I just read the Stranger’s Endorsement for the City Attorney’s office and felt I should respond:
The Stranger makes the case that the City of Seattle’s current process of not prosecuting low level crime has made our city safer and that we should continue on this path by voting for Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. They cite Seattle’s diversion program, LEAD, stating it led to 60% lower odds of arrest for six months after a first arrest and 39% lower odds of catching a felony case over the next two years. What they fail to mention is that if the city has stopped arresting people for committing crimes and stopped prosecuting crimes, it doesn’t mean that crime has decreased. I believe Seattle is under reporting crime because it has stopped prosecuting crime. I have lived in this city for 30 years and I talk to people and hear incidents of crime. I was standing in line at my local hardware store earlier this year and the two people in front of me had had their front windows broken in. I was there for the same reason. These spates of crime just didn't used to happen. Tent encampments have taken over our city streets and parks, graffiti and trash are now inescapable, and yet were told the homeless population is stable. Except for murder which has doubled in the last couple of years and is hard to hide, crime statistics reported on the city’s crime dashboard remain virtually unchanged for the last 10 years.
They also cite statistics from Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, stating that not prosecuting low level crime in these cities has made those cities safer as well. While I don't have any personal experience in Boston or Baltimore, the last time I visited San Francisco in 2019, it was not the same city; it was dirty and dangerous and I have no plans to return. People are leaving SF because that city is becoming a lawless and a dangerous place to live and we are following suite.
The Stranger also makes excuses for Nicole Thomas Kennedy’s stance on ignoring and even promoting crime as tool for positive social change. They suggest that the city attorney's office only prosecutes misdemeanors, and state that felonies are dealt with by the higher courts, so her permissive stance on crime is not really a concern. This is also very misleading. The city attorney's office screens crime and does pre-trial felony hearings before referring cases on to the state or federal courts. So the city attorney’s office doesn't prosecute felonies, but it can prevent felonies from being prosecuted.
I find the Stranger’s stance on these issues to be poorly researched and poorly informed. The Stranger needs to stop supporting the latest shock and do real research and reporting. People don't feel safe in our city and the Stranger needs to take that seriously. We have already gone down this path of not prosecuting crime with Pete Holmes and it has been a failure. Our city is becoming a dangerous dumpsite and we need to change our attitudes about enabling criminal activity or we will end up with the opposite of what we are all working towards: a safe, just, and caring city.
View my recent talk to the Washington State Theatrical Federation of Entertainment Unions.
Last week a poll showed 62% of likely voters were undecided, with 54% of them not even willing to venture a guess as to who they would vote for. That is not a picture of a race that has been determined. And polls can be misleading. They are based more on name recognition than a study of the issues and the values that many people consider when they actually vote. People have not yet chosen, and I will not concede until they do. Determination is one of my core values. I believe that there may yet be enough people like you and I who are ready to choose a different path. Sometimes snowballs snowball, gaining momentum, and growing much bigger than their tiny origin would suggest. - Dr. Clinton Bliss
No amount of affordable housing and shelter beds will end tent encampments and the practice of enabling addiction through theft. The medical definition of an addicted person is one who will do anything to support their addiction, and will choose their addiction over their partners, their parents, their children, their job, their reputation, their body, and their housing. If given free housing, they will trade it to support their habit. We have created autonomous tent encampments all over the city that protect and promote this addicted way of life at the expense of the rest of our citizens. Reinforcements arrive daily. No amount of resources will solve this problem without taking decisive action. We must get all tent dwellers out of city parks and off of city streets permanently, completely and all at once. Anything less will continue to grow the problem. While we have many challenges in our city that require wise and decisive action, addicted tent encampment is our most dangerous and pressing.
To decisively tackle this problem, we need emergency housing and treatment in a controlled environment that does not allow for ongoing drug and alcohol use. Just like we would do if we had a surge of COVID cases, we need to open an emergency treatment hospital within one of our stadiums. Hospitalization is the model we use for intensive treatment programs everywhere, whether for addiction, eating disorders, mental health problems, or medical problems. Addiction is a medical problem that needs medical attention. This, more than anything else, is why I am running for mayor.
In my campaign, I am not accepting any contributions, nor seeking endorsements, and as your mayor I won't have to pay back campaign debts and endorsements with public funds and contract favors. Our city cannot afford to continue to make reactive and biased decisions that waste our precious resources. We need real value from our tax dollars if we are to solve our problems. That’s why I’m running for mayor.
If elected I would immediately nullify any section of the police union contract that limits accountability and oversight; create a robust and rapidly responsive police force that provides constitutional community policing, provide basic emergency food, shelter, security, and treatment to our residents who have no other options; and permanently remove addicted tent encampments from public spaces and city parks.
If you want more of what you’ve been getting, vote for our city leaders who brought it to you. If you want a leader with integrity who will act decisively to bring lasting solutions to our pressing problems of addiction, homelessness, and police brutality, vote Dr. Bliss for mayor.
No amount of affordable housing and shelter beds will end tent encampments and the practice of supporting addiction through theft. The medical definition of an addicted person is one who will choose to support their addiction over anything else in their lives including their partners, their parents, their children, their job, their reputation, their body, and their housing. If given free housing, they will trade it to support their habit. We must get all tent dwellers out of city parks and off of city streets permanently, completely and all at once. Anything less will continue to grow the problem. To do this we must provide an option for emergency housing and treatment in a controlled environment that does not allow for ongoing drug and alcohol use. Tent dwellers in city parks have demonstrated that they are unable to adequately care for themselves and must be offered treatment and support. Hospitalization is the model we use for intensive treatment programs everywhere, whether for addiction, eating disorders, mental health problems, or medical problems. Just like we would do if we had a surge of COVID cases, we will need to open an emergency treatment hospital within a controlled environment, most likely in one of the stadiums, staffed with medical doctors working with mental health, addiction, social service, and vocational rehabilitation specialists. Tent dwellers will be given the option to come to this treatment center voluntarily, and they can refuse, but they will not be given the option to stay in the parks and those that do will be arrested and the courts will have to determine if they should be involuntarily treated or incarcerated. If they are released and found once again to be living in a public space they will be arrested again. No more living in city parks and public spaces! I anticipate this emergency hospital will be operational for about 3 months. Residents who have been stabilized will then be given the option to transition to an ongoing residential treatment facility that has opportunities for work, education and ongoing treatment, within a controlled environment. I anticipate most residents will need to be in this environment for approximately a year, though some may need longer or shorter stays. Police accountability is critical to our success and defunding the police is an irresponsible action that will lead to civil rights abuses by criminals. We must have a robust and rapidly responsive police force that acts lawfully and works directly with our communities to provide real public safety for all.
I am, on principle, not accepting campaign contributions, nor seeking endorsements, as I believe that these practices corrupt our democratic process and are a major contributor to the problems we now face. Our city council presidents who are now running for mayor are both attorneys with civil rights and public safety appointments who knowingly signed the notorious 2018 police union contract that takes away our civil rights and decreases our public safety. While I don't believe democracy vouchers are by themselves corrupt, I do believe the process to qualify and use them is corrupt and so I have chosen to forego them as well. Not taking contributions means I can speak freely on these issues that affect us all. As your mayor I won't have to pay back campaign debts and endorsements with public funds and contract favors. This is why I am running for mayor. Please do spread the word. Seattle needs to be healed. Seattle needs a doctor. Tell your friends. Together, we can make a difference,
I participated in the WTO protests in 1999 as a protester. It was a peaceful protest with a handful of violent and destructive individuals using us peaceful protesters for cover. The police could and should have arrested them, with ample just cause and opportunity. Instead, the police did nothing and watched these bad actors breaking the law right in front of them, waited for hours, and then essentially became an angry mod themselves, assaulting everyone and violating countless civil rights. I saw police spray pepper spray into the cars of people who were trying to peacefully leave and the police assault people peacefully walking on the sidewalk, doing nothing to anybody. The police did not act when they should have, and when they did act, they overreacted terribly.
Read about my plan for police accountability.
This is my reply to Ramsey's comment:
Ramsey, I agree with you and also feel that we must and can change the school to prison pipeline so that all our children get real opportunities for a good education, which we are not providing now. Yes, our children deserve to learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens and residents of Seattle and of our nation. This should include what it means to obey the law, how to interact with police, and what your civil rights are and how to protect them. As importantly, we need to change the way our schools are funded to end the institutional inequality where children in neighborhoods with wealthier neighborhoods get a better public education than children in poorer neighborhoods. The average American child now gets a primary public education on par with Uzbekistan and Mongolia, and our children in poor neighborhoods get even worse. Until we reform the way we fund education and provide all our children with similar opportunities in excellence and school choice, we will continue to get vastly different outcomes in high school graduation and college attendance rates. All of our children deserve better than what we are giving them with our Schools, and this is a problem we can solve in Seattle.
Crime is crime no matter who commits it and enabling addiction through theft puts us all in danger and makes our city unlivable. Criminals must be held accountable. We need our police and we need to show them respect for doing a job well done. Defunding our police is irresponsible and will lead to more civil rights abuses by criminals, especially among our poor and minority communities who cannot pay for private security. Blaming the police for our system of economic injustice is unfair and unreasonable. However, our people must have trust in our officers, and making a police union contract that holds police accountable is a critical first step in this process.
Since 2012, the Seattle Police Department has been under federal decree for repeatedly violating our civil rights. We must put in place systems changes, some of which I outline here, so that police can do their job of keeping the peace. We have a right to constitutional community policing that protects and secures all of our civil rights.
Thank you, Ramsey, for the comment.
My first interview after announcing my candidacy was with Mr Sheng Xie, who was launching a new platform for voters. Here it is! Clinton Bliss 2021 Seattle
Seattle’s Mayor Office and Seattle City Council have a long tradition of being at odds. As a member of the Seattle community, I have witnessed blaming, power struggles, manipulating and straight out lawlessness. There are many reasons for this - from history to structure and beyond, but changing a culture within an organization, such as the city government, is hard, especially head on changes. What we can do is refocus on what all civil servants have in common: serving the public to their satisfaction. My idea is to change the conversation from why we can’t get along - or trying to get along - to how well we are doing our job. I would do this by instituting single three-point satisfaction surveys that any and every member of the public could complete with every single interaction they had with any civil servant - from a meeting with the mayor to paying your B&O taxes, permitting, and even the police.
Join Dr. Bliss for an online meeting for gentle conversation. Tuesday, June 22 at 7 pm for one hour.
Meeting ID: 813 3996 9545. Passcode: 402547 One tap mobile +12532158782,,81339969545#,,,,*402547# US
(Upon joining you will be admitted to a waiting room and then asked to identify yourself by first name)
Today I received an invitation to compete for the 36th District Democrats endorsements. I politely declined. Why? Because in my observation, endorsements in the political races today are a sort of transactional exchange. Once endorsed, a candidate has made an implicit bargain – owing something. An endorsement is also a kind of co-branding contractual obligation to a party that may or may not have an interest that reflects the public. One of the main reasons we have the problems we now do with police union contracts, is former candidates traded police oversight for police endorsements. It is my belief that elected officials should represent the interests of the people – and never of special interests, and I will run my candidacy without seeking – or competing – for endorsements.