June 5, 2007
Mr. John Creighton, President
Port of Seattle Commission
2711 Alaskan Way
Seattle WA 98121
Dear Mr. Creighton,
With this letter the Church Council of Greater Seattle formally withdraws from the Interfaith Airport Décor Committee of the Port of Seattle. After repeated attempts to reverse the Port's decision to demolish the Lora Lake Apartments, we have decided it no longer makes sense to focus on an issue of little consequence while a far larger issue goes unaddressed.
This area's religious community has taken the lead on the goal of ending homelessness in King County. In 2003, our religious community called together a diverse group of local civic leaders with the goal of ending homelessness in 10 years. That group has crafted a plan that calls for creation of 9,000 housing units. The plan has been adopted by municipalities that represent 84% of King County citizens.
The Port's decision to tear down 162 units of housing at Lora Lake is the single largest setback our anti-homelessness effort has encountered. We are devastated by the Port's unwillingness to change its plan, accept direct responsibility, or provide proportional mitigation. This decision stands in spite of communications from numerous religious groups, community leaders and individuals. I directly requested a change of heart from the Port Commission on May 8, and only one commissioner, Alec Fisken, was open to my request.
I am disappointed that the Port of Seattle is not more cooperative with important local civic causes, such as the goal of ending homelessness. I hope and pray that such will not always be the case. When the Port accepts its responsibility to collaborate on widely-held community goals, the Church Council will once again be willing to engage it in partnership.
With hope for a better future,
Rev. Dr. Sanford Brown