October 28, 2021
Dear Councilmember Morales,
Dear Councilmember Zahilay,
Dear Representative Harris-Talley,
Dear Senator Saldaña,
Please join me in signing a letter demanding justice for Rainier Court tenants.
As I mentioned at the City Council briefing on Monday, my office, Be:Seattle, and the Tenants Union stood with Rainier Court Tenants at a rally Wednesday of last week, where the tenants protested egregious conditions and housing code violations (which my office has helped the tenants submit to the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections). These conditions have persisted for long periods (even years) despite repeated complaints. On top of that, most tenants have received unjust rent increase notices of at least $100 (more than that in some cases). All the residents are working-class people, the majority of them low-income, seniors, people of color, and/or people with disabilities. Many of them are on the Section 8 voucher program.
Yesterday, my office sent a public letter to both SEED (the property owner) and COAST (the corporation that is supposed to be managing the buildings), demanding that they immediately address the pervasive problems in all the four buildings on the property and rescind the rent increases.
Please see that letter attached to this email. I am writing to urge you to join me in signing the letter as soon as possible. The tenant struggle has momentum right now. It has been covered in a KOMO story, and in articles by The Stranger and the Emerald. I believe it is the obligation of local progressive elected officials to publicly stand with the tenants right now, to ensure they win their demands. Let’s keep in mind that the vast majority of the tenants belong to disproportionately vulnerable populations.
If you prefer, you could send your own letter, but please release a public statement to help the tenants’ fight.