Tag Archives: Seattle City Council

Rape, strangulation and assault: Three attacks by homeless people in Seattle in less than a month

jenny durkan

In November 2015 the former mayor of Seattle, homosexual Ed Murray, declared a state of emergency in Seattle due to the homelessness situation. At that time, there was an estimated 10,000 people living on the streets. Fast-forward to May 2018 and the number of homeless people has increased to over 12,100.

The city has a very lax policy in allowing the homeless to commit drug offenses. The homeless openly use and drug dealers are frequently spotted at homeless hangouts. The city even allows drug use at some homeless shelters.

Now the homeless have become more brazen with their criminal activities. No amount of tax payer dollars is going to solve the problem until Seattle officials stop coddling these individuals.

From MyNorthwest.com: Police report there’s been another assault from a man, believed to be homeless, against innocent passers-by, this time a father and his daughter walking to the Cinerama in Belltown on Father’s Day.

The unidentified victims were on their way to a screening of “The Incredibles 2” when the suspect, David Ailep, allegedly followed the pair as they walked down the sidewalk. When the female victim tried to walk away from Ailep, he said to her “why are you laughing at me” and “stop laughing at me.” She wasn’t laughing at him.

According to the police report, obtained by KTTH 770 AM, she asked Ailep to get away from her, but he refused:

“She observed that Ailep had his right hand in his pocket (she noted that it looked like was holding a knife in his hand covered by his jacket pocket) and his left hand was up and back in a striking position like he was going to hit her,” the report says. “She feared that he was going to strike her, and she decided to pull out her ASP baton from her purse to defend herself.”

The female victim screamed at him to get away from her, but he refused, grabbing both of her arms, and rattling her back and forth until he was able to take the baton from her, according to the police documents. She yelled out in pain.

At this point, her father became aware of the assault and jumped into help, tackling Ailep to the ground. While on the ground, according to the police report, Ailep swung the baton at the father, hitting him “directly on the forehead” leaving a “visible swollen laceration” from the baton strike.

After police arrived in the area of the 9-1-1 call, they spotted a suspect matching Ailep’s description. When the two officers attempted to make contact with Ailep, he sprinted away on foot and, “without any instruction given to him,” laid on the ground to be detained.

One of the officers observed Ailep to be under the influence of drugs. He said Ailep had a difficult time staying focused, and appeared frantic and “in a complete stand of delusion or delirium.”

During the interview, he made random statements to the officer like “what’s in your sink man” and “I take showers.” He repeated random statements like “easy” and “twelve, thirteen, twenty-two.” The police report claims he “appeared to be suffering from the effects of a powerful psychedelic and or stimulant narcotic…” and claimed he performed oral sex for drugs. While he claimed his pockets were empty, a search found a folding knife, a cell phone, and a wallet that didn’t belong to him.

After his arrest for felony assault and theft, a King County Intake nurse advised Ailep was not suffering from mental illness but was “extremely intoxicated” from a stimulant narcotic. While the Seattle Police Department hasn’t confirmed Ailep is homeless, a source suggested they believe him to be.

This is the third high-profile homeless attack on a passerby in the last several weeks, with a rape in Ballard and a strangling of a tourist near the Space Needle occurring within weeks of each other. These incidents are occurring as Mayor Jenny Durkan asks for community support to place tiny home villages in residential neighborhoods. The South Lake Union village may be low barrier, which would allow someone like Ailep the ability to keep his drugs in his home.

See also:

DCG

Seattle Council votes to repeal new business head tax just weeks after they approved it

re elections meme

Did you know seven of the nine Seattle City Council members’ terms expire next year?

In early May the Seattle City Council approved a new business head tax to combat the homelessness crisis. From my post:

“The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023. The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

The main target of this new business tax was Amazon, which was not pleased with the tax. “Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.”

Immediately after the tax passed, a group calling themselves “No Tax on Jobs” gathered enough signatures to put the matter on the November ballot and let the voters decide. They needed 17,000 signatures by June 14 and surpassed that amount.

On Monday, Council President Bruce Harrell announced that he had called a special meeting for the council to discuss repealing the head tax. (Harrell’s term expires next year.) They already had a draft bill prepared for the repeal.

Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement regarding the consideration of the repeal. Excerpts from her statement:

Over the last few weeks, these conversations and much public dialogue has continued.  It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis. These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region. 

We heard you. This week, the City Council is moving forward with the consideration of legislation to repeal the current tax on large businesses to address the homelessness crisis.”

Less than a month later the council has voted to repeal the head tax.

The council yesterday repealed the head tax by a vote of 7 to 2. More details from MyNorthwest.com:

“Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold said the opposition to the tax was just too great. The opposition, she said, has “unlimited resources.

Teresa Mosqueda, one of two council members to vote against a repeal, said she is concerned that a repeal will result in months of inaction and more regressive taxes. The process to implement a head tax took months, she pointed out. And, if the city wants to continue getting people off the streets, it will need additional funding. She called on businesses who opposed the head tax to come to the table with progressive ideas.

Numerous people in support of the head tax expressed similar concerns as (socialist) Councilmember Sawant, who accused her peers of making a last-minute decision and “caving” to Amazon. “Backroom betrayal” and “caving” were thrown around frequently.

“Jeff Bezos is our enemy, he is our enemy,” Sawant said before the council voted.”

Read the whole story here.

I can’t believe the Seattle citizens are putting up with this clown council with a socialist member who is calling the owner of one of their largest employers an “enemy” in a public forum.

Yet I gather from the comments on this article and also at the Seattle Times that some proggies in Seattle are finally waking up to the madness they elected as the majority have had it with the council members. Next year’s re-election cycle is bound to be a hoot.

DCG

PS: Jason Rantz from KTTH Radio tweeted from the repeal meeting (see his Twitter timeline here). A bunch of socialists/proggies were there to support the crazy council member Kshama Sawant. A few of Jason’s tweets:

  • “Lunatic just claimed the Council is pushing “the Trump agenda.”
  • “Priest is mad that Christians don’t ideologically agree with him and now claims you can’t call yourself a Christian if you support capitalism. This guy is a lunatic.”
  • Sawant activists in the crowd shouting down speakers whom they disagree with. But remember: they’re fighting fascism or something.”
  • “We’re done with Trump tactics,” said one lunatic at the meeting.”
  • Crazy women being removed by security now but because she’s a Progressive activist, the crowd doesn’t mind and she’s getting a pass from the crowd.”
  • “Socialists think the couple hundred of them that worked to pass the Seattle head tax is more important than the 45k who signed on to repeal the . They don’t know how numbers works: it’s why they’re Socialists.”
  • “Sawant said she’s now talking as an economist and some in the crowd just laughed at her. Loudly. That annoyed her.”
  • “CM Sawant – “I’m speaking as an economist….” People in chambers break out in laughter….”

Sounds like the meeting was a whole lotta crazy!!

Seattle to help the homeless safely inject drugs with medical mobile unit

mobile medical unit

King County’s medical mobile unit

Seattle’s homeless crisis is exacerbated by the fact that the local area politicians and government officials believe that enabling an addiction is part of the solution.

Taxpayers are coughing up MILLIONS of dollars to provide assistance to those in need. Yet many of the homeless don’t want help any help.

The inhabitant of the “tent mansion” near Seattle Center has refused help from the city, choosing instead to live on the street, than follow the rules of a shelter. She said, “We don’t want to change our lifestyle to fit their requirements. We intend to stay here. This is the solution to the homeless problem. We want autonomy, right here.”

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office recently offered to help the homeless at an encampment. They brought in agencies to offer services and help with drug addiction. Out of the 50 campers there only one accepted the assistance.

King County already offers medical mobile units.

Yet Seattle, which recently approved a business “head tax” to solve their homeless crisis, is going ahead with their medical mobile unit. Guess they have to spend their recently-acquired taxpayer dollars somewhere.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle council members are looking to get around the dilemma of where to place a safe injection site by making it mobile. The city is now exploring what Human Services Department spokesperson Meg Olberding describes as a “large mobile medical van.”

The van would be akin to the medical RVs the county and city currently use to serve homeless residents. KIRO 7 reports that they will be much larger, however.  The option is referred to as “fixed-mobile.” A medical van would park at a fixed location, but return to a secure location every night.

“It is an option where we would actually lease or go into an agreement regarding a fixed site, and then with that, we would have a mobile van,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health Seattle-King County. “… this is potentially a very large vehicle that we would then house the consumption activity in.”

The mobile van would offer consumption booths and recovery space. According to Q13, the safe injection van would cost about $350,000; along with $1.8 million to get the van set up, and $2.5 million to operate it. Seattle has already set aside some money for a safe injection program and the van could be paid for from those funds.

“Obviously, there will continue to be concerns about the neighborhood, security of the neighborhood, about other activities happening in the neighborhood, so we would want to make sure we provide a safe area, not only for the neighbors but for the individuals who are using as well,” Duchin told the council.

The mobile option faces a similar issue that a fixed site does — where to park it. One thing is clear, the council doesn’t want to wait much longer. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said that she favors purchasing a van. The city would then conduct community outreach for potential locations.

“Every day we don’t move forward, people are at risk for overdose and death, so with that in mind and with this sense of urgency for the third time this year alone that you have heard us express this, I am calling on our mayor and our county as a whole to act with urgency so we can move forward this year,” Mosqueda said. “We have the resources in hand; we have the support from the broad public, and we have data-driven solutions.”

(I have researched the validity of safe injection sites and there is a very mixed reaction as to whether or not they work. One can easily choose the data that supporst their opinion.)

“This is a data-driven, public health harm reduction model that is proven to be effective at saving lives and getting people into treatment,” she said.

The city will spend the next two months considering potential locations to park the van (so much for that “sense of urgency”). Officials favor a private lot, and note that most drug activity happens around SoDo, downtown, and the west side of Capital Hill, according to KIRO 7. The city did consider buying property specifically for the van, but found that it was “cost restrictive” inside Seattle.

Read the whole story here.


Enslaving drug users only perpetuates the cycle. And it keeps the taxpayer money flowing to develop more “solutions.”

DCG

Seattle mayor proposes new gun legislation that includes safe lock storage

stoopid

How will the chief of police know WHO to survey to determine if compliance is being achieved?

From MyNorthwest.com: Mayor Jenny Durkan is proposing new Seattle gun control legislation to tighten regulations around safe storage of firearms. It will also penalize gun owners who fail to report lost or stolen guns, or if their firearms are misused by an “unauthorized user.”

“The level of gun violence in our communities is not normal, and we can never think it is inevitable,” Mayor Durkan said. “We – and especially our children – should not have to live like this. With Congress in the grip of the D.C. gun lobby and too many state legislatures failing to act, our cities must lead the way – and we must all continue to demand action that saves lives.”

The proposal is being sent to the city council for consideration. It requires that guns are safely stored while not under the control of the owner or lawfully authorized user. It will also increase civil penalties for failure to report a firearm that is lost or stolen, or is improperly used. Violation of the regulations will result in a civil infraction. The proposal states:

  • Safe storage: Guns should be stored in a locked container, and rendered as unusable to any person other than the owner or authorized user.
  • Unauthorized access prevention: It will be a civil infraction if a minor, at-risk, or prohibited person obtains a firearm when the owner should have reasonably known they would have access to it.
  • Violation of the safe-storage law, or the unauthorized access regulation could result in a fine between $500 and $1,000.
  • If a prohibited or at-risk person, or a minor obtains a firearm and uses it to commit a crime, injure or kill someone (including themselves), the gun owner could be fined up to $10,000.
  • If a civil case results from a minor, at-risk, or prohibited person accessing a gun, it will be “prima facie evidence” — meaning fact unless proven otherwise — that the owner is negligent.

The new gun law will go into effect 180 days after it passes and Mayor Durkan signs it.

The chief of police will have one year to conduct a survey to determine levels of compliance. The city auditor will monitor the law’s influence on gun injuries and deaths in Seattle.

The legislation was drafted in partnership with Councilmember Lorena González.

“Simply put: If more gun owners lock up their firearms, it will reduce accidental firearm injuries and deaths, help prevent youth suicide, and reduce access to guns among youth who have no legal right to purchase firearms,” González said. “I look forward to championing this common-sense, public health approach through my public safety committee in the coming weeks.”

The mayor’s office says that it was developed after speaking with gun owners, safety advocates, and community members.

“The roots of gun violence are complex, but we know that unsecured, unsafely stored guns help fuel this crisis of violence because they are more likely to cause tragic accidents, fall into the wrong hands, or be used in suicides,” Durkan said. “Requiring that gun owners safely store their guns can help make our communities safer places to live.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Seattle mayor fast tracks backyard cottages to address Seattle’s affordable housing crisis

backyard cottages

Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing: Build a small city for criminals in your backyard!

Keep in mind that Seattle’s “Fair Chance Housing” Ordinance went into effect on 2/19/18, meaning a landlord cannot unfairly deny applicants housing based on criminal history. It also prohibits the use of advertising language that automatically or categorically excludes people with arrest records, conviction records, or criminal history. (I wrote about this on 8/10/17.)

With that in mind, who wouldn’t want to invest $300,000+ of their own hard-earned money to house a convicted criminal in their backyard?

From MyNorthwest.com: After years of studies and discussion, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is streamlining the process to build backyard cottages. The mayor’s office hopes it will incentivize homeowners to build the units while creating more affordable housing in the city.

“Seattle faces an affordability and housing crisis, and we are taking urgent action to increase the supply of rental housing options as quickly as possible,” Durkan said. “Too many people are being pushed out of this city or can’t find a place to live. We need to use every tool in our toolbox to boost the supply of housing.

A backyard cottage is essentially what it sounds like — a living space akin to a mother-in-law unit built in a backyard. They have been promoted as one method to address Seattle’s severe lack of affordable housing.

But progress toward building the backyard cottages has been stalled at Seattle City Hall for years. Durkan aims to end that bottleneck. She has ordered the Department of Construction and Design to “fast track” pre-approved designs for detached accessory dwelling units (ADAU) aka backyard cottages.

“Fast-tracked designs for backyard cottages will allow us to get more housing online faster,” Durkan said. “We will continue to work on all fronts – from adding more shelter beds to innovative permanent housing options – to build a more affordable future for Seattle.”

Seattle will pay architects to develop a handful of standard cottage designs that homeowners can choose from. These designs will be permitted more quickly and cheaper. Durkan’s office says this will cut down permitting time by half. The office doesn’t say exactly how much cheaper the process will be, but does note that current costs can range between $10,000 and $30,000 just to design the structure. And up to $300,000 to build it.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

Is the City of Seattle going to ruin their economy with the new head tax?

government solve all problems

Last week the Seattle City Council approved a new head tax on big businesses. The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023 (don’t hold your breath that this tax will actually cease to exist at that time). The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

I’ve told you what has led up to this head tax vote. See the following:

Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

More from King5 News:

“Herdener said Amazon, which had paused planning on two downtown Seattle office towers pending the outcome of the vote, would resume construction planning on one of them — Block 18. The 17-story building, which will have 1 million square feet of office space, is meant to house between 7,000 and 8,000 new employees.

But he said Herdener then went on to suggest Amazon’s expansion in the city may be curtailed.“While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Herdener then turned the tables, suggesting the people holding the city’s purse strings are the problem.

“City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8B in 2010 to $4.2B in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better,” Herdener said.”

Starbucks also wasn’t too happy and had harsh words for the city:

“The company released this statement, attributed to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks:

This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

Author Travis H. Brown, MBA (read about his background here), predicts that the council just voted to ruin their economy. Travis is the author of several books including “How Money Walks.”

Travis wrote an opinion on Saturday entitled, “How Seattle’s new tax to fight homelessness could ruin its economy.”

Travis describes the city’s actions as shortsighted and a zero-sum game that will do more harm than good.

Excerpts from his piece at MSN:

“These are laudable aims (end homelessness and build affordable housing), but it’s hard to imagine a more destructive strategy for realizing them. The potential damage to Seattle’s economy from this blunt instrument runs into the billions of dollars. Some may believe that California businesses could still flee their high-tax environment for Seattle, but in reality, Seattle is competing with many other cities for this income. One example is Phoenix, which has posted the best income growth of any Metropolitan Statistic Area (MSA) since 1992. Phoenix has capitalized on its proximity to California by luring businesses and people with a low-tax environment that nets them $1,539 in income every single minute. Compared to Seattle, this is nearly $1,200 more per minute, or $70,348 more per day. The numbers are staggering, and Seattle can’t risk putting itself further behind.

Seattle’s $20 million benchmark for the new tax refers to gross receipts, not income, meaning it will hit high-volume, low-margin businesses (think grocery stores or construction wholesalers) just as hard as more lucrative counterparts, promising price increases for consumers as businesses pass along costs. Service industries with big headcounts are firmly in the crosshairs, threatening this key employment category for young and low-skilled workers.

Amazon isn’t the only big employer eyeing the exits. Real estate portal Zillow, another new economy trailblazer, faces millions in additional tax burden. Alaska Airlines, Expedia, PayScale, Whitepages Inc., and Coinstar opposed the tax in vain, pleading in an open letter to the city council and mayor that taxing companies for creating jobs is like “telling a classroom that the students who do the most homework will be singled out for detention.”

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this exercise in illogic is the city government’s failure to enact other commonsense measures to combat homelessness: zoning reforms and infrastructure improvements to facilitate construction of affordable housing; shifting funds from underperforming shelters to ones that deliver; and coordination of the city’s homeless strategy with other municipalities in King County.”

Read his whole opinion piece here.

The background of the Seattle council members:

  • Lisa Herbold: Has been working for government politicians and government agencies since 1997.
  • Bruce Harrell: An attorney who began working in “public service” in 1979 by working for the Seattle City Council.
  • Kshama Sawant: A SOCIALIST.
  • Rob Johnson: A progressive urban planner and transportation advocate who spent ten years working for a statewide nonprofit coalition before working for government agencies.
  • Debora Juarez: A lawyer who concentrated on providing legal and financial counsel to Native American tribes.
  • Mike O’Brien: Served as CFO for a law firm prior to election to city council in 2009. He likes to silence constituents.
  • Sally Bagshaw: First elected to the council in 2009. She began her legal career by working for government agencies and has been working in the public sector since.
  • Teresa Mosqueda: Came to Seattle City Council following a long career effectively advocating for working families.
  • Lorena Gonzalez: Came to Seattle City Council with a decade of experience as a civil rights attorney and community advocate.

Somehow I don’t doubt that business leaders at Amazon, Starbucks (and all the other businesses against this head tax) and Travis know more about Econ 101 than any of the professional advocates/public servants and taxpayer money grabbers on the Seattle City Council.

DCG

Seattle renews contract with Wells Fargo because no other bank wants city’s business

wells fargo protest

Seattle socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant protests Wells Fargo

More like no other bank wants to deal with socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant and the attacks on Seattle businesses.

From Seattle Times: The city of Seattle will keep banking with Wells Fargo & Co. after it could get no other takers to handle the city’s business.

The City Council in February 2017 voted 9-0 to pull its account from Wells Fargo, saying the city needs a bank that reflects its values.

Council members cited the bank’s investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as a roiling customer fraud scandal, as their reasons to sever ties with the bank.

Some council members declared their vote as a move to strike a blow against not only Wells Fargo, but “the billionaire class.”

“Take our government back from the billionaires, back from [President] Trump and from the oil companies,” Councilmember Kshama Sawant said at the time.

The contract was set to expire Dec. 31, but as finance managers for the city searched for arrangements to handle the city’s banking, it got no takers, said Glen Lee, city finance director. That was even after splitting financial services into different contracts to try to attract a variety of bidders, including smaller banks. In the end, there were none at all.

“It became clear this was our best and only course of action,” Lee said of the city’s decision to stick with Wells Fargo after all.

The first sign that it would be hard to make the council’s wish a reality came soon after the vote when Wells Fargo too-hastily informed the city it could sever its ties immediately with no penalty for breaking the contract. The bank even promised to help the city find a new financial partner.

But it quickly became clear how hard that would be as the city reworked its procurement specifications and searched for months.

In the end, the city renewed its contract with Wells Fargo last week, and council members held a public briefing on the signing of the contract in a public work session Monday. The contract ties the city of Seattle and Wells Fargo together for three more years beginning Jan. 1 with two optional one year extensions after that.

The city finance office began briefing the mayor and council about the situation last February as it became clear the city would have no takers no matter how it sliced up the business.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG