I applaud the My Take by Daniel Carlson [“Our Capitol Hill store was looted, the collateral damage of a lack of leadership,” Aug. 15, Opinion] as well as the Op-Ed “Is our cancel culture killing free speech?” by Victor Menaldo [Aug. 9, Opinion]. Both of these pieces describe well major issues affecting our city and our nation. One could easily say it is exactly the issues that Menaldo points out that get us into situations like those from which Carlson has tragically suffered, where a culture of non-communication between leaders and myopic thinking creates policy that hurts people like Carlson.

I hope our city leaders, and news media, take good note that the victim of what the Seattle City Council is doing is the Seattle culture itself. It is businesses like Carlson’s that make our city into a culturally vibrant, small-business-friendly place, the opposite of a wasteland of abandoned storefronts. If we lose the culture of Seattle, what will we have left? A city that is just the shell of a city, where you find those who don’t want to hear any alternative voices, and those who think that the loss of livelihood and dreams are the necessary collateral damage that comes with “progress.”

It would be a city none of us would want to live in and none of us should stand for.

David Axelrod, Seattle