email to mayor jenny durkan demanding a rent freeze – 3/24/2020

below is the message i sent to mayor jenny durkan demanding a rent freeze on the 24th. i believe i edited this from a template that someone else put out and if i can remember where i got it, i’ll edit this post to put the link here.

Hello,

In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic Governor Jay Inslee has ordered a mandatory statewide shutdown of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities. This ban includes dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other indoor social or recreational facilities. Over 475,000 people are employed in the retail and food service sectors of Washington state. Many of us have experienced loss of shifts and hours if not total closure of business before this ban.

You have issued a 30 day moratorium on evictions. This is not enough. If we cannot work, we will not get paid. If we aren’t paid, we cannot pay our bills. Without work, without sick days, many of us will not be able to afford our rents come April 1st. We will not be able to afford this rent retroactively. We will not have this money at some later date. We are hardworking people who barely have enough to pay one month at a time. Workers who already struggle to make rent are being asked to decide between paying rent and providing necessities like food for themselves and their families. It is unjust to ask us to carry the financial burden of this pandemic on our shoulders.

We are demanding a complete freeze on rent now, not later, not next month, but now. We demand a complete rent freeze for as long as this pandemic continues to effect our ability to work, make money, and pay our bills. We demand no accumulation of debt for the months we are unable to pay our rents. We make these demands knowing it is the mayor Jenny Durkan’s , and council members Lisa Herbold (dist 1), Tammy J. Morales (dist 2), Kshama Sawant (dist 3), Alex Pedersen (dist 4), Deborah Juarez (dist 5), Dan Strauss (dist 6), Andrew J. Lewis (dist 7), Teresa Mosqueda (pos 8 ), and Lorena Gonzalez’s (pos 9) duty to comply with the will of the people and not the will of private interests.

Sincerely,
Ky [Deadname]
[Phone number]

the mayor’s office did respond to me the next day. i didn’t find that response satisfactory, but since it does include some resources that may be helpful, i’m going to paste it here.

Dear Ky,

Thank you for reaching out. We will be sure to share your feedback with Mayor Durkan as further action is considered.

The Renting in Seattle program remains open and could be a source of assistance. Staff are available to assist renters and landlords with complaints, questions, and referrals. Much of our work is being done remotely and wait times may be longer than usual. We are prioritizing urgent issues such as people facing emergency housing conditions. Customers are strongly encouraged to use the online Seattle Services Portal Code Compliance Complaint form to avoid waits on the phone, however the Renting in Seattle phoneline remains open at 206-684-5700. The City is also offering utility relief and ongoing utility discounts for low income households. See Utility Discount Program information here.

Rent Assistance and Other Services: For resources on rent assistance, food banks, and other basic needs, 2-1-1 is single place to go for information and referrals. Call 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 web site.

Moreover, Mayor Durkan signed an emergency order to halt residential evictions. Details on that can be found below.

For all City resources on Covid-19: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19

Best,

Paul on behalf of Mayor Durkan.

they did provide the press release in the body of the email below this, but i’m not here to platform their propaganda about what a good job they’ve done. i will include the last links they offered:

For FAQs about the Temporary Eviction Moratorium click here.

For up to date information on COVID-19 go to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

please let me know in the comments if me posting these is helpful or let me know how i could make them more helpful!