It’s been almost two months since my last catch-all posting on the status of the City of Seattle’s various outstanding legal battles. Stuff has happened, so it’s time for an update.
Today a class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the ACLU on behalf of Seattle’s homeless, against the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The suit charges that the city and WSDOT’s “sweeps” of homeless encampments violate the constitutional rights of the encampments’ residents by
seizing and destroying the property of people who are living outside without adequate and effective notice, an opportunity to be heard, or a meaningful way to reclaim any property that was not destroyed.
If you’ve lost track of what’s happening with the city’s response to the homeless crisis, you’re in good company: there are now four separate issues, all with significant action expected over the next month. So let’s get caught up.
As the Council wraps up its recess, things are starting to spin up again…
Last Friday, Mayor Ed Murray sent a letter to the nine City Council members, announcing a new stakeholder group that he and Council member Sally Bagshaw are convening. That task force will review the city’s rules and procedures for dealing with unsanctioned homeless encampments and deliver recommendations to him and the Council.
News coverage is all over the map this morning.