clean up. While the group respects that it's "not fair" to the staff to clean up hazardous waste, they felt the museum took a top-down approach to solve these problems instead of consulting with security or janitorial staff affected by the change"

The museum is not a worker collective. They have no obligation to ensure everyone is comfortable and supportive of every action. They are doing the right thing in prioritizing the safety of patrons and staff ahead of the comfort and coddling of people with addiction and mental issues. As #3 noted, SAM is not responsible nor are they equipped to be a social service agency. If these employees are so concerned then I encourage them to get involved with some of the actual outreach providers and do something beside bitch and moan to The Stranger.

Also are the 230 signatures actual employees or just rando's who signed the petition? I'm guessing the latter.


Thanks for covering this, Jasmyne.


This is a complex issue that requires a thoughtful and empathetic solution. The amplification of fear towards those who are our most vulnerable is shameful. The museum has the chance to show their company values match their actions. They are choosing to favor the “safety” of the patrons who have privilege to enter the building and generating fear around those outside in the most danger. Again it’s complex, there is no doubt but I hope the Seattle arts community (especially a nonprofit) does the right thing in exploring empathetic human focused solutions.


Hostile Architecture needs to be the name of a band with Charles Mudade on vocals and lead guitar.


@7: It's not fear, it's dealing with a problem. Don't conflate the two.


As expected there’s a bunch of disgusting rhetoric about “dangerous junkies.” SAM has every right to manage their property as they see fit, but I hope the higher-ups realize they’re contributing to the demonization of part of our community. I would expect an arts organization like this to put someone’s need for shelter over the comfort of their wealthy donors. I doubt that the museum is less safe than anywhere else downtown. Homelessness won’t be solved by simply making the homeless people go somewhere you don’t have to look at them.



IANAL but I don't think they do have every right to manage their property as they see fit. They can't decide not to be ADA compliant, for example. And I think they are required to let anyone into Asian Art Museum to use the bathrooms (presumably only during open hours) because the city of Seattle made it a condition of their renovation.

I'm sure they must be on solid legal ground with the hostile architecture at the main museum, but like you note, that doesn't make it right, and clearly this is turning into a PR nightmare for them.


First, turn all museums, libraries, and parks into emergency shelters, until a more permanent solution can be implemented. Next, commission a study to find that solution. Wait a couple years. Then, when the commission fails to return a viable proposal, shrug and say "Libraries? Museums? Parks? What are those?"


Honestly, it won't be a "PR nightmare" for them. There is a sizable chunk of the population that is tired of walking through trash, drugs, feces, etc. anytime we want to go somewhere in this city. Those people will come to SAM because of these measures. And speaking of which, how do you think SAM gets $?? Rich donors and people who buy tickets to the museum. If those 2 things disappear, they won't have the money to keep going. But then I guess the building will be empty so all the homeless can move in.


Good for SAM. Seattle needs more hostile architecture in every park, around every library, and on both sides of Western, First, Second, and Third Avenues from Virginia to Yesler.

"The organizer expressed concern that more beefed-up security would result in more police involvement during the removal of houseless people."
Those "houseless" people are predominantly dangerous and unpredictable. If I was a SAM Security Officer I'd sure as heck want police backup when dealing with "the houseless" too.


@10 " but I hope the higher-ups realize they’re contributing to the demonization of part of our community."

Actually that part of our community does a fine job of demonizing themselves without any help.


My question for all the people who think this is such a great idea is do you have any ideas for where to put these people? Or is the plan to just push them from one place to the next? Sure, we can move homeless people out of downtown. Would you rather they were in Queen Anne? The problem isn't solved by not letting them sleep in an alcove at the museum. If you don't want to see homeless people, you're just gonna have to pay for a place for them to live. We've been trying sweeps and hostile architecture for decades and it's obviously not working. I strongly doubt some of you actually read the article, where the museum admits itself they mostly have regulars who are not causing problems. I'm seeing a lot of profiles that just comment on every single article specifically to complain about having to see homeless people.



Reopen the jungle. Let them enjoy the lavish care-free living they so obviously desire. But this time let's not respond when their decisions predictably backfire.

Or you know we could admit they are not competent to care for themselves and confine them to either hospitals or prisons, depending on their capacity.


I'm curious what sort of article we would see written if it were at the entrance to The Stranger's HQ that employees were being punched, threatened with broken bottles, and having to walk through shit and used needles.


@20 has clearly never been to the corner of 11th and Pine.


@21 Is your avatar a gay superhero/art thief? Its origin is probably more interesting than this tired old debate.


Homeless people are a feature of our community, not a part of our community. It's important all you bleeding hearts remember this. Community: A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion, values, customs, or identity.

The only thing most people have in common with homeless people is that we all had a mother at some point or another.


@24 is absolutely right.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" Our local vagrant class break this contract through willful drug use and criminality that destroys their abilities. They have chosen not to contribute.

Funny thing is that if any of them tried to pull their stunts in Beijing today, or Moscow during the Soviet Union, they'd find themselves going through withdrawal at a pleasant re-education camp.


@26 wow and ick. What a disgusting comment.


meant @27



You realize we are talking about Seattle right? There aren't any "right wing scumbags" in this city. Heck there's hardly any conservatives.
Most of us overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden, before that we were pretty evenly split between Warren, Sanders, and Biden.
Jayapal will remain our representative for as long as she wants the job.

Just because someone recognizes the ineptitude of the enabling policies promoted by Gonzalez, Mosqueda, Sawant, Herbold, Tim Harris, and the rest does not make them a "rightwing scum bag."

I do not think it is acceptable for the city to turn a blind eye towards people willfully destroying their lives, by choosing heroin or meth over anything else. You on the other hand seem to be just fine with allowing the current situation to not only continue, but to get worse.

So which one of us is the scumbag?


There are also some very angular and aesthetically unpleasing conflagrations down the street at 2nd and Seneca. They look like space junk, pose a safety and visual hazard and should be recycled. This entire anti-homeless agenda is inappropriate and picayune.



Then you have a limited imagination....



Then you have a limited imagination...



There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.



Sorry to disappoint you meb.

Atheist and a Scientist whose been following social distancing and masking protocols since day one. Got my Pfizer shots as soon as I was eligible.

You just can't accept the truth. 64,155 Seattleites just signed the Compassion Seattle petition. To put that in perspective in 2017, when she came in first in the mayoral primary, Jenny Durkan came in first with 48,193 votes.

People are fed up with the lack of compassion from the current city council and their fellow enablers of addiction at DESC, SHARE/WHEEL, and Real Change.

And many of the people who are fed up are quite liberal and a damn sight more compassionate than the people who thinks it's perfectly fine to allow people with addiction disorders free rein to inject their drugs whenever and whenever they want.



I'm totally down for a state income tax. I moved here from Colorado.
State funding came from Income Tax
County and School District funding came from property tax.
City and special district funding came from Sales Tax.

The difficult thing in Washington is that in order to get an Income Tax, the entire tax structure at every level will need to be changed.

Just adding a Progressive Income Tax without eliminating the Regressive taxes will not transform Washington's Regressive tax structure.

In order to get a Progressive income tax passed there will need to be a 5 - 10 year effort, working at all levels to craft a deal that creates the income tax while simultaneously reducing and restructuring the sales, property, and B&O taxes.

That will take a skilled statesman* unlike any we currently have.

*I'd really like a gender neutral term for "Statesman." Not being snarky at all, I just can't currently think of an equivalent term and statesperson doesn't seem to fit.


See, I'm not a rightwing scumbag....


Instead of starting a stupid petition calling on SAM to remove infrastructure that keeps sidewalks clear and illegal trash filled encampments from taking root. The SAM staff so concerned for their “unhorsed neighbors” should try doing something for hat will actually help the homeless like raise money for them to get housing. Since they claim to care so much.

Please wait...

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