Letter from Broadway Business Improvement Association

If you have ideas, advice, and/or support on how to address this issue, please e-mail occupyseattle@gmail.com

The following letter was received today by Occupy Seattle via e-mail from Michael Wells, executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and administrator of the Broadway Business Improvement Association, on behalf of the BIA. Mr. Wells prefaced the letter with the following note:

Hi there -

My name is Michael Wells and I am the administrator of the Broadway Business Improvement Association, as well as the Executive Director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. We have had some complaints from members about the safety and sanitation issues around the occupy encampment at Seattle Central Community College and the Broadway BIA advisors board has asked me to send a letter to Occupy Seattle outlaying these concerns.

We have many member businesses who are sympathetic with the political aims of the Occupy movement, please note this letter is not a reflection on political aims or goals around Occupy Seattle. Rather it is specifically addressing issues concerning the encampment at SCCC and concerns raised by the recent examination of the encampment by the King County Public Health Department.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Michael Wells
Executive Director
Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
1641 Nagle Pl Ste 003
Seattle, WA 98122
p 206-328-6646
f 206-829-9140

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting an economically vital, livable community and promoting Capitol Hill as a unique urban neighborhood that is welcoming to everyone.

The content of the letter is as follows:

November 15, 2011

To whom it may concern,

The Advisory Board of the Broadway Business Improvement Association, representing over 150 businesses between Roy Street and Pine Street, has asked me write a letter laying out some of our concerns about the occupation of the Seattle Central Community College. Our concerns focus mainly on health, sanitation and safety.

The report from King County Public Health, dated November 11, 2011, points to a variety of serious concerns with the encampment, including:

  • Food borne illness risk factors
  • Communicable disease risks
  • Unstable structures with limited fire safety planning or access
  • Reports of drug dealing and illicit drug use
  • Sewage and waste water not properly disposed of, waste water disposal on ground and into storm drains
  • No effective hygiene facilities
  • Uncontrolled dogs defecating and urinating
  • Rodent activity and discarded/used syringes, needles on the ground.

These concerns are primary to the surrounding businesses. While many of the businesses (75% of Broadway BIA members are small, locally owned businesses) are sympathetic with the Occupy movement these sanitation and safety concerns are very troubling. We are concerned not only for our employee and customers experience on Broadway but for the financial burden and workload that has increased for Seattle Central Community College. Many of our customers are employees and students of the college.

We would like to see Occupy Seattle address the health and safety concerns around the encampment immediately. Surrounding business owners and residents would like to see immediate results.

Michael Wells
Executive Director
Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
Broadway Business Improvement Association