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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 KINGs.com 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

 

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