Battle over Seattle homeless camps prompts push-back on Sawant

Seattle homeless camp garbage PIXLR.jpg
Endless litter covers an illegal homeless camp along the I-5 off ramp to Mercer Street in Seattle. (photo: KOMO News).{ }

Turmoil over how to handle Seattle homeless camps, like 'the Jungle 2.0', have prompted critics of Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant to start an on-line petition, rebuking her demand that city authorities not sweep out illegal homeless camps.

The petition reads, in part: "Strike down the “proviso” as proposed by Council Member Kshama Sawant that would prevent the City of Seattle from spending money, staff time or other resources to remove unauthorized encampments in most public spaces. Protect people. Protect the environment. Restore public safety and health."

Petition organizer, Elisabeth James, who works with a group called Speak Out Seattle tells KVI's John Carlson, "...we've been kind of paying attention to the issues on homelessness and addiction and not seeing that the city's acting very urgently on these" crises.

Speak Out Seattle formed in response to some city council members allowing homeless people to camp in city parks. The new on-line petition and public rally on Wed. November 1st at City Hall in part stem from Council member Sawant saying she opposes city officials sweeping out illegal homeless camps.

James also pointed out that last Friday, Councilmember Lisa Herbold (W.Seattle) proposed a plan to, "reduce significantly the accountability requirements in contracting for homeless providers so that they don't have to do all the reporting and we won't know exactly if a particular provider is performing well or not getting results so that we can make sure our money's going toward programs that work. "

Carlson added that mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan should seize on these developments in the last 8 days of the campaign to replace disgraced Seattle mayor, Ed Murray

James says the only Seattle city council member who has responded favorably to the on-line petition is Sally Bagshaw who represents Pioneer Square, Downtown, Belltown, First Hill, and southern parts of Queen Anne.

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