Moving Forward in Downtown Seattle

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The following is a message DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes sent to members on June 1, 2020

This is an incredibly painful, difficult and sad time in our community and country.

There were thousands of people who came downtown on Saturday to peacefully protest, grieve the killing of George Floyd, and bring attention to deep injustice in our country. They spent time organizing and mobilizing, but unfortunately had their messages hijacked by individuals who came downtown intent on violence and destruction, risking the health and safety of many people and severely impacting downtown businesses and properties.

Downtown suffered substantial damage, including looting, broken windows, graffiti and fires. At last check, more than 60 businesses in the Retail Core, Capitol Hill and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods were impacted.

Sunday morning we saw community members of all races and ages come together to help pick up the pieces of destruction and take care of our center city and each other. There were parents with young children, city crews, property managers and residents sweeping sidewalks and scrubbing graffiti. It was heartening to see so many people come together so quickly to support our downtown and city and help restore peace. Personally, it was a moment of both profound sadness and optimism.

I had the opportunity, along with other members of the DSA/MID team, to walk through downtown and survey the situation Sunday morning with Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. I want to thank them for their leadership during this difficult time. We will continue our conversations with Mayor Durkan and her staff this week, starting today with a meeting with downtown businesses.

Our Clean, Safe and Parks Teams will be out today throughout downtown to remove graffiti and garbage from public areas. If you need any assistance, or have questions, please contact our operations team at or call for service at 206-441-3303.

These are incredibly challenging times in our community and our country. I appreciate your support and help in picking up the pieces, bringing peace back to our city and moving forward together toward a more just community and country for all. We have much work ahead.