VIDEO: Encampment proposals @ City Council committee

(UPDATED 6:40 PM – Video in box below is now the archived recording of today’s meeting)

9:31 AM: Click the “play” button and you’ll see the Seattle Channel‘s live feed from City Council chambers, where the encampment proposals that have drawn so much attention and discussion this past week are about to be discussed by the Human Services and Public Health Committee.

9:38 AM: Committee chair Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is setting the stage for the discussion, recapping some of what the mayor announced last night (WSB coverage here) and the alternatives she and Councilmember Mike O’Brien proposed earlier in the week (WSB coverage here). You can find all the related documents, including the alternative proposals, in this portion of the agenda for today’s meeting.

“This has been an extraordinarily stressful time for all of us,” Bagshaw then declared. She says the proposal brought in about 5,000 e-mails to council offices. Most were focused on opposition to camping in parks and on sidewalks, and Bagshaw reiterated that the mayor declared last night that he wanted those areas to remain officially off-limits. She also has reiterated that the committee is NOT voting today, but will be discussing the “principles” of what they’re trying to do.

First guest speaker at the meeting is the newly hired city Director of Homelessness George Scarola. (Also note, councilmembers present at the hearing include those who are not members of the committee, including our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold.) Scarola recapped what the mayor said last night (again, covered here, with full details promised next week). He’s followed by the mayor’s counsel, Ian Warner, who has reiterated, once more, that the mayor will not support camping in parks, on sidewalks, or on school properties (which aren’t city-owned anyway).

9:53 AM: Now speaking, the mayor’s public-safety director Scott Lindsay. He says that the mayor’s promise of expanding outreach personnel means the city will have the capacity to reach out to every unsheltered person “to bring them indoors,” while the city works “to have a place for them to go.” He says the mayor’s budget proposal includes $2 million for additional trash (and needles) cleanup related to unsheltered living.

Talk turns to those cleanup plans. Herbold asks about the scope and concern about the expansion of what had been a pilot program at four sites. Bagshaw points out that for many of the people from whom the council have heard, the trash is the problem much more than the tents.

10:20 AM: Pressed by Councilmember O’Brien, a mayoral rep says there is “no capability or plan to sweep people off all park property” though the mayor does not support a plan that would not “preserve that capability.”

10:36 AM: Scarola warns that communities might be “nervous” about some of the forthcoming solutions, including the four new authorized encampments, but “we have to work together.”

10:40 AM: Committee vice chair Councilmember Bruce Harrell suggests they get on to details of the various proposals. Councilmember Tim Burgess speaks first, saying of unsheltered people, “They are our neighbors and we want to help them.” He draws applause by reiterating, “I just want to say we should not proactively authorize camping in our parks and on our sidewalks … that violates public trust.” He says he supports what the mayor announced last night, including four new authorized encampments similar to the ones currently open in Ballard, Interbay, and Othello. Burgess also says, “There’s a lot of … trash (in locations) where campers are no longer there” and urges that mayor use “emergency powers” to get that cleaned up. Then he says it’s “not helpful” to use this controversy to “denigrate those who are homeless” in Seattle. A few minutes later, Councilmember Kshama Sawant notes that “homelessness is an absolutely brutalizing experience … nobody chooses that.”

11:09 AM: Bagshaw says 90 people are signed up to speak in the public-comment period they’re trying to get to, and at 2 minutes each, “you do the math.” Harrell asks about O’Brien’s revised proposal for the city to pay a $50 fine if it doesn’t follow through on whatever rules it implements. The latter says he’ll work with Harrell on that offline – and audience members howl. Bagshaw says, “I oppose the idea of having penalties on this kind of legislation.”

11:17 AM: Public comment begins. Bagshaw says she’ll stay until everyone has spoken, even if other councilmembers have to leave.

11:49 AM: So far, a variety of viewpoints have been voiced.

12:10 PM: There’s been opposition, support, alternatives. One person suggested spending tens of millions more on housing. (For context on the investment required, the DESC Cottage Grove Commons building in Delridge, which houses 66 formerly homeless people, cost $14 million to build earlier this decade.)

12:31 PM: There have been emotional speeches from people on multiple sides of the issue, including, just now, a woman who asked “what do you want us to do? Just die? … You want me to be you. I was you. Then, something happened” – mental illness, drugs, job loss, and a variety of things. She was shortly after a man in football gear flanked by kids holding up signs saying “Needle-Free End Zones,” saying they had to chase loiterers off their field (not in WS) every week, and that they had found three needles on the field so far this season.

12:40 PM: Public comment continues – now at #49 of what was announced as a list of 90 who signed up. We’re moving on to other stories but the live feed will continue as long as the meeting does, and when the full recorded video is available later in the day, we’ll then substitute that.

1:03 PM: One more note if you’re not watching … councilmembers still at the hearing right now are Herbold, González (citywide rep and a West Seattleite), Burgess (citywide rep), Harrell, Bagshaw.

1:34 PM: The meeting has just wrapped up. We’ll switch to the archived video when it’s available. Latest info is that a vote wouldn’t be likely before December, because the council has to immerse itself in the budget from hereon out, but we’ll keep watch.

53 Replies to "VIDEO: Encampment proposals @ City Council committee"

  • flimflam October 14, 2016 (9:55 am)

    aww, stressful times eh Bagshaw? that’s what can happen when you are so far out of touch with the citizens you are supposed to represent – all of us, not just the 2 – 3000 homeless in the city.



    • C October 14, 2016 (10:19 am)

      Yes. You are out of touch Bagshaw.  Don’t turn this into an economic issue.  We are allowing free reign and the more that is allowed, the more it will get out of hand.  Drugs are  drugs. 

  • Jeff October 14, 2016 (10:32 am)

    There it is, at 10:20.  No matter what the rules say, they can’t and won’t try to keep junkies out of the parks.

  • JoB October 14, 2016 (10:40 am)

    1st.. not all homeless people are junkies
    but.. lets just assume that it’s the junkies you are worried about…
    where exactly would you like them to go?

    • ChannelingLewisBlack October 14, 2016 (7:05 pm)

      There’s a whole lotta space between the Cascades and Spokane where they can self-abuse to their heart’s content without risking the health and well-being of everybody else.  Sorry.  Illegal drugs are Illegal.  We can do a better job funding rehab, but if they refuse it, they’re not entitle to still put us in danger.

  • aRF October 14, 2016 (10:50 am)

    Watching the proceedings, the City Counselors who drafted this legislation are angry and under the mistaken impression that the public was misled by the Mayor’s office and the media about the nature of their legislation. They are pulling a Trump.

  • lookingforlogic October 14, 2016 (11:17 am)

    It is not financially healthy for the city to allow camping in public parks.  We’re going to need money to solve this problem and causing an exodus of revenue because the situation has become dire will result in a catastrophic downward spiral.  It is heartbreaking to walk through business districts and step over misery, the businesses aren’t qualified to deal with the circumstances of the homeless, it is too heavy a  burden to hire them, we need central services away from our commerce districts to begin to address the problem.  Frankly the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has the technology but do they have the will?  This problem needs brilliant organization, money and leadership from the private sectors.  The street people are relying on guilt from shoppers, diners and theater goers for livelihood, but I avoid celebrating for fear of appearing crass and greedy, where as these celebrations result in revenue generation.  I am old and puny, but if someone of good spirit and power will stand up, I fall in with all my heart.

  • Evil Twin October 14, 2016 (11:24 am)

    JoB – right, not all homeless people are junkies. However, many are or have mental illness or are convicted criminals or the trifecta. Right, not all people choose to be homeless. But they were discussing prioritizing cleanup based on things like accumulation of feces. You can choose to walk 50 paces from your “home” to go #2. And to pack your trash away from where you live. Even if it’s a pile 50 paces away. IMO its irresponsible to ignore those types of issues. That’s why these people need real shelter and real help.

  • d October 14, 2016 (11:40 am)

    At this point it seems like it’d be a lot less expensive to just give every one of them a house or apartment then to let these rich people talk about how to do this for them this is absurd they’re really not going to ever solve this problem because they’re getting rich off of supposedly trying to figure it out

    • ChannelingLewisBlack October 14, 2016 (7:08 pm)

      When it costs 212k per PERSON (do the math on the Delridge example), there’s a problem “giving each person a house”.  That was startling to me; clearly the homeless industry is geared to making a profit – construction costs for a limited-trim 400 square foot living space should be 80k or less.

      • WSB October 14, 2016 (7:42 pm)

        Many have argued for the “tiny house” model – considerably less cost.

        • ChannelingLewisBlack October 15, 2016 (10:21 am)

          WSB – fully agree – they did that in Madison WI and it did help a lot of people.  Did a lot through volunteering of time and materials as well and they came together pretty fast.  Would be nice to see an effort where we weren’t reliant totally on the city government to do it for us….I’d pitch in

  • Jon October 14, 2016 (11:43 am)

    Something like 90% of the thousands of emails and calls to city council have been opposed to this thing. Yet, virtually every person that is commenting in person during this session seems to support the council on this. I also noticed that speaking slots were reserved by UW students and handed over to others (that support the legislation.) This doesn’t add up. 

  • flimflam October 14, 2016 (11:56 am)

     ” Bagshaw says she’ll stay until everyone has spoken, even if other councilmembers have to leave.”


    well that’s nice of her – she seems to be in full PR damage control mode. 

  • Zeitgeist/33 October 14, 2016 (12:55 pm)

    I would love to see the money slotted for the homeless go to schools. People have asked for a solution and it’s widely known that schools are a) underfunded and b) prepare individuals to earn a living, more likely avoid drug addiction, crime, etc. and give back to the community. As far as I see it, we’re spending our money in the wrong place. Keep it simple…something I learned from a dedicated teacher. 

    • Your Mom October 14, 2016 (1:31 pm)

      Brilliant!  start at the root.  one of the best comments/potential solutions I have seen yet.  To follow that up, I don’t have kids and don’t really like paying for their education, however what you have just said changed my mind just a little.  

  • DJ October 14, 2016 (1:43 pm)

    Did Sawant give any indication of what she found more important than staying at the meeting?  I was watching off and on and noticed that she seemed to disappear not long after the public comment period started.

  • anon October 14, 2016 (1:45 pm)

    I’m not sure what the real solution is, I think it’s a combination of many things, unfortunately many at a great cost. That being said I do feel for the homeless that would like a true hand out of their situation and are willing to put the work into becoming drug free, or are willing to  go to school or just need enough help to pull themselves out. I’d like to concentrate on those folks. For those that choose to use drugs with no intention of stopping, commit crimes and/or want to live a certain lifestyle how do you ignore them? We’ve seen the effects with all the property crime in WS. Have their been any cities successful with this issue?

  • flimflam October 14, 2016 (2:39 pm)

     wow. many people take time to leave work, otherwise rearrange their weekday schedule to attend and comment yet sawant and o’brien can’t be bothered to stay and at least show mild interest in what the folks had to say?

    seeing as o’brien is a major force in pushing these ordinances forward you’d think he’d at be curious/interested about what his constituents had to say. sawant is completely uninterested in the citizens aside from her pet projects and o’brien is apparently cut from the same mold. 

  • M October 14, 2016 (2:45 pm)

     I was there; as to the speaking part questions I noticed the ACLU, homeless advocates, etc. must have been tipped off as they got in line WAY before the majority of people knew where to go.  Probably happens a lot.  Later on (after some council members left) the Anti crowd started speaking.  On another note this was my first Council meeting, Obrien was quite rude at several points.  Apparently there is a recall operation on him.

  • Neighbor October 14, 2016 (2:55 pm)

    I watched most of this meeting. There is such a huge lack of leadership. They are intent on pitting us against each other. Those of us who feel that it is completely inappropriate to allow our parks to be opened up for camping are being told we are inhumane and do not care about social justice and equality.   I have spent years in the non profit sector, and have volunteered thousands of hours,  my humanity and social conscience are quite deep.  So is my understanding of all that Nature provides for us and the sacred responsibility we have to guard and protect it, especially in urban settings. The lack of transparency from the Council and the Mayors office is creating a hostile relationship with the citizens of this city.  When the Mayor and the Council allow developers to take affordable housing with very little compensation or restrictions they knew we would face this. When they allow  businesses to take tax breaks instead of using those taxes for the public good it’s the citizens who  lose out, not just the homeless services, not just the infrastructure projects, but it takes away from everything that makes society function.  The same can be said of spending almost $900,000 on the opening party for 520. How can Dow Constantine sleep at night knowing how many kids could have had a roof over their head with that money?

    I voted for Sawant but after watching her complete disregard and disrespect, she didn’t even stay to hear the public comment, I don’t believe she is deserving of her seat. I will wait to see just how Herbold deals with this issue, she initially was one of the signatories of the O’Brian proposal which would have allowed camping in our parks but it also put huge barriers against immediately addressing dangerous encampments. Neither of these proposals put forth anything that would require corporations who do business in this city to support immediate housing solutions.  Instead, it’s those of us who pay taxes,  and use the parks as they were intended, who are once again being asked to foot the bill financially and  socially.

  • JoB October 14, 2016 (3:02 pm)

    Evil Twin

    i am pretty sure i am a savvy bathroom tracker as i have issues…
    and i am sorry to inform you that there are vast parts of our city where you can not go 50 paces and find a restroom… you are lucky if you can track one down.. and even luckier if it is open.

    and it’s equally difficult to find a public garbage can where you can legally dump your trash.

    if you ever become homeless.. you will need to know these things

  • Kayla Avenell October 14, 2016 (4:06 pm)

    Thank you WSB for posting the hearing for those not able to attend.

  • Chuck October 14, 2016 (4:23 pm)

    Great comment, Neighbor. They are pitting us against each other. It’s a sort of an emotional extortion and i don’t appreciate it. I am happy to do my part through taxes and other channels (perhaps even hands on), but I’m being made to feel I’m a bad person for saying this proposal is an inadequate level of protection. Both for the homeless, and those who want clean, healthy community places. I have grown to despise our so-called leadership.

  • Evil Twin October 14, 2016 (4:28 pm)

    JoB I’m not trying to be combative. I’m just sayin’ that there are things where people don’t have a choice and there are things where they do. I’m not talking about “official” bathrooms or whatever. I’m talking about basic human stuff in the forest or under an overpass. When I go tent camping I walk a ways away from camp and dig a hole ya know? We’re dealing with human beings so it is ridiculously complex. There are real examples to justify any opinion. Imho a bell curve can be applied to most anything though. The law of averages applies to everything, including this.

  • Mark October 14, 2016 (5:21 pm)

    People who work and pay taxes are at work in the day and cannot attend Council Hearings.  O’Brien only listens when you are on his side.  When you do not agree with him he can be disrespectful.  Camping in City parks is illegal and needs to stay that way and be strictly enforced.  Enough is enough

  • Steve October 14, 2016 (6:23 pm)

    First of all thank you West Seattle Blog for covering this meeting today.  Looking at the “Pulitzer” winning Seattle paper today, I found no coverage of this meeting.  Incredible!

    Look this is only the tip of iceberg with the incompetent city council.  What have they done for the taxpayer, nothing then other to increase your taxes; pass horrible policies (i.e. first qualified rental applicant, shift work scheduling, etc.) increased crime; not enough police especially in West Seattle; increased homelessness, which we still have no accounting of all the money from the “ten year plan” to end homelessness; the destiny buildup of Seattle, especially West Seattle you see how that is working; horrible traffic with no solutions; hiring of more staff for what?   And it goes on and on with the incompetence.  If the council were truly in tune with their constituents they would have held this meeting on Saturday and Sunday with a five minute time table for permitting people to voice their opinion.   

    The only solution to solve Seattle problems is to vote out the council and the mayor.  Seattle needs real leadership with common sense.  Hopefully this is a wake up call to Seattle on how incompetent their leadership truly is and its time to do something about it.  


    • WSB October 14, 2016 (7:09 pm)

      Sorry to be late with switching the video to the archived version – I have since done that and anyone who wants to watch all or part of the 4-hour marathon can do that now – TR

  • JoB October 14, 2016 (6:38 pm)

    Evil twin..
    What bothers me is the assumption that the majority of those camping in our woods don’t walk 50 paces to find a tree or further to dig their hole.. that they could just use the public restrooms which are assumed to be plentiful and open for everyone… that they could just pick up their trash and take it .. somewhere.. presumably the same somewhere where they would be out of the public eye.

    What i want to know is where that somewhere is.. because i would be more than happy to redirect the homeless people i know who had their camps destroyed by the rain today to that place.

    It’s all well and good for us all to say “that’s not the best solution”… and I agree.

    But while we spend decades and millions of dollars studying the “best” solution.. people die of exposure on our streets. People with terrible illnesses get even sicker and they die while they wait for the blessing of social security disability that never comes. People give up in despair and give in to the ever present temptation to seek oblivion any way they can.

    this is the reality.. and i have seen too much of it up close and personal to not speak out about it.

    it takes so little to change  a life… sometimes as little as seeing “them” as people. 

    • Mike October 14, 2016 (11:46 pm)

      You honestly find it okay to dig a hole and leave human feces in it in city?  Wow.  Not only does that put the homeless camps in danger of illnesses, it causes human fecal runoff into other areas, like playgrounds and restaurants and peoples actual homes.

      You don’t think these people can haul their junk out when they hauled it in?  THEY brought it in, THEY can take it out.  THEY can throw it in the PUBLIC trash bins.

      This is purely laziness.  This holier than though attitude in Seattle has to stop.  People need assistance, but in order to get assistance they also need to be willing to accept assistance or be FORCED to take assistance.  Letting people just trash the city because people don’t want to make them move is the absolute WRONG idea and WRONG way to help anyone.  It only does harm.  STOP making excuses.

  • Bugsy October 14, 2016 (8:25 pm)

    I agree 100% with NEIGHBOR & Chuck.

    I have worked in non-profit human services for 16 years.  I work to help low-income people get jobs.  My husband works in a homeless crisis clinic.  I am not some heartless NIMBY a*hole.  Quite the contrary, I care deeply about social justice and income inequality.  HOWEVER, this proposal sucks.  It’s awful.  And i do feel like the council and the ACLU proposal pits us against each other.  The fact that I think this is an awful proposal does not make me a bad person, it makes me a thinking person.  This bill is quite simply awful public policy.  

    1. It will house no one.

    2. It will cost a lot of money to mitigate the harm caused by this bill.

    3. It will give the council the false sense that they have done something to solve this problem of this passes, when in fact they will have done nothing of the sort.

    4. It could risk irreparable harm to our parks, and could impact our safety while in the parks.

    5. I will NOT vote for Lisa Herbold again if she supports this, or ANY version of this bill.  

    This bill is awful and needs to be defeated, and maybe the whole council too, with the exception of Tim Burgess.


  • Kadoo October 14, 2016 (8:26 pm)

    Unimpressed with Sawant and O’Brien. Ducking out and not listening to the people speak is lame. Quite a few opposing this initiative which was a relief. Many articulate speakers. Glad I watched it live. Write your city council if you have more to say  

  • New Thinking Needed October 14, 2016 (8:50 pm)

    How about the city establish an official homeless campground with some basic rules, minor fees for camping, shower and toilets they need to pay towards,  laundromat they need to pay for, and charge the homeless for the operational costs? They can even help keep it clean, collect garbage for trash day, sanitize the facilities – just like having a home. All of us, including the homeless people, need to pay for basic living expenses. Homeless people may feel ‘involved and invested’ in their living arrangement if they need to pay for it….even if it is a city campground providing basic services with some basic rules. They should be able to pay something from their security benefits, other public benefits, pan handling, odd jobs…. and that may help the homeless people realize they are part of the community & need to contribute to the upkeep of the community.  Most of us expect everyone to do their part.  

  • Jerry sqile October 14, 2016 (9:32 pm)

    It’s horrible what we have representing us. Lack of leadership with the mayor. A bunch of unqualified, green, no experience advisors/representatives. The mayor and his crack team need to go. Ian Warner adds nothing. The whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t know where the maps came from but I’m going to share them anyway? Just sad.

  • Evil Twin October 14, 2016 (10:15 pm)

    Bugsy and new thinking needed- thank you for articulating how I feel! So much detail is lost in politics. We teach our toddlers actions, consequences and empathy, etc. ANY grown adult should at least be held to the standard at which a 3 year old is held. I would be ecstatic to help an individual who needs to get off of the street. I’m a liberal m*f*er! However, grown adult human beings need to be accountable. I’m ok with camps, I’m ok with outreach. I want to help. But people have to face consequences for their actions. Let’s help those that want help! I think a sanctioned camp would be better than camps scattered around the city unregulated.  JoB I work downtown (job title excluded) and holy freaking needles! I am so scared of a needle prick with what I do! In a nutshell I just think there should be accountability. Im not heartless but I’ve been around the block enough to know some people are good, some people are bad, and some people get lost in the shuffle. We should help people that are good or get lost in “the system” but people being helped should be held to the same expectations as any other citizen. That’s what being part of society is: awareness of how your actions impact those around you and being a thoughtful member of the community. Whatever gets passed I hope it helps people that want help but also re-enforces basic rules required to be a member of society.

  • anonyme October 15, 2016 (6:43 am)

    Dog waste in public parks is bad enough.  Human waste, buried or not, cannot be tolerated.  The very idea of allowing camping in our parks is insane.

    There are those who are truly in need of help, who are  eager and willing to accept it, and they should receive assistance.  For others, those that refuse to conform in any way, there should be harsh consequences.  No more welcome mat.

  • JoB October 15, 2016 (6:50 am)

    Evil Twin..

    don’t get me wrong. I don’t make house calls in our greenbelt any more.. partly because i have been too ill but also because i worry about not only needles but being infected with something i won’t be able to recover from…

    but these problems are solvable. A safe injection site.. as unpalatable as it is to many.. would help considerably with the needles you worry about.  Safe encampment sites would clear our greenbelts. Adding sanitation facilities to what have become unofficial car camping sites would clean those up.

    The ugly truth is that although there are some programs available that meet these needs.. a rough estimate is that they will only meet 20% of the current need… and that need is increasing. That is a sobering thought.

    We are spending those dollars the Mayor allocated for homelessness doing camp sweeps which do little more than move the problem from one area of the city to the other.. and in the process often destroy the documentation that homeless people need to get services.. pushing them one more step down the homeless ladder.

    That’s not only a bad use of our taxpayer dollars.. it’s a violation of the rights of homeless people and if we don’t do something about it we the taxpayers will pick up the tab for the lawsuits that are bound to be filed.

    Make no mistake about it. The way sweeps are currently run..  a lawsuit against our city will be very very expensive.

    If for no other reason than self preservation we need to make sure that something productive comes of the current council’s attempts to mitigate the impending financial disaster of  current camp sweeping practices.

    This isn’t just a homeless problem. it’s our problem too.

    People aren’t just getting lost in the system.. the system is totally overwhelmed with the need and our current Mayors aggressive sweeping program is only moving the problem around at great cost to taxpayers…  

  • Zeitgeist/33 October 15, 2016 (9:27 am)

    @JoB, I understand you’ve spent some time in this space and the homelessness problem has increased. In business, if I continue to stick with tactics that produce little to no results (or make the business worse), I am required (by my own will and commitment to success) to do something differently or risk losing the business (and my job). 

    I ask you to zoom out and see the entire picture, rather than hold a singular focus that the world is against the homeless. We’re not.

    I’d love to hear your – and other’s – thinking that runs deeper than camping in public parks.

    I suggested spending the money on schools instead since we get a much high return on investment. I love the idea of having the homeless earn their keep and be held accountable for their actions vs. a free handout, something my 7-year-old gets. What are your proposed solutions? 

    Regardless of circumstance, you can take pride in yourself, your environment and others. I don’t see the vast majority of the homeless population carrying that same view. To continue to pass blame on circumstances (garbage cans not available, bathrooms not available, safe injection sites not available, etc.) continues to play the victim card and pass the blame on to others rather than taking responsibility.  

    One can be homeless, but does not have to be helpless.

  • Evil Twin October 15, 2016 (6:06 pm)

    Thank you zeitgeist. It is possible to be both compassionate and rational!!!!

  • JoB October 16, 2016 (8:59 am)


    you won’t see the homeless taking pride in themselves and their homes if all you see is what can be seen from the road.. but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist… and in numbers that would astound you.

    To continue to pass blame on circumstances (garbage cans not available, bathrooms not available, safe injection sites not available, etc.) continues to play the victim card and pass the blame on to others rather than taking responsibility”

    said the person with garbage collection,  indoor plumbing and access to a shower.

    You might ask yourself what you look and smell like after a two week backpacking trip…
    especially if you undertake that trip in the middle of winter.

    expecting people to step up to your standards without your advantages isn’t calling in the victim card.. it’s acknowledging realities…

    the reality is that we have the tools and the funds to fundamentally change homeless communities and choose to blame the homeless for their condition rather than provide the necessities that would clean up our public spaces.

    where is the responsibility in that?

  • Elizabeth October 16, 2016 (10:12 am)

    Am I a NIMBY A**HOLE If I don’t want a tent next to my house?   Or when I walk in Lincoln Park, I don’t want to see a bunch of tents?  When I read this,  and when I talk to my neighbors… No one, and I mean NO ONE wants a tent near their house.  I don’t think Lisa Herbold or the Mayor want a tent near their house either. 

    I am not unsympathetic, I worry about people. I think about the poor people that truly  need help. I wish I knew a solution for them. In fact,  I pray for people that want help and the ones that don’t think they need help  ( the mentally ill, the substance abusers) .  But getting mean and calling out someone for not wanting a tent near their house is wrong .   

    Could a solution be to house some people in warehouses that aren’t being used down in SoDo?   Maybe some more treatment centers?  The  mentally ill will be a lot harder to help.  

    I don’t have answers…  But I do know  that by letting our fellow residents that don’t have places to live to LIVE in our parks will do the parks damage and make many people in Seattle very angry.  Why  make the people  that pay Lisa Herbold’s  and the The Mayor’s salary angry?  We elected you. Not the homeless. 

  • Zeitgeist/33 October 16, 2016 (11:16 am)

    JoB, outside of adressing two things, I’ll skip the back-and-forth.

    1. “expecting people to step up to your standards without your advantages isn’t calling in the victim card.. it’s acknowledging realities…”

    My standards? These are basic standards I speak of. My advantages? I created my advantages…they weren’t handed to me. I take responsibility for my actions, hold myself accountable, etc. I work to leave the world better off than when I came into it. I’m beyond tired of the excuse that I somehow have all these advantages over everyone else. Presuming you don’t know anything about me, I’m not even sure how you can speak to these advantages I supposedly have.

    2. I asked you to think deeper and offer solutions. I’m genuinely insterested in that but have only received more rationalizing from you and even words directed from you to try to somehow make me feel guilty for paying for garbage collection, indoor plumbing, etc. (which I have and appreciate by continuing to bust my butt, utilizing  my resources and giving back to our community). 

    I’m interested in solutions, not excuses.

  • flimflam October 16, 2016 (11:39 am)

    still curious as to why sawant and o’brien bailed on their own meeting rather than listen to folks that bothered attending speak their minds. have they offered up any reasons? 

    • WSB October 16, 2016 (12:17 pm)

      It actually was not “their own meeting.” Neither is a member of the committee that met (nor is Lisa Herbold, for that matter, though she was in attendance throughout – all City Councilmembers are welcome at all committee meetings, even to vote if something is voted on). Rob Johnson, who did not attend at all, is an alternate, and as listed here Sally Bagshaw is chair, Bruce Harrell vice chair, Tim Burgess member. Also, it was a specially scheduled meeting – the committee’s usual meetings are 2 pm second and fourth Wednesdays – and most committee meetings are canceled during budget season. That said, I don’t know what their conflicts were. I’m sure someone somewhere does – I’ve looked around and haven’t found anything.

      • KM October 16, 2016 (12:31 pm)

        During the meeting, it was mentioned that Rob was somewhere (Boston?) out of the area on a climate change/environmental issue.

      • flimflam October 16, 2016 (1:25 pm)

        I meant that one of the major points of the meeting was o’brien’s version of the ordinance – I realize that it wasn’t really his meeting, just emphasizing that he was a big part of the meeting, the ordinance(s) and in pushing an agenda. i should have chosen my words better. either way, its ridiculous that he’d leave when people are speaking about HIS ordinance. petty and dismissive – as he usually is, in my opinion.

  • public servant October 16, 2016 (1:42 pm)

    Let’s find better ways than allowing illegal camping, or approving ordinances to make it legal to commandeer public space for personal long-term use by pitching a tent. The Barbara Poppe report that the city commissioned indicates we’ve spent millions on the problem and have increased homelessness by 67% in ten years, and 40% over the past two years. Take a look at the memorandum from the city Director of Finance, our Police Chief, our Director of Human Services, the Director of the Parks Department, our Seattle Dept of Transportation Director, and our City Budget Office on “Proposed Ordinance on Unauthorized Camping and Illegal Vehicles” 8/31/16. It details at length the financial, legal and public health disastrous consequences camping delivers to our city and our citizens. Though an improvement, even Bagshaw’s recent revision to the camping ordinance does not protect against many of these serious problems. (1) Let’s not divert funding to campsites. Instead, let’s act quicker to coordinate and move forward on the Mayor’s Pathways Home detailed plan. (2) Do we really want to give people the “right” to camp illegally, rather than participate in the programs and available shelter space we are already providing? It’s true we don’t have enough immediate shelter and housing in place right now for all, but there is data showing that some illegal campers don’t like the “rules” and refuse space that is available. The rules or expectations some shelters or programs have are described as “barriers” by the over-liberal. That may, or may not be, a fair characterization. Hmmm, even our youngest school children learn on day 1 that there are rules they must abide by, and things they must do. A lot to think about. I’m glad for all the varied opinions, discussion and involvement on this issue. I hope everyone attends meetings if possible, supports programs and plans that are proven to work, votes carefully in the next City Council elections, and emails the city council members and the Mayor’s office with concerns, ideas and solutions. “It takes a village.”

  • Chuck October 16, 2016 (2:28 pm)

    I don’t know who your are, Public Servant, but if you are indeed working on the public’s behalf I’d like to say thank you. Yours is exactly the kind of objective thinking I would expect from our Council that is so obviously lacking. It restores a bit of hope to think there might be public servants who not simply care, but who are competent. Thanks for your input here.

  • public servant October 16, 2016 (5:07 pm)

    Hi, Chuck.  Educator and counselor serving low-income and bilingual populations in Seattle for 27 years (homeless families included).  The best time I had in the several hours at the Council Committee Meeting was the 90 minutes in the hallway waiting!  Wonderful people who didn’t know one another before showing up in line, but freely sharing their backgrounds, expertise, care and ideas.  I came away wishing the Mayor’s Office reps and Council Members had spent time out there with everyone.  No “shouting down” happening, just people who all care for our homeless residents but may have differing views.  “It takes a village,” doesn’t it?

  • JoB October 16, 2016 (5:09 pm)

    So tell me..  just when will that miraculous public housing show up?
    and what do you propose we do with the people who are currently on our streets now?

    i have proposed sensible solutions that would cost the taxpayer less than we are currently paying.. but it seems no-one wants to listen to those..

    so.. step up here. let’s here solutions that will get people off our streets now…

    shoveling  them from place to place  isn’t working.

  • SGG October 18, 2016 (3:11 pm)

    Where does our Council Rep Herbold stand on this?  One of the problems with district system is now there is only one person whose job it is to listen to our neighborhood, when, at least in theory, everyone held the same responsibility before.

    O’Brien and Sawant won’t listen to anyone from this district.  Could WSB do some form of follow up summarizing what Herbold + the members at large and their positions?  I think this open-parks proposal is absolutely disastrous.

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