The Stranger's Endorsements for the August 3, 2021, Primary Election

Comments

1

All things considered, I think you made the right choice for mayor. Yes, Houston checks boxes for progressives that Gonzalez doesn't but he has zero elective or other political experience, and even the smartest, best-intentioned amateurs seldom if ever do well in executive positions (there may be exceptions, but offhand I can't think of any). I declined to support Oliver for mayor last time for that reason despite their being easily the most progressive candidate, suggesting they should maybe run for council first. I'm glad to see them doing just that and hope the very promising Houston follows a similar path.

2

"As cowardly as her move to repeal the head tax was, the decision to repeal seemed politically shrewd, given the real threat of a referendum."

Those goddamned impertinent "voters" just need to sit their asses down, shut themselves the f*ck up, and happily pay whatever taxes their overlords require. Asking questions about where the money goes -- and, worse yet, why it doesn't actually solve the problem -- is just treason, and needs to be punished as destructively as possible. Why can't we just remand them to Room 101 at City Hall for some re-education with rubber hoses?

Seriously, you're actually shilling for a candidate who your own endorsement describes as a cowardly, conniving, insincere sellout on the biggest topic of our day? Why not just endorse Ace the Architect? Sure, he has about as much of a chance as Mike the Mover (or, for that matter, Mike McGinn), but at least you can make a shout-out to your hip, edgy days of yore.

3

"We think it's cool Lance Randall played the organ in a King Youngblood music video, but we don't like his ideas. Sorry, Lance." Not a single word about what those ideas are or why you don't like them? Smug, snarky condescension does not equal thoughtful criticism. He doesn't fit your formula. That's a good sign. Keep going, Lance.

4

I'm not aware of a single mayoral candidate worth voting for.

5

As a long-time Seattle School District watcher, I concur with The Stranger’s pick for Seattle School Board. Vivian Song Maritz is the child of Asian immigrants with a disability (which one of her children also has) and one smart cookie. I cannot think of almost any other parent who would have put together a white paper on transportation (an ever important part of SPS). As The Stranger rightly points out, the addition of a smart person to represent one of the larger ethnic groups is a good thing.

Michelle Sarju seems smart and dedicated and knows her region well. In her case, I hope she realizes that the Board must oversee all aspects of the district - Operations, Facilities, Race and Equity, Special Education, etc - not just one.

To note, the breakdown of race/ethnic groups in SPS (I rounded off):
White 46%
Black 15%
Asian 13%
Hispanic 13%
Multi-racial 12 %
Native American .42%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander .40%

The Board (currently):
Two Native Americans - Chandra Hampson and Zachary DeWolf (Sarju would replace him)
One Hispanic - Lisa Rivera Smith
One Black - Brandon Hersey (running but with no competition so he will win)
Three White- Leslie Harris, Liza Rankin and Erin Dury (Song Maritz would replace her)

6

Pretty good endorsements this year, but you shoulda picked Pete Holmes over a junior public defender. And Dow Constantine has earned a fourth term, he’s the only one at any level of government who’s actually delivered something tangible on homelessness.

7

Dow Constantine was signing marriage certificates the very night same-sex marriage went into effect in WA state. That's why he's one of my favorite politicians.
As an aside, is that Matt Baume in the furry in the upper left of the illustration?

8

No love for Dave Upthegrove, King County Council incumbent in District 5, and a longtime champion for LGBTQ and environmental issues? He's not running unopposed, you know.

9

Still sore at Oliver for hijacking the police chief search to anoint Best. For better or worse though, she's the best candidate running for D9.

10

No. Not yet another lefty redundant wasteful bleeding heart scam is worth a property tax levy, especially recuperating after a pandemic. Vote NO on King County Prop 1.

11

"For a homeowner sitting pretty in a $600,000 house the tax bill for this proposal would run about $114 per year. That’s $9.50 per month to thread the county’s safety net with titanium steel (we have no idea how nets work) and to build a bunch of guardrails to prevent people from falling into that net in the first place. That’s less than the standard Netflix plan! Less than HBO Max!!"

Yet again, stupid Stranger staffers forget the cumulative taxation of all levies. That owner of the $600K house essentially pays an additional mortgage payment per year to meet a 4K to 6K property tax bill annually.

Let every landlord pass this tax on to their woke tenants in a rent increase.

12

Yamasaki's a gift!

13

Surprising that The Stranger Election Board would endorse the candidate most likely to be a competent mayor over one of the fringier options.

And, no fan of Pete Holmes, but why would a public defender want to become a prosecutor? Has this ever occurred in the history of the world?

14

@13 Have you read her campaign page? She isn't running to be a prosecutor. She is basically running on the strategy of not doing the job and claiming that will somehow make things better. At least she is stating up front that she has no intention of fulfilling her elected duties unlike the rest of the Seattle pols who promise one thing and then go do something else (def looking at you Herbold).

15

@14 I'd say she might have a difficult time not fulfilling the duties of the city attorney if she was elected to that position, whatever her campaign page says. Anyway, dumb to endorse someone who is pretty obviously not even seriously running for the job. If Pete Holmes were too avoid engaging in (or supporting) any more vice squad 'stings' over his next term he might even qualify as just about the best you could hope for. Prosecutors are at best a necessary evil (accent on 'evil'), like say chemotherapy.

16

Renters need to pay a tax. Seattle needs to levy a 1% tax on monthly rent paid by the tenant. This can pay for all the homeless people services the construction of their new luxury apartment building created. Renters are the loudest voices suggesting homeowners pay for all the new services the renters themselves want. Time for the renters to put their money where their mouth is. This is a progressive tax I could get behind. The 'tenant tax' as it will be called can be spent on housing first solutions for the homeless folks.

17

Sara Nelson has to be thrilled. It is all going according to plan. She picks up the endorsement of the Seattle Times. The Stranger endorses Oliver. If it comes down to her versus Oliver, she will probably win. She can point to the fact that she is more qualified, or has actually done things (rather than talk about it). She will pick up just enough conservative voters in an off-year election to put her over the top (and by conservative I don't mean in a left-right standpoint, but that too). There will be folks who maybe lean towards Oliver on some of the policy positions, but wonder if Nikkita is a flake. Or rather, a narcissist. Oh, Oliver loves the stage, but can they actually do the work? If you can't bother to vote, what kind of leader are you? Sara Nelson will seem like the safe choice, and will probably win.

In contrast, Brianna Thomas would crush Nelson. She could point to real accomplishments, like Democracy Vouchers, or the first $15 minimum wage in the country (oh, how soon those little pups at The Stranger forget). She has what the Seattle Times reluctantly calls "a keen policy acumen and has potential to emerge as a talented elected leader".

Holy shit, it is kind of hilarious. The Seattle Times criticizes the González’s Chief of Staff, saying she "has spent years as an insider with a council that has put Seattle on the wrong path". At the same time, The Stranger ignores her role, while talking about how great González is, because she can get shit done with the city council. Holy fuck, wouldn't it make sense if González actually had her former chief of staff on the council, rather than fucking Sara Nelson?

Neither paper is being realistic, or picking the best candidate. They are simply engaging in demagogy, and unrealistic political posing. Fuck, I miss the days when The Stranger endorsements were actually thoughtful. When they endorsed a piece of shit Mark Sidran because his new job would have less potential for fascism, and Deborah Senn is a fucking flake. Of course Senn won the primary (just barely) and was crushed by (fucking) Rob McKenna. If only a few more people supported the The Stranger's endorsement back then, we could avoided that douche. Now, we can only hope the opposite.

Please, ignore this bullshit endorsement, and do your own research. Look at what these people have actually done (not what they've spoken out for). Thomas is the clear choice for Position 9.

18

Haha..so strange to see The Stranger represent the status quo in Seattle politics. Well besides backing the "we shouldn't be so quick to prosecute domestic violence" lady for city attorney.

19

I endorse everything @17 says, for the same reasons. Oliver can't beat Nelson, and Nelson can't beat Thomas. If you don't vote for Thomas, you'll for sure get Nelson.

20

Yay! The Stranger endorsements are out! Now I know who not to vote for!

VoteWokeGoBroke

21

@16: I like your idea. If so many of these 'tax-property-owners-for-more-HugABum-programs' weren't so financially illiterate, they'd know that every tax increase ultimately gets passed on to them.

By paying the tax directly, Seattle's woke renters will realize how much skin they actually have in the game. Then they might not be so generous in the future when some SJW at City Hall proposes yet another tax to give Andy the Addict from Albuquerque a free 'no-barrier' downtown apartment that he can get high in while they're barely hanging on to their own apartment, and Tammy the Teacher, Kerry the Clerk, Barb the Barista, and Wendy the Waitress have to ride the bus in from Kent bc they can't afford to live here.

22

I hope all The Stranger's recommendations come to pass. Bellevue needs more business.

23

Supporting Gonzalez for mayor, especially in the primary, is only possible w/profound ignorance concerning her role in undercutting police reform & accountability. This ignorance is willful given the Stranger's refusal to publish op-eds or pursue stories regarding Seattle's failures of police accountability over the last 4 years.

Gonzalez has acted disingenuously at every point in the last 5+ years to undercut police accountability: not allowing consideration of the fully civilianized police oversight model in Newark, New Jersey in 2017; undercutting the 2017 legislation to minimize community control & civilian investigation; knowingly providing disinformation concerning what arbitration meant in the 2017 SPMA police union contract (she claimed arbitration hearings would be public); allowing someone like Andrew Myerberg to head the OPA ( https://hjgale.tumblr.com/post/643859576948654080/february-2021-interviews-with-opa-dir-myerberg ); she promoted misinformation & slandered critics of the 2018 SPOG contract; she has consistently refused to admit any problems with the current system or ask critical questions of heads of OIG, CPC, or OPA; and just yesterday in the Public Safety Committee meeting she grossly confused & misinformed people about the provision for a "right of action" in proposed city legislation on restrictions on "less-lethal" weapons (see: https://twitter.com/bessarabia1/status/1415434821237559298 ).

After the SPD murder of Charleena Lyles in 2017 Gonzalez said, at a June, 27, 2017 public meeting: "I want you to hold us accountable, because we are accountable to you and only to you... we as policy makers need to get a better understanding of what those trainings are... how did deescalation training fail Charleena, how will it fail the next person... making sure we get our inspector general in place to help figure out how we're going to shake the trees around some of these systemic issues that keep happening... we can't wait any longer for these systems to be changed."

"We can't wait any longer for these systems to be changed." After Gonzalez said the above the SPD went on to kill 9 more people in under 4 years without a complaint from her. In fact at least 5 of these nine killings involved people in a severe mental health crisis with either a knife or no weapon in their possession when SPD killed them.

Fuck the Stranger for endorsing her. Double fuck the Stranger for willful ignorance.

24

@17: "In contrast, Brianna Thomas would crush Nelson. She could point to real accomplishments, like Democracy Vouchers, or the first $15 minimum wage in the country (oh, how soon those little pups at The Stranger forget)."

The Stranger will mention neither, exactly because of what they can neither forget nor forgive. CM Sawant's campaigns depend excessively on out-of-city contributions, so she cannot use Democracy Vouchers, which exposes her populist rhetoric for the demagogy that it is. Therefore, there will be no praise of Democracy Vouchers here; if anything, Thomas' inadvertent role in exposing Sawant's fraud is a huge negative for Thomas at The Stranger. On our local minimum wage, The Stranger has long since accepted and promulgated Socialist Alternative's own alternative history, where CM Sawant and her "movement" won the "Fight for $15." Again, if Thomas threatens to tumble that carefully-supported mythology, she's asking for a bruising here. (Our $15/hour minimum wage is the one 'accomplishment' Sawant's supporters reliably cite as proof of her awesomeness; as it rapidly shrinks in our collective rear-view mirror, the actual statement they make about her when they cite it moves ever further away from having the meaning they still believe it does.)

This mayoral election season, The Stranger will have to work hard to deliver the entertainment value they provided two years ago, when a very public row broke out between the writers who supported the future runner-up of the primary election, and the writers who supported the future runner-up of the general election. Good times!

25

I'm not sure why more county residents can't see the deep level of indifference that Constantine has evidenced in 3 terms toward the local government he is responsible for, a municipality larger in population than Bellevue: the unincorporated county. And it has an urban component which Constantine has also ignored, which contains the unincorporated county's two communities of color, White Center and Skyway. Does anyone recall when either of these two communities were top of mind in terms of good governance? ... Buehler?

But perhaps the most concise reason for the lack of recognizing the failures of county government and backwards-focus even in new areas of community law (cough, cannabis) is that most local publications in King County hardly cover the organizational and political dynamics down at the King County Courthouse.

Sadly, the lack is having a great impact on two communities right on Seattle's doorstep. Services delayed are services--and community potential--denied.

26

@16 and @21 I think it's a safe bet that most if not all Seattle renters already understand that when our landlords' taxes go up, usually so does the rent. It's a given. Passing along one's costs to the extent one can do so while remaining competitive is just how business (all business) works. The corporate elite's defenders love to pretend this is some big secret that would blow the progressive agenda to smithereens if only it were more widely known, but it's not. It's Econ 101 -- we get it.

But there are things renters and the poor (especially in the inner city) need from government that homeowners and the affluent don't, and taxing big business (including and perhaps especially big landlords) to provide them makes the most sense precisely because they ~can~ pass along all or part of the added cost if they so choose. Most people don't have that option.

27

@16 and @21 I think it's a safe bet that most if not all Seattle renters already understand that when our landlords' taxes go up, usually so does the rent. It's a given. Passing along one's costs to the extent one can do so while remaining competitive is just how business (all business) works. The corporate elite's defenders love to pretend this is some big secret that would blow the progressive agenda to smithereens if only it were more widely known, but it's not. It's Econ 101 -- we get it.

But there are things renters and the poor (especially in the inner city) need from government that homeowners and the affluent don't, and taxing big business (including and perhaps especially big landlords) to provide them makes the most sense precisely because they ~can~ pass along all or part of the added cost if they so choose, spreading it out among a larger group. Most ordinary people don't have that option.

28

"His experience also hasn’t stopped him from partnering with SPD to embark on expensive and useless fishing expeditions for sex buyers."

That's not the half of it.

Holmes worked to change the name of the charge patronizing a prostitute to sexual exploitation to please his handlers at Demand Abolition, which turned out to be a sadistic way of ensure a simple misdemeanor becomes a life destroying crime because the extreme label makes it sound like a violent sexual felony to the rest of the country not run by the fucking prude Pete Holmes.

This policy has resulted in Trump like deportations for poor immigrants since Holmes insists every case must be prosecuted to the fullest and to the rest of the country, especially ICE, that label "sexual exploitation" sounds pretty deportable and indeed turned out to be.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/name-change-for-prostitution-charge-in-seattle-brings-errors-in-background-checks/

Immigrants faced enough challenges in the Trump era. They don't need a perv prosecutor leading Seattle into the 17th century with bullshit reverse stings from a police department that swears it doesn't have a penny to spare despite this incredibly expensive and wasteful bullshit that does little more than get immigrants deported.

29

@13 "And, no fan of Pete Holmes, but why would a public defender want to become a prosecutor? Has this ever occurred in the history of the world?"

Not until just recently, but Larry Krasner in Philly, Boudin in SF and Williams in New Orleans Parish were all prior defense attorney's. Krasner just won a primary where he crushed the Police Union Candidate primarily in the areas where there has been the most crime since they didn't fall for the "American cities have all become Mogadishu since the riots" we hear whenever some kid breaks a window.

We almost certainly would have had a prior defense attorney as the DA of King County last election had Darron Morris not been forced to pull out of the race early for health reasons. Come to find out, many people in Seattle were not on board with making incarcerating children routine.

Go figure.

30

What a dreary menu.

31

@27: "Most ordinary people don't have that option."

Right, like homeowners who aren't landlords.

32

@26: "The corporate elite's defenders love to pretend this is some big secret that would blow the progressive agenda to smithereens if only it were more widely known, but it's not. It's Econ 101 -- we get it."

And anyone who has ever rented knows that 'property tax increased' is usually the FIRST reason given for rental increase, if for no other reason than it justifies the rental increase with no expectation of property or service improvements in return.

33

@32:

Next you're going to tell us the sky is blue and that water is wet...

34

@29 Yeah I don't disagree that Pete Holmes is fairly odious, although I was not aware of the exact details of what he was up to.

Problem I have with his opponent is pretty much the same problem I have with fringe left candidates in general: if they actually succeeded in turning graffiti into public policy (abolish the police!) this would amount to political seppuku. You get a significant uptick in crime, public parks turned into tent cities, that sort of thing, you invite a backlash that would very likely lay waste to whatever incremental progress has been made on social justice issues to date. It would be a gift to authoritarian reactionaries.

35

Seattle Timed said, "Gonzalez is proven to be unfit to be mayor" How true....she's driven up homelessness by 40%, Murder 74%, and rapes 60%

She just voted to raise our electrical utility cost 4% and a $1 Coke at McDonald's carries 41% taxes. She must hate the working poor and middle class.

Read more about her HERE>

https://www.stevemurch.com/ten-reasons-you-shouldnt-vote-for-lorena-gonzalez/2021/07

36

Stranger makes a fairly decent argument for Gonzalez - who I'm leaning with, at this point. I can't say I'd ever be fully on board with anyone running. IMV, Stranger's best argument is, it's a matter of strategy and a working relationship with the City Council, rather than one in which they are repeatedly sabotaged, and constantly at each others' throats - and I further agree, it would be good to give Oliver a seat in this project (I especially like her support for the youth in this city, her rejection of corporate ties, her experience as a movement builder, her support for tenants and health care). So I would give her a shot too. I agree with @1 that Houston should run first for City Council. I'm otherwise not ready to consider splitting up the vote on his candidacy, though he looks promising.

I'm also leaning with Gonzalez because I (also) don't agree with "Compassion Seattle" ITO its focus on driving people out of public parks - or trying to force them into these mass shelters as if that's a viable option - or as if shelters without privacy ensure people's dignity (which was some bullshit spewed by one of the candidates who supports more millions of dollars for more dehumanizing mass shelters). These are basic civil rights issue that all of the candidates should understand, but apparently sdon't. Not to mention putting so much power in the hands of the mayor, and giving away our own right to decide. Even if you like what the next mayor going in might do with that power (e.g. Farrell - who I think is bullshitting anyway), it doesn't mean the one after will use it the same way. Big mistake.

If you provide housing, it should be an option only, and more attractive than camping in a park, including full privacy and one's own bathroom, the ability to lock a door to one's sleeping/living area, and the freedom to come and go as one pleases - fundamental rights belonging to any adult who is not in a prison. Being homeless is not a crime and does not make you a criminal or prima facie, in need of constant supervision and oversight. This is oppressive.

For that reason, too, I was glad to see these hotel purchases Constantine was involved with - even if late in the game (not necessarily his fault, Stranger - there's a lot of factors in play there). And, based on Stranger's article, I don't see that his challenger understands the importance or the need for the city to acquire even more of these hotels, along with permanent housing. I'm also tired of hearing about just pumping more money into the welfare system. How about a basic income to everyone, instead? Meaning, without all the qualifying and expensive red tape? Plus all these insider games as to who gets it and who doesn't? I've been in Seattle long enough, and compared to other areas, to see that it's not exactly fair how it gets passed around.

I'm also reading about my electric bill going up again in today's Seattle Times - something not one candidate is talking about - though everyone is at the proverbial barricades for the "working class." These rates should be going DOWN, if they're such left-wing radicals. Minimally, a rate freeze. We're in a relatively small apartment and we pay a good amount more than the average Seattle homeowner, and with very minimal usage, too. And during the winter? You'd choke up your food if I told you how much we pay these crooks.

It's not all about bad equipment (like old refrigerators and the like), either. I contacted Seattle City Light -- the short end of this long, long story being that they were provided sufficient evidence to investigate corruption, yet refused, the investigator implying that I, as a tenant, needed to pay her off with a bribe in order to get action on this SCL corruption - corruption that they're all in bed with, at City Hall too, left-center-and-right alike. Tenant rights people? Nowhere to be seen. Let me know when they actually deal with the plethora of issues I deal with as a tenant, including the criminals and bullies that can be living in your own building.

So, I need the police, myself, and I see what happens in Seattle when they're not around and the control goes to whoever is the better bully or gamester or thug. Or who has the bigger and better guns, next? Or the unleashed dog "who's really very friendly" ? Or wants to repeatedly block people's cars?

So I'm not voting for their recommended City Attorney whose basic platform is that she won't do the job. Plus, I support the right of victims to have restraining/constraint (whatever it's called) orders - she minimized this need as if every misdemeanor doesn't involve violence or the threat of future violence. In my Seattle life and beyond, you wouldn't believe how many DO. And, it's actually much harder to get these orders than it should be. Instead of abolishing them, she should make them easier to acquire and enforce. I already know what it's like to sit in front of a sexist judge who won't give you one. Being a woman or left-instead-of-right doesn't make her any different, in my book. The sexist white conservative judge and her - both wind up on the same page at the end of the day.

I also disagreed with the so-called Seattle left support for car tab fees - and I'm greatly at odds with TE, overall, politically speaking, but I voted for his proposed restriction that passed. My fees are still obscene - but they've since gone down by about 70 dollars. A conservative did that for me - not the so-called Seattle left - who screwed me instead -as far as my pocketbook was concerned. And I love and believe in public transportation - but this is not how you fund it. If the left hates cars so much in the downtown area - why don't you just ban them outright in that area as they have in other cities? My car tabs, though, should be $35/annually, and no higher. I don't drive around in your downtown area.

Because of all this miscellaneous bullshit and more, the local left nowhere to be seen - anymore than the right - as far as my daily struggles are concerned, I'm also skeptical of the property tax and what would be passed down to me as a renter, maliciously (as implied by some property owners here) or not. Not to mention that I never hear about anyone who gets these jobs in these programs, to begin with. It's a tight little club.

Job programs? They're bullshit, too, in my experience, so I'm not supporting them either, anymore. What you get is a job search that usually goes no where. It's a reason I voted "strategically" for Stein/Greens in 2012. She advocated job centers where people go in and a/ctually walk out with a job, not an email account and an endless job search that goes nowhere. So on that, too, I disagree, Stranger. A job center is "prima facie" (in America, at least) just more money down the drain hiring people to spin their wheels doing nothing. And I am old enough to remember when government job centers actually did send you out with a permanent job, not a make-believe job search.

So, no, I don't want to pay for that, either.

I will be voting thinking about strategy, but nevertheless, feeling pretty damn nasty about everything both left and right ignore in MY daily life -- and not parking my heart or brains for anyone.

Mosqueda, btw, will likely get my vote - but I'm not sold on her either. She was part of the disgraceful ACA roll-out that, statewide, meant I lost my healthcare for an entire year running around in the fucking bureaucracy she boasted about creating - a bureaucracy that made my life harder, not easier. They actually forcibly put me in violation of the blasted mandate - one of the few good things that Trump did, whatever his own selfish reasons for doing so - getting rid of it. It was only by the grace of God that nothing medically compromising happened to me during that year. My healthcare was a triviality and joke to all of them - to every person I dealt with - whether they were left or right, corporate or government.

The clock is ticking for everyone.

37

@36: Camping in a city park is illegal and not an option, for everyone (including the homeless) to enjoy as a city park.

38

@11 King county property taxes average 0.93%, which is 13% lower than national average of 1.07%.

What rate would you consider fair?

39

@34: I can understand the concern, but for all its talk of being liberal, Seattle is deeply conservative when it comes to crime with some of the harshest punishments outside of the deep South, particularly when it comes to any crime involving sex.

What most people in Seattle confuse with lawlessness in Seattle (homelessness, etc) is more a a result of dysfunctional government. I suspect based on our record that if Derek Chauvin had faces the prosecutors in King County along this those selected to populate King County juries, he would almost certainly be free today. It's not like we have some proud history of holding violent cops who kill people accountable. Just the opposite.

Serious Crimes are handled at the King County level and while their not especially good at separating stupid bullshit from violent crime with real victims, Seattle is misdemeanor land where few serious crimes beyond DUI's, which Kennedy has said she will continue to prosecute.

All prosecutors need to to make resource decisions around who they will and will not charge with a crime and who they will send in a different direction than jail. Both King County and Pete Holmes are famous for placing politics before public safety and the kind of naval gazing prosecutorial narcissism that rarely takes public safety into account. How much tax money and public resources has Pete Holmes wasted in his effort to make Seattle less safe for sex workers and punish immigrants for having sex with women he doesn't approve of?

I think Kennedy's plan is to refocus those wasted resources in ways that promote public safety where Holmes instead uses his resources to please the Tipper Gore contingent at the expense of public safety.

I support some defunding, but realistically I don't see that happening on a large scale whatever those like myself may want. I don't think Seattle has it in them to actually let things go far enough to create a political backlash. For all the promises made last Summer, how much money did the council actually take away from the police?

40

@39: "For all the promises made last Summer, how much money did the council actually take away from the police?"

CM Herbold, seeking re-election in 2019, promised voters in District 1 the proper level of funding for SPD. During the illegal wildcat strike SPOG members staged against the East Precinct, she promised Capitol Hill (note: not located in District 1) activists she would defund the SPD. Instead of investigating how to use that illegal wildcat strike to de-certify SPOG -- which would have been essential to de-funding, due to the City's contractual obligations to SPOG -- she wrote a breathtakingly stupid editorial about the murderous results of that illegal wildcat strike, which was published here at The Stranger.

"I support some defunding, but realistically I don't see that happening on a large scale whatever those like myself may want."

Mainly because every opponent of SPD reform/defunding/elimination always point to the festival of governing incompetence, and murderous results, I mentioned above.

41

@38: So what? An average number really doesn't mean anything. It's higher than California's at 0.73%.

42

@37 Clearly it "is" an option or you wouldn't see encampments. Also, what is legal or illegal is not, in and of itself, an ethical argument in my book. As MLK once said, "Never forget that everything Hitler did was legal."

43

@42: First, I challenge you to provide a citation for that quote.

Second, The Night of The Long Knives (where the actual socialists in the Nazi leadership were murdered) and Kristallnacht (where Jewish property was targeted for destruction) were most definitely NOT legal under German law at those times.

Third, in 2016 the City Council considered a bill to allow encampments on sidewalks and in parks. The response from citizens was swift and unequivocal:

"Since the City Council took up the proposal Sept. 6, a growing number of residents have expressed fear it would make tents fixed features of parks and sidewalks.

"About 20,000 people have signed a petition against an early version of the law. A spokesman for Mayor Ed Murray said the mayor would veto the legislation. Councilmembers said they have received thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls from critics."

(https://www.knkx.org/post/seattle-lawmakers-revise-homeless-encampment-rules-amid-backlash)

We made very clear our opposition to unsanctioned encampments in our public places, and our City Council withdrew the proposed legislation. Since then, with no explicit debate or vote, the very policy we loudly and explicitly rejected has been nonconsensually forced upon us.

In short, your "historical" comparison goes the wrong way.

44

Tax the rich such as the massive corporations not tenants not the poor who are overtaxed.
By the way tenants don't get to own anything with all the rents they pay like landlords do.

Police do not equate safety. We need other progressive alternatives. Oliver is a breath of fresh air not the old, status quo that harms the many. A defence attorney is needed now as city/county attorney. This country has millions in prison and prison is the answer to social ills instead of providing decent responses to address poverty caused by greed and neglect.

The social democracies practiced in other countries is vastly superior to what we have in this country and the people are far happier. Seattle install UBI for all people earning less than a hundred thousand a year and see what happens.

It was unions and Sawant that installed the $15 an hour minimum wage here.
She has worked to tax the billionaires here with others that are living off our blood.
The right wing and some of the wealthy would like her brought down to maintain the status quo that is causing misery and poverty in this city. They hate change that helps the downtrodden because it threatens their profits.

Gonzales will be far better than Durken ever was police state practices.

To be rid of Durken should help many in this city with her cruelty to the poor and homeless and her corruption and police state practices.

45

43 You would rather attack the most vulnerable people than fight to provide real answers to end homelessness.

A program such as the Housing First program practiced successfully elsewhere could remedy this.

The shame of this system to justify incarceration of millions of the poor and nonviolent. More than any other country in the world.

46

@44: Ivy! Welcome back from your irregularly-scheduled alcoholic coma. Please continue to boycott Amazon, as CM Sawant does not want her deliveries delayed by the likes of you.

Also, the woman who has served as Mayor of Seattle for the last few years has, for the entire time, been named "Durkan." Please do try to keep up.

47

@45: "A program such as the Housing First program practiced successfully elsewhere could remedy this."

Yes, it was proposed in the Poppe Report, a few years ago. Ever since, I have publicly supported such a plan.

Any idea why our City Council has yet to support it?

48

Universal health care is a demand we must make real. We have to fight for it.

49

47 No. And they damn well should.

50

@49: Mayors Murray and Durkan both attempted to implement all of the recommendations in the Poppe Report. Our City Council has yet to do so. Specifically, Poppe's recommendation to eliminate funding to underperforming homeless service providers, like SHARE, has not merely been ignored; SHARE continues to receive special treatment from our Council, led by CMs Herbold and Sawant. This has consumed a lot of money we could have spent on housing.

It would seem the latter two elected officials, not Mayor Durkan, should be the target of your ire.

51

46 I don't drink so what is your problem? Delusional?

Why didn't the mayor install Housing First instead of having the police attack the unhoused?

You can resume talking to yourself now as I am done.

52

@51: The Mayor does not appropriate funds; the City Council does. Please do try to keep up.

53

@51: Police attacked the homeless (or as you call it the unmansioned)? That's a lie. Provide a link to prove me wrong.

54

tensor:

MLK wrote that in 1963 Letter From A Birmingham Jail. I recommend you read it. As I wrote earlier, "what is legal OR illegal is not, in and of itself, an ethical argument." Which followed from his statement. If Hitler doesn't work for you, consider segregation down south - or apartheid South Africa. Or the right of women to vote.

You say "our parks" as if you're only referring to one group of people. But the parks belong to everyone in the public, not just those who object to tents or people's peaceful presence at night. That includes people who are homeless and their housed allies. These are "our parks" too.

People who are homeless have to stay somewhere. They can't stay on private property so they have to stay on public property. So the parks make perfect sense - there are lawns and there are public bathrooms, too, which is a basic and human health necessity. So I can't understand your desire to pick on these people. There were tent encampments, too, during the Depression - if we're going to get into history. Where is your compassion?

I'm glad to read that you support Housing First, though. I do, too. I think the hotels are also very important and the tiny houses reportedly help some groups move forward, as well. I'm guessing most of the campers would gladly go into a real no-strings-attached apartment or hotel room, minimally, if provided that option. But in the meantime, camping in a public park is understandably the best way forward. And if people aren't disturbing others and taking care of their trash and living peacefully, I think we should likewise let them be. The last thing they need on top of everything else they're dealing with is persecution. So if you want to help them, stop picking on them.

55

Ivy R Nightscales:

It's very nice to read your humane and morally sane posts.

56

@54: "MLK wrote that in 1963 Letter From A Birmingham Jail. I recommend you read it."

Here's the entire sentence, which, as I figured, you first ripped from context, and then quoted neither properly nor in full:

'We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal."'

Notice the scare-quotes Dr. King put around 'legal'? They don't appear in your version. (Neither did the justification for open, armed insurrection against another brutally unjust European government, a left-wing one this time.) Here, read his whole letter for yourself: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html .

"You say "our parks" as if you're only referring to one group of people. But the parks belong to everyone in the public, not just those who object to tents or people's peaceful presence at night."

How about violent murder, like Travis Burge committed against Lisa Vach in Cal Anderson Park? May we pretty pretty please object to that? Or does your version of Dr. King condone murder as well?

When one person pitches a tent in a park, all other persons are denied use of that space in the park -- even if the camper does actually fit someone's definition of peaceful. (Does nailing structures to trees, and dumping used motor oil in an environmentaly-protected zone, count as 'peaceful' to you? How about operating an unregulated metal shop, with no emissions control? Does that count as being a good neighbor?)

"People who are homeless have to stay somewhere. They can't stay on private property so they have to stay on public property."

Travis Berge's mother repeatedly asked for him to move back to her home in Texas. Lisa Vach's friend co-signed with her for an apartment in Tacoma. Had either simply left Seattle when the opportunity arose, either Vach or both might still be alive. But because we allowed them to violate our laws, to take away from us our public space for their private purposes, they are both dead.

"But in the meantime, camping in a public park is understandably the best way forward."

Lisa Vach might disagree, if only she could.

57

@40: "Mainly because every opponent of SPD reform/defunding/elimination always point to the festival of governing incompetence, and murderous results, I mentioned above."

You're only detailing the most recent iteration in a history of the city council back tracking on promises of police accountability and dysfunctional city government has been an opposition talking point not entirely without merit, but the primary roadblock to police accountability or any defunding is that the cowards on the city council refuse to defund their own henchmen, or support any accountability for the shock troops they use to carry out their diktats against the population they often view with contempt. Asking the city council to either re-allocate funding, or require any accountability from the SPD is like asking a crack addict to give up the rock and change their ways. They'll make promises all day long about how things are going to change, but can never resist that next hit. For an in depth and post on how this has played out, see @23.

Our sister city Portland to the south where able to get much further on reform by replacing entrenched CM's unwilling to move forward with police reform. If we are going to reform the SPD, we will need to do the same with those CMs who continue to block reform with the one tool they have available, which is defunding.

58

What is with all these folks who already have day jobs in city or county government running for elected positions this year? Do they not have enough to do? As my manager at a long-ago retail job told me, "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean." If your current government job gives you enough time to run for office, perhaps you don't have enough to do - or better yet, maybe we should eliminate those jobs.

59

@57: Portland is no sister to Seattle.

https://www.seattle.gov/oir/sister-cities/seattles-sister-cities

60

will the Gates Foundation HQ be available to buy once Bill G loses his golden-boy status in the Epstein fiasco? Seems like a great way for him to save face and actually help the local scene to turn that monstrosity to his ego over to the public for housing, healthcare, and a local school for the homeless? great location close to transport, the clinics and a park.

such a great waste of prime real estate. no housing, no density, and the carbon footprint of creating that building was tremendous.

61

can seattle annex skyway? seems like a great, low-cost place to build a shit-ton of lowincome housing. it makes no sense to build public housing in prime real estate areas. the $ per unit would be so much less there.

Skyway - what's the deal? great views and actually a great location too!

62

@57: A corollary of Okham's Razor states that when seeking explanations, malice should not be invoked when incompetence will suffice. In this case, I very much doubt that CM Herbold woke (ha!) up one morning last year and said to herself, "What's an easy way to screw my constituency, and the rest of the city, all at once? Oh, I know, I'll promise un-named activists the opposite of what I recently told my neighbors to get re-elected, then I'll fubar the execution by ignoring basic contract law." No, it all just happened, because she simply doesn't care about her constituency, the rule of law, governing in general, and especially not about the lower-income folks who had urged the South-West Precinct built in their neighborhood.

"...the city council refuse to defund their own henchmen, or support any accountability for the shock troops they use to carry out their diktats against the population they often view with contempt."

Again, complete failure at their supposed core competency makes for an easier and more accurate explanation. The protesters who SPD attacked in Pike-Pine last year were ostensibly the very same activists whom CM Herbold so incompetently failed to please. The SPD attacked protesters in Pike-Pine because that is the only action the SPD has taken with regard to protesters in Pike-Pine for more than twenty years. Actions taken or not taken by this or that Council or Mayor have had no discernible effect upon the SPD's policy of total war upon anyone who dares carry a protest sign in downtown, Belltown, or Pike-Pine.

"...the one tool they have available, which is defunding."

Defunding in and of itself solves nothing, but the advocates always believe it does, hence my calling them the Defunderpants Gnomes. We should just scrap 'reform' and go straight to re-imagining how government ensures public safety. Unfortunately for Seattle, a re-imagined public safety department would likely have a lot of different response teams in the mode of the Navigation Team, and our City Council has now denied us even that basis. Under the plan now being implemented in Ithaca, NY, there is still a (very small) gun-and-badge crowd for when violent responses might be needed, and for investigations, but for the most part, public safety responders will not be armed.

Given that there is little hope of any useful action from our Council, we'll have plenty of time to look at other cities' re-imagining of public safety.

64

@62: I understand why Occam's razor is a favorite for people who imagine their own interpretation is the most credible, but it is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion, which I do not see in your comments on this topic. (See Popper Induction and Falsification for more details).

You choose to focus just on CM Herbold because that's your jam, but my comments were directed a several members of the council who oppose police reform and have been doing so since long before the protests this Summer (see HJGale's comments for a fuller history of this). The ultimate goal is genuine civilian oversight that has never really existed with the SPD and defunding is a tool achieve that.

I've never heard a single advocate for defunding, including those with no political power or influence who want complete defunding claim that simply defunding the police by itself will solve our problems. there argument is pretty consistently that it is the wrong tool for how it is currently used and defunding is a corrective for that. The "defunding as an end in itself" is straw man those who oppose defunding often trot out avoid a more serious conversation around that topic. Even those who argue in good faith against police defunding often misunderstand the reasoning behind the call for defunding. There are many good arguments for reducing funding to the police. Here are a few of them.

We have simply over invested in policing to the tune of a 68% increase to the SPD budget in the just the last 10 years at a time when crime itself hardly budged until 2020 when the police essentially when on strike to punish the public for demanding accountability. You can actually measure this by looking at their clearance rates, which where already embarrassingly low that have somehow gotten worse. The trend in consistently towards less arrests for violent crime over the past 30 years.

Another argument is that the SPD in collusion with the city council has flatly blocked police reform in the past and the threat to defund is something the SPD takes seriously even if it's nothing more than a convenient talking point for most of the council.

The argument for more police funding due to a failure of local government with social projects is a classic example of "so you can't make it rain? Then how dare you tell me I need to stop throwing virgins into this volcano!" thinking. There is little connection between police and public safety in Seattle and the failure of local government to deal with things like homelessness should not an excuse to maintain current SPD funding levels any more than using a screwdriver to drive in a nail because you can't find the hammer.

Last Summer the SPD refused to separate those who were breaking the law and should have been arrested from those who were peacefully protesting. They did this because a central part of the protest message was more police accountability and the SPD rank and file will have none of that. Their attack on peaceful protesters was a convenient excuse to target their political enemies, then point to a broken window after the fact to justify it. There are enough authoritarian Raindrops in this world that will but that argument and they know it.

Baltimore, Portland, Ithaca which you mentioned along with Camden are all worth looking at, but all threse places have 2 things in common.

They have stopped broken window/lifestyle crime enforcement
They have all created and implemented meaningful civilian oversight of their police force. Short of a threat to defund, SPD has remained entirely unresponsive to reform in the past. Defunding is the last tool of last resort because everything else has been tried and failed.

65

The best choice for mayor to increase diversity would be a straight man of color.

68

@64: The one who imagines his own interpretation as most credible is you, who needs to provide evidence for your claim that our Council is avoiding police reform because they enjoy having a goon squad to beat up activists. If anything, our Council prefers activists over everyone else, to the detriment of actually legislating workable policies for our entire city.

I focus on CM Herbold because she's head of our Council's Public Safety Committee, and in that role, attempted to defund the SPD last year. The farcical outcome revealed the hollowness of the Defunderpants Gnomes' scheme, and the abject impotence of said scheme in the reality of the city's contractual commitments to SPOG. Despite this, you continue to hope that defunding can be used as a blunt object to threaten SPOG; but a threat which has already been tried, and failed completely on its own terms, is less effective than no threat at all. A different approach is needed.

First, reduce the scope of SPD's mission. Continue to decriminalize recreational drug use, legalize sex work, and fund more entities like the Navigation Team to intervene non-forcibly, resolving situations which could fester into needed police response. Second, use the illegal wildcat strike by SPOG members against the East Precinct to de-certify SPOG. Third, have the city employees formerly represented by SPOG bid on new positions within the Public Safety department, with the understanding that gun-and-badge responses will be the city's last resort to calls for assistance. Fourth, establish a real Public Safety Oversight Board, with a clear mission and metrics defined from the outset. As all of the above contradicts some or all of what the Council Members have actually been doing, I doubt we'll see any movement on any of it until we start replacing our current CMs with competent ones.

69

Polly voted for Nguyen and Kim-Khanh Van to get some new faces on the King County Council to replace these old, gassy fart-bags Constantine and Dunn.

The guy The Stranger recommends sounds good too. We cannot wait to get Gonzales in there so we have some policy-making congruity between the City Council and the Mayor’s Office.

Hopefully Durkan will retire and do something with her reddish hair, which has Trumpian highlights.

70

@68 The point is that you are misusing Occam's razor to bolster your self serving narrative. I suggested a logical test you can apply to avoid that mistake in the future. Another option, you could simply admit its proper application is beyond your ability and simply avoid it all together. What you sell us instead is a shit sandwich of going meta on the topic to dodge the main idea in the same way you used pedantry over the legality of Nazi behavior under the Wiemar republic was to dodge North American Jay Birds primary point about the distinction between the legal and ethical. Your bad faith arguments are routine. Why simply address the main point when you can spend 4 paragraphs bury the point in utter bullshit instead?

Who do you think carries out city council policy, Santa Claus? Your failure to see the obvious connection between those who pass laws on the city council and their dependence on those who enforce those laws is laughably obtuse. You don't need Occam's razor to see the connection. "Acting as the goon squad" for a city council as you put is the the primary purpose of a city police department. City police themselves will tell you that is their primary mission. Who do you find that shocking? The city council may be embarrassed by the tactics of the police when it becomes too obscene for the public to stomach, but the city council is well aware it's the police that enforces their policy.

Herbold was never serious about defunding the police and you getting your panties in a knit over her rhetoric last Summer only showed your naivete. For the future, pay less attention to speeches and more attention to actions and interests. The world will start making a lot more sense to you.

I gave you few of several reasons why re-allocating resources from policing to other areas made sense because you ignorantly asserted that those who support defunding have not plan. Now you are quietly acknowledging perhaps there is a plan, but you don't like it. I suppose that's progress in a way.

Defunding the police as a potential lever for reform in Seattle was never tried, so it seems silly for you to claim it "made things worse." Almost all those currently sitting on the council do not support anything beyond lip service about reform as their actual voting records show. With that as a starting point, a threat to defund will never be effective because they refuse to use it. Can you show me a single example of the city council threatening to remove funding if the SPD did not implement some change they wanted? Of course you can't, because the council never tied the two together because they have no interest in police reform. You can't very well declare a tool a failure when it was never used to begin with.

The good news is that those who were fighting for police reform long before last Summer knew this was never going to be an easy or overnight process. It appears you are the only person in Seattle who is shocked there was push back from the SPD who used Judge Robart and the consent decree to block reform. It's a predictable tactic used by police across the county who are now using institutions to block reform and a primary reason Nicole Thomas-Kennedy has wisely suggested we end the consent decree. Those within the criminal institution such as judges, prosecutors, police unions and city councils will continue to give pretty speeches whild blocking police reform as they have in the past.

That's a pretty list of reforms you provided, but how exactly do you intend to make it happen? Are you going to go to Mike Solan and ask pretty please? Will you send a gift basket with fruit to judge Robart and ask him to be more cooperative when much of what is currently wrong with policing in America was created by judges to begin with?

Your list is worthless if you have no too to implement it. You don't like the current methods people are exploring to bring about reform such as defunding? Fine, give me a more effective tool than a wish list on The Stranger, because frankly that along with relying on the good graces of the current city counsel is not getting the job done.

71

I don't know about the rest of you, but Stan Lippmann's got my vote. I'm 100% behind any candidate who mentions the Westin Hotel, and the Sky Stations just sealed the deal.

74

tensor:

I accurately conveyed the meaning of Dr. King's quote - as much as you try to change the subject - and yes, I have read his entire "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" plus many other writings of his.

So, you're welcome for the reference and recommendation, but the only one ripping things out of context is your usual (I guess) beotchy self. The fact that you don't read Dr. King (or you wouldn't have needed the reference, to begin with - nor would you be the person you are today) isn't a cause to project that failure on to others who don't share your obvious intellectual and spiritual shortcomings.

I'm beginning to think you don't even walk in the parks. I walked in the park the other day and passed some campers. They were neat, clean, and quiet. One even had a wheelchair parked outside their tent. They weren't "taking up space" others could use anymore than anyone else sitting on a lawn who "does" have a home does.

We're not talking about murder either, so spare me your Willie Horton ad, and don't try to change the subject with (what I'm learning are) your usual disingenuous and fallacious debate tactics. Most murderers, tensor, have homes.

I bet you're voting for Davison for city attorney, aren't you. Bleh! She and her right-wing fanatical supporters are even leading me to consider voting for The Stranger's endorsement.

75

Election Update Gossip: Whoever knew Ann Davison's campaign staff hangs out on the semi-darkish web creating little fascist universes where the First Amendment doesn't exist? Holy camoly - and while running for City Attorney? Consider the constitutional implications. I think she may be far, far worse than people suspect.

(What goes around on the web .. gets around .. Annie)

76

@75 I figure she's already going to lose really badly. But had no idea she had such a group of right-wing thugs, or posed that much of danger. UGH

77

@74 Even worse than "Bleh!"

78

"Last Summer the SPD refused to separate those who were breaking the law and should have been arrested from those who were peacefully protesting.

They did this because a central part of the protest message was more police accountability and the SPD rank and file will have none of that.

Their attack on peaceful protesters was a convenient excuse to target their political enemies, then point to a broken window after the fact to justify it.

There are enough authoritarian Raindrops in this world that will but that argument and they know it.

Baltimore, Portland, Ithaca . . . all threse places have 2 things in common.

They have stopped broken window/lifestyle crime enforcement

They have all created and implemented meaningful civilian oversight of their police force.

--@Casino

Great comment & a giant Bingo:

without Civilian oversight it's
Always business as per usual

79

The Times had a good write-up on Prop 1. Sounds pretty uneffective and wasteful. Reminds me of that old addage; those who can't do, open a non-profit in King County.

80

@78: As the saying goes, "living rent free..."

81

I'm confused. Are city council positions 8 & 9 city wide positions?

82

@81 I don't know if you're being tongue-in-cheek, but yes, and Oliver and Mosqueda are doing very well per The Cascadia Advocate. A refreshing article from The NW Progressive Institute (and which also mentions both at-large positions):

https://www.nwprogressive.org/weblog/2021/07/nikkita-oliver-has-a-big-early-lead-over-sara-nelson-for-seattle-city-council-position-9.html

Cheer up and have a lovely Sunday, progressives!

83

@81: It would be progressive to extend the cheer to conservatives.

84

@80 -- it ain't about You dipshit
it's about you and your Fascist buddys.

85

@84: As the saying goes, "living rent free..."

86

Thank you, Jay Bird. I wasn't being tongue-in-cheek. I think they should say on the ballot that those are at-large positions. Not everyone marinades in local politics (I personally attempt to stay as far away from the council as possible)

87

@74: No, by mangling Dr. King's quote, you inverted the meaning, exactly as I explained. But that's not relevant, because the point you tried to make was not relevant. Yes, what is legal and what is ethical are not always the same. But allowing campers in our parks is both illegal and unethical, so your point has no value. (And your point is also trivially obvious, so there was no need for you to mangle Dr. King's words in the first place.)

"We're not talking about murder either,"

Actually, if you're talking about campers in Seattle's parks, then you are talking about murder. And rape. And other assaults. And stolen property. And drugs. That you're not honest enough to admit this, that you respond to murder with a feeble hand-waving attempt at denial, tells everyone here all we need to know about your cheap moralistic pretentiousness.

I neither know nor care about whatever little Potemkin Tent Village you have in mind. Here's what really happens:

"A local lawmaker wants to condemn a city-owned park in Seattle with a large homeless encampment next to a courthouse and declare the area a public safety hazard or nuisance property. [...] The proposal came after the fatal stabbing on June 17 of a 31-year-old man in the park. Seattle police Sgt. Randy Huserik, a spokesperson for the department, said police responded to 100 calls of service at City Hall Park between April 13 and June 20 — including assaults, robberies, warrant arrests and public disturbances." (https://www.columbian.com/news/2021/jun/23/king-county-official-seeks-to-condemn-seattle-park-inhabited-by-homeless/)

Such is the behavior you are actually defending. Good luck with that.

88

whist wealth Inequality Flourishes
whilst Billionaires profiteer off Pandemics
they like to keep the Masses* at each other's throats

'cause That's how they Rule.

outlaw the Homeless
or outlaw Billionaires?

*temporarily-embarrassed Billionaires?
nah. prolly Not.

89

@39 - Seattle has ZERO to say about how most crimes are punished. What is/is not a felony (including sex crimes) and how they wil be punished are set by the state Legislature. County judges generally are the ones who impose sentences but the ranges they can consider are also set by state law. Fortunately, the Seattle politicians who wish to give a pass to all manner of crime have no jurisdiction over anything really serious. I cant imagine how anyone is going to run a retail store if the powers that be decide to stop prosecuting shoplifters, though. My guess is that they will start hiring larger security personnel who will beat the snot out of suspected thieves. Not sure that this is an improvement.

@74 - you are right that the campers in many of the parks (not all; see the ones in Ballard) are generally not doing too much damage although I have seen firetrucks responding to camps in Woodland Park a couple of times & suspect this may be relate to the illegal campfires. However, they are absolutely trashing a lot of other public spaces. The RV favela on Northlake features piles of trash, multiple-can stashs of gasoine being improperly stored to fuel generators that run all day & spew pollution, derelict RVs that in at least one case has burned to the ground, abandoned vehicles, two instances of open air chop shops that I have personally witnessed (most recently chopping up a late-model Subaru wagon) as well as the usual bicycles of questionable provenance (some expensive and clearly not what you would purchase if you were truly broke). Not to mention that they are preventing the public parking there from being used by the public as it was intended.

After that, take a look at the guys camping on Western Ave downtown. HUGE piles of crap all over. And the camps by the freeways are generally an order of magnitude or two worse than this.

If campers want to be left alone they need to do a WAY better job of policing their effect on their surroundings. I don't think that is asking too much. As it is I see why many neighborhoods are fed up.

90

@54, @88: Wealth and inequality are not driving homelessness in Seattle today. From the start of 2010 through to when COVID hit in 2020, Seattle's unemployment rate declined from less than 10% to less than 3%. In 2015, then-Mayor Murray declared a homelessness crisis, and the problem has not improved since. Meanwhile, the City's own Homeless Needs Assessment Survey, published in 2017, showed a majority of Seattle's homeless had arrived here already homeless. A majority also reported drug use.

It's not the economy, stupid; it's the drugs, and until our policy acknowledges drug addiction, we'll continue to argue loudly with no progress. And yet, our Council, candidates, and The Stranger still talk about housing affordability, as if someone whose first and last dollar always goes to buy meth' or heroin could somehow afford a home. We should just have a civic debate on what it costs to treat drug addiction, and ask the voters if we'll pay. No one has the courage to do that.

91

sounds like
Dumpsters
are needed

too hard?

92

right right if the Homeless'd
only stop with the Drugs
it'd be peachy Keen
in No time. why
not just ramp
up the Drug
War?

housing Affordability
being a non sequitur

93

@92: If you study the situation, a large percentage of homeless have chronic meth, heroin, or alcohol addition. If you consider addictions their disease, if they did get off their lethal cycle then things would be on their way to peachy keen and they'd start to heal.

94

oooh -- you're
Onto something
dewey. Healing our
Nation -- fixing Economic
IN-equality -- prollly End Home-
lessness -- OVER fawking NIGHT.

well done.

95

@86 Agree that "At-Large" or even better, "City-Wide" on the ballot would be clearer, though the candidates will not be on your ballot if you can't vote for them.

See sample at link; the voter lives in district 1, so district 1 candidates are on their ballot (and no one from district 2-7) - along with positions 8 and 9, the 2 city-wide slots out of 9 total.

https://www.nwprogressive.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AUG15-TopTwo-SampleBallotKing-Front.png

I'm not marinated in city politics, though, myself. (Though my board exchanges with tensor have quickly enlightened me as to what that must be like; I think I too will protect my quality-of-life.)

96

@87 Actually it is yourself, tensor, mangling the entire debate - let alone MLK's quote - as I see is your common practice here. MLK would turn in his grave at the way in which you are misusing his words in service of persecuting the poor and vulnerable, and when you haven't even read anything he's written. Again, I applied the quote most appropriately. You advanced an argument that legal "is" ethical, and I proved you wrong, and you can't handle being shown up on any of your bullshit. To use another quote quite appropriately, you're "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (And this time, you can look up your own reference - and read it in full before you write about it.)

You know, you also remind me of that old movie, "Reefer Madness," only your favorite subject are the horrors inflicted on society by the homeless, not the other way around, and by people like yourself. Let us know when the police even bother to solve these murders. Last time I read the Constitution (I doubt you've ever read that, either), you're innocent before proven guilty.

97

@89 I agree there's obviously variation among these camps, but some of these problems could be redressed with rather simple, humane and cost-effective interventions (vs huge sweeps which don't happen until the situation has morphed into something far more dramatic - and at that point, you may need them). I have posted about this before, and a number of times, but tensor lives in a world of good guys/bad guys, not nuanced discourse, and their panties go into a hysterical twist whenever the cognitive dissonance gets too great for them to bear.

I do not think it's "good" that people are forced to live in parks. But I believe they have a right to be there, like anyone else, and I don't believe they should be swept out of sight - and against their will - as a solution to a problem that's part Seattle, but also national. I also think we need to separate out what is homelessness, what is public health, and what is crime. And .. we should not be putting people in a situation where we are exacerbating the issues to the point at which we "have an excuse" to come in a with sweeps.

In the downtown area, for example, around this courthouse, people have long asked (and repeatedly) for more police presence/foot patrolling in that area - pertaining to crime, not homelessness or the encampment that now exists. Especially for employees who have to go in and out. Yet these requests have been refused by the police and sheriff's dept, is my understanding. I don't know what happened to cops in ordinary uniforms just being stationed in certain areas on a 9-6 basis (or whatever). Other cities do this - why doesn't Seattle, and when they're getting so much money? (Why I think some of this is not about defunding, but reallocation - and as Casino Royale points out with some very troubling stats - the problem may not even be money at all.)

In another park with e coli issues, or people having their parked cars pissed on - they should simply open the public bathrooms at night and add some hours to maintenance - this would be a constructive use of city monies - but no, they'd rather pad someone else's more useless pockets (vs plain old housekeeping, which is never a waste of money).

Someone leaves a needle in a park? Well, first of all, it could be anyone leaving a needle - so you have to find out who left the needle before you deal with possible interventions and whether it's even related to the camp in question. And that, too, could be a relatively simple matter to redress - if people even bother to find out what's really going on. If you have the right person, you could get that accomplished pretty quickly as well.

I do not disagree that some camps have to be closed, at certain junctures - for example, fires or shootings like the one near Ravenna. But let's not allow these camps get to that point, to begin with (in that case, a few night cops on bikes could have prevented things); let's address criminal issues on their own basis, and let's offer people options that are better than these mass shelters.
They're now closing down this Bitter Lake area camp near an elementary school; apparently they have one person out there handling the whole thing - he used to be homeless himself - and he's already gotten about 40-50% of the camp into housing. Just on his own. Yet he still doesn't have the help he needs.

So I don't believe we can't solve these problems. It's the difference between strategic intervention and by people with both common sense and humanity who know what they're doing - and just throwing money at problems vs not funding it correctly, to begin with.

98

@83 I would, but "cheerlessness" may be a permanently entrenched characteristic of the "conservative" personality. I observe many "conservatives" seem to need their cheerlessness, and what they consider "cheer" is often just malicious pleasure at the misfortune or expense of others, who don't exist before them as 3 dimensional and real people, just mental fabrications in a limited 1 dimensional worldview of good guys/bad guys labeling. The dissonance would be too much.

99

@97: So when a homeless person is cooking meth in an homeless encampment, is that a matter of public health or a crime? Don't say a combo, because you want them separated.

100

@100 What about when one of your upscale friends are doing it? Or hosting such activities on their properties? I've actually had to seek police help about this issue in a real building - and they couldn't care less. Including whether the building blew up. So don't you morally posture yourself above me as if this is something you really care more about.

101

@100 - correction - @99, that is.

102

@100: I'm not posturing anything. You're the one wanting to separate mental health from crime and I gave you a ubiquitous scenario to use as an example of your postulation. I thought that you would have been glad to answer it.

103

@102 I did answer it; the fact (apparently) that you're not intelligent enough understand these distinctions (or just too lazy) is not my responsibility, "conservative."

104

@102 @103 Let me put it to you this way, "conservative." You say a person is "cooking meth in a homeless encampment." Do you treat it as a health issue or a criminal issue. It depends on any number of factors. But -- the issue is theirs alone; other campers, for example, are not cooking meth in the scenario you employ. One person is - we'll even make your example in plain view of pedestrians walking by. Let's say this is even happening in a public park where your children play.

So, what is your role now? Well, in that case, I'd treat it as a criminal issue as far as the meth cooker was concerned, and a health and safety issue for my children. So I'd take the children immediately out of the area, but I'd try take a picture of the person, if it seemed safe to discretely do so, call the police, and ask them to get this person with their harmful meth out of the park where my children play.

Whether the system then processes him in a way that gets him into treatment is a whole other thing. Assuming he hasn't done anything to anyone else (or yet), that would be best.

But no one else camping has anything to do with this unless you have some other kind of evidence. In fact, some or many of the campers might be glad to see him go, too.

105

@104 I'm not big on involuntary incarceration unless absolutely necessary. In the case of meth, I'd say you are indeed looking at involuntary rehab simply because it's just not safe to house people using this material. They can blow the entire place up - people can be killed in an explosion or fire. So you have to keep them involuntarily confined in a drug rehab living center until they can rehabilitated. Then, transition to regular and stable housing and a life on the outside.