Did you see that the struggle of Halcyon residents to save their homes from corporate development made front-page news in the Seattle Times today?
Two months ago, the 85 seniors who have been living at the Halcyon Mobile Home Park in north Seattle -- many for 25 years, investing their life savings into their homes -- learned some alarming news. The trustees of their property -- corporate executives of US Bank -- had put their mobile home park up for sale, marketed as a “development opportunity.”
This “opportunity” for a profit-driven, corporate developer could mean a death sentence for the Halcyon residents: eviction, destruction of their long-time community, and potential homelessness.
As Halcyon resident Renee Heggem, a retired bartender and member of UniteHere Local 8 who had been homeless for years before moving into Halcyon, testified: “For 7 years I’ve had the security without worry...and now they’re going to take it away.”
How did Halcyon residents respond to this blatant corporate power grab? They organized, fought back, and reached out to Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s office -- and just today, fighting alongside Kshama’s office, Halcyon residents won a major victory!
Under pressure from their movement, City Council unanimously passed the legislation introduced by Councilmember Sawant, to set a moratorium for one year on mobile home park redevelopment.
Our struggles, from the $15 minimum wage and victories for renters’ rights, to the fight to #SaveTheShowbox, have all focused on one key question: Who runs Seattle? Corporate developers, big business, and Amazon, or ordinary working people?
While Halcyon residents won a huge victory today, their fight is not over. Halcyon residents need a permanent solution, like a zoning change to enshrine protection of their homes into laws.
As Seattle increasingly becomes a playground for the rich, it’s more important than ever to have representatives like Kshama who will use their offices to bring the voices of ordinary people into City Hall.
This also means refusing donations from the corporate developers and CEOs who rake in profits at the expense of working people and the oppressed.