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Business owner who left Seattle for Arizona was ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’

A downtown Seattle store, looted following a late-May 2020 riot. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Local business owner Joey Rodolfo has lived and worked in Seattle for nearly four decades. But after a year that saw property destruction and crime escalate in the downtown core, he decided it was time to pack up and move his company, Bookie Clothing, to Arizona.

Rodolfo recounts a conversation he had with Mayor Jenny Durkan, after coming across her in a restaurant in Seattle.

“I got up and went and talked to her,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “I said, ‘Listen, how do we get Seattle cleaned up, Jenny?'”

“I said, ‘you know, there’s a stabbing that just happened down the street at Nordstrom, a shooting just happened, all of Fourth Avenue closed — so how do we get Seattle to become a vibrant place for people to come, and shop, and do the things that people love to do in a big city like ours?'” he continued.

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The conversation ultimately ended up yielding little in the way of clarity. In the months to follow, Rodolfo decided enough was enough, and made the decision to move his business out of state.

For those still in Seattle, he remains concerned that tensions could come to a head sooner rather than later.

“My wife and I have a condo downtown, and I will tell you, we have talked to plenty of people that live in the neighborhood that are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he described. “We’re at that boiling point right now.”

“It’s a point of no return in the near future,” he added. “My belief right now that our city is circling the drain, and it’s going to take something dramatic to turn this thing around.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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