Tonight, the Seattle Housing Authority will hold the last in a series of community hearings about its plan to raise rents by 500 percent over five years on more than a third of its tenants.
I wrote about a Sept. 17 hearing over here. It was intense—full of impassioned chanting and near-unanimous public comment against the so-called Stepping Forward plan, which would also link SHA tenants with job training. But another hearing, held on Sept. 23 at New Holly in Rainier Valley, was apparently even more heated.
Here's video of that meeting, recorded by an opponent of Stepping Forward:
After the first bit of recorded chaos dies down, the crowd then erupts for a second time when Kailyn Nicholson, a member of Socialist Alternative, tries to give her public comment time to Council Member Kshama Sawant. "SHA completely lost control of the meeting," says Nicholson. "I said I wanted to cede my time to Sawant, because it was clear that the tenants overwhelmingly wanted to hear her speak."
At that, a representative from SHA grabs the mic out of Nicholson's hands. After the moments captured by the video, she says, a group of police officers arrived. A spokesperson for SHA says the housing authority did not call the police.
The last public hearing on Stepping Forward is tonight at High Point Community Center in West Seattle at 6 p.m. Should be interesting!