The Park

Proposed Law Could Make Homeless Encampments Legal In Green Lake Park and Across Seattle

October 23, 2017 3:43pm


Last Fall we wrote about a proposed law that was endorsed by city council member, Mike O’Brien, that would allow homeless individuals to camp legally in areas of the city that are currently illegal including some parks, greenbelts, school grounds and sidewalks. According to Speak Out Seattle, more than 21,000 signatures were gathered in just six days rejecting that proposed law. Based on the emails, calls and signatures in opposition, the Seattle City Council decided not to even take a vote on the proposal.

Now, a similar proposal is being discussed.

That proposal would defund a program that provides Navigation Teams (a group of social workers and other service providers that work with law enforcement to provide encampment inhabitants with the resources they need to find housing). According to Speak Out Seattle, the proposal would also “ban the city from providing any services that would aid in removing unsafe encampments.” The proposal would also “prevent the city from taking any action to remove dangerous and illegal encampments in “inactive” parts of parks where plants, trees and shrubs grow or in areas where an activity is not currently taking place, as well as parking strips, trailside greenspaces, hillsides, ravines and bridge underpasses, to name but a few.”

Greenlakers, here’s what you can do:

Sign the petition before the City Council’s final budget meeting on November 1. The ipetition circulating has more than 2,000 signatures and helps send a strong message to City Council members that this is not the right approach.

Stay informed: The stats are mind boggling. And the problem is only getting worse.

Special thanks to the several citizens that emailed us over the weekend to tell us about this proposal! The only way a democracy works is through informed citizens like you.