The sparring between mayoral candidates Ed Murray and incumbent Mike McGinn at a Wednesday forum hosted downtown by the Greater Seattle Business Association focused on hate crimes on Capitol Hill:
Speaking to the Greater Seattle Business Association, Mayor Mike McGinn emphasized steps he’s already taken to deal with the violence.
“We’ve added more park rangers, we’re adding more officers, we turned on the lights in Cal Anderson Park to help,” McGinn said.
Seeking to become Seattle’s first gay mayor, State Sen. Ed Murray would bring back the tactics he used to fight gay-bashing 20 years ago.
“We developed police training, we developed safety patrols on Capitol Hill, we held education forums and we were able to actually turn that problem around,” Murray said.
In late August, CHS reported on the community response to a string of reported hate crimes on the Hill this summer and talked to LGBTQ community leaders including the GSBA’s own Louise Chernin.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Times is making the case for public safety as a campaign issue with its recent editorial bemoaning downtown’s unsafe reputation even as it acknowledges SPD statistics showing a downward trend in crime. The Stranger, headquartered across the street from summertime crime hot spot Cal Anderson, has sunk its teeth into what it calls the TImes’ “divisive political ploy.”
The debate moved online following the day’s forum when the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Twitter account wagged a finger at @mayormcginn for spreading the Stranger’s essay:
On Capitol Hill, the most recent CHS analysis of crime in general showed an overall downtick in the first quarter of 2013. We’ll update our numbers with the latest updates from SPD soon in plenty of time before the scheduled October 3rd Capitol Hill Mayoral Candidates Forum sponsored by the chamber and CHS.