As technology companies in downtown Seattle implement plans to return to offices that have been vacant for more than a year, the experience of some of them in the city center may be about to change.
supporter Announce On Wednesday, Sympathy Seattle’s voting measures have been eligible to vote in November. It kicks off a fight on how progressive cities respond to the chronic homelessness crisis and try to make residents and business leaders happy, while improving the lives of thousands of homeless people in the city.
“The 29th Charter Amendment has received widespread support in Seattle and Seattle’s business community,” said Jon Scholes, chairman and chief executive officer of the Seattle Downtown Association. “We expect that now that we are eligible to vote in November, there will be more and more interest in supporting the sport, as Seattleans see that the homelessness emergency has not been resolved and will only become more Bad.”
If the voting measure is approved by Seattle voters — internal polls of its supporters allegedly show that it still retains the strong support of respondents — the amendment basically bypasses the city council, and for the first time Seattle sometimes increases A series of services and projects for the homeless in order to establish specific benchmarks and responsibilities are chaotic, competitive and fragmented.
The most controversial is that once the required housing, medication and mental health services are in place, the charter amendment will require the city to maintain “parks, playgrounds, sports fields, public spaces, sidewalks and streets without camps.”
Critics claim that this section criminalizes homelessness, while supporters counter that this is the first time the city has set up tent groups in neighborhoods such as downtown Seattle. There are currently an estimated 2,000 homeless people living in them.
“(Voters) want a responsible and compassionate plan to get people on stable roads and open up our parks and public spaces. This is what Charter Amendment 29 provides,” Scholes added .
The measure also requires Seattle to provide a behavioral health plan along with housing. According to the charter amendment, housing can include “enhanced shelters, small houses, hotel-motel rooms, other forms of non-aggregate emergency or permanent housing.” For example, under the proposed change, the law requires the city to provide an additional 2,000 emergency and permanent housing units within one year of the amendment’s January 2022 start date.
In the recent GeekWire Civic Conversation sympathizing with Seattle, Textio’s co-founder and CEO, Kieran Snyder, winner of the 2021 GeekWire CEO of the Year Award, stated that as a business owner with most employees in downtown Seattle, Popular, she believes that part of the compelling move is to expand services that do not involve law enforcement.
“The concept of investing in housing and support services independent of law enforcement is exactly this, [Compassion Seattle] A promising solution,” she said. Snyder said that local businesses should also find ways to help pay for additional housing and services.
But some people say that any effort is too little and too late. For example, the Seattle startup Ad Lightning withdrew from its lease in downtown Seattle last year and does not plan to return.
“What I have particularly observed in the past 5 to 10 years is an attitude in Seattle, which I describe as anti-business and anti-work, and this attitude has definitely accelerated in the past few years,” Ad Lightning co-said. Founder Scott Moore said in a recent GeekWire podcast. “And unfortunately.”
Other companies, regardless of the success of the measure, plan to return to the city center.
In June, Geekwire surveyed a few technology company leaders via email about their plans to return to the office in downtown Seattle. Some companies are still committed to downtown Seattle and are happy to return and be part of the revitalization process.
Karen Clark Kerr, CEO of UX company Blink, said that before the pandemic, she had 80 employees in the city center. At the peak of the pandemic, this number dropped to four employees. But by September, she estimated that 10% of the company’s employees might return to the office.
“We did not consider relocating or shrinking our office,” she said. “[Blink] People will gradually be required to participate in collaborative meetings, team meetings, and meet with customers. “
In addition, she said the company plans to expand its workforce in the city center. “We will grow in 2021 (only about 4%) and will continue to grow,” she said, adding that Blink will require all its employees to be vaccinated. “More people will be assigned to offices in downtown Seattle, but most people are part-time, so not everyone will be there at the same time.”