Banks announced her plan at Powell Barnett Park Thursday morning. (Image: Bryan Cohen)
Pamela Banks has finally struck a campaign blow in an election season that has mostly seen incumbent Kshama Sawant dominating. The candidate will look to build on that success Thursday with a push on public safety at a Central District park playground recently caught in the crossfire of ongoing gun violence.
UPDATE: Banks called for the City to hire ex-gang members to quell gun violence as the main part of her plan to address public safety concerns in the Central Area. The proposal would require hiring at least 12 “violence interrupters” to diffuse deadly confrontations, she said.
The program is modeled off one in Chicago and is a revival of sorts of a Seattle initiative that was disbanded in 2010, Banks said. Banks also called for more resources to be devoted to SPD’s community police teams — an issue Attorney General Loretta Lynch was due to speak about later in the day at a “community policing forum” in the Central District. That would likely involve hiring more officers, Banks said.
During the media conference at Powell Barnett Park, Banks took the opportunity to note Sawant’s relatively quiet stance on the issue of public safety in this year’s election. “My opponent hasn’t lead on this issue and hasn’t even made a public statement regarding this violent crime in this city,” Banks said.
Banks said addressing violent crime is her top issue in the campaign.
A full statement on the Banks “Jobs Stop Bullets” plan has been included at the bottom of this post.
Original report: After her plea for Democratic unity failed to secure a key endorsement from the 43rd District Democrats earlier this month, the D3 challenger found a friendlier response this week from her home legislative district as the 37th voted to throw its support behind Banks.
“It was great to see so many friends and neighbors at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, and to earn the endorsement of the 37th District Democrats,” Banks said in a statement:
I’ve known many of these strong Democrats for years. Some friendships go back to when I helped make sure small businesses kept their doors open during light rail construction back in the 1990’s and others are friends and fellow parents from when I served as Garfield PTSA President.
This is the kind of results-driven, hands-on community activism that I love, and it was humbling and gratifying to see so many people turn out and support my candidacy for City Council. I continue to make housing, education, jobs and public safety my priorities, and making a difference on these issues energizes my campaign.
Banks will look to continue her momentum Thursday with a push on public safety and a morning announcement in Powell Barnett Park, “the scene of a shooting on June 25.” Continue reading