Seattle SoDo resident: ‘Our businesses feel abandoned by the city’
Rising crime has been an issue in numerous Seattle neighborhoods during the pandemic, especially in SoDo, according to businesses owners. Erin Goodman runs the SoDo Business Improvement Area, Alex Cooley is the cofounder of marijuana grower Solstice, and they both joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss how SoDo has been coping these past few months.
“SoDo businesses are struggling, there’s no question, but as a whole, SoDo as a neighborhood is coming through a lot better than some of our neighboring neighborhoods. And part of that is the essential nature of the work that goes on in SoDo,” Goodman said.
“Factory, and transportation, and logistics — I mean, every package delivered to your house comes through SoDo through both the FedEx and the UPS facilities,” Goodman added. “Amazon, your food, your distribution of things, come in from the port through SoDo.”
That said, the past few months have seen a rise in crime and the neighborhood needs additional support from the city.
“We need support for crime. I mean, these past eight months we have seen just a significant increase in property crime and violent crime on our streets,” she said. “And when you have businesses that are working, you know, more than 24 hours it feels like to keep their businesses going, the fact that they’re dealing with break-ins, and assaults, and harassment of their employees is just too much.”
Where does she see this influx coming from?
“Well, there’s no question that this year has seen a lack of managing our unsheltered homeless population that’s on our streets,” Goodman said. “Now, not everyone that lives in an encampment in SoDo is causing our crime. However, through video, we know that a lot of the crime is perpetrated out of encampments. And at this point, we haven’t seen any movement in nine months.”
“And, you know, we lost the Navigation Team, which was a big conduit for information and connections, and our businesses — they feel abandoned by the city right now,” Goodman said.
“We absolutely do feel abandoned,” Cooley added. “You know, we’ve been burglarized more times in the last nine months than we have in the last nine years. We get little to no support in regard to this. It’s up to us at this point, which is incredibly frustrating, which has been the overall feeling for quite some time because there’s no voters in our district.”
“And so there’s just not a lot of attention paid to us,” he said, “even though we are the city’s factory.”
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