Members of the Seattle City Council and the Progressive Revenue Task Force became the targets of unfiltered rage last week when an organized group of residents took over a meeting about a proposed tax on big businesses to pay for homeless services.
The meeting was meant to be a panel discussion on the employee hours tax, a controversial proposal that intends to raise $75 million a year by taxing the largest 3 percent of businesses in Seattle city limits, including Amazon. Instead, angry attendees demanded that the format change to one of open public comment rather than the advertised presentation followed by a question and answer session.
Members of various neighborhood groups came with signs and a plan. Audio posted to the internet by journalist Erica C. Barnett showed screaming when Counilmember Mike O’Brien and former Councilmember and task force member Kirsten Harris-Talley spoke.
The climate became so toxic so quickly that observers posted on social media doubts that the meeting would make it to its intended 8 p.m. conclusion.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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