July 13, 2020

Advance Racial Equity with Publicly-Owned Land

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In Skyway, which has the highest percentage of Black residents in King County currently, the Skyway Coalition is demanding meaningful investments in affordable housing and community development. The King County Equity Now Coalition is demanding opportunities for Black-led organizations to lead redevelopment of these sites for the benefit of Seattle communities. These organizations follow a strong local history of demands for land and community-led development. Past campaigns led to some of Seattle’s most beloved and inspiring places, including El Centro de la Raza’s Plaza Roberto Maestas, the Northwest African-American Museum, and the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center. Nor is Seattle unique in this history. Across America, many of the most treasured, groundbreaking, and well-regarded affordable housing and community developments have origins in protest and occupation followed by hard work and coalition building. These efforts move towards justice in the shadow of a long history of seizures of land from communities of color, from white settlement of these indigenous lands, to Chinese expulsions in Seattle and Tacoma, to the Japanese internment, to demolitions for highways, to the use of land-use codes and redlining to racially segregate communities and deny wealth-building opportunities to Black and Indigenous People of Color. 

Enterprise Pacific Northwest has been proud to partner with the community groups leading these community development efforts over the years through providing capacity building grants and technical assistance, creating feasibility, design, and financing concepts through Home & Hope, and joining together in advocacy. We are proud that we have had the opportunity to support El Centro de la Raza, Africatown, the Wing Luke Museum, SCIDpda, InterIM, the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center, and other person of color led organizations seeking to shape change in their neighborhoods. King County Equity Now, the Skyway Coalition, and more remind us that we need to continually improve our efforts. And we look forward to continuing the work. 

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