Tag Archives: Ed Murray

Seattle has a solution to their homelessness crisis: A 75-person task force

government solve all problems

The city of Seattle has a major homelessness problem. It’s so bad that the former disgraced homosexual mayor, Ed Murray, declared a State of Emergency on November 2, 2015. From my blog post in April 2017:

In 2016, the King County region saw an increase of 19% of our unsheltered population, the majority of those people residing in Seattle. In November of 2015, Mayor Murray declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness to bring light to this crisis and seek greater support from our state and federal partners. Mayor Murray has increased spending on homelessness intervention and prevention and the City of Seattle is now spending a record high of nearly $50 million dollars to address this crisis.”

The city has spent a lot of tax payer money to try and solve the problem. Here’s an example of what they’ve done to date:

Three years after the State of Emergency was declared and after all the hires and money spent, homelessness is still a major issue in the city.

The solution now? Form a large task force which, no doubt, will recommend more new taxes.

Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times reports on the details of this new task force:

The number of people in King County who left homelessness for permanent housing has nearly doubled since 2012, but the overall tally of people who became homeless has risen more steeply — to nearly 30,000 in 2016.

That data, from King County, framed the launch on Monday of a sprawling new regional task force on homelessness to stop the descent of many into abject poverty. The 75-member group, called One Table, is the first evidence of regional collaboration between new Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine on the homelessness crisis.

The mission of the task force remains fuzzy — with a stated goal of finding solutions to “root causes,” including a lack of affordable housing and gaps in the behavioral health, criminal justice and child welfare systems that jettison people directly into homelessness.

At a news conference after the first meeting, Constantine said the task force was in response to a city property tax proposed, then withdrawn, last year by former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for homeless services.

One Table, co-chaired by Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, includes leaders from a business community that has objected to a rising tax level. But Constantine suggested its recommendations could include new taxes for homelessness prevention.

“We’re spending a lot of money now on crisis response (to homelessness), but on the prevention side, on the root causes, there is clearly still a gap in the resources available,” he said.

Durkan sounded less enthusiastic. “We can’t reverse engineer this — it’s not the taxes first, and then do the services that fit the taxes,” she said. “Let’s find the solutions, then scope the resource to fill that gap.”

Read the rest of the details here.

DCG

Utopia will be achieved: Seattle awards $34M to 30 agencies to end homelessness

seattle homelessness

Tax dollars required to end homelessness…

In a previous post, I told you about Seattle’s serious homelessness problem. From my post:

“In 2016, the King County region saw an increase of 19% of our unsheltered population, the majority of those people residing in Seattle. In November of 2015, Mayor Murray declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness to bring light to this crisis and seek greater support from our state and federal partners. Mayor Murray has increased spending on homelessness intervention and prevention and the City of Seattle is now spending a record high of nearly $50 million dollars to address this crisis.”

The city hired a “Director of Homelessness” to ensure that the City’s increased efforts were well coordinated and driving toward the greatest outcomes for those in need. The new Director of Homelessness was tasked with executing the Mayor’s priorities on this issue. In August 2016, the city hired George Scarola to fill this position, who makes $137,500 per year.

In 2016, the Human Services Division invested $55 million in homelessness services. That large amount of tax-payer dollars didn’t solve the problem so $34 million more is needed.

From MyNorthwest.com: Calling it a fundamental shift in the City of Seattle’s approach to homelessness, Mayor Tim Burgess says the Human Services Department will fund 30 agencies to help move people into permanent housing. Those agencies plan to use the $34 million awarded to move more than twice as many people into housing next year than in 2017.

“By moving people from living on the street to permanent homes, we provide them a springboard to better opportunities and a more stable life,” said Mayor Tim Burgess. “We are focused on the only result that ends homelessness: housing. We are holding our providers accountable to that same result. I commend HSD for their focus on results and accountability for public dollars.”

The goal is to move more than 7,000 households into housing in 2018, including 739 families and 1,094 youth and young adults. (According to the HSD 2016 report, there was 6,128 exits to permanent housing throughout King County. Yet in 2017 there was another 7,000 homeless? That’s an awful lot of new homeless households in one year. The numbers just don’t make sense to me.)

The city says the awards fall into seven categories: Prevention, Diversion, Outreach and Engagement, Emergency Services, Transitional Housing, Rapid Re-Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing.

The Human Services Department received 181 applications from 57 agencies, according to the city.

According to the city’s annual point-in-time count, 8,746 people are homeless in Seattle, and there are 3,857 unsheltered people.

DCG

Ruh roh: Accuser files new suit against former homosexual mayor Ed Murray, adds Seattle as defendant

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

We’ve told you about the homosexual mayor of Seattle (now former mayor), Ed Murray, and the sexual abuse allegations against him. See the following:

Looks like Murray, and now the city of Seattle, are going to be busy meeting with their lawyers.

As reported by Lewis Kamb from the Seattle Times: A Kent man who earlier this year withdrew a lawsuit that helped expose a wider alleged child-sex-abuse scandal that drove Ed Murray out of public office has refiled a legal case against Seattle’s former mayor.

Delvonn Heckard’s new lawsuit not only accuses Murray of repeatedly raping and molesting him as a teenager, but also blames the city of Seattle for enabling Murray to use his political office to slander Heckard and other alleged victims for months during the former mayor’s public denials.

“Acting within the scope of employment and utilizing his position of power as bestowed upon him by the citizens of the City of Seattle, Mr. Murray spread false and harmful information about Delvonn, and his attorneys, in an effort to win re-election and extinguish these claims,” the lawsuit contends.

The suit, filed Monday in King County Superior Court, accuses Murray of making “false assertions” that included calling Heckard a liar motivated by an anti-gay political agenda. It names only Murray and the city as defendants, but also contends that Murray’s personal spokesman, his lead attorney, his husband and his campaign team “acted in concert to perpetuate this fraud.”

Heckard’s 13-page complaint also blames “many members of Seattle’s political elite” — specifically naming Seattle City Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Sally Bagshaw — for empowering Murray’s attacks on victims by refusing to seek the mayor’s removal from office.

“The failure to act was a form of negligence that permitted Mr. Murray to continue to use his power to defame the assorted victims,” the suit states. “These actions, enabling, and watching future leaders of the community accept Mr. Murray’s endorsement, caused added emotional distress and humiliation to Delvonn, and childhood sex abuse victims everywhere.”

Murray, through his personal spokesman, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for City Attorney Pete Holmes said early Monday his office had not yet received a copy of Heckard’s lawsuit and doesn’t typically comment on pending litigation against the city.

Murray, 62, a former state legislator in his first term as Seattle mayor, resigned on Sept. 12 about two hours after The Seattle Times reported his cousin, Joseph Dyer, had become the fifth man to publicly accuse him of child sexual abuse decades ago.

Aside from Heckard and Dyer, Murray’s accusers include Jeff Simpson, Murray’s live-in foster son in the early 1980s; Lloyd Anderson, who lived in a Portland children’s group home where Murray worked as a counselor in the late 1970s; and Maurice Lavon Jones, who claims Murray paid him for sex when Jones was a teenage prostitute in Seattle in the late 1980s.

Heckard is the only accuser to sue Murray. His latest legal complaint partly echoes details included in the initial lawsuit, filed in April. Both suits allege Murray began paying small amounts of cash to Heckard for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a homeless 15-year-old drug addict roaming the streets of Capitol Hill. Murray’s pay-for-sex relationship with Heckard allegedly continued over the next four years, the suit contends.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Bloodsuckers: Seattle council members target big business with new tax

government solve all problems

There’s never enough taxpayer money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on. Earlier this summer the Seattle city council approved a tax on the wealthy (for individuals making over $250,000 per year), yet that will face a legal challenge.

Since the beginning of their homeless crisis, the city of Seattle has been spending a lot of tax payer money to try and solve the problem. They have also hired many folks to address the problem. Alas, homelessness within the city persists.

To address the city’s major homeless problem, Seattle demorats now want to tax big businesses an additional “fee.”

In their minds, more taxpayer money is always the solution.

From MyNorthwest.com: As the Seattle City Council considers its next budget, two council members are proposing a new business tax that will place fees on the city’s top earning companies to fund programs for the homeless.

“It is our large employers who have benefited most from Seattle’s economic boom,” said Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley. “As a result, big business is best positioned to help relieve some of the pressure created by rapid growth. We need a systematic fix to help address the resulting lack of affordable housing and dearth of places for people to go. This is a solution that protects the most vulnerable in our city and will help small businesses thrive.”

Harris-Talley is proposing the new tax along with Councilmember Mike O’Brian. They call it the H.O.M.E.S. proposal — Housing, Outreach and Mass-Entry Shelter.

Mayor Tim Burgess recently gave the council his proposed budget. According to O’Brien and Harris-Talley, it doesn’t go far enough to fund programs for the homeless. The two council members believe their tax will raise up to $24 million to go toward 24-hour shelters, encampments, and tiny homes. They also want to fund outreach, safe zones for people living in their vehicles, and rental assistance for people making less than 30 percent of the area’s median income.

To reach the $24 million revenue mark, the council members are proposing:

  • A tax on the top 10 percent of the highest-grossing businesses in Seattle.
  • Those businesses would pay 4.8 cents per hour, per employee.
  • This will equate to roughly $100 per employee, annually.
  • If approved, the tax would begin in early 2018.

 The city council is expected to discuss the tax proposal at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 16.

Harris-Talley is an interim council member standing in for Tim Burgess who has taken over the role of mayor after Ed Murray resigned. She was selected by the council last week out of three nominated options, and is expected to serve until the November election is verified and a replacement is voted in.

DCG

Seattle’s homosexual mayor resigns, finally, after fifth allegation of sexual abuse

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

Both Dr. Eowyn and I have chronicled the sexual abuse allegations of embattled Seattle mayor (tomorrow he’s a former mayor) Ed Murray.

In April, Dr. Eowyn reported that Murray (demorat) was accused of having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s.

From her blog post:

“Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.

Murray vehemently denied the allegations and abruptly canceled a scheduled news conference about police reform.

Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, had accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when Simpson was 13 and Anderson was 16 years old. Both men had known Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children.”

In July, I reported that it was revealed that the mayor was investigated by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) in 1984. The CPS determined that Murray should never again be a foster parent. From my blog post:

“…a child welfare investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son, The Seattle Times reports.

The Oregon Child Protective Services investigation validated Jeff Simpson’s allegations of abuse, according to public records the Times obtained.

Mayor Murray has publicly denied the allegations and made it a point that prosecutors in Oregon decided not to charge him years ago.

“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” Murray told the Times. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”

Now comes news that the good mayor is resigning due to a FIFTH sexual abuse allegation. Apparently five is his unlucky number.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he will resign after a relative became the fifth man to accuse him of sexual abuse.

Murray released the following statement:

I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.

I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.

And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.

But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.

To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.

In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.

A cousin of Murray accused him of sexual abuse, The Seattle Times reports. The Times reports that Joseph Dyer says that he was molested by Murray in the 1970s when he was 13.

“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer told the Times. “And that’s when he would molest me.”

Murray told the Times that he denies the latest allegations. He says there is a “backstory” between his family and his cousin’s family. Murray believes they want to “finish” him off.

Murray canceled his appearance at the KeyArena announcement — it was later completely canceled. He told the Times he questions the timing of the accusation. “It’s never been our intent to take down the mayor,” Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

Murray’s cousin is the fifth person to accuse him of abuse.

Allegations of abuse originally surfaced in the beginning of April. Since then, the man who filed a lawsuit against Murray dropped it; he then filed another lawsuit against the City of Seattle demanding millions. His lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, tweeted the following on Tuesday after news of the latest allegation broke: The truth normally prevails…

Murray has vehemently denied the allegations. He wrote an op-ed in which it alleged conspiracies of “political take down.”

Though the lawsuit against Murray was dropped, several notable names in Seattle, including two council members, have called for him to resign. The city’s LGBTQ Commission and Human Rights Commission also called for Murray to resign.

Murray previously said he will not step down before his term ends. “I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest,” he said in July. “That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.”

Murray dropped from his race for re-election.

DCG

Busted: Emails show that minimum wage advocates, academics coordinated to boost the new $15 Seattle wage

shock

From MyNorthwest.com: It’s been alleged that supporters of Seattle’s minimum wage law sought to undermine a study from the University of Washington that painted a less-than-perfect picture of what’s followed. And a paper trail leading back to city officials may have further solidified those allegations.

When the Seattle City Council passed the $15 minimum wage law it commissioned the University of Washington to study its affects on the local economy and workers. The recent UW study found that the economy absorbed the first wage increase from $9.47 an hour to $11 an hour. But after wages increased again, some businesses cut workers’ hours, meaning that despite getting a higher wage, workers didn’t earn from as many hours.

However, another study from the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found the wage law to be mostly positive.

But an email trail, which can be found at Forbes.com, led to some evidence that Forbes contributor Michael Saltsman called “not pretty.”

Among the findings, according to Saltsman, is a request from Mayor Ed Murray’s office asking the people at Berkeley to “omit any mention of the forthcoming University of Washington report from its write-up.

“Unfortunately, for them, I think they put a lot of coordination in email form that was accessible via public records request,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. It certainly raises questions about objectivity, Dori pointed out.

The email trail also reveals that the press release for the Berkeley study was written by a PR firm that was also used by Fight for $15, strong proponents of the minimum wage law.

The Berkeley study, it appears, was also rushed to meet the timeline for the anniversary of the law, Saltsman said.

Go here to listen to the Saltsman interview.

DCG

Seattle redistributes $230,000 of taxpayer money to political candidates in the name of “democracy”

seattle-democracy-voucher

Back in January I told you about a new taxpayer-mandated campaign donation scheme (as one commenter called it) that Seattle voters approved under the guise of democracy.

How Initiative 122 works:

“Seattle voters ensured the city would be the first in the country with democracy vouchers when they approved Initiative 122 in 2015. The “Honest Elections” measure authorized a 10-year, $30 million property-tax levy to pay for the program. People not registered to vote can obtain vouchers as long as they live in Seattle, are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or green-card holder. Each voter will get four $25 vouchers to distribute among candidates in 2017.”

To date, voters approved the sum of $230,000 to be taken from private property owners and redistributed to three candidates.

From MyNorthwest.com: With two months remaining in the primary, Seattle’s one-of-a-kind experiment with publicly financed elections is off to a modest start with three candidates so far having cashed in a total of $230,000 in Democracy Vouchers.

County election records show at-large city council candidate Jon Grant leading the publicly financed candidates with $129,450 in vouchers cashed, followed by at-large council candidate Teresa Mosqueda with $61,225. City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is seeking re-election, has collected 1,597 vouchers for a total of $39,925.

Holmes, who has been city attorney since 2010, said the untested program’s newness meant a learning curve for both voters and candidates. “I was talking more about Democracy Vouchers in the first half of the campaign than I was about the campaign,” Holmes said. “We are the guinea pigs.”

Approved by city voters in 2015, the Democracy Voucher program sets aside a new pot of property tax money to give four, $25 campaign vouchers to the each of the city’s registered voters. Those voters, in turn, can pick which candidates or candidate get their vouchers taxpayer money. In exchange, participating candidates agree to spending caps.

The only program of its type in the country, the vouchers experiment was geared for three primary effects: Taking the big money out of local politics; improving voter participation rates; and bringing new candidates to the process.

So how is it doing? “It’s too early to gauge its success,” said Wayne Barnett (FYI: Barnett’s salary in 2016 was $151,919.81), the executive director of the Democracy Voucher program. “But I would say that so far, it’s working well.”

To date, Seattle residents have returned approximately 16,000 vouchers. But 6,000 of those have not been assigned to a candidate for reasons including that the candidate isn’t yet eligible or that the candidate isn’t running for office at this time. For the current election cycle, the vouchers are only allowed for the two at-large council seats and the city attorney race.

In exchange for public taxpayer money, candidates who opt-in must agree to specific spending and fundraising restrictions. To qualify for the vouchers, at-large council candidates first must gather 400 signatures with a $10 to $250 donation from each. For the city attorney race, each candidate must gather 150 signatures and accept similar donation restrictions.

Candidates also must agree to spend no more than $150,000 in the primary – which ends in August – and no more than $300,000 overall including the general election.

Holmes opponent, Scott Lindsay, is not participating in the voucher program. Lindsay, who is Mayor Ed Murray’s public safety advisor, has raised $27,735 so far, according to state records. But because he is not taking public money, he is not limited in his fundraising for either the primary or general election.

The voucher program started with the passage of Initiative 122, the “Honest Elections Seattle” measure approved by city voters two years ago.

The money linked to unassigned vouchers will remain in the election funds pool for the next election cycle when additional city council seats will be eligible (2019) and the mayor’s race (2021). The fund is expected to collect $3 million annually from the fee that adds, on average, an additional $11 to the taxes on each home.

Holmes said the program is a work in progress.“We’ll be talking to them about what can be improved,” he said. “The turn-around for the money is slow, for example.”

DCG