It's Thursday In Belltown. (8.16.2018)

hi friends!

It's Thursday in Belltown, and this is the first installment of our soon-to-be weekly update that I'm calling "It's Thursday in Belltown." My name is Evan, and I'll be your host on this journey of Thursdays. There's a lot to cover this week, so I'll try to be brief, but if you have follow-up questions please let me know! :)

What's in this update:

  1. Rise Up 2018 a Success!

  2. Update on #SaveTheShowbox

  3. Update on #FindSamSayers

  4. Looking Ahead for Rise Up Belltown

  5. HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND (hint: it's Belltown Block Party!


It's hard to believe it's been three weeks since Rise Up 2018, but with everything that's happened I haven't had the chance to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to the 400+ people that turned out to show their support for keeping Belltown affordable! We had 5 local Belltown bands, incredible food from 6 Belltown restaurants, over 24 local businesses co-hosting or participating. 

Our goal was to MAKE SOME NOISE with our elected leaders, and we're off to a great start! We were joined by representatives from the City's Office of Film and Music, from Mayor Jenny Durkan's office, and from a majority of the Seattle City Council, along with journalists and reporters, and even the TV news. Extra special shout outs go to Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who gave a stirring speech to the crowd, and to Charlie Lapham who spoke on behalf of the King County Labor Council. Thank you both!

Lastly, we simply couldn't have done it without the support of our local businesses, especially to our presenting sponsors at Shorty's, Branchwater, Rabbit Hole, Biscuit Bitch, First & Bell, Makers Workspaces, and The Stranger. Thank you to our co-hosts, our Pop-Up vendors, and especially all of our absolutely fabulous volunteers! We couldn't have done this without you!


As most of you likely know, just TWO DAYS after the Rise Up rally, news broke that developers were proposing to demolish The Showbox. Thank you to the many #HumansOfBelltown that immediately reached out to ask that Rise Up Belltown get engaged! We did, and are now working closely to support the employees at The Showbox who are actively organizing to save their home and their family.

You can follow updates through this Faceland page, or if you want a deep dive, you can check out this (very long) video of a recent panel at the NW Film Forum. In short, the City Council voted on Monday to "push the pause button" on any development plans for a period of 10 months, by temporarily expanding the boundaries of the Pike Place Market historic district, to include The Showbox. Over the next 10 months, Rise Up Belltown will be participating in the public dialogue about how The Showbox could be permanently saved.

Basically, either rich folks buy it to preserve it, or the public buys it to preserve it, or we change the laws that govern how we use our land in Seattle.  Rise Up Belltown will be pushing for #3, to change the laws, because those are the same laws that we need to change if we want to save our neighborhood. For more info, check out this explainer by a nine-year-old, which features STAR WARS and LEGOS!


Less than a week after the news about The Showbox, we learned that Belltown resident and friend, Sam Sayers, did not return from a day hike in Snohomish County. You can follow this page for updates, and below is an excerpt from a media release drafted by Sam's fiancé Kevin, also of our Belltown family. 

-- As Day 15 approaches, the search for missing Seattle hiker, Samantha “Sam” Sayers, much beloved of the Belltown family, is one of the most extensive Search and Rescue (SAR) operations ever conducted in Snohomish County, Washington and shows no signs of slowing.

Since August 1, 2018, when Sam did not return from a day hike of Mount Vesper, the Snohomish Sheriffs Police Department, assisted by professional SAR mountain rescue teams, military assets, and surrounding county personnel, have been scouring some of the most rugged terrain in the region.

In addition to professional efforts and those of Sam’s family, hundreds of friends from Sam’s tight-knit community in Belltown have joined with community volunteers from across Washington to search the woods and examine every possible scenario in their efforts to bring Sam home. Online, over 17,000 supporters joined the #findsamsayers Facebook page in a matter of days.

“The Snohomish Sheriffs Police Department as well as members of the community have come together to help” says Kevin Dares, Samantha’s fiancé. “From aviation assets such as helicopters and drones, to professionally trained personnel and volunteer day hikers, more and more people are getting involved in the search efforts.”

Please keep Sam and her family in your thoughts, and please help spread the word however you can.


There's a lot on the horizon for Rise Up Belltown, and we'll be posting more detailed updates soon, but here are some quick highlights:

  • We need to publish a more detailed version of #BelltownNOW to support #LEGOBelltown, and to start scheduling meetings with City Council and the Mayor's office. For that, we'll need a crew of humans that's willing to meet with leaders, as your schedules allow. These meetings can happen both in the day and the evening, so don't let your work schedule stop you, if you're interested in being a part of the C.R.E.W.! But to be upfront about it, the CREW will not be a free-for-all. CREW members will be representing all of us, and responsibility comes with responsibilities. :)

  • In addition to advocating and telling our story, we also need to build our power as a community. This means we need to come together for a community planning meeting. On the agenda will be discussing the next major Rise Up event (probably in late October), and also discussing plans for a Belltown Oversight and Advisory Team (BOAT). This will be an RSVP event, so if you are interested in helping to shape how Rise Up Belltown campaigns for affordability, please reach out to me (Evan) directly. And thank you to all those who have already stepped up!

  • Lastly, if you follow Rise Up on Instagram, you may have noticed that the account has been pretty quiet since our event a few weeks ago. That's in part because of all the breaking news (above), and in part because Alex and I were on a week-long road trip for the one-year anniversary of our honeymoon road trip, and there's not a lot of service along the Coast. Over the next week, I'll be picking up again on #HumansOfBelltown, and with #BarsOfBelltown and others. So if you're willing to be interviewed, please let me know! :)


that's a wrap, friends! please let me know, if there's things you think should be included in next week's Thursday in Belltown. all suggestions are welcome!

-- Evan Clifthorne Rise Up Belltown 206-486-6558