Piroshky, Piroshky owner: Seattle is ‘an abandoned city,’ seeks city council spot

May 18, 2023, 1:07 PM

piroshky seattle city council...

Olga Sagan in front of a Piroshky Piroshky location during a campaign press conference (Photo courtesy of Olga Sagan for Seattle City Council)

(Photo courtesy of Olga Sagan for Seattle City Council)

Olga Sagan, the owner of the traditional old-world Russian-style bakery Piroshsky, Piroshsky, is running for a seat on the Seattle City Council on a platform that focuses on improving conditions for small businesses within the city and creating a stronger anti-crime stance.

Sagan has been with the bakery since 2001, became a half partner five years later, and eventually the sole owner in 2017.

The City of Seattle is facing an $82.3 million revenue shortfall in its 2023-2024 budget, according to the city’s Revenue and Forecast Council’s November Report, in addition to its original $141 million general-fund deficit the city is already dealing with.

Piroshky Piroshky, closed in 2022 due to crime, set to reopen after Christmas

“People are moving out, businesses are closing, you continue to lose more and more money in the city of Seattle, what do you do?” John Curley, host of The John and Shari Show on KIRO Newsradio, asked Sagan.

“What I don’t do is, I do not make a quick decision to turn downtown into apartments,” Sagan responded. “I wouldn’t create toxic environments for businesses.”

Sagan will be running for City Council position 7 against incumbent Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who announced he was running for re-election on a platform of addressing affordable housing, homelessness, and climate change in January. Lewis is one of the few Seattle councilmembers running for re-election, with three sitting councilmembers having already announced they will not run again.

“I think my opponent is a good politician for a very flourishing city that can experiment and have unlimited money,” Sagan said. “My opponent is not qualified to go back to basics and to understand what it is to go back to the kitchen and start doing the dishes when things are going down, and since it’s going down, we have to stop it. This city got abandoned. It’s an abandoned city.”

Sagan even referenced her “roll up your sleeves” campaign slogan: Let’s get back to basics.

In Feb. 2022, Sagan decided to close one of the Piroshky, Piroshky locations — the one on 3rd Avenue near Pike and Pine Street — in response to the aggressive growth in crime in the region, but gave the troubled neighborhood another chance by reopening the store Dec. 26.

More from John and Shari: Why are people turning away from organized religion?

Seattle police, under Mayor Bruce Harrell and Police Chief Adrian Diaz, have made the downtown area a priority. After record-breaking crime numbers occurred during the pandemic, 2023 has reported just 8.3% of violent crime has occurred in the downtown area — including just 7.4% of aggravated assaults reported in the city — both drops in occurrence compared to previous years.

“If my district is downtown, and downtown is the economic engine, why am I not focusing on economics? Why am I not even sitting on the Economic Committee when I’m in charge of the district that is responsible for 60% of taxes?” Sagan asked, referencing Lewis’ absence from the city’s Committee for Economic Development, Technology & City Light. “What people need to realize is when we kill businesses, our personal taxes go up.”

Listen to John Curley and Shari Elliker weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

church religion...

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Why are people turning away from organized religion?

In a recent Wall Street Journal/National Opinion Research Center poll, only 39% of Americans say that religion is "very important" to them.

1 month ago

Long-term health...

Bill Kaczaraba

Long-term health care tax debated in WA Legislature

The legislature is taking on the touchy subject of the state's long-term health care tax.

2 months ago


John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley attempts to solve, recreate Texas shopping cart ghost story

As Todd was leaving work at a local supermarket outside Dallas, a shopping cart flew into his car. He claimed it was a ghost.

2 months ago

Crack cocaine addict...

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Listener shares her story of addiction and recovery

Marguerite from Lacey is a former crack cocaine addict. She shared her story with the John Curley & Shari Elliker show.

2 months ago


John Curley and Shari Elliker

John and Shari: Are clowns scary?

Join John Curley and Shari Eliker in discussing whether or not clowns are scary. John is prepared to tricycle furiously to the defense of the clown community.

3 months ago

sex offenders...

Frank Sumrall

WA Rep. hopes to eradicate sex offender housing in Enumclaw

Tenino residents and community members protested the proposition for weeks due to the risk factors of the home being near a playground.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Piroshky, Piroshky owner: Seattle is ‘an abandoned city,’ seeks city council spot