March 12, 2015
University of Washington School of Public Health student Christie Santos‐Livengood approached Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to do her practicum because of SNG’s positive reputation in her community and with built environment scholars. Her study researched the relationship between neighborhoods and the health and safety of LGBT people in respect to hate crimes and other public health concerns.
Christie’s report makes recommendations to prevent and address anti-LGBT hate crimes in Seattle. She worked with members of Central Seattle Greenways as well as interviewing stakeholders in the LGBT community.
Her findings indicate that the LGBT community stakeholders are concerned with Gentrification and Newcomers, Mistrust of Police, Nightlife Culture and Hate Crimes. Recommendations are provided and include action items for the City, Business and Non-Profit Organizations and the LGBT Community.
Stakeholders were blunt in their assessment of living in the Central-Capitol Hill area:
“With Capitol Hill becoming a center of nightlife, I think there’s just more people and not everyone is used to being around different segments of the population… [Outsiders] don’t see themselves as anti-gay but don’t necessarily see what they are doing when they are drunk.”
“A member of ours 2 summers ago was chased down the street and beaten with a skateboard. He wasn’t aware of his surroundings, wasn’t in a good state, you don’t know [if it was a hate crime] but he had just come out of a gay bar. Those are the things that terrify people…Pike and Pine are well lit and well traveled, but a few blocks north and south are very dark, lots of places to hide… Four stabbings in front of my door in two weeks at 2 [o’clock] in the morning.”
Christie concludes that hate crimes against LGBT people in Seattle are a public health and urban planning issue that must be addressed. It is imperative that the City of Seattle, businesses and the LGBTQ community study these recommendations because they have the potential to truly impact the health and well being of LGBTQ people, and the entire Seattle community. Full report here.