Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"To get rid of as many tenants as expediently as possible"

The following, written by one of your neighbors, beautifully expresses the anger that so many of us feel about what's happening to our city and our neighborhood:
I suggest that Ballard and Seattle in general wish to do away with the moderate to low income rental tenants. Yes, and among them, especially the elderly and persons of disability. Where will these discharged persons go?  
I understand that a landlord has the right to turn any tenant out at any time, but in Seattle the tenant may be eligible for relocation assistance. This does not detract from the Lockhaven landlord’s first activity: to give everyone in a particular building 20 days notice to evacuate under an eviction letter. This displays the true motive of the new owner, which is to get rid of as many tenants as expediently as possible without regard to where or how these will find future accommodations. Not his problem, right? So the law says, partially. 
So let’s get rid of old and disabled people, let’s throw out the low income people as well. We don’t need them. They're a drag on our economy. Ballard is the hot place to live. Condos galore, just come and choose one at rents of $2000 or more.
So if any of you recall or are in touch with the history of Ballard, can you remember what this community initially promoted? Yes, it was hard work, caring for your neighbor, friendliness and opportunity to grow and live where people knew one another.  Do you remember this or are you listening only to your headsets and getting ready to move into a super condo apartment with your friends?
So it seems Ballard is poised to ghettoize the moderate to low income, disabled and elderly.  Who would have thought that a community founded on thriftiness and caring would come to this?  
All this occurs to me in reference to the 19th annual celebration at the Nordic Heritage Museum of the life of the courageous Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenburg who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish people during WW II. Where has Ballard gone to get so far from its roots?


  1. I couldn't have expressed your thoughts any better. One of the things that I love about Ballard is its diversity. I am 65, retired to Ballard 3 years ago after living in suburban Mesa, AZ for 31 years. I wanted to live in a neighborhood that not only was pedestrian friendly and had access to shopping and services, but I wanted a neighborhood that had all types and ages of people. I was able to move my 93 year old mother into an assisted living facility just a block away. I have been able to make friends with several 70 year old neighbors as well as other neighbors who are around 40. I enjoy seeing many young parents with their infants and toddlers in their strollers. I love seeing the great variety of dogs that my pass through my block. I want a diverse neighborhood and more importantly, I want a neighborhood that is open and fair to all of its residents. I wish that I wasn't going to be out of town when the Raoul Wallenburg dinner will be held, because if I were here, I would be attending because I fully support the memory of this person who cared more for other people than for himself. Shame on the new developers who care only for the money that they plan to make at the expense of all of the wonderful people who have made what is so great about the Ballard neighborhood.