API Food Fight Club’s Open Letter on the Encampment Sweeps

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API Food Fight Club seeks justice for all members of the Chinatown International District Community. We understand the complicated relationships between businesses and long time-residents of the neighborhood, the homeless residents, and the police and city government. It is within this context that we hold our Block Party underneath the i-5 bridge.

Public safety is one of the core issues of our organizing work. Our members and our team have supported Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDPDA) on the CID Block Watch, and have sat on a public safety task force facilitated by the city. Through our community barbecues, we have served over 500 meals to members of the neighborhood from all walks of life, including members of the Seattle Police Department and our homeless neighbors.

API Food Fight Club recognizes that our Block Party will be in an area that has recently seen the violent displacement of people. We believe that this approach to homelessness does not address the root causes of homelessness, does not serve to help the people it displaces, and does not serve to solve the root issues of public safety in the district.

While we do not support the displacement and criminalization of homeless communities, as an entirely volunteer organization paying for many of our costs from our own pockets, there is a reality of constraints to our work and capabilities. We are appreciative to the organizations who have made this Block Party possible by donating space, time, and resources to us, but are cognizant that all members of our community deserve a higher quality of life.

That’s why we’re incredibly grateful that our partners include Interim CDA, which helps to alleviate homelessness via financial assistance and housing services. Their emergency homeless prevention program is one of many approaches that uses an equitable lens to move families from shelters to transitional housing to safe and stable homes. We’re also grateful to call SCIDpda our fiscal sponsor, which not only manages hundreds of affordable housing units, but leads our community in public safety work that prioritizes every one of our neighbors.

We promise to continue our work to serve all members of our community by working with organizations and officials in the area towards a more just and compassionate society.

API Food Fight Club – you win sum, you dim sum.

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