Tag Archives: Defunding Police

A Precarious Compromise on Homeless Outreach Inches Forward

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


On Monday, Seattle City Council homelessness committee chair Andrew Lewis introduced a proposal that would restore funding for outreach to homeless encampments and lay the groundwork for what Lewis described as a new City “unsheltered outreach and response team” that would replace the controversial Navigation Team.

The surprising part is that the council and mayor’s office worked together on the legislation. 

Continue reading A Precarious Compromise on Homeless Outreach Inches Forward

King County Equity Now Announces Community-Based Research Team

by Elizabeth Turnbull


On Monday, the King County Equity Now (KCEN) Coalition unveiled the Black Brilliance Project, a Black-led, community-based research team set to investigate health, public safety and racial equity solutions, with the goal of providing direction and authority on how City funds should be applied toward meeting these needs in 2021. 

The Black Brilliance Project’s first 50 members were on-boarded last week, and the project will ultimately consist of over 100 paid research positions, occupied by various members of the city’s Black community, some of whom spoke at a press conference on Monday. 

Overall, the project will survey the needs of the Black community and provide a potential avenue for community members to be involved in budgeting decisions as an alternative to City-formed task forces that usually decide how money for the Black community is allocated. 

“When we say community voice we don’t mean some task force that is cherry-picked by white wealthy people who already have access to political power,” said KCEN research director Shaun Glaze during a press conference Monday. “Instead of having pre-set priorities, instead of having hand-selected task forces, we are pushing for a community voice and community power to be at the center.”

Continue reading King County Equity Now Announces Community-Based Research Team

OPINION: Mayor Durkan’s Austerity Budget Fails Working People and Black and Brown Communities, Fails to Defund Police

by Kshama Sawant


“It should surprise no one that the Mayor who has overseen police indiscriminately tear gas protest movements is now trying to gaslight an entire city into thinking she believes that Black Lives Matter.”

Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan, who has given us torrents of tear gas, blast balls, and pepper spray, who has staunchly defended Amazon and billionaires from even minimal taxation, and who has presided over brutal austerity budgets, is now offering a 2021 budget that will only double down on hard times for Seattle’s working people and marginalized communities.

Behind her gauzy rhetoric about “reimagining policing” and the “largest-ever investment in racial equity and justice,” Mayor Durkan is proposing a business-as-usual budget that fundamentally fails working people, especially in Black and Brown communities. 

Continue reading OPINION: Mayor Durkan’s Austerity Budget Fails Working People and Black and Brown Communities, Fails to Defund Police

Cuts to SPD’s Domestic Violence Unit Could Undermine DV Investigations, Experts Say

by Paul Kiefer

(This article was originally published on The C Is for Crank and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


As part of the staffing transfers that Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced last Tuesday, the Seattle Police Department is in the process of moving 88 officers to patrol duties, with more transfers to follow. Those reductions include 29 Community Policing Team members, five members of the department’s Intelligence Unit (used to identify crime hot spots and to determine where patrol officers will be deployed), and five members of the department’s Domestic Violence Unit — nearly a quarter of that unit’s staff.

Continue reading Cuts to SPD’s Domestic Violence Unit Could Undermine DV Investigations, Experts Say

Coalition Working to Defund University of Washington Police Says Regents and President Have Fallen Short

by Elizabeth Turnbull


As protesters across the city have pushed to defund the Seattle Police Department this summer, student activists and faculty at the University of Washington (UW) have been fighting an uphill battle to disarm and divest from the UW Police Department (UWPD).

Thus far, Ana Mari Cauce, the president of the university has pledged to make UWPD 20%smaller than it was last year, create a task force to decide what to do about the campus’ association with the former slave owner and United States president, George Washington, and to work on developing a team of non-police responders. 

For the Coalition to Decriminalize UW, a group which encompasses 150 campus-based organizations including the campus Black Student Union, the African Students Association, and the UW Black Lives Matter chapter, as well as faculty, staff, and students of the UW, these efforts have fallen far short of their demands that the university reimagine campus safety. 

Continue reading Coalition Working to Defund University of Washington Police Says Regents and President Have Fallen Short

Labor Day Caravan and Protest Pushes for City Council to Override Mayor’s Veto

by Elizabeth Turnbull


At least 50 cars and 200 people formed a city-wide protest and caravan on Labor Day to press City Council members to override Mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of council-approved reductions to the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) 2020 budget. 

Continue reading Labor Day Caravan and Protest Pushes for City Council to Override Mayor’s Veto

What Is Participatory Budgeting, and How Could It Shape the City’s Approach to Public Safety?

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article was originally published on The C Is for Crank and is reprinted under an agreement.)


When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to veto the City Council’s midyear budget rebalancing package on Friday, she specifically called out an ordinance appropriating $3 million for the council to contract with community-based groups to create a “roadmap for future equitable participatory budget processes related to public safety” by gathering public input to shape the City’s public safety budget priorities.

Council member Tammy Morales, the sponsor of that ordinance, has said that the research would be the first step toward “participatory budgeting,” a process some cities use to guide public spending, often by allowing residents to vote on how to spend a designated pot of money (a federal grant, for instance).

Continue reading What Is Participatory Budgeting, and How Could It Shape the City’s Approach to Public Safety?

Kent Youth Organization and Community Members to Rally at Kent Police Department

by Jack Russillo


Youth speakers will rally in front of the Kent Police Department Monday, August 17 to demand that the City of Kent and the Kent School District address issues of systemic racism.

The rally is organized by ForFortyTwo, an organization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth who are combating systemic racism in Kent. The rally will bring together Kent community members to list demands that involve defunding the police, invite local youth to tell stories of their experiences with police brutality, and offer tables where attendees can contribute ideas for community and school programs that uplift and support BIPOC groups instead of funneling them into systems of punishment and oppression. Community-funded food and water will also be provided for attendees, as well as a full medical team. The rally will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Continue reading Kent Youth Organization and Community Members to Rally at Kent Police Department

Seattle Council Takes a Small Bite Out of Police Budget, Chief Best Will Retire

by Erica C. Barnett

(Updated at 12:58pm on 8/11/20)

(This article originally appeared on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)


Advocates for an immediate 50% cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget may have walked away unsatisfied Monday evening, when the City Council passed a midyear budget package that lopped just 7% off SPD’s remaining 2020 budget. But the Council majority left no question that they consider the short-term cuts a down payment on a more substantive proposal next year — one that, importantly, has a shot of making it through labor negotiations with the powerful police officers’ union. 

In a surprising turn, Seattle’s Police Chief Carmen Best will announce her retirement on Tuesday in the wake of the Council’s decision. This was confirmed with multiple sources including the mayor’s office. The C is for Crank was also able to obtain a copy of Chief Best’s letter to SPD announcing her departure on September 2.

Continue reading Seattle Council Takes a Small Bite Out of Police Budget, Chief Best Will Retire

Rally Reiterates Need For Defunding SPD, Sawant Says Seattle Police Officer’s Guild Not an Obstacle

by Elizabeth Turnbull


On Tuesday, over 100 people gathered on Capitol Hill for a rally and protest, in which march organizers reiterated their demand to defund the Seattle Police Department (SPD) by 50%. Council member Kshama Sawant, speaking to the marchers, specifically denied that the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG) stands in the way of defunding. 

Every Day March organizers, who put on the rally, spoke about the current relationship between the Seattle Police force and the Black community and the need to channel funding to the Black community in order to provide better schools and equitable community development. 

“You can’t keep oppressing the people who are paying your salaries and not expect them to fight for themselves,” said an Every Day March organizer named T.K. “How do our police officers, that are supposed to be serving us, make more money than us? And we’re paying for it!” 

Continue reading Rally Reiterates Need For Defunding SPD, Sawant Says Seattle Police Officer’s Guild Not an Obstacle