News Oct 19, 2022 at 5:05 pm

Not Only Did the County Back Down from Its Strong Anti-NIMBY Stance, It Didn’t Even Please the Protesters

When the County canceled the shelter expansion, it looked like the protesters won, but CID organizers wouldn't call this a victory. RANDY WO-ENG



Hasn't it occurred to anyone that nobody wants a homeless encampment with all the crime, chop shop, garbage, drugs and unsanitary conditions next to their homes, children and businesses.

Why have the homeless camps in the city at all. King county has lots of available land far, far outside the city. If you want a homeless encampment, then by all means do it...but why or why does it have to be in the city where they can perpetrate crimes, do drugs and raise merry hell in the neighborhood.

You might even want to have an outreach program adjoining the camp which treats drug abuse, provide meals and support. Housing is important, but so is the end game treatment and rehabilitation. This always seems absent from the equation.


The neighborhood residents who opposed this facility have some undeniably valid concerns. But the hypocrisy of crying "systemic racism" while partnering with the local chapter of the world's largest and most powerful white supremacist group is just too much to swallow. Ditch the Republicans (and their associated freelance shit-stirrers) first, then demand more seats at the table. You'll have my in-person support.


@2: The Stranger asserts Republican involvement in these protests, but this seems either completely imaginary, or perhaps based on some Republicans making statements in support of the CID protesters. It’s just a guilt-by-(claimed)-association smear to discredit the protesters, because the Stranger can’t argue with the protesters’ message.


@4 "In addition to community members, paid outside advocates have involved themselves in the debate, including the King County Republican Party (which paid for and handed out “Down With Dow” signs to tweak the county executive, who has a history of being rattled by vocal criticism) and the Discovery Institute, a creationist think tank that launched the career of far-right activist Chris Rufo."



@5: Thank you for supporting my point. Note the protesters neither requested nor accepted assistance from Republicans, but that “paid outside advocates have involved themselves in the debate,” for their own purposes. How, exactly, are the protesters to “ditch” these uninvited “paid outside advocates”?


You can just skip right to the last paragraph to get the tl;Dr version of the story.
Even if you built-out the expansion, there would still be camps all around outside the facilities full of people who choose to camp out around the services where they can absorb some of them, like free food and hygiene supplies, while not participating in rehabilitative services.

bUt My FuR bAbIeS, bUt My SmAcK


Unless you are rich anyone can become homeless. Workers have been driven out of the city because of high housing costs here.

Stop the hate of the homeless. Many homeless people are there because of economic reasons and since half of the population in this country is poor there are results.

Many rehabilitative services have been shut down in the last 20 years or so and have long waiting lists. These are human beings not objects to push around but as we see on this thread the same right wing soulless assholes same the same abusive bs.

People have rights not just well off mostly white privileged men maybe white supremacists in some form. Listen to homeless people they have answers.

Social Housing has/ is a resounding success in places it is practiced. Check out Vienna, Austria for example. It will be on the ballot vote for it.
Thank you CKathes for the information. Many want a Seattle that is not just for the rich and corrupt and is not also a police state.

Finally, street crime has come down in the last years yet the real criminals the vampires of wall street continue.


@6 Fair enough question. Community leaders should call a press conference and issue a public denunciation. Just like the Recall Sawant campaign should have done re: the Trump supporters among their ranks but foolishly didn't, allowing Sawant's "racist right-wing recall" slogan to stick.


@9: OK, because “paid outside advocates have involved themselves in the debate,” the protesters have to take time and effort to distance themselves from these mercenary Republican operatives? If there’s no evidence the protesters have colluded with these mercenaries, why should the protesters shoulder this burden?

‘…the Recall Sawant campaign should have done re: the Trump supporters among their ranks but foolishly didn't, allowing Sawant's "racist right-wing recall" slogan to stick.’

The Recall Sawant campaign was started and run by longtime gay Democratic activists on Capitol Hill. It would have been difficult to dream up anyone who could possibly have been less Trumpy. Of course the very few Trump voters in D3 would vote to dump a Marxist, but they have both the right to reside in D3 and to vote there. Again, this is all obvious, and utterly irrelevant to the charges of malfeasance against CM Sawant, so why should the campaign have had to say it?

And please don’t kid yourself; the Stranger was going to parrot Sawant’s hateful lies about her fellow citizens of D3, no matter what the Recall Sawant campaign said. Just as the Stranger has lied to you about Republican involvement in the CID protests, and for the same reason.


@8: Ah yes, Seattle homeowner Ivy once again condescends to readers here on the topic of poverty.

“Workers have been driven out of the city because of high housing costs here.”

So being priced out does not equate to becoming homeless. You’re absolutely correct about that.

“Many homeless people are there because of economic reasons…”

As you yourself just noted, people who get priced out simply leave. As anyone who has ever walked past a homeless encampment in Seattle knows, drug addiction and other mental disorders, not economic reasons, drive most of the homelessness in Seattle.

“…since half of the population in this country is poor there are results.”

“SEPT. 13, 2022 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income in 2021 was not statistically different than 2020. The official poverty rate of 11.6% was also not statistically different between 2020 and 2021.” (

Now, it may well be that half the country could not afford to buy a house in Seattle, and therefore would count as poor when compared to Seattle homeowners (hello, Ivy!), but as noted above, economics do not drive most homelessness in Seattle.

“Many rehabilitative services have been shut down in the last 20 years or so and have long waiting lists.”

When Seattle sweeps an encampment, the overwhelming majority of campers refuse services. It can take weeks of outreach at an encampment to lower that number to a mere majority.

“Social Housing has/ is a resounding success in places it is practiced. Check out Vienna, Austria for example. It will be on the ballot vote for it.”

Real Change created I-135. That’s the same Real Change which watched the number of homeless persons on Seattle’s streets rise dramatically during the time it has existed. The same Real Change which could not qualify I-135 for the ballot on the first try. I-135 would create and fund a new housing bureaucracy. It would not raise one thin dime towards building an actual house. Whatever social housing has accomplished elsewhere, Real Change and I-135 will simply deliver more failure in Seattle.

“Finally, street crime has come down in the last years,”

Street crime rose dramatically since encampments sprouted all over Seattle. (It turns out homeless addicts have no legitimate incomes. Who knew?!?) Shop owners and residents just stopped reporting the thefts and drug use, because Seattle stopped prosecuting most misdemeanors. It was Seattle’s failure to uphold the social contract which got a Republican elected for the first time in several decades. Blame your usual bogeymen all you like; it was CM Sawant and other politicians you support who got you here, Ivy. Own it.


@10 Sorry my description of the recall campaign's Trump-aligned support was too vague. I was mainly referring to the specific, known Trump contributors listed on the recall campaign's literature, whom Sawant called out by name in characterizing the recall as a right-wing effort. The recall campaign's failure to repudiate that support was just plain stupid, and most likely cost them the election.

Think back for a moment and imagine what the public and media reaction would have been if Henry Bridger had gotten up on a stage, with Marcia Banks and the recall's other BIPOC allies surrounding him, and said something like this: "I am here to announce that we are returning the donations to our recall effort of all known Trump supporters. If you endorse his racism, xenophobia, and vicious hostility toward LGBTQ rights, transgender rights in particular, you are not welcome in this campaign. We don't need your money, we don't need your vote, and we especially don't want you representing us to voters. This is NOT a 'racist, right-wing campaign' as Sawant claims, and I hope that by taking this concrete action we have made that clear." Think of the accolades that would have drawn! The Seattle Times, TV stations and other mainstream outlets would have given it front-page banner treatment. It might have even led a handful of progressive public officials to endorse the recall effort. And since you are correct about the district's political makeup, it would have cost the recall very few votes -- far fewer than they would have gained from people who had serious issues with Sawant but just couldn't support a recall campaign so severely tainted with racist right-wing money.

So then. Why should the CID protesters "shoulder the burden" of distancing themselves from Republican operatives whose support they (at least according to you) didn't solicit? For much the same reasons the Recall Sawant people should have: (1) a public repudiation would generate widespread media coverage, most of it positive; (2) it would cultivate more support for their cause among the progressive and center-left majority, with less ambivalence; and (3) because repudiating the support of any group whose values are so thoroughly antithetical to one's own is always the right thing to do, regardless of the political calculus. Thanks for responding.


@12: “… Republican operatives whose support they (at least according to you) didn't solicit?“

Have you any information, of any kind whatsoever, which might even suggest the CID protesters solicited Republican help? Because the very source you cited to show they had instead showed they had not. It showed Republicans exploiting the CID protesters for Republican purposes. Why was it the protesters’ job to address this third-party exploitation? Why not just have readers like us correct the Stranger’s lies on this?

On the other topic, CM Sawant made it very clear she would not engage the voters of District 3 on the substance of the issues they had raised by their recall election. Hence her false and hateful personal attacks upon the longtime gay Democrats she labeled as racist and right wing. Talking about the tiny number of Trump supporters in Dustrict 3 was just another of her intentional distractions. The recall campaign did not take her up on it. Your speculation that they could have done better by playing her game is not supported by fact:

“…most likely cost them the election.”

She survived the recall election because, and only because, her campaign exploited Washington state’s liberal voter-registration laws - laws which I fully support. She exploited her ability to register new voters on the street and immediately harvest their ballots. Absent that effort, she would have lost.

And, what does it matter if the Recall Campaign had a tiny number of Trump contributors or not? She baldly lied about how the entire campaign was racist and right-wing anyway; absent any Trump contributors, she would simply have lied about that too. Then the Recall campaign should, according to your logic, have wasted more time playing her game, trying to prove a negative. Why was her absolute refusal to engage her fellow voters not the main campaign issue all along?


@12 I generally try to give others the last word, so I'll just respond to your last question and leave it at that. The Recall campaign put out a mailer at one point containing the names of several hundred contributors, including a handful who were known (through public records and/or their own public statements) to have also contributed to the Trump campaign.

It's not necessary to make a value judgment about the recall folks to point out that they missed a golden opportunity for a massive amount of positive publicity, at a very low cost, by failing to renounce the Trump supporters at a highly visible, public event. Sure, the Stranger would likely have been unimpressed, but the Seattle Times and other mainstream outlets would have eaten it up. Waste of time? Hardly. In an election as close as that one was, the number of votes this move would've swayed would almost surely have been enough to win, even against Sawant's far superior ground game.

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