SEATTLE – Hundreds of residents of Seattle’s Capitol Hill say they no longer feel safe in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.
Recent crimes have put the lesbian and gay community on edge – leading to a large meeting planned for Tuesday night.
Officials say it’s hard to put an exact number on the recent hate crimes that have targeted Capitol Hill’s lesbian, gay and transgendered residents. Some go unreported and others may not be legally classified as a hate crime.
But those who live and work there say they’ve seen it – and experienced it.
KOMO News has reported on several incidents, as recently as last month. Many involve harassment, and some do get physical. Now community leaders want to reverse what they see as a troubling trend in one of the city’s most diverse and inclusive neighborhoods.
“There is definitely a sense in the community that the Hill is no longer safe and that obviously is tearing at the fabric of our ability to have safe spaces,” says Danni Askini of the Gender Justice League. “If not the Hill, then where?”
Askini is moderating Tuesday night’s meeting with community leaders. Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant’s office is helping spearhead the discussion. The meeting gets under way at 7 p.m. at All Pilgrims Church, 500 Broadway East on Capitol Hill. About 300 people are expected.
The goal is to not only brainstorm solutions but to become proactive as summer approaches – a time when nicer weather means more people are out in the neighborhood and a time when there tends to be more violence.
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