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Dear Neighbors, 

Welcome back to a bustling, thriving Seattle! One of the most difficult sacrifices we made as a community over the last 16 months was cancelling the public festivals and social gatherings foundational to the cultural fabric of our city. We rightly did this to protect ourselves, and our neighbors. 

Now that Washington is reopening, I want to make sure we are all able to reward ourselves for that sacrifice and celebrate Seattle’s recovery together. That’s why I hope you will join me at the two Welcome Back Week events happening in District 7, and encourage you to participate in the small business promotions the City is doing with the help of Intentionalist. All the details below: 

Welcome Back Week – Pioneer Square 

Saturday, July 24 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.  – Occidental Park. An outdoor concert featuring local artists Shaina ShepherdShenandoah Davis, and The Black Tones performing. Path with Art will showcase their ‘Found Fashion’ project, and Party Hat Gallery will provide free screen printing. 

Welcome Back Week – Westlake 

Sunday, July 25 12-8 p.m. -- Westlake Park. Families can finally celebrate Halloween with “Halloween in July,” trick-or-treating at vendors and stores across Westlake Park and Pacific Place. There will also be a costume contest, free face painting, and dance workshops. The Westlake Park event will also include sidewalk sales featuring downtown small retailers, and live performances by El Vez, Teatro Zinzanni, SANCA's Circus Circus, and Lelavision. At 7 p.m. there will be a ‘Secret Sunset’ concert.

Passport to Pioneer Square

Begins Saturday, July 24; More Information Here.  

Those participating in the Passport to Pioneer Square will be tasked with a photo contest “passport challenges” to be entered to win unique "passport prizes" such as Sounders FC tickets. Program participants pick up or print out a Passport to Pioneer Square and complete the challenges listed on the Pioneer Square website to be entered to win prizes from neighborhood businesses. The July challenge is to attend the Welcome Back Week event in Pioneer Square on Saturday, July 24, from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., follow Pioneer Square on social media, and/or share a photo of the Welcome Back Week event. 

Welcome Back Coupons  

Shop at participating small businesses neighborhoods throughout Seattle and receive $10 coupons throughout the month  

Folks who shop at Hood Famous Café + Bar and Jade Garden in the Chinatown-International District, as well as Fulcrum Cafe and Taqueria Cantina in Downtown from July 12 – 16 will receive a $10 Welcome Back coupon to spend in-person at participating Chinatown International District small businesses. Participating businesses include KOBOChu Minh TofuAlice’s Floral DesignFort St. GeorgeSairen, and New An Dong. Welcome Back coupons can be used from July 17 – 31. Learn more about Welcome Back coupons here.  

Intentional Tabs

$500 tab on the Intentionalist throughout Welcome Back Weeks 

The City and Intentionalist are hosting $500 tabs at downtown small businesses throughout Welcome Back Weeks. The first tab will be hosted at Doner Box to kick-off Welcome Back Weeks on July 12. Other tabs will be hosted at small businesses including Mi La Cay and Itsumono on July 17 and Bubble Tea Fresh Fruit Juice on July 18 for the Hing Hay Park Welcome Back events and at Bangrak Market on July 25. All information regarding tabs additional tabs will be shared via Intentionalist’s Instagram account

Gift Like It Matters

Discounted gift certificates for downtown small businesses for those unable to attend events in-person 

Folks unable to attend the in-person Welcome Back Week events in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake, can support participating small businesses by purchasing gift certificates at a twenty percent discount. Participating businesses include Seattle Best TeaPhnom Penh Noodle House, and Cone & Steiner. A full list of participating businesses can be found here

Why Welcome Back Events Matter 

Downtown has challenges, but we can come together and lead a summer of recovery for one of our most critical neighborhoods. There are a lot of encouraging signs to be grateful for. We are one of the few major cities to add population during the pandemic, and we continue to lead the nation in ‘brain gain’, adding tech jobs to our economy faster than any other city in the nation. This in turn has led to a massive resurgence of demand for office space, eclipsing pre-pandemic levels and exceeding peer cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles. Only in Washington DC is there more market demand to set up shop.

Of course, we know the Downtown neighborhood continues to have very real and challenging struggles. Hundreds of units of emergency shelter have yet to come online, leaving hundreds of Downtown residents experiencing homelessness with no place to go. While Downtown has seen 260 new businesses open during the pandemic, we have seen 483 permanently shutter their doors.

This is why Welcome Back Week matters. As places of congregate work, public performances, stylish bars and restaurants, and hotels packed with tourists, downtowns across America, including ours, were slammed by COVID-19. The power to boost Downtown rests with all of us, and starts with these great community gatherings. Together, we can show Downtown we are united to build it back stronger than ever.

Warmly,
Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis
Seattle City Council // District 7
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