Tag Archives: King County

King County seeks to allocate $750,000 to help immigrants

dow-constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine: “We have this much taxpayer money for illegals!”

Only in America: Illegally enter our country and the proggies will use taxpayer dollars to defend your “human rights.” Ain’t it grand?

From the Seattle Times: King County may allocate $750,000 to help immigrants become U.S. citizens and to educate them about their rights.

County Executive Dow Constantine plans to propose legislation to make the money available. Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott plans to sponsor it.  They held a news conference Wednesday, but the legislation wasn’t yet available.

The money would be used for three purposes, according to Constantine and McDermott: to provide free guidance to immigrants seeking to become citizens, to develop and distribute “know your rights” materials and to boost outreach and education work carried out by community organizations that serve immigrants.

Constantine and McDermott say the legislation would create a “legal defense fund,” because it would pay for naturalization assistance. But that may be a stretch. Some other local governments, such as Los Angeles, are spending money to actually provide people facing deportation with immigration-court lawyers.

That doesn’t appear to be what Constantine has in mind, though McDermott said some of King County’s money would likely go to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which provides immigration-court representation, among other services.

Constantine linked the plan to President Donald Trump’s recent actions on immigration. “People in our community are afraid — afraid for their human rights, their families, and their safety,” he said in a statement. “Our message to the White House, the country, and the rest of the world is clear: We proudly uphold the fundamental American promise that we are — and will be — a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all.

In an interview, McDermott said he views the legislation not only as a response to Trump’s actions but also as an investment in the people of the county. “Almost one-fourth of our residents are foreign-born,” he said.

Seattle is spending $250,000 to help immigrants and refugees navigate life under the Trump administration, with a focus on children in the city’s public schools. Mayor Ed Murray announced the allocation in November, details of his plan were still being hammered out last month. The City Council adopted a resolution last month that says the city will work to create a legal-defense fund.

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Seattle, King County move to open nation’s first safe injection sites for drug users

constantine-and-murray

Constantine and Murray

Well, this should be a real enticement for tourists to visit Seattle.

From Seattle Times: Seattle and King County will create two safe-consumption sites for drug users, the first of their kind in the country, as part of an effort to halt the surge of heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths in the region, Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine announced Friday.

The sites, stocked with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, aim to save lives and connect people dealing with addiction to treatment services.

Murray and Constantine said they will move forward with all the recommendations of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force that they convened last year, the most controversial of which are the safe drug-use sites.

Other recommendations include increasing access to naloxone and medication assisted treatment drugs like Suboxone. “The crisis is growing beyond anything we have seen before,” Murray said. “We can do something about that.”

No locations or funding have been announced, but Murray said the first of the two sites will be in Seattle, and the second will be outside the city. He also acknowledged that getting funding may be more difficult with the new presidential administration.

There are still big battles to come, as an “implementation work group,” chaired by Patty Hayes, the director of Public Health – Seattle and King County, tries to determine funding and locations for the sites, which are likely to spur protests from surrounding neighborhoods.

“These things have to exist, physically, somewhere,” said Daniel Malone, director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, and a task force member. “There is significant trepidation about a location becoming an area that gets really damaged by having this particular activity happen there.”

Both Murray and Constantine were resolute that they could deal with any political blowback caused by the locations of the sites. “Whatever our discomfort with this as elected officials, as a community, put yourself in the place of a parent who is trying to save his or her child,” Constantine said. “We can put up with a little discomfort in order to be able to help that family heal and help that child recover.”

Said Murray: “Our biggest challenge is ahead of us, making it operational.”

The sites aim to quell the flood of overdose deaths and to connect drug users with health care and long-term treatment. They also aim to move drug abuse off sidewalks and out of alleys.

More than 600 used needles were found in Seattle’s urban core in November, said Brad Finegood, a task force member with the county Department of Community and Human Services.

“People use drugs all throughout our country,” said Caleb Banta-Green, a public health professor at the University of Washington specializing in drug abuse, and a task force member. “People use in public; they don’t want to use in public, and the public doesn’t want them using in public.”

Although no such sites exist in the United States, Vancouver, B.C., has had one since 2003. Drug users come to get clean needles and inject in a safe, supervised environment. Naloxone is used multiple times a day and is credited with preventing nearly 5,000 overdoses at the site in Vancouver.

But the site has not stopped overdose deaths outside its walls. There were 914 overdose deaths in British Columbia, which has about double the population of King County, in 2016. That’s a record number, one largely driven by the rise of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller that is as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Heroin overdoses killed 132 people in King County in 2015. The death toll rises to 209 when overdoses from prescription opioids — which are, molecularly, virtually identical to heroin — are included.

In the state Legislature, Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, has introduced legislation that would ban safe injection sites throughout the state. “We must stop the push for decriminalization of drugs,” Miloscia said earlier this month. “Standing idly by while addicts abuse illegal drugs is not compassionate, and it does not solve the problem.”

Another potential complication: While local law enforcement is on board with the sites and Gov. Jay Inslee has said they are a local decision, the task force has not consulted with any federal agency to discuss a possible federal law-enforcement reaction. Task-force members compared the consumption sites to needle-exchange programs, which the federal government initially opposed but nevertheless allowed localities to implement.

“This is an extension of our needle exchange. We’re treating this as a local issue and we’re using tools that we have,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, the county public health officer and the task force’s co-chair. “We don’t routinely, and we haven’t in this case, consulted any other authority, and we don’t think we need to.”

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Burien, Washington declared sanctuary city by narrow council vote

illegal

From Seattle Times: Burien is about to become a so-called sanctuary city — joining Seattle and King County — after the City Council voted narrowly late Monday to bar city employees from asking for documentation of a person’s immigration status.

The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote, after Burien Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar left the meeting at 10 p.m., without voting. Councilmember Nancy Tosta, who supported the sanctuary city ordinance, said that Krakowiak frequently leaves meetings at 10 p.m., after they’ve gone on for three hours. Krakowiak and Edgar did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Nancy Tosta supports illegal aliens

The scope of the change is limited because Burien does not have its own police department. The city relies on the King County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement, and that agency has long had policies restricting deputies from holding people strictly based on their immigration status. King County has also, since 2009, barred employees from asking about a person’s immigration status.

Olympia passed a similar resolution, declaring itself a sanctuary city, last week.

There is no set definition of what it means to be a sanctuary city, but Burien’s ordinance is broadly similar to the county’s, and is meant to limit local officials from enforcing federal immigration laws.

“We recognized the concern and fear that many people in our community are feeling within the current political climate, and we had letters come in expressing a desire for the council to take an action,” Tosta said. “Several of us believed it was important to make a statement to our community showing our values as a council.”

Burien’s ordinance says that civil immigration enforcement has traditionally been a federal responsibility and that shifting the onus to local agencies drains their limited resources. Part of the city’s goal, it says, is to foster trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

Debates over sanctuary cities have intensified since the election of Donald Trump in November. Trump has vowed to take federal funding from cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. But many urban centers, Seattle included, have doubled down, reaffirming that local law enforcement will not ask about someone’s immigration status, except in rare scenarios.

That’s been the law in Seattle since 2003. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference the day after the election, promising that it would remain the law.

“We have a new administration coming in who has directly targeted numerous groups of people,” Burien Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz said, of the president-elect. Berkowitz had proposed a more expansive resolution, modeled on the law in San Francisco, but that was defeated 4-1.

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz supports illegal aliens

Katie Hiedeman, a Burien resident who pushed for the sanctuary city ordinance, said that about 30 people spoke at the meeting in favor of it, with only a few opposed, before the vote, which happened after 10:30 p.m.

She wanted the ordinance passed for practical reasons — so that people, perhaps concerned about their immigration status, won’t be afraid to talk to police if they’re a victim or witness to a crime — and as a show of support. “These people have been in our community for maybe decades,” Hiedeman said. “Their children go to our schools, they go to the stores we shop in, they’re at the parks, they’re on our kids’ soccer teams, they are ingrained in our communities.”

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ISIS sympathizer, suspected in 3 King County killings, won’t face death penalty

A precedent against the death penalty was set in Washington state when they let Gary Ridgway off the hook. Now an ISIS pig will be on the taxpayer dime for life as well.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg

From Seattle Times: A man suspected of killing three men in Seattle and Skyway in 2014 will not face the death penalty, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Friday.

Ali Muhammad Brown, 32, is accused of killing Leroy Henderson in Skyway, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle. Brown is believed to have fled to New Jersey days after the latter two shootings.

Satterberg said in a news release he decided against seeking the death penalty after reviewing the case and speaking with the victims’ families.

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

ISIS pig Ali Muhammad Brown

Brown, 32, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in King County. Brown is being held in New Jersey, where he recently was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery and several other crimes. He also is awaiting trial for one count of first-degree murder in Essex County, N.J., as well as another robbery charge in Ocean County, N.J.

It could take more than a year for those cases to be resolved, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release. When that happens, Brown will be returned to King County to face charges.

Prosecutors allege that Brown, a Muslim man, killed the four men in a fit of rage over the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East. He was on a federal terrorism watch list and wrote in his journal that he planned to follow the Islamic State group and “learn the ways of jihadis.”

serious

Brown is accused of fatally shooting Henderson shortly after 11:45 p.m. April 27, 2014, as Henderson was walking home from a Skyway store. Deputies linked Brown to the slaying through the 9 mm bullets and casings found in and around Henderson’s body.

Said was driving Anderson-Young home from R Place, a gay club on Capitol Hill, on June 1, 2014, when they were shot. Brown had reportedly met up with Said over a gay social-networking app, then connected with the two men outside the club that night and got into Said’s car, according to charges.

“The murders took place less than 17 minutes after two witnesses saw Ali Brown leave with the victims in Said’s car. There is no evidence to suggest that Said and/or Anderson-Young were armed, and these murders do not appear to be motivated by robbery, drugs or any other crime,” Seattle police Detective Cloyd Steiger wrote in investigative documents.

In a January 2015 interview with The Seattle Times, Falana Young-Wyatt, mother of Anderson-Young, said she didn’t feel strongly about whether Brown should be condemned to death row. She said she only cared about his swift return to King County to face trial.

“I want him to look me in the face,” she said. “I want him to know my son’s life matters. I just want justice for my son.”

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Big Government: Seattle is developing a rat eradication program even though no major rat problem exists

I’m sure there will be a Rat Czar position opening soon.

My rat czars...

My rat czars…

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle is set to impose a new rat regulation aimed at the local construction industry. “Seattle is a port city, we definitely have a lot of rats,” said Leah Helms with King County’s Environment Health Rodent Program.

That’s right, King County has its own rodent department. “In the City of Seattle, and in King County, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to deal with their rat problems,” she said.

But when the property owner is a developer who is sitting on a vacant property, rat problems can become quite significant. Especially when you consider the fact that Seattle is in the middle of a construction boom with many vacant properties awaiting demolition. With so much development going on around the city, rats will move from formerly vacant and torn down properties into neighboring homes or buildings .That’s the corner of Seattle’s rat issue that the city wants to target.

Modeling it after similar regulations in Kirkland and Shoreline, Seattle will implement a rat eradication regulation on builders starting in 2017. It basically requires developers to prove they have consulted with a pest-control agent before any vacant building is demolished. And if there is an issue, those rats have to be eradicated before the building comes down.

“That rat eradication program would have to be in place at least 15 days prior to the demolition — to ensure, to the best degree, possible that a pest control agent has taken steps to manage any sort of pest infestation on the property before the building comes down,” said Bryan Stevens with the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections. “When you come in to demolish a building, where are the rats going to go? They are going to disperse and become a problem for everyone else in the neighborhood.”

Stevens said the regulation is a response to concerns from the health department about rat issues in recent years. The health department is in charge of inspecting complaints about Seattle rats. If necessary, the department engages in code enforcement.

Over the last couple of years the county has reported seeing an increase in rat complaints and asked the city to partner with them to help reduce the issues coming through their office,” Stevens said. “A lot of that stems from vacant buildings.”

government solve all problems

Helms notes that there hasn’t necessarily been an uptick in complaints, but complaints do come in more often during certain times — when people start seeing and hearing rats. “Rat activity goes up in the spring and in the fall, which corresponds with their breeding cycle,” Helms said. Throw development into the mix — and winter demolitions — then you have a rat problem scurrying over to all the neighbors.

“They’ll go in many directions to find a new place to live,” Stevens said. “Instead of allowing that to continue … the better approach is to require a licensed pest control agent to implement a rat eradication program before we allow someone to demolish that property.”

“There are a number of (buildings in Seattle) that have been vacant for years or many months that have rat problems,” he said. “If it’s unattended they find a way in.”

For the homes that don’t want rats, Helms suggests some basic advice: remove items from your yard that will give them shelter, use a rodent-proof garbage can, seal up your home, and keep bird food out of reach.

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WA Attorney General: Racist for landlords not to rent to felons

I’m so glad I sold my rental property in Washington state last year.

for-rent

From MyNorthwest.com: A recent court filing indicates that the Washington State Attorney General’s Office believes that denying a prospective tenant with a felony conviction is racially discriminatory.

A member of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Unit served a Consent Decree on Dobler Management Company, a property management firm in Tacoma, after conducting a simulated test on whether the landlord was illegally discriminating against potential tenants.

According to the briefing sent to KTTH’s Todd Herman, in May, the state asked a tester to follow up on a rental property advertisement on Craigslist, which said the apartment complex would automatically deny renters with a felony record. The state’s tester confirmed that the unit was still available and asked if he could apply for the unit despite having a felony conviction. The leasing consultant responded via email that a “felony would be an automatic denial.”

“In denying the tester, the leasing consultant did not consider when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed or what the tester had done since the conviction,” the state wrote in a consent decree filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

The state explains that there is a discriminatory link between criminal history and restriction of housing:

“In Washington, racial disparities exist in the criminal justice system. African Americans are arrested, convicted, and incarcerated at higher rates than non-African Americans. As a result, criminal history restrictions on housing justified by a legitimate nondiscriminatory interest and is tailored … a housing provider’s blanket policy prohibiting tenants based on criminal history discriminates based on race or color.”

Herman says that this explanation is based on a new theory called Disparate Impact, which was recently enshrined into law by the Supreme Court. He says that this leads to the assumption that if there are unequal outcomes between races, that tacit racism exists, even without any intent.

say what

The AG’s decree comes on the heels of the Seattle City Council’s renter protection ordinance in August that made it so landlords can no longer choose which tenants they believe will be best. Seattle landlords instead have to choose the first applicant who qualifies. The goal is to prohibit discrimination against people with different forms of payment, such as vouchers and subsidies.

In the case of the State of Washington’s vs. the Pierce County property owner, the AG’s office seeks financial penalties and wants to force property owners into sensitivity training on the issue.

The attorney’s office representing the management company told Herman that there was “absolutely no engagement or outreach” by the AG or any housing regulator on this “novel” theory of liability, adding that the AG Ferguson’s office “began actively and aggressively ‘shopping’ for apartments under the guise that they had felony convictions.”

The defense says that the amended Washington RCW directs that a background check, including a prospective tenant’s “criminal history” is authorized.

Herman likened Ferguson’s standard as a form of blackmail. He says the logic is backward: “You can’t ban felons because there are more African-Americans who are felons. Therefore, if you don’t want felons living in your building, you are a stone-cold racist.”

Herman says the AG is using a “web of dictates” rather than looking to change the standards and deal with the real issues: Getting families back together, increasing graduation rates, etc.

“Is there any concern here in this state at all about why — Why more African-Americans are arrested and charged?” Herman asked. “Or is this the way we’re going to solve the problem, by not letting landlords screen out felons? Which one will solve the problem?”

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The City of Seattle is hiring a “Homelessness Director”! Wait until you see the pay rate…

Mayor Ed Murray along one of Seattle's rainbow sidewalks - designed to fight crime!

Mayor Ed Murray along one of Seattle’s rainbow sidewalks – designed to fight crime!

The progressive City of Seattle has a major problem with homelessness. Mayor Ed Murray declared a State of Emergency on November 2, 2015. And the good mayor called for an end of “divisive rhetoric” on homelessness.

The city set up safe RV lots for for homeless families and individuals living in vehicles. The problem with that? The City didn’t calculate the high costs associated with the program.

One would think these liberals would take a look at the causes of the homelessness and how their progressive policies may affect them: rent rates, mental and drug issues, and salaries. Oh wait, the new $15 minimum wage will solve everything! Apparently not.

"The Jungle" homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

“The Jungle” homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

So the best way to address the homeless crisis? Hire another city employee!

Director of Homelessness

This director will lead and align efforts across City departments, provide oversight and evaluation of data and outcomes, provide strategic guidance on developing policy and protocols, and lead external engagement and communication strategies.

Across the region and in many cities around the nation, homelessness is on the rise. 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. In order to ensure that the City’s increased efforts are well coordinated and driving toward the greatest outcomes for those in need, the new Director of Homelessness will be tasked with executing the Mayor’s priorities on this issue.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead City’s response to homelessness with strong alignment and coordination across multiple departments.
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Mayor and senior executive staff on priorities, deliverables, and emergent issues related to homelessness.
  • Assess current City operations and develop and implement a plan of recommendations that will bring greater effectiveness and efficiency to efforts such as improved data and performance, governance structures, communication strategies, and operations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the Race and Social Justice Initiative and ensure the City’s response to homelessness is fair, just, and equitably implemented for all those in need in our community.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Focus on racial equity in ways that enable effective working relationships in diverse communities and cross-cultural situations. Creates planning solutions for traditionally underserved communities.
  • Ability to inspire, persuade, engage, speak straight-forwardly about complex homeless issues, make tough decisions and take difficult actions. Display balanced thinking that combines analysis, wisdom, experience and perspective. Produce data-driven decisions that withstand the “test of time.”

Desirable Qualifications:

BA degree and at least five years experience in a senior leadership role within a large and complex publicly accountable organization. The preferred candidate will have experience successfully leading high-priority and highly visible projects. A master’s degree is preferred.

The pay rate for this job? Starts at $97,279.92 and can pay up to $160,483.68.

Apply here!

government solve all problems

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