Danny Westneat has a column in today’s Seattle Times about how our neighbors to the north in Miller Park eventually cleaned up the drug market that ran 24/7 around 22nd & Madison.
Andrew Taylor was quoted extensively, and came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any specific actions they took to fix the problem, but their tenacity eventually paid off when Club Chocolate City (aka Deanos) finally lost their liquor license.
But the key was to try everything possible, and be persistent about it until things change.
We live real close to the corner of 23rd/union. Though I only recently washed up on the shores of the CD, I got here in time to see the changes (literally overnight). My sense is that much of the negative activity is not as deeply and firmly rooted as things seemed to have been on Madison. I’ve been fairly active in our group’s efforts, doing most all the things the Miller group did. In contrast to 22/Mad some of those things do make a difference at 23/U– even if only for a week or two. (I mean, hey, we haven’t seen a trick turned in our front yard in over 6 months!) –p
It seems as though part of the problem on Madison was that some of the buisness owners were either directly or indirectly contributing to the problem. Club chocolate city closes and poof the dealers are gone. That doesn’t seem to be an issue at 23rd and Union. All the buisness owners have been helpful if not even proactive. Maybe the proposed cop shop will help.
From: Sita Das [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 4:39 PM
To: Sita Das
Subject: 23rd & Union Neighborhood Safety Forum
23rd & Union
Neighborhood Safety Forum
Monday February 11, 2008
6:30PM – 8:00PM
The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
2116 E Union St. Seattle WA 98122
(E. Union St. between 21st and 22nd Ave.)
It’s kinda like Wack-A-Mole, but I call it Twack-A-Mole. (See Urban Dictionary) The police quash the drug trade in one area, but it moves on to another area- where the new residents and police get to begin the cycle all over again. You know what’s missing? Any actual solution to the underlying problems of drug addiction, unemployment, and education. As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. And while I live at 21st and Union and would love to see the corner cleared, I know it will only move down to 23rd and Cherry next. And there it’s closer to a school (albeit under construction).
I’m glad to see the Safety Forum scheduled.
Do we know who is attending from the City? Police Department? I think it is critically important that the Mayor and Police Chief attend. They attended a similar forum after the death of Shannon Harps. Not attending this forum would send the wrong sign to this community after such a tragic loss of an innoncent figure in our community.
” Any actual solution to the underlying problems of drug addiction, unemployment, and education. “
Agreed, but that’s not something that we as a little neighborhood can change by ourselves. So should we stop all the other efforts?
The TRULY tragic part of the 23rd/Madison killing is that the gentleman who was killed had done all those things: worked his way up from dishwasher to owner, employed other people (see their notes on the restaurant door), worked to keep the neighborhood safe. Why did he succeed when so many others seem trapped in a life on the street?
“Agreed, but that’s not something that we as a little neighborhood can change by ourselves.”
Disagree respectfully. I think change begins at home. If you can organize as a neighborhood for increased police presence and the closing of Deanos, then why can’t you organize in support of addiction treatment, job training centers, and better schools. I don’t think we should stop all the other efforts. But I think we owe it to ourselves and to our community to pursue a comprehensive solution so we don’t just waste resources passing the problem around from neighborhood to neighborhood.
In answer to your last question, in the words of Father Boyle- “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
A couple of thoughts. We should clarify what is meant by doing things “by our selves.” I think some of the most effective things we do involve SPD or city attorneys, or linking with established city programs. So, what can we do to address the underlying soc/econ causes at the neighborhood level with a similar level of city support? Perhaps this thread is an opportunity for someone to propose a concrete suggestion attractive to the average person with an occasional hour or two to spare … preferably something a little short of Father Boyle’s efforts.
“If you can organize as a neighborhood for increased police presence and the closing of Deanos, then why can’t you organize in support of addiction treatment, job training centers”
That’s what Lt. Hayes’ GOTS program, which I lobbied for in a City Council committee, was doing on Madison and is now doing at 23rd/Union.
The pocket of dealers, prostitutes and buyers at 23rd and Union is much smaller and much less aggressive than the pocket at 23rd and Madison. When it moves again (to Cherry?), it’ll probably break up a little more.