SAFE newsletter on homeless, TPP, neoliberalism

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!

Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction

NEWSLETTER

February 5th, 2016

Updates

THE 2016 ONE NIGHT COUNT found an increase of 19%

Everyone’s talking about our State of Emergency on Homelessness yet our problem keeps growing. Here are the results from the January 29th One Night Count.

“At least 4,505 men, women, and children were without shelter during the three hour street count. This number is an increase of 19% over those found without shelter last year. This number is always assumed to be an undercount, because we do not count everywhere, and because many people take great care not to be visible.”

http://homelessinfo.org/what_we_do/one_night_count/2016_results.php

Compassionate Voice – Lisa Herbold

It is something of a surprise that our conservative paper, the Seattle Times, ran a great opinion piece from our new council member, Lisa Herbold. She gets to the heart of the problem on affordable housing.

“Seattle faces a serious affordable-housing crisis that is pushing out many long-time residents. The Journal of Urban Affairs found that, on average, an increase of $100 in median rent corresponded to a 15 percent increase in the numbers of people who are homeless.”

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/wall-streets-impact-on-seattles-housing-affordability/

 

SAFE Supports Action against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

On February 3rd a couple of SAFE members joined the group gathered at City Hall and listened to speakers including Councilmember Mike O’Brien. From City Hall there was a march which then headed down to the federal building to where Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray have their offices. Both of them are supporters of the TPP agreement which is the modern WTO on steroids.  The greatest part of this rally was sending a definite message to our Senators that we will no longer support, and will in fact work actively to replace them, if they continue to come out on the side of corporations.

The Media’s Blame Game-A Tale of Two Shootings

The shooting in the Jungle really highlights how the media creates prejudice in reporting on a story. At the link there is a great article on the finger pointing blame game played by the media as it concerns those who live on the street.

Instead of truly raising concerns on how dangerous is it to live without a home and how to solve our problems, the media generally sensationalizes drug problems and focuses on the coming action that will once and for all clear out the Jungle area leaving the inhabitants even more out in the cold. Here comes the sweep!

It is extremely import how the article notes in the three quotes below, the contrast in how two different shootings which took place in the same week are treated:

“On Wednesday, February 3, two suspects shot and seriously wounded a 22-year-old man on a bus in SoDo”

“The Metro [bus] shooting came only two days after horrifying details emerged in police documents concerning the previous week’s killing of two people and wounding of three others at The Jungle.”

“But after the Metro shooting, nobody demanded that the police seize all possessions being carried by the passengers on the bus. The Seattle Times didn’t run three straight days of front page, above-the-fold stories calling buses dens of drugs, guns, and deaths.”

http://geov.org/gp/?p=322

Water and Human Rights

On February 2nd, SAFE hosted guest speaker and Human Rights activist Martha Schmidt of the National Lawyers Guild. She led us in an extended discussion on the human rights crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Flint is the poster child which illustrates the changing mission of our government. The new (neo) framework and aim of government is to foster a good business environment. No longer does the health and welfare of the citizen matter, only business matters.

Martha started out the discussion by having us define the very root of the problem, Neoliberalism.

The main points of neo-liberalism include:

1.THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.” It’s like Reagan’s “supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics — but somehow the wealth didn’t trickle down very much.

2.CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

3.DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.

4.PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

5.ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

Around the world, neo-liberalism has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

It was a great discussion and all participated!

We hope that there will be criminal prosecution of Governor Rick Snyder and Flint’s Emergency Manager, Darnell Earley. Both were supposed to speak to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and on Thursday, Earley was served with a subpoena by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Proof that officials knew the water in Flint was dangerous is found in the state supported shipping of bottled water for consumption by Flint’s city workers.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/04/us/flint-water-crisis-emergency-manager/index.html

SAFE continues to endorse petition regarding Flint, MI

So far 591,406 people have signed Michael Moore’s petition that asks US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch to arrest Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan, for his complicity in the crime of poisoning the people of Flint. We urge our members and allies to sign it. Please go the link: http://michaelmoore.com/DontSendBottledWater/

Rally for Homeowner Justice

On Tuesday, February 2nd, some members of SAFE went down to Olympia to lobby once again. A group of about 30 people were there in all.  Pina, Red, Merle, Jane, etc. were there to bring attention to the injustice of laws supporting criminal banks and their illegal activities in home foreclosures.

This dedicated Housing Justice Lobby group had also gone to Olympia the week before in order to attend a hearing on HOUSE BILL #2876 and they had drafted important changes of wording in the bill which would give homeowners an equal footing at Mediations. Their efforts to change the law were shut down but this group will not be deterred!

Help keep SAFE in the forefront of the fight for social, economic, housing, and environmental justice.

Donate now.  Monthly recurring donations via PayPal are much appreciated too. 

Upcoming Events:

The People’s Assembly 2016 – How Do We Win Change?

At City Hall – 11:00 am –  Saturday, February 27th

Join Councilmember Kshama Sawant and many of Seattle’s best activists and organizers to discuss what to fight for in 2016, and how you can join the struggle to win:

Speakers will include: City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, State Senator Pramila Jayapal, Martin Luther King County Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant, Fromer Executive Director of the Tenants Union of Washington State Jon Grant, Climate Activist Sarra Tekola, and many others!

Weekly Solidarity Meeting

SAFE holds our weekly Solidarity Meeting every Tuesday at the Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, at Rainier and Orcas in Hillman City.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, February 9th, 2016.  A meal is served at 6:30 pm; the meeting starts at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome.

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS

You can reach us at safeinseattle.info@gmail.com or 206-203-2125

Please visit our website: www.SAFEinSeattle.org

Visit SAFE’s Facebook:  www.facebook.com/SAFE-in-Seattle

Forum on saving public housing, Sat. Oct 25

Public Forum

The Fight to Save Public Housing

Stop SHA Rent Hikes!

Saturday, October 25, 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:30 pm. Door donation $1-5.
No one turned away for lack of funds.
Desserts and snack plates, with vegan option,
available for $2.50-7 donation.

Speakers:

  • Yusuf Cabdi – Immigrant rights advocate and former Seattle Housing Authority Commissioner
  • Sidney Carter – Resident and activist at New Holly who has lived in SHA housing for over 22 years
  • Fadumo Isaq – Mother and childcare provider, Yesler Terrace resident and leader
  • Gina Petry – Radical Women president, organizer for low-income families and single mothers
  • Annaliza Torres  – Member of Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 8 and SHA worker

New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave., S, Seattle.
4 blocks south of S. Alaska St. at the Dawson stop of the #7 busline.

Auspices: Radical Women and Freedom Socialist Party.

Information: 206-722-6057, RWseattle@mindspring.com, www.RadicalWomen.org.
Everyone welcome. Childcare provided. Wheelchair accessible.

Friday actions for SAFE: protest and press conference

SAFE

Protest and Press Conference

This action is protesting the auction of Marquette Bowman’s family home. This home was left to her by her father who was a victim of a predatory reverse mortgage. We are coupling this protest with a a press conference announcing Barton victory in court over RCO and Quality Loan Services! A summary judgment of default has been issued against Quality Loan Services and RCO in the Barton Case. The outcome of the Barton litigation shows exactly why ongoing litigation is grounds for delaying auctions where there are questions as to property ownership.

Where: 4th & James in front of the King County Administration Building across from the King County Courthouse
When: Friday October 10, 2014 @ 10:00am
Meetup: At Einstein’s Bagels on 4th and Cherry at 9:30am

Demand Delivery

Join us in delivering a demand letter to Wells Fargo Bank on behalf of Jane Mair in her continued battle to keep her house!

Where: We will be meeting at the Food Court on the Southwest corner of 3rd & Marion in Downtown Seattle
When: Friday October 10, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

Please Join Us In Our Continued Fight For Housing As A Human

Victory at the Barton's blockade!

 

Thanks to the fighting spirit of Jean and Byron Barton, last week SAFE members were able to stop their eviction from taking place. The blockade lasted 5 days, and ended in a final push to City Hall to demand justice for the Bartons. Thanks to the Seattle Mayor’s office, the Bartons are now safely in their home awaiting their civil land dispute to be heard in court. This victory could not be achieved without the hard work, quick thinking, and resiliency of SAFE and our partners SHARE, Nickelsville, Seattle Solidarity Network, Jess Spear, Kshama Sawant and her office, Washington CAN, and Food not Bombs. Special thanks goes out to the West Seattle Weekly, who covered the event exhaustively and imbedded with us early Monday morning before our City Hall action, and to every person who sent an email to Mayor Murray demanding justice for the Bartons.

We won this victory together, and we should all be proud!

The next step is to use this momentum to speed up the policy change we have been demanding since we began. We will be meeting with the King County Sheriff’s Department to push for transparent evictions and protocols that protect the safety, rights, and dignity of evicted homeowners. We will be pushing the city council of Seattle to use eminent domain to halt the many evictions of Seattle homeowners. We are also pushing the Washington Attorney General to begin actually pursuing penalties for the criminal activity that banks engage in that result in evictions like the Barton’s.

We know that stopping an eviction is just a victory in a battle, but effecting systemic change is a victory in the overall war on eviction and foreclosure.

 

6:30PM, Tuesday July 22nd

– SAFE’s weekly meeting. Food will be served.

 

Where: The SAFE House, Bethany UCC, 6230 Beacon Ave S (corner of Graham St), Seattle WA 98108 map

 

DONATE

UPCOMING ACTIONS and EVENTS:

 

Beginning 9:50am, Friday, July 25th– RCO Auction Protest!

 

Thousands of homes are sold at auction in King County each year, and not all of them are a result of legitimate or legal foreclosures. SAFE members will be staging a loud protest during a Routh Crabtree Olsen property auction in Bellevue this Friday.  We will be holding a “party-like” protest, with singing, instruments, and a decent amount of noise in very close proximity to the auction. Join us! Bryce is bottom lining this event.

Where: 13555 SE 36th St., Bellevue

 

SAFE members are encouraged to take the fun political compass test to see where they stand in relation to our politicians and leaders, and even historical figures like Gandhi and Stalin! Take the test. Lets see where we all fall in the spectrum, closer to the Dalai Lama or to Hitler?

 

Go here to sign the petition to save the Squire Park Plaza from more Goodman Realty’s greed. (Goodman Realty was the villain in the Tenant Union’s fight to save Lockhaven. Goodman Realty is buying up non-profit properties and turning them into corporate cash cows. We must stop them!

 

Go here to sign the Tenant’s Union’s petition to save the Theodora (home to veterans, elderly and disabled low-income households) and learn more about this fight.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SAFE’s MISSION:

 

1. MOVE YOUR MONEY FROM WALL STREET BANKS – BANK SUSTAINABLY, BANK LOCALLY, BANK AT CREDIT UNIONS!

2. DONATE TO SAFE.

3. COME TO SAFE’S ACTIONS.

4. COME TO SAFE’S GENERAL MEETINGS.

5. GO CANVASSING WITH SAFE IN NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND SEATTLE.

6. VOLUNTEER TO HELP WITH SAFE’S MESSAGE WORKING GROUP.

6. BUY SAFE T-SHIRTS AND OTHER MERCHANDISE AND WEAR THEM IN PUBLIC TO RAISE AWARENESS.

7. TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT SAFE AND BRING THEM TO OUR MEETINGS.

8. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK,

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER,

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE.

 

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS  

You can reach us at info@SAFEinSeattle.org or 206-203-2125.

Please visit our website.

You can like us on Facebook.

You can follow us on Twitter.

Bartons Win a Battle, but the Fight Continues!

Lot’s of action at the Barton House yesterday. Here’s a brief recap:

Yesterday morning at 7:30am, Sheriff’s deputies descended onto the Barton house. They had locksmiths with them, who immediately began changing locks as the deputies entered to speak with the Bartons. They broke down the back gate to the back yard, and came in three deep to the back door. SAFE members immediately mobilized in response, forming a human blockade.

The deputies were met with Byron and Jean chained to his hospital bed with a family friend. An overwhelmed Sheriff’s department scrambled to try to address the situation, and in the time it took for them to figure out what to do, media and supporters arrived in force. Multiple human blockades were established around the house, while cameras and reporters watched and documented.

Paramedics arrived to transport Bryon to the VA hospital against his will. The deputies offered Byron two options: go to the hospital  or be dumped on the street to die. Staying in his home under the care of his family was off the table.

Byron was carried out through a side door to the house in an attempt to carry him down the hill to the street where the ambulance was waiting. SAFE activists had a singular objective: keep Byron in his neighborhood. They blockaded the paramedics and were dragged away by the police. Then they blockaded the ambulance by throwing themselves under the vehicle, not allowing the ambulance to leave the premises. Sheriff’s deputies attempted to drag the SAFE members out from under the vehicle, but for every two activists removed, two were right there to take their place.

Eventually, the Sheriff’s department relented and Byron was released from the ambulance. SAFE held a press conference and gave Byron a voice he would not have had if the ambulance had been allowed to leave.

Because of the tentative nature of Byron’s medical condition, Byron needed access to his home for medical care. Fortunately, the Barton’s home was found unsecure, and Byron was brought back home, where he remains as of the writing of this update!

The fight continues!  Seattle police where brought in to clear the Barton family home of “trespassers” in the late afternoon.  They decided to hold off on arresting anyone to “review the paperwork” but did not make any guarantees that they won’t be back to enforce the theft of the home by Chase Bank and Triangle Properties.

We need your help!  We need people to come down to 6548 41st Ave SW Seattle to stand with the Bartons.

Call Mr. Daher

Call Mr. Mohamad Daher of Triangle Properties and tell him to negotiate with the Bartons. They are offering to pay rent while they appeal the legality of the Chase Bank Foreclosure.

Their appeal is in the courts right now.

Triangle Properties is lying about them having lots of money and has refused to reasonably negotiate up to this point. We have already demonstrated outside his multimillion dollar condo on Alki Beach. The fight against Triangle Properties and their foreclosure profiteering is just beginning. Mr. Daher’s phone number is 206-420-1674. Let everyone at City Hall know you support the Bartons staying in their home.

Join the action. Here’s Some of the Fantastic Coverage from yesterday:

KIRO 7

King 5

 

West Seattle Herald

KOMO News

West Seattle Blog

The Stranger

The Press Conference on YouTube

Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction

Housing is a Human Right​
​SAFEinSeattle.org