In budget news, Budget Chair Mosqueda released her balancing package late last week. Yes, ShotSpotter is still in there, and I encourage you to continue to tell your councilmembers about all the problems with it.
Councilmembers had to turn in their budget amendments by noon on Tuesday. We will hear all about them at the budget meeting on Friday 10/27, with a chance to give public comment at 10am.
I will be giving a virtual budget workshop with journalist extraordinaire Ryan Packer, sponsored by The Urbanist, on Monday, October 30 from 7-8:30pm, where we’ll fill you in on everything going on with those amendments, answer questions about the budget process, and more. Sign up for your free ticket here.
Money is pouring into the Seattle city councilmember races, with real estate companies and other business interests outspending labor 4 to 1, supporting the more conservative candidate in each race. Amazon tried a similar spending strategy back in 2019 only to have most of their preferred candidates lose, but it remains to be seen whether Seattle voters will be equally savvy this year. If big business wins out this year, The Stranger has shared some insights of what we can expect.
CARE’s new dual dispatch alternative response program has officially launched. I have already covered this program in depth, but I will note the pilot is initially focusing on downtown, including the CID and SODO.
New Drug Law
The ordinance criminalizing public drug use went into effect last Friday, and SPD was ready. On Friday afternoon they targeted 12th Ave S and Jackson St in the CID and 3rd and Pine downtown and arrested about two dozen people, ten of whom went to jail. Chief Diaz says he intends to run similar operations on a weekly basis. This would seem to lend credence to the capacity concerns around the LEAD diversion program.
Other Seattle News
The King County Prosecutors’ Office has hired an independent investigator to look into the death of Jaahnavi Kandula due to a potential conflict of interest of having SPOG being involved in the initial investigation. The work is supposed to be completed sometime in November.
The South Seattle Emerald did a great write-up of the new, very promising Guaranteed Basic Income program being run by Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services. This is the first GBI program in the country focusing exclusively on Indigenous communities. Their director, Patanjali de la Rocha, was one of the panelists for Solidarity Budget’s GBI panel earlier this month.
- SPD’s third highest-paid cop caught napping on the job in a bus lane
- After Recent Hate Crime at Wing Luke Museum, True Repair to the CID Requires More Investment
- OPINION | City Officials Believe the Only ‘Good’ Homeless Person Is a Dead Homeless Person
- Washington’s Supreme Court Delivers Major Blow to Police Oversight
- Latest criminal justice news, reports and commentary 10.24.23
- Safer Cities: Three Things to Read this Week