BBA to Mayor: Get Serious about Belltown Public Safety

Following is a letter from BBA President Jim Miller to Mayor McGinn in response to the shootings and gunfight in Belltown on New Year’s Eve:

January 5, 2012

Mayor’s Office

P.O. Box 94749

Seattle, Washington 98124-4749

Dear Mayor Mike McGinn,

On June 21, 2010 Linda Brill wrote a piece on about crime in Belltown. The title of her article was “Rise in Belltown Crime brings bigger police response”. This was after a bloody weekend that saw a drive-by shooting and a man severely beaten. Two weeks earlier, there was a deadly shooting on 2nd Ave.

It has been one week since the New Year’s Eve shootings including the gunfight in our streets.  Sandwiched between June and January have been other acts of violence. The newspaper headlines have included the severe beating of 68 year old Matt Hale as he walked home, and then Belltown learns that there are 50 individuals living in Belltown who are responsible for over 2,700 arrests.

We implore you. Get serious about addressing the public safety issues facing Belltown! As Councilmember Tim Burgess has stated “The violence in Belltown can be dealt with today.” He did not say tomorrow. He said today. That was in June 2011. “Today” has long passed by. It is time to act with a sense of urgency.

For the sake of our Belltown neighborhood, we respectfully ask that the City leadership (Mayor, Council, and SPD) declare public safety as a priority and act immediately with a sense of urgency. We expect immediate action be taken with the Copper Cart. An emergency shutdown  facilitated by the Mayor’s office should be imposed immediately while the Liquor Control Board follows its due processes.

We are committed to join you in this fight – but if the problem is to be resolved – you must demonstrate leadership, must commit, act, and lead the charge. We look forward to your united response and request a face to face meeting to hear how you plan to attack and solve this problem that has plagued Belltown for far too long.

Jim Miller, President

Belltown Business Association


2 Responses to BBA to Mayor: Get Serious about Belltown Public Safety

  1. We’re tired of allowing our neighborhood’s horrible reputation as dangerous continue to be amplified and realized by these irresponsible citizens.

    I, personally, can handle the bums, panhandlers, drug addicts and drug dealers outside my window. They are not posing a significant and consistent danger to me and my neighbors.

    These immature individuals from outlining areas who hear about our “dangerous” and “seedy” neighborhood treat it with reckless abandon, fueled by alcohol and anger.

    Venues such as the closed V-Bar and now the Copper Cart over drink these fools with equal abandon. They are not part of the community, for if they were, they would not act with such selfish greed, haphazardly tossing the drunk and dangerous out onto the street shouting, “Don’t care where you go, just not here.”

    Not even with a bar with such notoriety as Kelly’s showed my community such disregard and disrespect.

    More effort should be made to help curb these types of businesses, perhaps if shooting occurs from a patron of a business, that business should be suspended and immediately investigated.

  2. This letter doesn’t say why the Copper Cart is being singled out. I’ve walked by there many of times and it seemed like a decent place. As a Belltown resident for several years, can someone explain why the Copper Cart is the source of these problems? You’ll have to be more specific than just they “drink these fools with abandon”. Most every bar in Belltown will do that. I’ve got experience.

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