Nov 1 City Hall Campout & Die-In a Smashing Success! Stop the Sweeps, Tax Big Business to Fund Housing & Services!



Congratulations to the hundreds of ordinary people who came out on November 1 for a 4.5-hour public hearing, all-night rally and campout inside City Hall, culminating in a powerful die-in the next morning commemorating the 66 houseless people, including a baby, who have died this year so far on the streets!

The message of the community to Seattle City Councilmembers could not have been louder and clearer: Stop the Sweeps! Tax Big Business to Fund Housing and Services!

What an incredibly successful action, made possible by the heroic work and self-sacrifice of the houseless community, from Real Change, SHARE, and Nickelsville in particular, and activists in the Housing for All coalition, SEACampout, Affordable Housing Alliance, the Neighborhood Action Councils, Transit Riders Union, Socialist Alternative, People’s Party, and many other organizations. We are demonstrating what people can accomplish when we get organized! The front page of today’s Seattle Times says it all.

Our work is not done yet – we need to hold City Council accountable – we need to make sure our Homes Tax and Stop the Sweeps proviso are in the balancing package. Onward to the budget committee on Tuesday, November 14 at 8:30AM (or Wed Nov 15)!

Speaker after speaker at the hearing demanded the City Council put an end to the sweeps of homeless encampments, and tax big business to fund services and affordable housing. What we heard in the public hearing was a majority of ordinary people speaking with one voice that no one should be penalized for being poor and unhoused.

After that decisive hearing, there can be no doubt in the minds of the Councilmembers as to what their constituents want them to do. People are demanding a stop to the inhumane and ineffective sweeps, and a tax on big business to fund affordable housing and services. If the Councilmembers still go ahead and pass a business as usual budget, they would be willfully turning a deaf ear to the voices of working people, homeless people, and the most marginalized.

Despite the colder weather upon us, the untimely tragic death of sixty six people living outside this year already, and the resounding demand for an end to the sweeps, it is shameful that Mayor Burgess has chosen to re-commit to continuing the sweeps. He has also chosen to engage in fearmongering by implying that a modest tax on the biggest corporations would be detrimental to jobs.

After the public hearing, well over a hundred activists stayed inside City Hall all night, and continued workshops and discussions. It’s a moral and political victory for our movement that we peacefully occupied City Hall all night.

Let’s keep up the fight, and pack City Hall for the budget votes on Tuesday, November 14 at 8:30AM (or Wed Nov 15). Stop the Sweeps! Tax Big Business to Fund Housing and Services!

Solidarity,

Kshama

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