Retailers have begun to build pressure on Seattle city officials to do more to address crime and homelessness in Seattle, especially following a fatal shooting during business hours in downtown last month.
Retailers packed a City Council safety committee meeting a few days after the shooting to demand more attention from the city. In addition to the fatality, seven others were injured in the gunfire, including a child.
Carrying signs reading Enough Is Enough, retailers rallied downtown in the days following the fatal shooting. They demanded more police presence, at least a temporary police station in the downtown retail core and faster responses to incidents that discourage customers to shop downtown stores.
The concerns are not limited to downtown. Public safety problems permeate many neighborhoods across Seattle.
Lauren Storbeck, owner of Kick It Boutique in Ballard, has endured loitering, drug dealing, trash, and construction outside her store. She said her loyal customers have stuck with her and endure the surroundings, but publicity about problems in the neighborhood makes it difficult to recruit new customers. She organized a weekend rally in the Ballard Commons Park, drawing about 45 people. A common concern was the slow police response time to emergency calls.
Washington Retail will report on developments regarding this issue in its newsletters, on its website and on our social media accounts. Meanwhile, read about the downtown demonstration here and watch a KOMO TV report here.