Tag Archives: Erica C. Barnett

Burien Council Bans Sleeping Outside at Night, Still Has No Plan to Address Homelessness

by Erica C. Barnett

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


The Burien City Council voted Monday night to ban unsheltered people from sleeping in public spaces between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., after failing for more than six months to create any shelter or other legal place for a group of several dozen people to sleep.

Continue reading Burien Council Bans Sleeping Outside at Night, Still Has No Plan to Address Homelessness

As Camping Ban Looms, Burien Considers Privately Owned Lot Near Library as Potential Shelter Site

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

by Erica C. Barnett


On Monday night, the Burien City Council decided not to immediately approve a bill that would ban sleeping outdoors in the city “at any time between sunset and sunrise,” opting to request more information from City staff about the implications of the ban before passing it.

Continue reading As Camping Ban Looms, Burien Considers Privately Owned Lot Near Library as Potential Shelter Site

Council Declines to Fast-Track Law Empowering City Attorney To Prosecute Drug Users

by Erica C. Barnett

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


The Seattle City Council narrowly rejected Councilmember Andrew Lewis’ proposal to fast-track a bill empowering City Attorney Ann Davison to prosecute people for drug possession and public use, voting to allow the bill to go through the regular committee process. The impact of the vote is that the Council will take up the bill after they return from the regular August recess, allowing Council staff the time to draft amendments and analyze the latest version of the legislation.

Continue reading Council Declines to Fast-Track Law Empowering City Attorney To Prosecute Drug Users

City Can Continue ‘Obstruction’ Sweeps for Now; Ex-KCRHA Director Turns In First Work on City Contract

by Erica C. Barnett

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


City Can Continue ‘Obstruction’ Sweeps for Now

Last Friday, a state appeals court issued a ruling staying any enforcement of a King County Superior Court decision finding Seattle’s rules on “obstruction” encampment removals unconstitutional. The City defines an “obstruction” as any encampment, tent, person, or property that is located in virtually any public space, including remote areas of public parks. The stay comes in response to an appeal filed by City Attorney Ann Davison’s office on Friday, and allows the City to continue its practice of no-notice sweeps, which have ramped up dramatically under the Harrell administration. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case have until Aug. 11 to respond to the City’s appeal.

Continue reading City Can Continue ‘Obstruction’ Sweeps for Now; Ex-KCRHA Director Turns In First Work on City Contract

Video Confirms that Officer Was Going 74 MPH, Did Not Have Siren Running When He Struck Pedestrian

by Erica C. Barnett

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

Content warning: This post contains descriptions of a violent, fatal traffic collision and images of a vehicle involved in that collision.


Video from the body-worn camera of Seattle Police Department (SPD) officer Kevin Dave shows Dave accelerating to 74 miles an hour and failing to turn on his siren as he approached the intersection where he struck and killed pedestrian Jaahnavi Kandula earlier this year. The King County Prosecutor’s Office, which is still deciding whether to charge Dave with a crime, provided the video and other documents in response to PubliCola’s records request.

Continue reading Video Confirms that Officer Was Going 74 MPH, Did Not Have Siren Running When He Struck Pedestrian

At Mariners’ Request, Mayor’s Office Pushed for Encampment Removal to ‘Make Opening Day Great’ Last Year

by Erica C. Barnett

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


For weeks, the City has been scrambling to make downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, and the stadium district inviting to the tens of thousands of people expected to pour into the area this week for All-Star Week. In addition to trash pickups and temporary park “activations” (pickleball, a free outdoor roller rink), the City has flooded the neighborhood with police; last Friday, in tiny Occidental Square alone, PubliCola counted at least eight officers, six park rangers, four private security guards, and about a dozen Downtown Seattle Association ambassadors.

And, of course, the City is sweeping unsheltered people by removing tents and RVs from the area.

Continue reading At Mariners’ Request, Mayor’s Office Pushed for Encampment Removal to ‘Make Opening Day Great’ Last Year

Fentanyl Task Force Agrees on Need for Evidence-Based Court Alternatives — With One Notable Exception

by Erica C. Barnett

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


A task force convened by Mayor Bruce Harrell to come up with proposals to address illegal drug use in public spaces has been meeting for several weeks to discuss how Seattle’s court system can address a potential influx of cases from the City Attorney Ann Davison’s office. This summer, the council is expected to pass a new law empowering Davison’s office to prosecute people who use drugs in public by aligning Seattle’s municipal code with a new state law making public drug use or simple possession a gross misdemeanor, rather than a felony.

Continue reading Fentanyl Task Force Agrees on Need for Evidence-Based Court Alternatives — With One Notable Exception

‘Downtown Is You’: Harrell Unveils New Downtown Plan Against Backdrop of Anti-Sweeps Protest

by Erica C. Barnett

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


Mayor Bruce Harrell gathered supporters in the Westlake Center plaza Wednesday morning to announce his latest downtown activation plan, officially titled “Downtown Is You.” But the press event was initially sidelined by a group of anti-sweeps protesters holding signs and chanting “stop the sweeps” and other slogans from a few feet away. After halting his prepared remarks, Harrell hopped down from the stage and attempted to get the protesters to be quiet, but he gave up and returned to the stage after several responded that they didn’t trust his offer to talk to them in a different venue.

Continue reading ‘Downtown Is You’: Harrell Unveils New Downtown Plan Against Backdrop of Anti-Sweeps Protest

Under Pressure, County Executive Constantine Cancels Plans to Expand SoDo Shelter

by Erica C. Barnett

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


King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Friday that in response to “community feedback,” the County will abandon plans to provide new shelter beds and a sobering center on vacant land next to the existing 270-bed Salvation Army shelter in SoDo. In a statement, Constantine said, “It is clear that building trust and resolving underlying concerns about the conditions in the community today will take considerable time before we can move forward with any added service capacity.”

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Harrell’s Budget Would Move Parking Enforcement Back to SPD and Use JumpStart to Backfill Budget

by Erica C. Barnett

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


Mayor Bruce Harrell’s first budget proposal would use JumpStart payroll tax revenues to shore up spending for non-JumpStart programs, move the City’s parking enforcement officers back into the Seattle Police Department (SPD) from the Department of Transportation (SDOT), and provide pay increases to homeless service providers well below the rate of inflation.

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