Dear Real Change,
I am writing to express my outrage that the City of Seattle would have to audacity to destroy the character of the neighborhood at 84 Union St. This is bordering on criminal behavior.
The historic building at this address was built around 1918, and variously was known as “Longshoreman’s Hall” as well as the Ellis Island of the Pacific. Over 900,000 immigrants were processed here, yearly — mostly Asians. It was purchased for almost nothing by the Port of Seattle in 1975 to be renovated as a hostel. The property in question For decades since, it has served as another gateway to the city. It is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds (from throughout the world’s neighborhoods) meet to talk and explore the world’s issues, and their potential solutions.
Now, developers, money-mongers, and politicians have decide that with the new four-star properties being put up next door, such a low-life place is not chic, n’est pas? Who gave them that authority? (We didn’t.)
Despite my 12 years of college, I am a homeless person residing on the northern coast of Oregon who travels here regularly. I have many contacts worldwide, and I enjoyed the hostel as a place of refuge and rest for these several years. I cannot afford to stay in a four-star hotel several times per month, or even several times a year; nor would I want to.
Nor can the throngs of students, budget travelers, and other “real folks” who undoubtedly bring major bucks to Seattle as they transition into that euphoric but deadly state of affluence represented by those of you who have revoked the lease on Hostelling International’s premises at 84 Union.
Sadly, this is just typical of the myopic attitudes in this backwater of civilization. Our Asian and European friends will probably go to Moscow or Beijing next time. Is is obvious to foreigners that city official cannot make human and practical judgments, if only from that obscenity of a toilet on which you guys spent some $600,000. Why not reform yourselves, in an era of openness, restructuring, and democracy? We the people would certainly appreciate it. Or alternatively, we can rid ourselves of the politicians, for as voters we are the deciders.
Lois J. DuPey | Cannon Beach, OR