Re: Call for news: Nordstrom or Nordstrom-like activity

g. nelson (colleen@aa.net)
Sun, 15 Nov 1998 22:32:23 -0800 (PST)


On Sun, 15 Nov 1998, Anitra Freeman wrote:

> 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?

I had to log off and think about this when I first read it, Anitra.
Upon rereading it I'm still saying "WHAT!" and muttering obsenities under
my breath.
I think we all know just what sort of jobs hotels create and how far such
jobs go towards paying the rent.
I would like to know what is wrong with HUD. 
I would like some more information about this Westin project specifically.
I would like to assure that the same thing does not happen here that
happened with the &@@#!!& parking garage.
I am quite certain that many, many people in the Puget Sound area are
going to have a major hissy fit is this sort of obscene expenditure of
public money is slipped on by the citizenry. I think it would be a good
idea to gather as much information as possible about this project and
start getting the word out *now*. I will be more than willing to contact
the major newspapers, KUOW and the TV stations with the information and
insist that they make this public. I will contact Michael Moore and
a couple of lists concerned with corporate welfare.
Is the Seattle City Council involved in this? How about Ron Sims? Ron is
considering running for Slade Gordon's senate position next time. He took
some major criticism with the Nordstrom garage deal and I am fairly
certain that he will be responsive loud cries of outrage. 
The tide is turning on this sort of welfare for the wealthy. Time magazine
recently ran an excellent expose. The public really does not like this
sort of incredibly hypocritical and self serving crap.


Gwen
PS I promise not to say "crap" when I contact KUOW et.al. but would really
appreciate more information. Low income jobs. my ass. 


> 
> ___________________________________________________________
> 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
> projects and websites, because if I list them all here you are going to be
> *so* mad at me...
> 
>