Joanna Urrego is sick of dealing with other people's shit. And piss.
In the three years since she opened a storefront in Pioneer Square, the city hasn't done enough to divert the human waste piling up and streaming down the alley outside her door, the result of beer-swilling sports fans passing through the neighborhood and a concentration of shelters that unload homeless people into nearby parks during the daytime.
As one homeless man, Jeremiah Johnson, 23, who was hanging out in Occidental Park last weekend put it: "A lot of homeless people are pissing and shitting in the alley because there is nowhere to go to the bathroom."
So Urrego has decided to do something drastic—something that may get her busted—to capture city hall's attention.
"I have a secret plan," Urrego, 38, told me on a warm Saturday afternoon. By 4 p.m., streams of Mariners fans were leaving a baseball game while Sounders fans meandered south for an evening soccer match, crisscrossing Occidental Park across the street from Urrego's shop, an old-time photo studio called Klondike Penny's. "Now is the time when the sports fans start peeing in the alley—the sports fans are even worse than the homeless."
So what's her solution?
"We are secretly building outhouses with little moons cut in the doors," said Urrego, acknowledging that the vigilante porta-potties won't be a secret when this article gets printed. "We are going to bring them down here July 4. And we are going to carry those buckets away ourselves, three times a day, until somebody does something about the problem."