This post is part of a series of profiles of Central District residents, part of the “People of the Central Area” project developed and written by Madeline Crowley.
Filli left behind the glories and tragedies of his home, Ethiopia, determined to build a successful life for himself and his beloved family in the Central Area with his store and café, Amy’s Merkato.
Filli on our Community:
I came from Ethiopia. I have a daughter, her name is Delina. She is the center of my life and my wife’s name is Yodit. I live in Lynnwood, a long drive from here. I’m planning a lot of things for my future and the future of my family. I would like to change my work schedule from a 6-day schedule to one where I can spend more time with my daughter while she’s still at home.
Madrona is a beautiful place. There are so many friendly people nowadays. You have people of different races, different backgrounds, and different finances. It mixes people from all ways of life. Lots of interesting people here doing many types of jobs, there are more professional people now. The economy is improving so I am happy.
When I opened in 2000 there were a lot of bad things, illegal things. This area still has that reputation. There was crime in 2000 up until 2008. Since then I have seen big changes in this neighborhood. I used to be uncomfortable closing up my store alone at night and going to my car. There was street activity; I was worried locking up and leaving.
The police have been really good, now there is a much bigger police presence and the street activity has disappeared. You feel safe now especially at night. It’s much safer. I am grateful to the Seattle Police.
It looks like a bright future for this community but this depends on how the community organizes itself from things like the shootout (the murder of Justin Ferrari). If the community organizes itself to put that type of activity out, then this community will be a great place. I am glad to be here.