The state Court of Appeals has upheld a King County judge’s decision disqualifying the Compassion Seattle initiative from the November ballot.
In the appeals court ruling, a three-judge panel agreed with last week’s decision by King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer that threw a monkey wrench in the downtown chamber-backed plan to change the city charter to require Seattle provide housing, guarantee 12% of the city’s general fund for homelessness and human services, and crack down on encampments by requiring sweeps and clearances of public spaces.
Lawyers for the ACLU representing the organization,the Transit Riders Union, and the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness sued to remove Compassion Seattle from the ballot, arguing that the vote on Charter Amendment 29 would be “an illegal use of a local ballot initiative and violates state laws that mandate how local governments make and carry out plans for addressing homelessness” that went “beyond the scope of Seattle’s initiative powers.”
The campaign backing the measure is now urging supporters to focus on the upcoming election. Mayoral candidate Lorena González had opposed the measure as an “unfunded mandate.” Her opponent Bruce Harrell had said he backed the initiative and this week promised supporters he would implement certain elements of the proposal.
“I just think that there has to be consequences for that kind of action because many people — and I’m very close to the world of people struggling with drug and alcohol treatment, people that have challenges — many of them are in denial. Many of them do not know what they need. They just do not.” Harrell said in an announcement of his homelessness plan Thursday, Publicola reports.
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