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Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Neighborhood Group Forms to Oppose Casa Latina

posted by on January 24 at 16:21 PM

A new neighborhood group has popped up to fight the Casa Latina day labor center’s move to 17th and Jackson. Next week, the Jackson Street Community Association (JSCA) will hold a meeting at the Douglass-Truth Library on 23rd and Yesler to discuss Casa Latina’s proposed move

While JSCA appears to be fairly organized—although their sole focus appears to be Casa Latina—they’re not actually recognized by the city as a neighborhood group.
At their meeting next week, the group says they’ll address issues like

• What is a day laborer center and why are there concerns? What are day laborer sites like nationally? What can we learn from other cities? • What has the City done to support our neighborhood? What is the “Good Neighbor Agreement” and why will it not be effective? • What can go wrong? What does this mean for surrounding businesses, organizations, and residents?

Sound familiar?

In September, a small group of neighbors enlisted the help of Christopher Farrell, of the right-wing, anti-immigrant Judicial Watch, who gave a presentation at Douglass-Truth about supposed nationwide problems with day labor centers, and made vague legal threats to the City for its funding of Casa Latina.

Judicial Watch appears to backed off since the September meeting, but now the JSCA appears to be picking up where they left off.

Yesterday, the JSCA sent a letter to the City Council, complaining that the Casa Latina relocation committee had failed to come to terms on a Good Neighbor Agreement. According to the JSCA’s letter, an agreement was supposed to be reached by September 30th. JSCA also accused a consultant, hired by the city to mediate the Good Neighbor Agreement committee, of defrauding the city by improperly collecting signatures of stakeholders.

It’s unclear if the JSCA is associated with the group of neighbors who called in Judicial Watch, and JSCA’s website doesn’t provide much information about the group. Only one member—President Genji Shiga—is named on their site.

I’ve got a call out to Casa Latina and the JSCA to find out more about this latest development.

RSS icon Comments


Let's not forget that Judicial Watch still won't do anything about all the 935 proven LIES by GWB and his Red Comrades to get us into the Iraq War.

So, obviously, they're not patriots.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 24, 2008 4:48 PM

Is this like the "Lower Woodland Neighborhood Association" that opposed the skate park, but turned out to only have one member with a bee in her bonnet? Genji Shiga is the only member of this "group", I'll bet. And even if he's not, since when are neighborhoods "represented" by a handful of busybodies? 99% of the people in the neighborhood, ANY neighborhood, are too busy having a life to worry about crap like this.

But still the City, and the Stranger, pay attention to them.

As far as I'm concerned, the City should tell Mr. Shiga to go fuck himself unless and until he can bring, say, 100 people to the party. In person. At the same time.

Neighborhood associations are deeply suspicious things.

Posted by Fnarf | January 24, 2008 5:06 PM

We posted on this yesterday and got a statement from Genji earlier today:

We believe that the JSCA is complimentary to the Jackson Place and Squire Park community groups, especially with respect to the issues regarding CASA Latina. For example, apparently the Presidents of both Jackson Place and Squire Park fully support CASA Latina's move to 17th Ave. S. and S. Jackson Street. We believe that such bias towards such move may have had the unintended negative consequence of preventing such community groups from informing and educating their constituents of all applicable issues. Accordingly, we believe that the JSCA provides a forum where residents and other stakeholders in the neighborhood can learn more about such move. We believe that regardless of your position on an issue, the disclosure of more information is always better than less.

Posted by scott | January 24, 2008 5:16 PM

Yeah, I like that "constituents". Basically Shiga has appointed himself leader here. Odd that most of his constituents have never heard of him or the group that supposedly represents them.

Posted by Fnarf | January 24, 2008 5:45 PM

"What is a day laborer center and why are there concerns? What are day laborer sites like nationally? What can we learn from other cities?"

They are a site designated by the city for (mostly) undocumented/illegal immigrants to gather so that employers (generally) in the construction or landscaping business can find them. Some are just like bus stops others offer social services.

They are a highly contentious issue in border states.

Posted by yucca flower | January 24, 2008 7:29 PM

Fnarf, on the department level, city employees interact with "regulars" all the time: The person who will call DPD, City Light, SPU, and the Department of Neighborhoods about random, usually nonsensical, things.

When I was working the Ballard/Green Lake district, I ran into them all the time. Now that I am on the southend, not so much (unless they are all hibernating for the winter)

These same people tend to haunt the library and the neighborhood service centers as well, so everyone gets to know them.

But they still wield a lot of clout among the pols - probably because they have demonstrated that they know how to raise a stink. That's true of every city and town, however - it's not just a Seattle thing.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 24, 2008 9:51 PM

Yeah, I've met them too, Catalina. If it's just a crank from the neighborhood, that doesn't bother me. It's when a guy starts calling himself "we" that I get annoyed -- when he buys stationery with his "organization" on it.

Posted by Fnarf | January 25, 2008 9:39 AM

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