Yesler Terrace Gentrification

“The Yesler Terrace gentrification proposal will remove vulnerable Youth and Families from their homes, reduce available affordable housing and increase everyone’s rent prices, all for the goal of a New Seattle built to serve the privileged.”
– Ernest Saadiq Morris, Attorney/Director of Urban Youth Justice

URBAN YOUTH JUSTICE FIGHTS AGAINST PHYSICAL, CULTURAL AND ETHNIC REPLACEMENT OF SEATTLE’S YESLER TERRACE COMMUNITY’S VULNERABLE YOUTH AND FAMILIES!

The City of Seattle’s Forced Relocation of Yesler Terrace Youth & Families Creates a Duty to Provide:

  • A RIGHT OF RETURN – GUARANTEED TO ALL CURRENT RESIDENT FAMILIES & CHILDREN
  • NO DISRUPTION OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR YESLER TERRACE YOUTH
  • CONTINUED  COMMUNITY SERVICES, INCLUDING CHILDCARE & HEALTH SERVICES
  • NO “LOST RESIDENTS” – ONGOING TRACKING OF DISPLACED YOUTH & FAMILIES TO ASSIST THEM DURING RELOCATION PERIOD

STOP Seattle Housing’s Forced Relocation of Yesler Terrace’s Vulnerable Youth and Families! No More Cultural and Ethnic Cleansing in the name of Gentrification!

————————————————————————————————————————————————
UPDATE*June 18, 2012 Yesler Terrace Special Committee –  Seattle Redevelopment/Housing Officials attempt to sell “kinder and gentler” relocation in response to Health & Education concerns re Yesler Terrace Youth and Families, but Still No Relocation Details

The Yesler Terrace gentrification show continued at the Seattle City Council this week with Housing and Redevelopment arranging presentations by its allies, including the Yesler Terrace Citizen’s Review Committee [formed/funded by the SHA “to make recommendations to the SHA Board of Commissioners regarding Yesler Terrace redevelopment efforts” but only has 6 resident members, out of 30.]

And also representatives of Seattle University and Neighborhood House presented to highlight changes to the redevelopment proposal that adds Job Training and Placement, Education, and Health services that on the surface seem to address education and healthcare concerns raised by Urban Youth Justice on behalf of Yesler Terrace Youth and Families. Of course, these proposals come 3 months after the March 7, 2012 public meeting at Yesler Terrace WHEN THERE WAS NO REAL PLAN to protect the Education and Health needs of the Yesler Terrace Youth and Families….let’s you know that at best this response is a work in progress.

But they failed to share the key details. There was no discussion of resident eligibility for these proposed services and no discussion of how current residents will access these services after they are forced to leave the area when Yesler Terrace is destroyed. ALL OF THIS DEPENDS ON THE RELOCATION PLAN!

And the Relocation Plan for Yesler Terrace Residents was not discussed. At all. It was the last item on the meeting agenda and was postponed because the earlier presentations ran long. Again, Nothing that was said at this meeting was more important than the RELOCATION PLAN.

Now it appears that the Relocation Plan will not be revealed publicly for another 3 or 4 weeks.

More shiny promises without details is not progress. Or maybe it is just stall tactics…
————————————————————————————————————————————————

MAY 21, 2012 – SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL YESLER TERRACE COMMITTEE MEETING
Urban Youth Justice Director Ernest Saadiq Morris, Esq. sums up general disregard for concerns of low-income Youth and Families inherent in Seattle’s planned gentrification of Yesler Terrace public housing, the most diverse community in Seattle.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

UPDATE: May 18, 2012 – Mainstream Media Misses the Point, Misrepresents the Issues

Seattle’s Mainstream media continues to fail to examine how the Yesler Terrace Gentrification Plan puts current Yesler Terrace Youth and Families at Risk!!

The mainstream media continues to ignore the systematic displacement of Seattle’s poor and communities of color by the business interests that dominate Seattle’s city planning policy.

A Seattle Times editorial on Friday, May 18, 2012 “Seattle Housing Authority’s smart plan for Yesler Terrace redevelopment” continues the media pandering towards more gentrification at the cost of Seattle’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

A recent May 14, 2012 article by the Seattle Times barely mentions the current low-income Yesler Terrace residents, and doesn’t address any of the issues regarding their “right of return” or the foreseeable devastating impact upon the Youth and Families of the most diverse community in Seattle.

Seattle Times May 14, 2012 article: Seattle Housing Authority proposal for Yesler Terrace raises concern

  • Urban Youth Justice 4.18.12.Letter to Seattle City Council re Yesler Terrace Housing
    Redevelopment

————————————————————————————————————————————————

  • Urban Youth Justice 4.16.12.Letter to Seattle Schools re Yesler Terrace Public Housing Redevelopment Plan

————————————————————————————————————————————————

  • Urban Youth Justice 3.19.12.Letter to Seattle Housing re Yesler Terrace Public Housing Redevelopment Plan

————————————————————————————————————————————————

MARCH 7, 2012 –  Urban Youth Justice asks “What about Yesler Terrace Youth and Families?” at City Housing Officials’ Public Meeting

On March 7, 2012, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development and Seattle of Housing Authority held a community meeting at the Yesler Terrace Community Center. This was supposedly to inform the Yesler Terrace residents of the City’s proposed plan to destroy and rebuild the oldest low-income housing in Seattle, and to give residents the opportunity to voice their concerns. Instead it was a shiny sales presentation short on many important details.

The room was packed with about 50 concerned residents along with about 6 interpreters to translate for the many African and Asian immigrants in attendance.

DPD and SHA staff spent most of the “public meeting”time explaining how much better the new “mixed-income” Yesler Terrace would be. But there was a noticeable lack of details on how current residents and their families lives would be disrupted in a practical way during the 5-10 year relocation that City staff acknowledged.

In the shorter public comment, I raised the concerns about the need for a guaranteed right of return for all current residents but also the guaranteed continuation of the many community services provided at Yesler Terrace, and added that the proposed plan must guarantee the education of Yesler Terrace children would not be disrupted after their homes were destroyed I also noted that it was unacceptable that there were no Seattle School officials in attendance to talk to the many parents there.

Many of the women residents nodded while my comments were translated and told me afterwards, in limited English or through translators, of their concerns for their children.

The staff on hand basically responded with shrugs and “we’ll look into that” but no real answers. Not an impressive presentation, at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s