Four members of the Seattle City Council spent an hour-plus this afternoon at the encampment that’s called itself “Nickelsville” since its inception three years ago at the West Seattle site to which it returned in May. Our video above is the entire visit – an official meeting of the Housing (etc.) Committee – unedited, beginning after chair Councilmember Nick Licata convened the meeting and had members sign in at the camp’s front desk. (Also in attendance – Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Sally Clark, and Tom Rasmussen.)
First, everyone got a guided tour of the camp, from the kitchen area near the entrance, to the two goats’ grazing area on the eastern end. It currently has 91 residents, camp leaders say. Then, there was a sitdown roundtable discussion. A few headlines emerged: Operation Sack Lunch plans to start bringing lunches to Nickelsville five days a week starting next Monday; the camp is asking the city to help them get hooked up with utilities – not with paying for them, just with getting them hooked up. They also are waiting to hear the city’s longterm intent on whether they will be able to stay at that location; as we first reported shortly after their return to the site, Mayor McGinn said he would not seek eviction, but the Council has not taken a formal position.
The tour stopped short of this noteworthy sight:
That’s the play equipment procured and installed thanks to the efforts of WSB Forums members, who have taken a special interest in – and have been providing lots of help to – Nickelsville and its residents, who include longtime Forums member/WSB commenter “miws” Mike. He has just taken on a brand-new Nickelsville position, pet coordinator; you’ll see him in our video too (he and others in leadership positions got a chance to explain their work to the visitors). As for who will use the swing set – four children are among the camp’s current residents, councilmembers were told.