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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Broad coalition continues effort to better support downtown public safety

3/18/2013  10:30:00 AM

Broad coalition continues effort to better support downtown public safety

SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn and members of the Center City Roundtable urged the state legislature to prioritize policies and funding to support human services and public safety. The Roundtable was founded as part of the Mayor's Center City Initiative, with representatives from the human services community, business leaders, neighborhood groups, the Court system, the City Attorney's Office and other stakeholders interested in public safety in downtown neighborhoods.

"These funding priorities will help us to protect the most vulnerable people in our community and build a safer Seattle" said Mayor Mike McGinn. "Thank you to the Roundtable members for all their hard work to come to a consensus on challenging topics. I urge the state legislature to look closely at these priorities and work with us to support public safety and economic vibrancy in downtown Seattle and across the state."

The letter, sent today, asks that the legislature:

  • Implement the Affordable Care Act with full Medicaid expansion.
  • Preserve critical state funding for a continuum of mental health and substance use disorder programs.
  • Continue funding for the effective Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program, including alcoholism and drug addiction treatment and support (ADATSA) clients amongst those eligible for HEN, and ensure that those who have long-term disabilities have access to housing resources.
  • Provide adequate funding for the Housing Trust Fund in the capital budget.
  • Add needed clarity to ensure that those individuals who have committed serious misdemeanors but are found to not be competent to stand trial receive needed evaluation and treatment.

"The fact that this diverse group is working together and presenting a united front to the legislature is unprecedented" said Downtown Seattle Association President and CEO Kate Joncas. "We have agreed on priorities that will protect public safety and make downtown a more attractive place to live, work and play."

Organizations that signed onto the letter include:

  • Downtown Seattle Association
  • Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area
  • Evergreen Treatment Services & School of Social Work, University of Washington
  • Plymouth Housing Group
  • Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda)
  • The Alliance for Pioneer Square
  • Real Change
  • Seattle Human Services Coalition
  • YWCA
  • Millionair Club Charity
  • Visit Seattle
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Pine Street Group LLC
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

"Without these crucial services, people in need have nowhere to turn" said Real Change Director Tim Harris. "The business community and human service providers are speaking to the legislature with one voice: do not cut our already over-extended safety net even further."

"Medicaid expansion is a major priority for the 2013 legislative session. I believe that there will be consensus on this in the legislature, and I thank the diverse signers of this letter for adding their voices to those supporting the expansion, as well as other critical human service programs," Representative Eileen Cody, Chair of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

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Office of the Mayor

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