Q13 FOX Season of Giving

Warning signs about violence ignite debate on Rainier Avenue

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SEATTLE -- Residents in the Rainier Valley say people over the weekend posted dozens of signs that read: "Warning Entering Rainier Valley." Now, those signs are sparking debate in the community.

At first, Marilee Jolin was angry about the warning signs posted near her home and work.

"It felt sort of like a smear campaign. It felt like somebody that clearly doesn’t know this neighborhood because they don’t know what an amazing place it is, highlighting the worst things that happen here," Jolin said.

Now she can see it was a medium to start a conversation. Jolin just wishes it put a positive light on the community she loves.

"There is nowhere else I would rather be," she said. "So in the sense that the signs don’t promote that message, I dislike them."

The signs made many neighbors angry in the Central District and Rainier Valley,  prompting people to rip them down.

An anonymous blog post claims the signs were meant to attract attention to the "youth on youth violence overlooked by city officials."

Dominique Davis has worked with troubled youth for years and he thinks people need to talk about the issues affecting his neighborhood.

"This gives us a chance to start this topic and open up this conversation and start having this discussion that needs to be had," Davis said.