voter guide

Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide Released!

Voter Guide and Local Information Resource

People Power Washington – Police Accountability’s Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide is out! (Disclaimer: I worked on this guide.) Even if you already know who you want to vote for in November, I suggest taking a look when you have a few free moments. You can learn a lot by reading the candidate questionnaire answers, and we’ve also included many issue explainers to get you up to speed on local issues that are relevant to this election cycle. The guide covers King County, Seattle, Burien, and Kenmore. Feel free to share with your friends and communities!

Seattle Public Safety Survey

This year’s Seattle Public Safety Survey is now available to take online. Taking this survey is an…interesting experience. Some of the questions had me scratching my head. That being said, I do recommend you take the time to do it to make sure your views are being represented.

Election News

With ballots out and the election in less than two weeks, election news is flying fast and thick, and there are plenty of candidate forums and debates between which to choose. The Northwest Progressive Institute also released some polling on the Seattle races, which shows all three of the more progressive candidates trailing, although the race between Oliver and Nelson looks quite close.
The Washington Observer reported on the Seattle City Attorney race, saying, “Seattle’s moneyed donor class, along with some of the Eastside’s moneyed donor class, quite suddenly developed a passionate interest in a race that had previously been sort of an overlooked experiment in the unintended consequences of the city’s democracy-voucher program.” Trump Republican Ann Davison has been attracting a bunch of money through the Seattle For Common Sense PAC: $300k to be precise. True, the Voices United PAC is supporting Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, but only to the tune of $10k so far.

Seattle SPD and Budget

Paul Faruq Kiefer
Per the mayor’s office right now, SPD only ended the night with 7 holdouts on the vaccine. That doesn’t mean people who are still in the accommodations process (for religious exemptions) will necessarily keep their jobs, and that figure is significantly higher.

 

All the hype about SPD hemorrhaging officers because of the city vaccine mandate turned out to be just that: hype. We’ll have to wait and see if the accommodations process ends with significantly more officers leaving, but the current number of seven seems like a pretty cheap price to pay for increased public health, even for those who want the SPD to grow in size.
Meanwhile, Seattle budget season continues! Next week there will be all-day budget meetings on October 26, 27, and 28 starting at 9:30am, during which CMs will be discussing their proposed amendments to the budget. There will be a chance for public comment at the beginning of each of these meetings, and a more precise schedule for each day should be released soon.

Recent Headlines

Washington State Patrol’s hiring under fire as agency failed to diversify over decades | The Seattle Times

Proposed WA redistricting maps may violate Voting Rights Act | Crosscut

The 2022 budget: a recap of the "issues" discussions

Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide Released! Read More »

2021 Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide Is Out!

Policing Voter Guide is Out!

People Power Washington is pleased to present the 2021 Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide for Seattle, King County, and Burien to help you know where local candidates stand as you make voting decisions in the August 3rd primaries. (This week is the time to fill out your ballot if you haven’t already!) Key races will determine who sets the course in areas that impact all of us including choosing heads of our law enforcement departments, setting budget priorities, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements with police guilds.
Many local candidates responded to our questionnaires about public safety and the criminal legal system; you can read their on-the-record answers at the website and work to hold them accountable if they are elected. The website also includes explainers to provide context to the critical issues at stake this year. If your own jurisdiction is not covered by the current guide, you can contact People Power Washington at wapeoplepower@gmail.com if you’d like to help them add it for the general election in November.
I’m on the steering committee of People Power Washington and worked directly on some of the questionnaires and issue explainers. I hope you find them helpful!

A New Director for King County’s OLEO

Today the King County Council selected a new Director for OLEO (Office of Law Enforcement Oversight): Tamer Abouzeid, an attorney, mediator, community organizer and policy professional. He is replacing previous Director Deborah Jacobs. He is starting on September 20.

Seattle City Council Meetings

Amy Sundberg
Good morning, and welcome to Seattle’s Council Briefing!

On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to pass a clerk file to make sure facial recognition technology is included as part of the City’s surveillance technology ordinance. CM Herbold reported that last week the Mayor’s Office announced committing $2m in next year’s budget to a regional response to gun violence, the Regional Peacekeepers, and CM Herbold would like to try to get some of that money out the door this year instead of next year.

Good morning, and welcome to Seattle’s Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting.
At today’s Public Safety and Human Services committee meeting, we heard about OIG’s phase one sentinel review report on the protests last year, as well as Summary Findings on the Executive Order on Re-imagining Policing and Community Safety from the executive branch (Central staff presentation here/Executive branch presentation here). The live tweet of this meeting is of more than usual interest given the topics covered.
This first phase of the OIG’s sentinel review report only covers the first few days of the protests last summer, focusing on five primary events during those days. The report offers 54 recommendations that they hope are actionable for SPD. (As a side note, one of the most interesting things about the sentinel review report process is the use of a peacemaking circle within the selected panel to try to facilitate trust building and peace, as well as listening and reconciliation. I do question whether trust can be built between community and an organization with such deep systemic issues, but am interested in other applications for this process.)
One of the OIG report’s main critiques comes from Decriminalize Seattle, who tweeted that while the focus of the report is on fixing the system, the brutal police response of last summer IS the system, and the recommendations made in the report are “almost laughably pro-cop.”
Decriminalize Seattle Coalition (Official)
The only problem:
Last summer’s brutal police response to protest IS the system
As for the summary findings for re-imagining public safety, the IDT involved in this work says they learned three things from community engagement: that community is not a monolith, that public safety extends beyond policing, and that people want more visible patrol presence, especially in the International District, Belltown, and Pioneer Square.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the report was that the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) was contracted to do an analysis of Seattle’s 911 call data, and they found 174 call types they thought could be answered by alternative responses instead of sworn officers, which Chris Fisher from SPD said would equal about 49% of calls. However, SPD did their own analysis and decided only 12% of those calls (28-30 call types) could actually be answered by alternate responses, including person down and welfare check calls. They said part of this was due to labor and legal issues (aka the police contract and local laws).
CM Herbold brought up the point that 12% of 911 calls is 48,000 calls a year, but the Mayor’s Triage One proposal (the new emergency response pilot) is only designed to answer 7,000 calls per year. She asked about the additional 40k calls in that 12% and why they weren’t included in the Mayor’s proposal. Julie Kline from the Mayor’s office said that Triage One is just a first step, what they see as “low-hanging fruit.” It is noteworthy seeing just how small a first step it is.

Recent Headlines

Mental Health Response Teams Yield Better Outcomes Than Police In NYC, Data Shows

Report: Seattle police stop Black people, Native Americans at far higher rate than white people | The Seattle Times

2021 Policing and Public Safety Voter Guide Is Out! Read More »

This week’s events and meetings

Lots of events this week!

First, this morning’s Council Briefing.

Upcoming Events:

Tonight, 10/12 7:30pm: Seattle Town Hall presents “The History of Housing Segregation,” on which CM Mosqueda will be sitting on a panel for part of the program.

Tuesday, 10/13 5pm: CM Strauss is holding a town hall.

Wednesday, 10/14 4pm: CM Juarez is holding a town hall.

Thursday, 10/15 7pm: ACLU People Power and the League of Women Voters of Seattle/King County are having a town hall about police accountability in King County, specifically going over relevant charter amendments on the upcoming ballot.

Tuesday, 10/20 6-8pm: CM Sawant is holding a town hall.


Other News:

The 2020 ACLU People Power Washington Voter Guide has been released. This guide views both the King County charter amendments on the ballot and WA State legislature candidates through a lens of police reform. Check out your candidates, and email them asking to fill out the survey if they haven’t already!

The recall petition filed against Mayor Durkan has been rejected by the court. Meanwhile, the Seattle Human Rights Commission is “seeking the immediate resignation of Mayor Jenny Durkan” and if she fails to resign, calls on the Council to begin removal proceedings. The recall petition against CM Sawant is still slowly wending its way through the legal system.

The budget meetings this Thursday and Friday will be for issue identification with CMs to explore ideas and express priorities. Collectively the CMs have filed 158 Form As this year (expressing issues they would like to discuss during this time), which is a fairly large number. They will start from issue identification and begin narrowing their focus as the budget process continues. There will also be issue identification meetings next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. All of these budget meetings will have time for public comment starting at 9:30am.

This week’s events and meetings Read More »