FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2019
SpokesPerson: Seattle/King County NAACP
On 7/29/19 the Seattle-King County NAACP has decided to withdraw from a Memorandum of Understanding with Alchemy Real Estate. The NAACP has taken this action in the interest of and solidarity with the community.
After weeks of negotiations with the developer and advocacy on behalf of Saba Restaurant, the Seattle-King County NAACP was unable to secure a written agreement and compromise with the owner of the restaurant, Workie Wubushet. The NAACP is withdrawing from the agreement in order to truly live our values and to reinforce our commitment to the community.
The values of the Seattle-King County NAACP are incompatible with business practices that exacerbate displacement and the increasing racial wealth gap in Seattle and King County. In King County, specifically the City of Seattle, the Black community is disproportionately affected by displacement and economic disenfranchisement. In the outset of this agreement, we worked in good faith to create office space for not just the NAACP but four businesses from the community that would help to anchor people to their communities. This was our vision and a reflection of our values.
For the last weeks, our NAACP President, and Housing Chair, Cliff Cawthon, have been working with community activists and Councilmember Sawant, as well as the developers. The numerous parties have not been able to come to an accord in the interest of our community.
We will continue to work to advocate for under-represented and under-served communities throughout King County and the City of Seattle. We firmly stand with the community and we will not settle for perpetuating the cycle of displacement and disenfranchisement that disproportionately impacts People of Color.