Response to Recent Hate Crime in LC
Many of us by now have heard that one of our long time businesses here in Lake City recently experienced a threatening and hate-filled note on the windshield of their car. The issue exploded on Nextdoor and the result was a great deal of support from the community and conversations about how we as a community will not tolerate this in Lake City.
Working with Christa Dumpys from the Department of Neighborhoods, LCFF had the opportunity to sit down with Aaron, the owner of Emerald City Tattoo, Jim Ritter from SPD’s Safe Place campaign, Sgt. Diane Newsom of the North Precinct, Knight Sor with the US Department of Justice and Diane Haugen from the North Seattle Chamber to discuss the incident and talk about getting our local businesses involved in the Safe Place campaign. This is a good first step toward making sure that all of our diverse business community and residents feel safe and supported.
While the Safe Place program is centered around crimes and harassment of LGBTQ community members, the decals indicate a safe place for anyone who is being harassed or victimized. The decals are prominently displayed on doors or windows of businesses that have committed to calling the police and allowing the victim to remain on the premises until help has arrived. LCFF will be working with the Chamber and SPD to inform local businesses about the Safe Place program and continuing the discussion on other ways we can address similar issues. We are in the process of exploring this as both a topic for our larger Community Conversation and looking at a series of smaller group conversations on hard topics of this nature.
If you are a business in the area or know of a business owner that would be willing to take part in the program please got to https://www.seattle.gov/spd-safe-place.While there has not been an increase in the reporting of hate crimes or racially motivated incidences in Lake City as of late we need to be sure that if someone is experiencing any of these issues that they are reporting it. Not reporting out of fear of retaliation or any other reason may seem like the safe way to go but only empowers the perpetrator and leaves the door open for this to happen to someone else.
The need for community is very great in our current social and political climate. Lake City’s diversity is what makes our community special. We must all work together to ensure that we all have a voice, feel safe and are supported.