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,