This morning we wrote about the decision of a King County Superior Court judge to block the Compassion Seattle initiative on homelessness from the November ballot. Later this morning, things changed. Compassion Seattle has filed an appeal to the judge’s decision.
This morning, Compassion Seattle’s lawyers filed an emergency motion of appeal with the Washington Court of Appeals seeking a stay of last week’s decision to remove Charter Amendment 29 from the November ballot. If granted, voters will have their say on a critically needed measure to address the number one issue facing Seattle — a measure that has majority voter support.
As we said last Friday, we strongly disagree with Judge Catherine Shaffer’s decision to strike Charter Amendment 29, a decision that blocks Seattle voters from being able to voice their opinion about the continuing crisis of homelessness. The Judge’s decision caused an outpouring of support over the weekend from supporters who want us to press on with an appeal. We decided that we must take this action to represent the interests of tens of thousands of voters who signed petitions to put this amendment on the ballot.
The people of Seattle deserve their say on how City Hall should be addressing this worsening crisis, and we will do everything we can to make that happen, whether by fighting for a vote on this Charter Amendment or by holding the candidates for Mayor, City Council, and City Attorney accountable for their positions on homelessness.
The head of the Downtown Seattle Association, Jon Scholes, announced that the DSA, along with other supporters, are filing an emergency motion of appealwith the Washington Court of Appeals for the Compassion Seattle charter amendment.
Timing is tight.
“We disagree with the judge’s ruling and her interpretation,” Scholes told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “We did appreciate that she noted, as a voter, she liked the substance of the measure. We think voters should have their say on this [in] November. It’s the number one issue in our city. It’s at a crisis level.”
“And so today, we’re actually filing an emergency motion of appeal with the Washington Court of Appeals to seek a stay of last week’s decision that removed the charter amendment from the November ballot,” he added. “And we’re asking the court to make a quick decision here this week so that voters can have their say on this.”
One of the problems for the charter amendment was that there was no funding mechanism, but Scholes is confident that the funding is there.
“There is plenty of money in our city, plenty of money coming from the federal government to address this crisis. What we’ve lacked is a coherent strategy and plan to invest in emergency housing and treatment that we know the people that are outside suffering in parks and other public spaces need,” Scholes said. “We’ve seen bickering and dysfunction among the elected officials that have been in charge of this crisis over the last six years since it was declared an emergency in our city.”
An issue to watch.