by Jonathan Rosenblum
$15 is not enough; Seattle needs a massive public housing program
When New York City fast food workers first hoisted the $15 minimum wage banner in late 2012, quite a few pundits called the demand absurdly ambitious. But thanks to worker walkouts, demonstrations, marches, and lobbying during the last 4 ½ years, more than 17 million low-wage workers in the US have won pay increases, and 10 million of those will see their hourly pay rise to $15 in the next few years. Continue reading Why We Can’t Just Fight for Wage Increases
by Will Sweger
As housing prices in Seattle continue skyward and the specter of gentrification looms, cooperative housing stands as a largely untapped alternative model.
Seattle led the nation in home price increases this summer. Recent data released from Northwest Multiple Listing Service places Seattle’s average single-family house at $666,500. The affordability of rentals hasn’t fared much better. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment increased 38 percent from 1998 to hit $1,412. Continue reading Cooperatives Offer Affordable Housing Alternative to Seattleites
by John Stafford
“Capitalism is doing what capitalism does.” Thus lamented a Cambridge, Massachusetts reporter as he witnessed the town’s transformation from a distinctive neighborhood with idiosyncratic shops and affordable housing to a more prosaic district with chain outlets and upscale housing. His point (and mine) is not that capitalism is an undesirable economic system. Rather, the point is that capitalism is a powerful and often amoral engine that, left to its own devices, can alter the character of a locality in a manner that most residents find undesirable. Continue reading Seattle’s Housing Crisis and The City’s Future