By Mike K (Seattle Solidarity)
I live at 2212 1st Avenue, the Kasota Apartments. It’s a pretty slummy place. I had been living there for about three years, and then the landlords – Sound Mental Health – told us they were going to raise the rent by 200 dollars at once. They were trying to kick us out of there.
When some people started meeting with Seattle Solidarity Network, I joined the group. I’m a union man. We did not like what the landlords were doing, trying to raise the rent and everything. And half the stoves in the apartment complex didn’t work. We held the meetings at a coffee shop, and then we presented our demands at the Sound Mental Health headquarters.
We met at the coffee shop with a bunch of vans and cars, then carpooled to the place and just walked into the office. The Sound Mental Health people got all bent out of shape. They didn’t want pictures taken. They didn’t know whether to shit or go blind there for a while. We presented the demand, and then we left. I imagine that was the only way to get our point across.
It took maybe two weeks and then they started delivering hand-pasted notes on the door. They did a complete 180 degree turnaround. They offered all kinds of help, and relocation assistance, and they said they weren’t going to raise the rent 200 dollars – it would just be 40 dollars in 6 months.
Well, I’m in the process of moving now, and I’m going to get 3,000 dollars when I leave at the end of the month. That will help everything. I can’t wait to get out of here.