Call for news: Nordstrom or Nordstrom-like activity

Anitra Freeman (anitra@speakeasy.org)
Sun, 15 Nov 1998 17:27:06 -0800


Brief background: Nordstoms, a national chain of upscale department stores
headquartered in Seattle Washington, was a central party in a deal in which
the City of Seattle pledged HUD money and other moneys intended for the
benefit of low-income groups to, instead, be used for a new underground
parking garage and building renovations when Nordstroms became part of a
pricy new shopping complex "revitalizing" downtown Seattle.  Many citizens,
including Real Change, the Seattle Weekly, and two of the newest City
Council members, have criticized this deal.  Real Change and WHEEL are now
calling Nordstroms to take the lead in Seattle businesses matching the
Mayor's $500,00 pledge to the homeless women and children of Seattle, to
"give some back".

In pursuing this campaign, we have found that Nordstroms has pulled -- or
attempted to pull -- similar deals elsewhere, in Spokane Washington and in
Norfolk Virginia.   We would appreciate news on any other incidents that
you may have heard of.

In addition, we have just heard that HUD money is being used to build a new
**WESTIN HOTEL** near the SeaTac airport -- on the justification that it
will provide low-income jobs.  I intend to find out just what guarantees
there are that truly low-income workers will end up with those jobs, and a
lot of other questions about public process, oversight, and appropriate
use.  In the meantime, I'd like to hear of other such activities going on
elsewhere.  How long is it going to take before all HUD money is tied up in
projects that benefit only upper-income people?

___________________________________________________________
Anitra L. Freeman, Dances With Dragons, http://members.xoom.com/Anitra/ --
an entry point for the new Writers Ring!
See http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/projects.html for a full list of
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