Tag Archives: Homelessness Crisis

Judge Strikes Homelessness Charter Amendment from Ballot

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)

Late Friday afternoon, King County Superior Court Judge Christine Shaffer struck Charter Amendment 29 (CA 29), the “Compassion Seattle” homelessness initiative, from the November ballot, agreeing with opponents of the measure that it went beyond the scope of the initiative process. Specifically, Chambers said, the amendment attempted to overrule the City of Seattle’s authority to determine its own homelessness and land-use policies — authority granted to local jurisdictions by the State Legislature that cannot, she said, be overturned by an initiative at the local level.

The amendment, if adopted, would require the City Council to spend a minimum of 12% of its general fund revenues on homelessness, dictating further that in the first year, that money would have to pay for 2,000 new units of “emergency housing” (shelter). It would also change local land use and zoning laws by requiring the City to waive code requirements, regulations, and fees to “urgently site” the projects it would mandate.

The groups that sued to remove the proposal from the ballot, including the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and the ACLU of Washington, argued that the voters of Seattle lack the authority to overturn these sort of legislative decisions and that the amendment would effectively undo the agreement the City and County made to create the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority. Judge Shaffer agreed.

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Then and Now: Seattle’s Plan for Homelessness From 2010 to 2020

by Luke Brennan

Over the last decade, Seattle and King County have taken various measures to support people living without permanent housing. In 2015, King County was investing $36 million a year to assist people living unhoused and at risk of becoming unhoused. 

Despite these efforts, homelessness has been on the rise since 2010, with increasing rent prices as the likely culprit. 

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OPINION: Don’t Be Fooled by ‘Compassion’ Seattle

by Tiffani McCoy and Jacob Schear

Throughout June, many Seattle voters have likely come into contact with paid signature gatherers wearing badges with purple and magenta rainbows stationed outside of grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants. They will ask you to sign their petition to “solve the homelessness crisis.”

These paid signature gatherers are working to get the “Compassion Seattle” charter amendment on the November ballot. If Compassion Seattle passes, this amendment would be added to our city’s charter.

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Marc Dones Believes King County Can Fix Its Homelessness Crisis

by Ashley Archibald

That Marc Dones believes the County can fix its homelessness crisis is probably good news coming from the first CEO of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) — the organization that replaced All Home King County as the coordinating entity for homelessness response after a lengthy planning process.

This optimism comes against the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis on the streets of Seattle and King County, one that has become worse and more visible over the past two decades as various initiatives tried and failed to end it.

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