• Africatown Media

Mama don't take no mess: Ruby Holland tells the city how she really feels about their survey.

"Durkan’s rhetoric talking about equity on one hand while pushing people of color and the middle class out of Seattle on the other hand is disheartening."

Ruby Holland is an affordable housing advocate that has been on the front line of the battle to stop the rampant gentrification in the Central District especially among community elders. Below is the text of an email that Ruby Holland sent to Jessica Brand of the Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Mayor Durkan in response to a recent Housing Choices Survey sent out by the City of Seattle to some Seattle residents.

"Hello Jessica, first I’d like to thank you for remembering me and including me as one of your survey participants. I looked over it but was unable to work on it for several reasons which I’ll explain. 

As I drive through my neighboring community to my north, , Montlake and to my south, Mt. Baker, I see that these neighborhoods still remain intact. When I look at communities as far as Magnolia and Laurelhurst I see intact communities that are remaining unchanged with single family homes despite our housing crisis. It becomes crystal clear that communities of color, the CD and Southend were targeted for MHA to help with density, even though we did not create the density crisis. We are being asked to give up our homes, for God’s sake, while the rest of Seattle looks on like nothing ever happened. That’s outrageous!!! In order for young, white high income earners to be able to live in our place, many who have never struggled a day in their lives, as we did,  and are not yet settled. The developers will make huge profits off of them, at our expense. Something about that picture doesn’t seem  right. The United Nation’s  office of Human Rights Commissioner calls this a Human Rights Violation. It is overt Housing Discrimination that needs to be addressed. The fact that the MHA map has been recently changed does not mask the fact that the same neighborhoods that were targeted by redlining in years past are the same neighborhoods targeted by MHA under Durkan’s racist watch. 

The fact that she is attempting to push all People Of Color out of Seattle so that white Tech Workers can live in our place and in effect creating an all white Seattle, is Ethnic Cleansing by definition. There is no way that I can be a part of that. I’m having a hard time understanding how Durkan can fight against discrimination of the LGBTQ community while at the same time discriminating against People Of Color. She is setting up her community for bad Karma for sure. I personally feel that discrimination against either community is wrong and will continue to fight against it.

Lastly Durkan’s rhetoric talking about equity on one hand while pushing people of color and the middle class out of Seattle on the other hand is disheartening. We are not fooled. She needs to make the MHA equitable and have all neighborhoods share in it, or else she needs to create a “real” anti displacement plan for all homeowners in every Urban Village in Seattle. I consider you a friend, Jessica and do not hold you accountable for any of this. Durkan’s decisions are her own and that of her powerful Cartel.


Sincerely,  Ruby Holland" 

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