Virtual Meeting Highlights:
There were 42+ participants in the meeting - including commissioners and staff. As far as the League Observer could tell only commissioners and staff spoke, and there was no formal time for public comment. Everyone was respectful, allowed to speak and express diverse opinions, etc.
DOJ, Monitor, City Council, Mayor Updates
DOJ: No update.
Monitor: No update
Council: Starting to address 2021 budget, having received the Mayor’s proposed budget on 9/29/20. SCC Budget Committee meeting at 9:30 AM on 9/30/20 and on 10/1/20 another SCC budget hearing will focus on the SPD budget.
Mayor’s Office: CPC will receive a presentation from the Mayor's Office on the budget at the 10/7/20 meeting. Mayor's Office representative noted there is an op-ed by Mayor Durkan regarding her $100 million plan for BIPOC Communities in the South Seattle Herald (9/25/20).
Governance Committee: Erin Goodman (SODO Business Improvement Area) reported that committee has worked with the City’s contract specialists and will be doing a Request for Proposal. Also a small group met with a search firm regarding an executive director for the CPC.
Community Outreach: Commissioner said he will update the CPC soon.
The Commissioner representative from the Defund Workgroup Esther Lucero (Seattle Indian Health Board) said that the work group was ready for input from the broader Commission and will be bringing specific recommendations, including those from Decriminalize Seattle (DS) to the committee for consideration. For instance, DS is recommending that more civilian investigators be added to the OPA and that their pay be commensurate with other city employees.
It was noted that the CPC needed an updated presentation from DS. Esther said the DS had refined their initial blueprint and that the CPC should revisit. The League Observer believed that staff for the CPC will be sending the updated DS recommendations so that people can be thinking about it.
Esther Lucero asked for peoples’ thoughts in general about supporting the recommendations from DS, or if the CPC should have their own recommendations for defunding. Since no one responded Esther called on people to share their views.
Prachi Dave (Senior Attorney at the Public Defender) supports DS and suggests that the commission try to develop a consensus around which of the recommendations the commission will support. She noted that DS represents the community.
Erin Goodman (SODO Business Improvement Area) stated that DS has raised important ideas but she is concerned about the lack of detail. She is OK moving forward on the themes, but not the detail and is concerned about unintended consequences and the about the delivery of public safety services for the whole community. She suggested the plan needs to address the public safety needs for a major American city.
Alina Santillan(Seattle Center Cohort) agreed with Prachi. He added that when he thinks about community, he centers on the issues faced by the community of people most impacted by policing and figures that If those issues are addressed, the rest of the community will also be served.
Reverend Walden (reverend and Co-Chair of the CPC) stated that she had some of the same concerns as Erin. She said that the community is not all on board. Crime is escalating in Seattle, shootings and crime are up. She stated that these are real issues. We are all here representing different aspects of the community.
Esther Lucero summarized Reverend Walden’s comments as 1) we should all think more about it and 2) we need a stop gap measure to ensure public safety as changes are implemented.
Colleen Echohawk (Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club) said that we need to think about history and where we want to go. She noted that she worked for years with the Downtown Seattle Association looking at issues of safety and they never found satisfactory solutions. She suggested that solutions need to evolve and as systemic racism is addressed.
Douglas Wagoner (Communications Lead at the Office of Health and Safe Communities in the Washington State Department of Health) suggested that the CPC has an opportunity to reduce use of force and that the CPC should do whatever it takes to usher it forward. The group should look at the big picture and align themselves with DS. Don’t stand in the way of reform, be partners in the transformation and highlight accountability measures not related to budget.
Another speaker (not identified by our Observer) suggested that non-criminal calls be handled by a pool of capable providers able to respond to people in a behavioral health crisis and that funds be identified to adequately pay this pool.
La Rond Baker (King County Department of Public Defense) noted that the current situation presents an incredible opportunity. She suggested that the Commission needs to focus on the most impacted communities - namely communities of color and those unhoused - those that need to be protected because the other communities are well taken care of. She suggested that the Commission go through the recommendations at DS and comment on each. La Rond also noted that the current approach is not working, crime has increased and again we need to align with the communities most impacted. She also suggested that the CPC look at other models.
Suzette Dickerson (WSCCCE AFSCME Council 2) agreed with Erin.. She suggested that the Commission look at where the work is decreased and also looked at enhancing services.
Officer Mark Mullins (Seattle Police Department) asked what training a civilian accountability investigator would undergo before serving as a civilian in the Office of Police Accountability.
The issue of alignment with DS will be discussed further next week. Esther Lucero suggested that commission members email their thoughts/ recommendations to her if they didn’t get to provide them during the meeting.
Met last Friday and distilled recommendations and sent them on to OIR on 9/25/20. Committee will meet again to continue looking at top priorities and whether or not the CPC should be coordinating with existing groups or develop their own recommendations.
Meeting concluded at 10:00, 30 minutes earlier than the normal meeting. Co-Chair Reverend Aaron Williams stated that next week the meeting would be longer.
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