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.
Continue reading OPINION: Don’t Be Fooled by ‘Compassion’ Seattle
by Chetanya Robinson
During a June 16 town hall discussion organized by the 43rd District Democrats concerning Compassion Seattle’s proposed charter amendment on homelessness, critics who have personally experienced homelessness decried the details and general approach of the proposal.
As the South Seattle Emerald previously reported, if Compassion Seattle’s amendment passes in November, it would force the City of Seattle to carve a new approach to homelessness directly into its charter. Compassion Seattle is a coalition of nonprofit, business, and community leaders.
Continue reading Compassion Seattle Amendment Faces Scrutiny From Democratic Group and Homeless Advocates
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Proponents of a proposed amendment to the Seattle City Charter that would mandate (but not fund) spending on shelter and enshrine encampment sweeps in the city’s constitution have argued repeatedly that the proposal isn’t about sweeps.
Continue reading Lived Experience Coalition Says No One Asked Them About Homelessness Initiative
by Ashley Archibald
A coalition of nonprofits, business organizations, and community leaders calling itself Compassion Seattle filed a charter amendment initiative Thursday, April 1, that they say would improve the existing response to homelessness in the City of Seattle. However, the measure does not specify the sources of funding for the ambitious package of housing and services it would offer. The measure will require a little over 33,000 signatures from Seattle voters to qualify for inclusion on the November ballot.
The amendment — which in its early stages was first reported on by Erica C. Barnett at PubliCola — would amend the City Charter, the foundational document of a city analogous to the U.S. Constitution at the federal level. The charter spells out the powers, functions, organization, and “essential procedures” of a city, according to the National League of Cities.
The heads of 11 organizations in Seattle’s business and nonprofit communities announced their support of the measure, praising it as a valuable framework for addressing homelessness in the city.
Continue reading Group Seeks Amendment to Charter Requiring Homeless Services and Clearing of Parks
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On Monday, the director of the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), Calvin Goings, and the city’s finance director, Glen Lee, signed a letter to the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) asking the auditor to expand the scope of its ongoing audit of the contract between the city’s Legislative Department and the Freedom Project, which served as the “fiscal agent” for a $3 million project to study participatory budgeting and alternatives to policing.
However, PubliCola’s reporting indicates that the letter was written not by Goings and Lee but by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office — and that Goings and Lee were less than thrilled to sign their names to such a blatantly political series of requests and leading questions.
Continue reading Durkan Administration Asks State to Expand Scope of Audit Into City Council Contract