Late last week, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled that Charter Amendment 29 will not be in front of voters in November, despite qualifying for the ballot earlier this summer. This measure — also known as Compassion Seattle — is supported by DSA as a response to the worsening humanitarian crisis on our streets.
This morning, lawyers for Compassion Seattle filed an emergency motion of appeal with the Washington Court of Appeals seeking a stay of the judge’s decision. The campaign strongly disagrees with the arguments the judge upheld by those who created the legal challenge that led to her decision. In effect, the judge ruled that voters can not change the city’s failed approach to homelessness by way of a Charter Amendment.
If the appeal is granted, the measure will be in front of voters this fall. In a poll conducted last year by EMC Research, a wide margin of likely Seattle voters named homelessness as their top concern and expressed frustration about the city’s handling of this crisis six years after it was declared a state of emergency.
If the appeal is denied, voters can have a voice, as the judge suggests, in electing leaders who support a different solution to the one playing out on our streets. There are clear contrasts between candidates who oppose the approach outlined in CA 29 and those who embrace the call for more emergency housing, treatment for those in need and opening our parks and public spaces.
We encourage you to visit our candidate scorecard and continue to let your city council members know where you stand on this critical issue by calling or emailing their offices. Contact information can be found here.