🌭 So long, Polish hot dog

Meet the organizer behind Seattle Tech 4 Housing.
(📸: Alex Garland)


Seattle is the country’s fastest growing city of the decade and that’s thanks in part to our booming tech industry. But rapid growth has its downsides. In our city, it’s meant a huge housing shortage and a homelessness crisis. While people point fingers at tech workers flocking here for jobs, some of those same techies are organizing to help make Seattle a more inclusive space.

One of those organizers is Ethan Phelps-Goodman, a former Facebook software engineer. In 2016, he founded Seattle Tech 4 Housing, an advocacy group that’s organizing tech workers “to step up and play a constructive role in shaping an equitable future for Seattle.”

We caught up with Ethan to learn more about his work and what he loves about the the Emerald City.

Tell us what you do in 10 words or less.

I organize tech workers to support progressive housing reform.

Lots of Seattleites blame tech workers for our housing crisis. What do you make of that?

The influx of wealth from the tech boom is one of the primary drivers of the housing crisis. So the blame placed on the tech industry is in one sense entirely justified. But in another sense the blame is misplaced: The fundamental problem is not that we’re a wealthy city, it’s that our public policies fail to make good use of that wealth.

I can imagine a future where the tech boom makes everyone in Seattle better off. But until we get there, I do think the tech community has a particular responsibility to push for reform.

What’s Seattle Tech 4 Housing done that you’re proud of?

We run a volunteer program that connects skilled volunteers from the tech industry with nonprofits working on housing and homelessness. We’ve seen a tremendous need on the nonprofit side and a tremendous desire to help on the tech side, and we hope that making these connections will lead not just to good projects, but to better understanding and empathy on the tech side and more engagement on policy issues.

We’ve [also] organized tech community turn out to every major housing related public hearing this year, making sure a pro-housing message is heard from tech on issues ranging from affordable housing at Fort Lawton, to the citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability program, to backyard cottages.

Now onto Seattle: Where are the two places you’d take an out-of-town guest?

Gas Works Park, for the way it epitomizes Seattle’s combination of natural beauty and vibrant urbanism, and the Smith Tower Observatory Bar, for its history, architecture and views.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in our city?

Freeway Park [in downtown]. Under-used and under-appreciated, but I’m still impressed every time I walk through it.

What’s the best advice you ever got from someone about living in Seattle?

Make an effort to explore all of Seattle’s many neighborhoods. There’s something special everywhere you go.

Learn more about Seattle Tech 4 Housing here. Know someone else we should introduce folks to in The Evergrey? Hit reply and let us know.

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‘Congratulations! You make America great!’ On the Fourth of July, 498 locals celebrated something special: becoming U.S. citizens. The ceremony came at an interesting time — just a week after the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. “That spirit — lies cannot suppress it, deceit cannot discourage it, tweets cannot degrade it,” Gov. Jay Inslee said, welcoming the new citizens as critical contributors to our community. Speakers also encouraged them to register to vote. But some folks didn’t need the reminder. “I’m a citizen, and I can vote now for a better president who’s not racist,” said Emmanuel Guadardo, who immigrated from Mexico 15 years ago. 🗳 (The Seattle Times)

NYT goes to SEA. New York Times travel columnist Ingrid K. Williams dropped into the Emerald City for 36 hours. A snapshot of her trip: popping by the revamped Nordic Museum, slurping oysters at Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, brunching at Columbia City Bakery, and wandering around Gas Works Park and Golden Gardens. And — surprise surprise — she managed to squeeze in some time to gawk at Seattle’s rapid growth. (The New York Times)

$120 every day. Thinking of buying a home in Seattle? Here’s a stressful stat: Home prices within our metropolitan area are rising by $5 every hour, every day, according to a recent Puget Sound Regional Council report. Members of the council’s Growth Management Policy Board, which doles out around $500 million in transportation funding, may try to put more pressure on developers to build homes along rail lines. (KUOW)

So long, Polish hot dog. Costco’s famous Polish dog is getting phased out from its store menus in favor of healthier fare, including plant-based protein salads, organic burgers, and açai fruit bowls. For the traditionalists out there, never fear: the $1.50 beef hotdog and soda combo remains. 😋 (The Seattle Times)

Alexa, let’s get a sandwich. Amazon announced it’s opening a second Amazon Go cashier-less grocery store in downtown’s Madison Centre office tower this fall. The store will be around 3,000 square feet — nearly twice the size of the inaugural South Lake Union location. Don’t want to brave downtown parking? See what the hype’s about by checking out Evergrey co-founder Mónica Guzmán’s shopping trip at the first store here. 🤖 (Curbed Seattle, The Verge)

Check out this event from our advertiser, Friends of Waterfront Seattle.

🎶 Free Live Music! KEXP Rocks The Dock at Pier 58 Saturday, July 7 at Pier 58 from 3pm to 7pm. Free live music on the waterfront with KEXP Rocks the Dock concert featuring awesome local bands.

Partner Events

👂  Wednesday, July 11: Learn how to hear feedback and use it constructively at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.

Around Town


🍿  Watch Princess Bride at a rooftop bar (Downtown)
⚾  Root for the Mariners with your favorite ladies (SoDo)
🍿  See Czech romantic comedy, crime thrillers, and sci-fi films (Queen Anne)
🍻  Drink up at the Seattle International Beerfest — through July 8 (Queen Anne)


🍸  Sip on locally distilled spirits (Fremont)
🎈  Say arrrrrr to the Seafair pirates (West Seattle)
🎨  Celebrate Frida Kahlo’s life and art (Beacon Hill)
💃  Boogie among the cacti, flowers, and ferns (Capitol Hill)
🎟  Belly laugh at Steve Martin and Martin Short (Downtown)


🎨  Help paint a community mural (Central District)
👋  Smell the flowers in your neighbors’ gardens (Georgetown)
🍴  Get your nom on at a rodeo of local food trucks (South Lake Union)
🎈  Taste sake and learn to draw manga characters at Japan Fair (Bellevue)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.


We are floored by the thoughtful, honest questions you’re submitting to us and GeekWire about homelessness in our city. Want a say in what we’ll answer? We’ll be putting some of them up for a vote on Tuesday, so be sure to submit your questions by Monday at noon.

Curious about what your fellow locals are wondering? Here’s a taste:

  • We spend so much money on fighting homelessness and it only seems to be getting worse. Are we actually making any progress? — Kristy Bolsinger
  • What do current/former homeless people think would have prevented their homelessness in the first place? — Jared Randall
  • If homelessness is a regional problem, why do other Puget Sound cities not have the same amount of visible tent encampments as Seattle core? — Dave Whelan

We’ll see ya on Monday. — The Evergrey

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