Seattle Tent City
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Chapman’s News & Ideas Seattle, Another Dysfunctional City

Originally published at Substack

“Familiar faces” is a term used for Seattle’s prolific offenders in the criminal justice system, writes Scott Lindsay in Crosscut, where he considers how two candidates for city attorney would deal with these repeat offenders.

With the city attorney’s race approaching, Lindsay looks at the top primary vote-getter, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

If Thomas-Kennedy is elected, voters may not have to wait long to experience life without police officers. The foreseeable consequences of electing a chief prosecutor with a self-described “rabid hatred” of police — who responds to the police chief’s Christmas Eve message to officers by saying she hopes the cops “eat COVID-laced shit” — are clear.

“Justice Not Jails,” is one of NTK’s slogans.

The reasonable alternative, argues Lindsay, is Ann Davison for a town where repeat offenders may not expect to face certain punishment. Lindsay writes

Davison does not have extensive criminal law experience, but her overall centrist pragmatism squares with many voters’ gut feelings. The city doesn’t feel as safe as it should, and we need meaningful solutions, not task forces, that balance accountability for criminal activity with compassion and resources for the underlying causes of many problem behaviors.

This quote from her campaign video seems pretty reasonable:

“Abolishing prosecution and jails will not make our cities safer, or more livable.”

More livable — a worthy goal. And it’s achievable when that is the focus.

Unlike the rhetoric of NTK, who wants to address “the root causes of poverty, homelessness, and despair, which is why I will refocus the civil division of the office to go after large scale harms: wage theft, corporate landlords, and oil companies that destroy the environment.”

It’s hard to believe that anyone who talks like that would be able to prosecute employers, landlords or energy companies successfully. And if that official did succeed, the result would be fewer jobs, less housing and more blackouts.

Debra J. Saunders

Fellow, Chapman Center for Citizenship Leadership
A fellow with Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership, Debra J. Saunders worked for more than thirty years covering politics on the ground and in Washington, as well as American culture, the news media, the criminal justice system, and dubious trends in public schools and prestigious universities. Her column is nationally syndicated with Creators Syndicate.