Column: Conversations on the Avenue – May

The Mt. Baker Hub Alliance meets regularly with folks that live, travel through, or work in the Rainier Valley corridor.  Most are stakeholders that have a deep connection and care about this gateway community located at the nexus of Rainier Avenue S and MLK Jr. Way S.

We will be regularly updating this column with more snippets of our anonymous conversations as we strive to capture the voices of our neighbors, without interpretation.  

Date:  May 1st, 2019, 1:00-3:00pm.

Location:  Starbucks on MLK Jr Way S & Rainier Ave S

I am an African man, I came here forty years ago.  A white family taught me how to be in this country.  I own several properties in this area and the Central District; I understand development.

African people here, in this city, want to help this country.  We want to see this country be its best.

The city needs input and perspective.

What is the benefit, what is the cost, who is benefiting from this development we can see from here, along Rainier?

What is the net development for those that have been here 30-40 years?

We are not taking care of our people.  Where is the sponsorship to help people?  How come that cycle is broken? Why so much hatred and stress, why aren’t government people listening?

We need balance in public policy. First: being inclusive, not just for a certain segment of society.

Where is the comprehensive study by the city? What is the price for people telling the truth?

This is phenomenal, what the Hub is doing, talking to the people. Seattle is one of the few cities doing this. I have lived here a long time, and no one has ever asked me what I think about the city, how I would want my neighborhood to develop.

For any successful project, you need to listen to the people in the neighborhood.

If we can’t solve this, no one else will. If it doesn’t happen in Seattle, we can’t cry wolf in any other part of the country.  The intellectual capacity and money within 3 miles of this location puts us at the center in this country, and in the world. If we can’t get government right here, it won’t happen elsewhere.  Solve it here and spread it out to the rest of the country.

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