Friday, November 14, 2008

I Smell Toast

An article in Crosscut this morning describes Wednesday's Real Change Annual Breakfast as "a rally to dump Mayor Greg Nickels and, for that matter, much of the Seattle City Council." I didn't think we were being that obvious.

We got some good laughs with a video of the mayor lying, and called for support of the Nick Licata sponsored bond issue proviso that will slow down Seattle's new jail long enough to consider alternatives. My speech on this at the NW Socialists Conference is also the featured video at the Socialist Worker national website.

And yes, the Real Change 14th anniversary Nurturing the Grassroots breakfast, which drew 450 people and raised more than $71,500 to fund our organizing, was hardly a meeting of the Mayor Nickels fan club. For that, we'd need a much smaller room and better food. With the Nickels' approval ratings down to 31%, and at 26% among frequent voters, the Mayor is burnt political toast.
The Wednesday morning annual Real Change breakfast had aspects of a Dump Nickels rally. Homeless advocates showed film footage in which they alleged that Nickels was lying outright both about the amount of present available housing for the homeless and the nature of the Nickelsville tent city encampment now situated in the University District. The people at Nickelsville were not really homeless, Nickels alleged on a giant TV screen at the breakfast, but really activists posing as homeless. They went home to their own beds at night. Nickelsville residents attested that they had no homes or beds of their own. The mayor's proposal for a multimllion-dollar new city jail also came under fire. The present jail's population, it was asserted, has shrunk rather than risen in recent years.
The article links to Aimee Curl's Seattle Weekly piece on Nickelsville of last week, which graciously gave me the close quote.
Real Change Executive Director Tim Harris calls Nickelsville a "fabulous success," in large part because "it's still there." Still, he's skeptical that they'll ever be able to build a Dignity Village–like settlement. "At least not under this mayor," Harris says. "He's really dug in. He's really inflexible. But it's not a given that he'll win the next term."
To quote the bard — Lou Reed, to be specific — "He's done. Stick a fork in his ass and turn him over."


Anonymous said...

Hey Tim - when are you going to stop being vindictive and actually make some REAL CHANGE!

Tim Harris said...

What? The most serious criticism you can level at my analysis is that I'm not nice enough? If you haven't noticed, I'm effective. People are outraged. The Mayor is on the defensive, and it's not because people have been polite.

Loretta said...

put that in your pipe and smoke it, Anon