50th Anniversary of Passage of Citizens’ Initiative
“Let’s Keep the Market – the Work Continues!

On November 2, 1971, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the “Keep the Market” public initiative that saved the Pike Place Market from certain destruction. The passage of the citizens’ initiative – fifty years ago – not only protected our public market, but it also ensured the ‘the soul of Seattle’ would be saved in a way that preserved its character and its traditional community of elderly and low-income residents, food vendors, farmers, craftspeople, and small independent businesses.

Against great odds, true grass roots efforts and determined volunteers worked for seven years to educate the public and tirelessly advocate to save the Market before ultimately mounting this groundbreaking ballot measure. It was a true grassroots effort that accomplished a monumental feat. Over the years, the subsequent hard work of the Market Preservation and Development Authority, Market Foundation, and Historical Commission made the vision of the Friends of the Market a reality.

On September 30, 2021, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Friends of the Market hosted an event in Market Atrium to recognize those activists who led the citizens’ effort and to celebrate so many others who continue to advocate for the Market to keep it vital for future generations. It was a special evening of socializing with old friends, hearing from guest speakers about the Market’s past & present, and experiencing a sneak preview of KOMO TV’s new documentary “Labor of Love: Saving Pike Place Market”

At the close of the evening, FoM President Kate Krafft surprised everyone with the announcement of a newly created Steinbrueck-Thonn Academic Scholarship Award for Pike Place Market Research. This award, named for two leaders who were critical in the effort to preserve and protect the Market, was “a way for FoM to create a tangible lasting legacy as part of the 50th anniversary.” The Market Foundation enhanced the surprise by generously pledging $5,000 to support the establishment of the Award.

A half of century after the historic passage of the citizens’ initiative, Friends of the Market continues the work of ensuring Pike Place Market remains the true heart of Seattle!

Thanks to our financial sponsors for supporting the 50th celebration:

Allied Arts Foundation / Market Foundation / Wyman Youth Trust / Suzanne Hittman / Valerie Ann Bystrom
Ann Ramsay-Jenkins / Braiden & Spencer Rex-Johnson / Rae Tufts / Christina Wohlstetter

50th Anniversary Citizens’ Initiative Party!

Photos courtesy of Art Kuniyuk
(Government guidelines require face masks at public event to reduce spread of Covid-19)


1971 Campaign Memorabilia


50th Anniversary – Peter Steinbrueck, Keynote speaker


Victor Steinbrueck & Jerry Thonn Families: David S., Jennifer Zanella, Jerry T., Peter S., Matthew S., Lisa S.Jerry Thonn, retired attorney, FoM co-founder, Market Initiative Leader, Peter Steinbrueck, architect, Port Commissioner


Nick Setten, FoM board, MC; Kate Krafft, FoM President, Former Market Historical Commission Coordinator

Ed Singler, retired attorney, former FoM President, Co-wrote 1971 Market Initiative Chris Bown, FAA, Market Historical Commission Member


Jack Bagdade, MD, initiative activist Alliance for a Living Market


John Ogliori, Christine Vaughan, Molly Mercer, former & current FoM board members


Knute Berger, Columnist; Patricia Gray, Market Foundation


Kate Krafft; Peter Steinbrueck

KOMO Documentary on 50th Anniversary of Passage of Citizens’ Initiative

Memorabilia from 1971