ELECTION 2021: Homelessness-response ballot measure debated before 34th District Democrats’ endorsement votes

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Our area’s largest political group voted Wednesday night to oppose Seattle Charter Amendment 29, the November ballot measure that seeks to codify homelessness-response policies into the city charter.

The 34th District Democrats‘ vote followed a pre-meeting forum with representatives both for and against the proposal, and was one of four endorsement votes for city matters that will appear on the November ballot.

We’ll get to the endorsements later. First – the forum, moderated by the 34th DDs’ Rachel Glass (added: video here):

Each side began with a presentation, First, representing CA29 supporters, who are organized as “Compassion Seattle,” was political consultant Tim Ceis. He said the measure was borne of the “growing crisis of homelessness in Seattle … which we didn’t think was being effectively addressed.” The city – which he once helped lead as a deputy mayor – “has no clear plan.”

Ceis laid out eight key points of what supporters say the charter amendment would require city government to do. The 2,000 required units of housing “is a very achievable number,” Ceis contended. From his slide deck:

Then the bottom line – “as those services are made available,” the city can clear encampments. He said it’s similar to the JustCARE model (which is what was used to house people from the Roxbury/Delridge sidewalk camp, among others). The amendment sunsets in six years,

(From Zoom screengrab during forum: Tim Ceis and Tye Reed)

Tye Reed spoke for “House Our Neighbors,” which opposes Charter Amendment 29. (Her presentation did not include slides.) She said the group is a coalition led by the Lived Experience Coalition, including groups with homeless and formerly homeless members. The coalition’s members “know what needs to be done to solve this crisis.” She contended that Charter Amendment 29 is “full of empty promises meant to prey on” Seattleites’ desire to solve the problem. “It’s a bigger gamble for the city to make than we really should be risking.” She said a City Council analysis determined that if adopted, this would require a lot of council legislation to clarify. The “2,000 new units” could include projects already in the works rather than truly new housing “depending on how this is interpreted,” she said, adding that it is unlikely that the city could develop that many units in a year, no matter what.

Other points of contention: The substance-abuse treatment wording says “the city shall help fund” it but that could cover money that’s already being spent – or tens of millions more dollars. She also referred to the ACLU lawsuit filed earlier in the day contending that the measure goes against the creation of the Regional Homelessness Authority.

Too many other undefined terms, she argued, but “the details matter.” And she said that the amendment is “codifying sweeps into our city’s constitution,” calling sweeps “an inhumane practice.” She concluded by saying “the richest people in our city” are behind the measure. Her coalition, meantime, is supported “by people on the ground in mutual aid groups … (who) have experiencing solving homelessness.”

In Q&A:

Ceis had mentioned that JustCARE is being used successfully; he was asked to define that success. He explained its intensive outreach including an offer of housing, access to services. “Success is – they accept the offer.” He believes that’s been about 80 percent of those approached. Reed said that temporary housing in hotels (which is what JustCARE uses) is not a solution, and doesn’t scale. Ceis said “that’s the point – it needs to be scaled up.”

Q: What happens to a homeless unsheltered person who rejects help from the city? Reed said she responds to sweeps plans. People don’t “reject” services, she said, but rather, they are offered things with so many strings attached, the offers are not accepted. “Did you ask whether the service met their needs?” When services DO meet people’s needs, she said, they accept it. If they don’t, they move literally across the street. Ceis said he agrees, the current approach is broken and just moves people from one miserable situation to another. He exhorted people to read the amendment’s language, saying it clearly spells out that offers need to be tailored to people: “I think Tye and I are in agreement.” Except that, he said, leaving people in their current situation is not the answer.

“We need millions of dollars of progressive taxation” to fund the proposed solutions, Reed said, contending that amendment supporters are the people fighting those taxes. “There’s no long-term plan for permanent housing,” she declared.Ceis reiterated that the amendment has a provision requiring 2,000 units of housing that is “NOT a mat on the floor.” The city contributes about $100,000 to each unit of affordable housing, but that takes time: “Leaving people outside should not be the default.”

Q: How does this affect the city budget? The measure does have city spending requirements, Ceis acknowledged. “It’s up to the city to deal with the budget … if the #1 priority for citizens of Seattle is to solve the homelessness problem, then it should be the #1 priority for the city.” Reed countered that “none of those numbers are locked in ,… We do not know … how much we’re going to spend. They are going to leave it to the same council (who they believe has been ineffective) to determine (that).” (In the videoconferencing “chat” window, Reed provided this link to City Council staff analysis of the potential cost of CA29.)

Q: If the amendment only runs six years, why codify it like this? Ceis replied that “the reason to put it in the charter is more binding ..(it) can only be changed by going back to the people.” And “if these policies don’t work, then it will no longer be in the charter” after six years. If it does, “hopefully we’ll have made some progress.”

Q: How many unhoused people participated in crafting the measure? “We worked with providers” who work with unhoused people, said Ceis, adding that “I think it was an oversight” that they did not work directly with unhoused people in drafting it. Reed said supporters only worked with “executive directors” of provider organizations rather than actual service providers, let alone actual homeless people.

Q: How will the funding allocations build the number of units or staff the programs need to get people off the street? The mayor and city council will have to decide on that, Ceis said. “What it does do is give them a very clear road map. … This will be a lot of work for the city, but it gives them a very clear focus and stops the debate” about what to do. He said there’s nothing ambiguous about “new units” but Reed claimed again that it could apply to already planned units, They clashed over this, with Ceis saying again that people should read the amendment, while Reed contended the supporters are underestimating how many people are living unsheltered. “OK, well, let’s get started,” Ceis interjected.

Last question brought in the issue of cost again. Regarding revenue, Ceis said, “there’s nothing in (this) that limits the authority of the council or mayor to propose new sources of revenue” but he also contended that city revenues are up and other sources such as JumpStart and American Rscue Plan are coming in. Reed said the fact the amendment is drafted by business interests mandating certain spending is on one hand “beyond our wildest dreams” but she also mentioned the lawsuit, “We do need solutions but I want a real plan …. laid out” regarding what’s being planned and where the money will come from.

The forum wrapped up after about an hour and segued directly into the 34th DDs’ regular second-Wednesday meeting, led by chair Carla Rogers. Here’s how the endorsement votes went:

ENDORSEMENTS: The agenda originally had scheduled votes on CA29 and the mayor’s race (in which the group did not make a primary endorsement). They decided to add Seattle City Attorney and City Council Position 9, since in both those races, the 34th DDs’ endorsees came in third and are not advancing to the general election. (For backstory, here’s our coverage of the group’s June endorsements meeting.) Though the group has 551 members, and had more than half that number participating in June, the number of voters last night was fewer than 100.

Two notes – the group requires a 60 percent vote to endorse a candidate or position, and candidates are not eligible for endorsement unless they verify that they are Democrats.


Seattle MayorLorena González, with 52 votes to 16 for Bruce Harrell.

Charter Amendment 29 – The 34th DDs are officially urging rejection. 12 votes to support, 46 to oppose, 9 no position

City Council Position 9 – Only Sara Nelson was nominated for endorsement, as Nikkita Oliver is not a Democrat. 15 for Nelson, 44 for no endorsement, so the 34th goes on record not endorsing in this race.

City Attorney – Only Nicole Thomas-Kennedy was nominated for endorsement (Ann Davison is not a Democrat). Results: Thomas-Kennedy 40, no endorsement 17.

WHAT’S NEXT: The group plans a standalone program on redistricting on August 17th, with a speaker from the League of Women Voters; the next 34th membership meeting will be at 7 pm September 8th, with a pre-meeting program about the universal-health-care proposal Whole Washington.

67 Replies to "ELECTION 2021: Homelessness-response ballot measure debated before 34th District Democrats' endorsement votes"

  • flimflam August 12, 2021 (3:25 pm)

    The city needs a plan – a real plan – to address the issue. The encampments are unsafe for everyone. Two days in a row now, fires along I-5 encampments.

    • Unfortunate Observer August 15, 2021 (1:05 pm)

      Honestly, I think this is bigger than the city. I think the state or the federal government needs a plan. Homeless encampments are not unique to Seattle. You can find them all along the West Coast, and not only in big cities. As long as we view this as a local issue, I am not sure anything else change. Local politicians don’t have the power/resources to deal with this.

  • Anne August 12, 2021 (4:00 pm)

    Endorsing NicoleThomas -Kennedy -the Pete Holmes clone- & Lorena Gonzalez???are these Dems serious?????

    • Aaron August 12, 2021 (4:57 pm)

      What are the odds that “Anne” here is actually pro-Trump 2020 Republican candidate for Lt. Governor Anne Davison Sattler?

      • WSB August 12, 2021 (5:31 pm)

        Pretty much zero. Among other reasons, the candidate is ANN, not Anne.

        • Jort August 12, 2021 (5:40 pm)

          Eek. I hate to correct you, but, I’m afraid that, while the name is, indeed, spelled “Ann,” she was also the candidate for Lt. Governor. https://ballotpedia.org/Ann_Davison. 

          • WSB August 12, 2021 (5:48 pm)

            I was commenting only on the spelling.

        • Thank you August 12, 2021 (6:44 pm)

          Thank you WSB for knocking that down. It’s super frustrating that a person gets immediately labeled the complete opposite of what they are based off one comment. 

          • Jort August 12, 2021 (9:48 pm)

            Wait, are you denying that Ann Davison, current candidate for City Attorney is not the same Ann Davison who ran for Lt. Governor and City Council District 5? The one who literally on her own campaign web page says she ran for Lt. Governor and City Council?  The one who literally declared herself a Republican in a lengthy blog post on January 24, 2020, which is literally the same day that Donald Trump was undergoing an impeachment trial in the Senate? SHE IS A REPUBLICAN. And she declared she was during the era of Donald Trump.  She is a Trump Republican, through and through. Why are people denying this?!?! Is Seattle really so desperate for “Seattle Is Dying” to somehow be true that they’re willing to pretend that a self-declared Republican isn’t ACTUALLY a Republican, somehow?! She’s a Republican!

    • Jort August 12, 2021 (5:03 pm)

      You know what? I think the 34th District Democrats are probably not going to endorse A REPUBLICAN. Especially a clown show one like Ann Davison. Seattle does not need somebody from the party of Donald Trump running the city attorney’s office. A Donald Trump/Ann Davison approach would be devastating for our city. She will align with Republican Trump’s anti-democracy, anti-minority, pro-white nationalism sentiments. I don’t want somebody who calls herself a Republican anywhere near our city government.  She’ll go after the homeless, first, and then she’ll follow her party’s leader by prosecuting minorities and other vulnerable populations. Anybody who aligns with the Donald Trump Republican Party should stay away from Seattle governance. 

      • Who are you August 12, 2021 (6:46 pm)

        Dude who are you? What do you do for a living? 

        • Aaron August 12, 2021 (11:13 pm)

          Someone who is cognizant of what party Ann Davison Sattler affiliated herself with just last year…

      • M August 13, 2021 (9:05 am)

        Hey Jort,I’m curious what your specific disagreements with her platform? Upon reading it, all of Davison’s proposals seem reasonable and ones that would increase the functionality of the City Attorney’s Office for all Seattle residents. TBH her platform is kinda boring to read, which in my experience is actually a good thing for a politician. 

        • Jort August 13, 2021 (9:37 am)

          Here’s the only part of her “platform” that I care about. On January 24, 2020, the day that Donald Trump was undergoing his first impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, Ann Davison chose that specific day to publish a blog post declaring that she was a Republican. That’s all I need to know about her integrity and values. If she chooses to align with the party of Donald Trump, especially knowing what we did about him at the time, then she is not qualified to hold office in the city of Seattle. She could have “ban cars” on her platform and it still wouldn’t matter to me: she’s a Trump Republican through and through to the core and she has NO PLACE near our city government. NONE.

          • helpermonkey August 13, 2021 (10:10 am)

            100% in agreement with Jort on this. Traitorous Trump Republicans have no place serving in ANY public office ever.  

          • Lol August 13, 2021 (5:56 pm)

            I’ve known some pretty hideous Democrats! Sorry but you don’t get to slam everyone who voted Republican. Toodles! 

      • Chris K August 13, 2021 (10:18 am)

        I’m not worried about Davison.  Most Seattle voters have no tolerance for her racist nonsense.  NTK will absolutely bury her.

    • Derek August 13, 2021 (3:40 pm)

      I will be voting for Thomas Kennedy and disagree with you 100%

  • GrumpyinSeattle August 12, 2021 (4:01 pm)

    Excellent critique and questions from Tye Reed.  We need more people trying to pinpoint mushy wording.

  • TM7302 August 12, 2021 (4:41 pm)

    Wow… No endorsements.  What does this say about the current group of candidates or about the 34th Dems?  Can’t they admit/endorse to do no more harm?  Mayor: Bruce HarrellPosition 9: Sara NelsonCity Attorney: Ann Davison

  • Confused August 12, 2021 (4:42 pm)

    Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is a Democrat? I thought she’d be a member of the Seattle People’s Party like Nikkita Oliver. It’s strange to me that Thomas-Kennedy was eligible for this endorsement.

  • Jeff August 12, 2021 (4:52 pm)

    We couldn’t possibly get less outcome for the money than whatever is currently being done, I’m for a new approach. 

    • WS2021 August 12, 2021 (5:28 pm)

      Actually you could, quite easily, and this amendment is a good start on moving that way.

  • Carla Rogers August 12, 2021 (5:26 pm)

    We’d love more participation in the 34th! Join us and engage in the issues and help us elect Democrats. Voting members have a say in this member-driven organization and we’d love more voices in the room. We meet each month on the second Wednesday. Check out our website and learn more about what we do! http://www.34dems.org.

    Tracey – thank you, as always for the excellent coverage.

  • Mj August 12, 2021 (6:59 pm)

    Jort – the City’s minimum wage is such that a single adult working full time can rent an aPodment unit for $800 a month that is less than 30% of their monthly income.  I thought the purpose of raising the minimum wage was to provide a workable wage.  In exchange it’s time for accountability of adults to take care of themselves with out stealing from others!  

  • Think August 12, 2021 (8:44 pm)

    As an undecided progressive moderate, I have to say that the strongest arguments AGAINST progressive solutions are made by extreme progressives.

  • Unfortunate Observer August 12, 2021 (11:25 pm)

    I think “2.Create a behavioral health rapid response team” would do a lot to aid in helping those on the edge of homelessness, or those who are chronically homeless. My neighbor, a renter in a duplex, is currently having an ongoing mental health/substance abuse crisis and is about to be evicted for assaulting her neighbor. The signs of drug abuse and mental illness are all there. She is frequently up all night, and likely uses some kind of stimulant. Anyone who speaks with her knows she isn’t quite all there (I suspect bipolar type one, but I am not an expert). She is paranoid. She frequently rants nonsensically and sometimes she even screams on the street. She has harassed and attacked people and had the police called on her multiple times. She throws trash and rotten food everywhere, and even been beat up so bad that she went to the ER. At least 1 person has a restraining order on her. She has alienated nearly everyone in her life, including her friends and family. She is so consumed in substance abuse and mental illness that her life is disintegrating. It’s obvious she is not in her right mind, but nobody can seem to help her. The cops can rarely do anything because she is usually does stuff that is non-violent and related to civil law, but she has gone to jail for assaulting her neighbor, for which she is in the process of being evicted. Her next stop is likely a tent in Sodo. Several people (including her family) have called the DCR on her to have her evaluated, but it took them a very long time to check her out and when they did, nothing happened because they decided that she didn’t mean the criteria for being involuntarily committed. She has turned away all attempts of social workers to contact her. It’s frustrating to watch a human being disintegrate, and have nobody be able to do anything. Worse yet, this woman actually has a family who is trying to take care of her and that’s likely how she was covering her rent until she attacked her neighbor. There are many more in her situation who do not have familial support. Hopefully the city will build something evidence-based that can help people trapped in situations like this. I believe people caught in a trap of mental illness and substance abuse make up a large percentage of the chronically homeless population. Addiction and irrational paranoia lead to destruction of your support system. The police are not equipped and do not have time to deal with ongoing situations like this, and they should instead have a non-police mental-heath team they can work with and fall back on for ongoing problems like this.

    • Pessoa August 13, 2021 (2:34 pm)

      I largely agree.  I will add that families need assistance in caring for mentally-ill family members. Mental healthcare professionals need to listen and be receptive to those who know the mentally ill person better than they do.  

    • compassionate advocate August 13, 2021 (6:50 pm)

      Couple things that might be helpful for folks to think about from a slightly different perspective. 

      For one, try shifting the label of ‘mentally ill people’ to ‘people or neighbors experiencing mental illness, addiction, suffering, etc.’ These issues are human issues, and can happen to anyone, given different experiences, conditions, genetics.

      Another thing, what might appear as irrational paranoia, might actually be born out of something rational that has happened or is happening to them.  Compassion and respect can only help. Instead of seeing people as paranoid, try seeing them as people who have possibly been harmed or overwhelmed by experience, stress, or drugs and are experiencing some suffering. And sometimes crazy things really do happen to people.

      Also, instead of the perspective that families need help to deal with their mentally ill member, perhaps some families need more help or support with how to have a healthy family system, for all members of the family, and there is a need for more community advocates for individuals to turn to, for whatever challenges they may be experiencing. Keep in mind individuals can have mental health issues because of family system issues.

      • Pessoa August 13, 2021 (10:16 pm)

        Compassionate advocate: Unfortunately, mental healthcare professionals too often assume a biological basis for mental illness, instead of what it usually is – an inability to cope with a traumatic experience or life change. Hence, anti-psychotics are prescribed which only mask symptoms and do not address the underlying cause. The idea that that the etiology of mental illness can be traced back to genes has not been substantiated  despite many, large scale studies. 

      • Unfortunate Observer August 14, 2021 (8:57 am)

        Compassionate advocate:  I understand that what this woman is experiencing can happen to anyone, and that is why this situation is so frustrating. It’s clear she is traumatized. In her ranting and screaming, she is living those traumas over and over. One day she will yell about being pregnant, the next day she will yell about having a miscarriage, on the third day she will yell about being pregnant again. Some days she yells about being a ‘whore,’ some days she yells about being an actress. It’s clear that she is in an extreme amount of pain, but there seems to be nothing that can be done about it since she refuses all help. Refusal of help is a typical for those suffering mental illnesses, especially the kinds that induce paranoia. As a society, we’ve collectively decided that if someone is in the grips of mental illness, and refusing help, there is nothing that can be done, and that they are condemned to this hell. This isn’t compassionate by any stretch of the imagination. We are allowing people to destroy themselves. A year ago this woman was more or less functional, but due to some sort of mental health episode, she will now be unhoused because of the violent behaviors caused by the mental illness from which she suffers. Everyone around her has become completely compassion-fatigued. This woman broke her duplex-mates windows and assaulted him with her firsts at 2am in the morning. It’s hard to be compassionate for someone when they are behaving belligerently, violently, and taking their trauma out on others.

        • compassionate advocate August 14, 2021 (12:31 pm)

          ‘refusal of help’…

          Maybe the help she is needing isn’t coming her way.

          Have you tried offering some radical kindness or compassion?  Even if it feels hard, that may be what she is needing as a foundation for some healing.

          • Unfortunate Observer August 15, 2021 (10:29 am)

            Yes, I have. And I have become completely compassion-fatigued in the process. Where do we go from here?

          • compassionate advocate August 15, 2021 (4:06 pm)

            More kindness and compassion.

            Try to see her situation, symptoms, and behavior through those lenses rather than judgement, anger, frustration.

            We can’t forcibly change others, but we can change our relationship to others, even just by how we see them. Our relationship to others has an impact on them.

            We can orient ourselves to be of benefit to others, and try to avoid causing more harm through speech or actions, through our choices.

            By offering kindness and compassion, and respect, we can contribute in their basic needs being met, and this may help them on their path of healing and seeking the ‘help’ that they truly need.

            People have basic needs beyond food and water and housing, that are of the relational and emotional kind. 

            When we approach people with the mindset of forcing them into change because we dislike or disapprove of their behavior or they make us uncomfortable, we are not offering true support, but rather offering help as a manipulation to achieve a change that has a lot to do with our own needs around discomfort, and expectations, rather than theirs.
            People can feel this help coming from judgement and disapproval rather than from care and concern, and it can be harmful. Sort of a wolf in sheep’s clothing situation.

            Think radical kindness and compassion seeks to help and support from a genuine place, without an agenda, with respect to the individual, with intention to ease suffering. Easing suffering is a way people can help one another.

            In order to ease suffering, we have to look at and understand the person’s suffering, and listen to what they need, offer what we can, and avoid adding to their suffering.Also, radical kindness and compassion doesn’t really concern itself with or talk about compassion fatigue. It’s kind of out beyond the field of compassion fatigue. It might feel discouraged or challenged at times, but its an ongoing commitment.

            Just sharing some thoughts around how we might approach helping others who are suffering and experiencing great crisis and trauma, and believe more of this operating out in the community, could really help.

          • Unfortunate observer August 15, 2021 (7:43 pm)

            People have limits to what they can tolerate. Humans are not robots or the Buddha. Once someone you hardly know has pushed you too far, it’s very hard to treat them with kindness or compassion. Just saying ‘slap some more compassion on your kindness’ does nothing to address the reality of this woman’s situation, or to acknowledge the hardship she is causing others.

          • compassionate advocate August 15, 2021 (9:04 pm)

            Sounds like this woman has been through a lot, maybe more than she can tolerate. 

            Not sure how she has wronged you, maybe I missed that, but you do have a choice in how you respond. Is being outraged and angry and fed up working for you, and helpful to her? Does that solve anything?

            Might be hard to be kind and compassionate, but it’s not impossible. Trying to better understand what the other is experiencing can help in situations. Also not necessarily easy, but possible.

            Some might choose to move if a neighbor is so toxic, and acting aggressively, or especially if violent. But, there will be people with issues wherever you go, so changing our relationship and responses to things could be of benefit.

            We can choose more responsibility in relation to another person who is having a harder time than us. Seeing this woman is in a highly sensitive and reactive place, possibly altered by drugs, giving her space, or only being kind, versus being confrontational, might be helpful.

            The Buddha was a human and their teachings are for fellow humans, who may be interested.  Buddhist informed approaches might not be for everyone. Hope you find some positive answers and peace with the situation with this neighbor, and sorry for your suffering.

  • sgs August 13, 2021 (10:55 am)

    Thanks for this report – lots to think about and understand.  A couple of things come to mind.  Reed mentions it’s important to make sure the services meet the needs – yes, for sure that is vital, with housing and treatment.   It’s also important for people on the receiving side to have skin in the game for services/treatment to be successful.  There are varying reasons people are homeless, so meet them where they are.  Reed mentions there are often too many strings attached to services offered and therefore are not sought.  To understand why people are not accepting the services it would be helpful to understand what the strings are and how they are onerous. Thankful for the engagement of all at that meeting and hopeful we can de-emphasize politics and compromise on solutions.  No one group has the answer. 

    • compassionate advocate August 13, 2021 (7:01 pm)

      ‘so meet them where they are’

      Yes, this.

      There are a lot of reasons people struggle, experience mental health issues, addiction, homelessness, etc. There isn’t a one size fits all approach that will work for every individuals challenges or needs.  Individuals should be respected and heard regarding their particular struggles and their needs. There needs to be more and better options, and more flexibility, available for advocates to help lift and support those in need.

      • Unfortunate observer August 14, 2021 (10:50 am)

        ‘Meet them where they are’ is beginning to sound like a meaningless platitude. This basically means that if people can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get help themselves, they rot on the street. Many times people cannot get the help they need because they are paranoid. Paranoia is a symptom of both schizophrenia and bipolar type 1, as well as other mental illnesses. Suffering past trauma is not a reason you should end up on the street, sleeping in a tent on public property, or under the eaves. When you live on the street you become the victim of unscrupulous exploitative people and transform into the object of scorn of everyday people who don’t understand, and are upset that you are peeing and pooping where they walk. It is a grim fate that no compassionate society will allow an individual to fall into.

        • compassionate advocate August 14, 2021 (6:44 pm)

          No, that is not what’s meant by ‘meet them where they are.’

          What it means is to see and hear the individual and work with them to identify their needs, what will actually help them (rather than only offering what we assume will help them). The cattle approach of herding all folks through a narrow system, just does not work well for all, and can be more harmful rather than helpful. Just isn’t good enough.

          There are many reasons people may ‘refuse help.’ The help doesn’t meet their needs, or has strings attached that just doesn’t work for their situation, isn’t respectful of the individual, might be harmful or further traumatizing (going to a shelter isn’t as nice as one might like to imagine).

          Someone in the throws of drug addiction for example, can’t go stay at a shelter where drugs and alcohol aren’t allowed. They might need help addressing their addiction and trauma, along with safe individual or group housing, and ongoing support to work towards future goals.

          These are folks who we can’t impose expectations on while offering help. Their basic needs should be met first, some healing and stabilization should be the focus first, then working on goals and and steps forward, when more reasonable.

          • Unfortunate Observer August 15, 2021 (11:58 am)

            Yes, there are clearly many reasons people avoid help, but I think you are ignoring the point I am trying to make here. We are completely failing the population which is most likely to become chronically homeless: those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. By ‘meeting them where they are at’ we frequently don’t meet them at all, until they are on the street, if ever. Nothing is done even when it is apparent to everyone else around them that what they are doing is not sustainable and will soon land them in very bad circumstances. The police can’t do anything because this population is frequently non-violent. Even when they are violent, a few days in jail will likely not fix anything. The DCR cannot do anything because, according to them, you ‘have the right to be mentally ill’ and are apparently only a danger to yourself and others when you are holding a gun to your head. The DCR is also incredibly slow to respond to issues. My  soon-to-be-unhoused neighbor went to the ER after getting physically assaulted by a random person. She had been on the street screaming nonsensically for several hours before this happened. She was at the ER for 3 hours, but the DCR was not able to make contact with her there, despite multiple people putting in calls for her. Where is this woman at? it’s clear she is traumatized, but she is not in a state which she can make the decisions necessary to improve her life, so therefore nothing can be done? Currently, her basic needs are met, she has food, water, shelter, but she cannot stabilize herself due to substance abuse/mental illness ruling her life, therefore she will soon lose access to these basics needs because everyone around her is compassion-fatigued and her toxic behaviors are becoming too much to deal with. She is going to be homeless without any kind of intervention. Holding no expectations for this woman is condemning her to become a street person.I see people in similar circumstances all of the time.I saw a very rough looking man downtown just the other day. He was drooling and occasionally yelling nonsensically. His legs were edematous and ulcerated, covered with filthy bandages. The wounds looked infected. Obviously nobody was taking any kind of serious care of this man, and he had just become little more that a nuisance on the street for anonymous strangers to pass by and scorn. Where is this man at? How is anyone going to meet him there? I am sure he has turned away social workers. He is likely non-violent, so the cops can’t do anything. DCR probably can’t even find him if they were to look for him. Is it compassionate that we just leave him there to languish and rot and make those who pass by him in public uncomfortable?  I really don’t think so.You are ignoring the fact that cattle-onto-the-street approach is worse than a cattle-through-a-narrow-gates.From my personal experience (I have worked in homeless shelters and I currently  work in the medical field), often, those who are in the throws of a drug addiction and mental illness cannot be ‘met where they are at’ because they think they are completely fine. They cannot see the grave damage that they are doing to themselves and those around them. These are the people who end up chronically homeless. When the mantra is ‘meet-them-where-they-are-at,’ the most vulnerable are ignored, because they often cannot see the reality they are living in. If you cannot see the prison you are in, you will never get the help you need, especially if a mental illness/drug abuse is making you paranoid. The longer you are in this prison, the harder it becomes to leave.

          • compassionate advocate August 15, 2021 (4:28 pm)

            Perhaps more radical kindness and compassion from community sooner, may have helped avoid these current outcomes, for these two individuals you’re speaking of.

            Maybe they could have been embraced and helped in a better way sooner.

            We need to look at all the ways we might improve how we help support others when they are spiraling down.

            It’s never too late to care, to extend radical kindness and compassion. It’s the least we can do to begin to try and help. 

            ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’

          • compassionate advocate August 15, 2021 (4:46 pm)

            … Also, would disagree that people who are in various crises are oblivious to their crises. They know more about their suffering, experiences, circumstances, and needs, than any outside observer. Again, think the help or approach that is coming their way somehow isn’t meeting their need, and we need to look at this.

            We may have some different perspectives and understandings, but I really appreciate your sharing yours, thank you for the conversation.

  • anonyme August 13, 2021 (11:26 am)

    Davison is far from a “Trump” Republican.  She is a former Democrat who, like many of us former progressives, has been driven further ‘right’ (which is anything even a step away from Seattle’s extreme left politics).  It’s absolutely ridiculous how anything even approaching moderation is characterized as fascist and Trump-loving.  The left used to be known for embracing the diversity of ideas and opinions; now they are known for lockstep histrionics, three monkeys in a row.   I’m perfectly willing to vote for a REPUBLICAN (gasp!!!!) if it will bring some balance and reason into local politics.

    • Jort August 13, 2021 (11:44 am)

      The leader of Ann Davison’s Republican Party, twice-impeached Donald Trump, tried to commit a coup and overthrow the legitimate results of a national election. That’s not the kind of “balance” or “reason” that belongs anywhere near Seattle’s governance. Ann Davison aligns herself with the anti-democracy, pro-fascist Republican Party. She thinks that’s better than being a Democrat. That’s her decision, and it’s why she can not be allowed to have any kind of responsibility over Seattle’s politics. Her party is a direct threat to democracy and she is part and parcel of it. Keep Ann “Trump Republican” Davison away from Seattle’s politics!

      • anonyme August 13, 2021 (12:52 pm)

        Evidently, you have taken a page right out of Trump’s playbook: repeat a lie often enough and it will be believed.  How many times can you repeat yourself in one thread?  Could it be because you have no legitimate argument defending business as usual politics in Seattle, via the Democratic monopoly?  That approach has proven to be an utter failure, with the response being to double-down on it.  I would prefer to vote for a progressive candidate, but that does not automatically translate to a far-left Democrat.  I’ll vote for anyone who has a new, better, and decisive plan and not just virtue-flagging, buzz-word blathering BS.

      • Ativan August 13, 2021 (1:04 pm)

        Jort, you use the same type of inflammatory histrionics that the people you profess to despise specialize in.  I share most of your views, but, as usual, your frothing, self-righteous delivery tempts me to vote Republican and roll coal.

        • Ron Swanson August 13, 2021 (3:15 pm)

          He’s absolutely right, though.  I have some sympathy for Chris Vance types who were long time Republicans who watched the party be taken over by a personality cult.

          I have no sympathy whatsoever for a former Dem who looked at how things were going in 2020 and said “I’m jumping on the Trump train” – that speaks to a complete lack of morals on the substance and intelligence on thinking that would lead to electoral success in Seattle of all places.

      • Pessoa August 13, 2021 (2:28 pm)

        Jort: At the present moment, the threat to America are not the bumbling bozo’s on Jan. 6th who couldn’t pull off a coup if they were given the instructions but – as has always been the case – the intelligence agencies that regularly surveil Americans, infiltrate and suppress organizations of all political stripes.  I won’t presume to know your stance on all things political, but it is quite remarkable how quickly and how eagerly many on the Left pulled a 180 and now slavishly praise the F.B.I, the C.I.A. and the NSA.  

        • Ron Swanson August 13, 2021 (5:00 pm)

          LOL – “these beer hall putsch idiots couldn’t pull off a coup successfully so let’s ignore it in favor of some tinfoil whataboutism”

          Do you anti-anti-Trump types ever think about what you sound like?

      • major_sigh August 13, 2021 (9:51 pm)

        Jort, I can tell from your post that you live in a sad little simplistic black-and-white world. Donald Trump is NOT the leader of the Republican party.  But what your rant tells me is that we need a 3rd party free from the madness of people like you and Donald Trump. Until then those of us in the middle are left with Sophie’s choice. Extreme liberals along with tantrums from people like you are making me more and more a split ticket voter. ( Yes shocking, you actually can vote for both parties!)

      • major_sigh August 13, 2021 (10:03 pm)

        Umm Liz Cheney who stood up to Trump’s lies is also a republican. Did Ann publically support the insurrection on the 6th or the lies about the steal. If so, than post that link. 

  • curiousquestioner August 13, 2021 (12:19 pm)

    I will vote for Ann, as I would like to see something of substance done with regards to crime and the homelessness situation. Jort, you get to speak your mind, but you don’t get to speak for the entire city. Some of us are fed up with how things are done here. 

    • Ivan Weiss August 13, 2021 (12:58 pm)

      @ curiousquestioner: You speak the truth. “Some” of you are fed up and will vote for Davison. Given that Thomas-Kennedy is polling ahead of her by a substantial margin, given that Thomas-Kennedy can expect to get the vast majority of the sizable bloc of Holmes voters, given that Davison’s own electoral history shows nothing but whopping defeats, and given that she’s running as a representative of the Trump/COVID/climate denial/voter suppression party, I’d guess “some” of you is all she’ll get in November.

      • curiousquestioner August 13, 2021 (2:19 pm)

        Correct – that’s how elections (and democracies) work. We each get to submit a single vote. What we don’t get to do is bully people and name call and attempt to make people look stupid for not agreeing with us. That’s what tyrants do. And Seattle progressives, apparently. 

        • Ron Swanson August 13, 2021 (5:03 pm)

          My, how the right’s “f**k your feelings” rallying cry turns into “help, I’m being oppressed” when it turns out the majority doesn’t agree with you…

        • Ivan Weiss August 13, 2021 (5:04 pm)

          @curiousquestioner: As far as I have been able to determine, “Seattle progressives” didn’t invade the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow a democratic election. “Seattle progressives” aren’t storming school board meetings all across the country, telling board members “We will find you” because they want kids to wear masks to help prevent deaths from COVID. “Seattle progressives” didn’t march through the streets of Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.” We know who is doing the bullying, and it isn’t us, pal.

          • Curiousquestioner August 13, 2021 (6:42 pm)

            If you’ll read through *my* posts, you’ll not find me bullying or yelling or any or histrionics. If you’re trying to make me into some sort of a boogeyman, that’s on you. I’m voting to do something about the tragedy that our homeless situation has become.  

          • Pessoa August 13, 2021 (9:42 pm)

            The corptocracy and its political enablers have all of you right where they want you – squabbling iineffectually with each other. At the current pace that your rights are being stripped away, none of this will matter a decade from now. 

        • Ivan Weiss August 13, 2021 (5:05 pm)

          It takes a lot of gall, after all that has happened since 2016, to accuse “Seattle progressives” of bullying.

    • Derek August 13, 2021 (3:39 pm)

      Nor do you speak for us.

  • ballardite August 14, 2021 (1:10 pm)

    City Attorney is a non-partisan office and I can’t see continuing down the same path we are on.  We are letting people continue a cycle of self harm and calling it “survival crime” to support their drug habit.  Continue a lifestyle where they cannot hold a regular job and must live in unsafe homeless encampments subject, be preyed on by drug dealers and/or pimps in tents or broken RV’s that don’t protect from the weather.  This cycle needs to be interrupted so that people can get into treatment they need and break this Cycle.  Ann Davison will do this – NTK will continue down our current path.  It’s a clear choice – Ann Davison.

    • Ivan Weiss August 15, 2021 (6:29 am)

      Ann Davison has lost every election in which she has been a candidate — by large margins every time — because most people do not like her, or her brand of politics. This time will be no different.

    • Unfortunate Observer August 15, 2021 (1:12 pm)

      Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think it is extremely naive to assume that a single politician in a single office can fix this problem. Homelessness and it’s negative effects are not unique to Seattle. There are homeless encampments in many large cities, especially in high cost areas like our own. All along the West Coast there are homeless encampments in non-urban areas as well. I won’t tell you who to vote for, but please don’t be disappointed if your preferred candidate wins and nothing happens.

  • Pessoa August 15, 2021 (9:27 am)

    Missing in the discussion of the mentally ill is the type of care they will receive once within the mental healthcare system, and this can be broadened to include the general population as well. It is often necessaary to administer anti-psychotics to stabilize a patient and make them amenable to tratment, but this often becomes a lifetime regimen that turns functioning individuals into easily managed, docile “zombies.” Is this truly mental healthcare – or simply warehousing people? 

    • Unfortunate Observer August 15, 2021 (1:24 pm)

      I dunno, what’s worse, man? A lifetime of taking drugs that sometimes have could negative side effects, or a lifetime of food-insecurity, being used for organized crime,  being treated like s–t for existing, not sleeping comfortably because you are literally sleeping under the eaves, never being able be gainfully employed because you have no address, and finally behaving in ways that are largely out of your volition which lead to the destruction of your support system. You tell me. Putting myself in these people shoes, If I was on the street, out-of-my-mind from untreated mental illness, and struggling with a substance abuse issue, I would definitely want someone to intervene, even if in the moment it didn’t feel like it. Our current mental health system is not perfect by any means, but living on the streets is far more damaging.

  • Simon August 15, 2021 (5:47 pm)

    What I think is missing from the conversation about reducing the numbers of our neighbors that are unhoused, unfed, and without access to the clinical services they need is prevention. In absence of even a semblance of a decent mental health system not only in King County but throughout the state, a location that is a weigh station for the distribution of every toxic drug on the planet, and a culture (yes, even here in progressive Seattle) that tolerates intergenerational trauma,  we all see the folks that have been out there on the streets for decades. Sadly, thousands of those folks are simply never going to maintain stability as we might envision it. By all means, it is a moral imperative to continue to extend emergency housing, nutrition, and medical services but the momentum of addiction, chronic mental illness, grievous wounds of untold trauma, and community disconnectedness stand in the way of countless people ever coming inside for good. Meanwhile we have so many young people aging out of the foster care system and so many coming out of incarceration. The majority of these individuals will be homeless within a year after exiting institutions. Twenty years from now, these are the people we’ll see in similar intractable situations we will lament and rail against. For the amount of resources and  human intelligence that are involved with systems we have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into in over the last twenty years, I do not see nearly enough forethought and effort to stem the tide of tomorrow’s unhoused population.One other note here if I may. I think the constructive argument about the place of public and private sectors in solving problems, providing opportunity, and building our future is important. That discussion of progressive ideas versus conservative (or on the spectrum) is invaluable. That is simply not happening anymore. One party still overtly  advocates that not everyone in our community has the right to marry. One party welcomes Nazis (not hyperbole- actual Nazis) into their party. One party actively fights against public health practice that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and knowingly repeats lies about valid elections, scientific, and information systems, and First Amendment rights, threatening our democracy. Even at a local level, if you are still putting an R after your name there is no out. You are supporting all of that anti-patriotism, cruelty, and sedition. Figure out another way to advocate for conservative ideals.

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