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Resident's view: It has problems, but Seaway is home

On Feb. 1, I will have lived at the Seaway Hotel for 17 years. I want to tell you what is good about my building and my neighbors. The people of the Seaway accept you for who you are. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past or what you l...

Al Parker
Al Parker says the Seaway has been a happy home for him for years. (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)

On Feb. 1, I will have lived at the Seaway Hotel for 17 years. I want to tell you what is good about my building and my neighbors.

The people of the Seaway accept you for who you are. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past or what you look like. No one judges you if you have a disability or are poor. When other places shut doors in your face, the Seaway welcomes you.

The people of the Seaway are friendly. Like in any apartment building, we have disagreements, but we are a family. People look out for each other and help each other when life is difficult. When we have food, we share it. We look out for people in our building who are elderly, making sure they get help to the laundromat and a hand across the street.

The people of the Seaway care about our neighborhood. Tenants volunteer to shovel the sidewalk and pick up litter on Superior Street. If we see someone in trouble, we call police. We like our neighborhood police officer and talk to him about our concerns.

The people of the Seaway have spirit. When our building was condemned we came together to save it. We went to City Council meetings and educated ourselves about our rights and responsibilities as tenants. Our tenant group still meets regularly to share information and to find solutions to problems in the building.

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Our neighborhood is a great place to live. There are many friendly businesses at which we shop. Most of us don't own cars, so it is important to have a main bus line with regular stops right out our front door.

The Seaway has problems and needs a lot of physical repairs. We look forward to the positive changes that will happen in the building under new ownership and management. We also want people to understand that there is more to our building than the problems they read about in the news. The Seaway is a wonderful place to live. I have enjoyed living here for the past 17 years and I look forward to even better days to come.

The Seaway is home.

Al Parker wrote this on behalf of the Seaway Tenants Association.

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