Honorary Street Renaming Project
For those who have a copy of Imogene Inglet’s book “Lil’ Ol’ Lake City” you can open to page 39 and find a little blurb about the Hayashi Family (misspelled in the book) that extends a bit onto the following page. In short order you will learn that the Hayashi’s owned “Lake City Farms” that sold produce and farmed the land that is now the site of Bank of America. Shizuo and Yaeko Hayashi were involved in community and donated trees to the first public lands in the neighborhood.
You will also learn that the Hayashi’s were the victims of horrible racial and social injustice as they were placed in an interment camp during WWll never to return to their land in Lake City.
In an effort to bring awareness, education and to honor their name, a small group of Lake Cityzens have been working to connect to the descendants of Shizuo and Yaeko, learn more about their story and to help with a small reparation. With the help of Council Member Juarez’s office we are working to pass a resolution through City Council to have the block of 28th Ave NE in front of the Lake City Library and Community Center have the honorary designation of “Hayashi Avenue”.
We are pleased to say that we have the support of living family members who are learning new elements about their families past through the process. We are currently seeking donations from the community to cover the costs of the fabrication of two signs for this purpose. The resolution is fully expected to pass through Seattle City Council as soon as Washington reaches “phase 3” of the COVIC-19 response. We want to be ready with the signs!\
This effort was initiated by Lake Cityzen, Hayden Bixby who enlisted the support of Chris Leverson (Build Lake City Together), Mark Mendez (Lifelong Lake Cityzen) and Molly Humphrie (Lake City Librarian) who have all dedicated time on various components of this project.
While we realize the street naming is a very small gesture in the face of the horrific injustice and racism that the Hayashi Family experienced – it is critical we face these inequities and help educate our community to ensure systematic change.