[Hpn] Homeless initiative to make it on ballot;Seattle Times;9/15/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Sun, 16 Sep 2001 09:50:24 -0400


Below is a forward of an article which may be of interest. Following that is 
a forward of the text of the voter initiative the article speaks of.

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont

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-------Forwarded article-------

Saturday, September 15, 2001
Seattle Times <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com>
[Seattle, Washington]
Local News section
Homeless initiative to make it on ballot
<http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134341786_homeless15m.html>

By Beth Kaiman
Seattle Times staff reporter

The signatures for a Seattle initiative on spending for the homeless must be 
considered valid because the King County elections office failed to meet a 
deadline for reviewing the signatures, a judge ruled yesterday.

The ruling by King County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Barnett does not 
guarantee Initiative 71 a place on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot. But 
it could go on a ballot early next year. The City Council will decide.

The initiative would require Seattle to add 400 shelter beds and to spend 20 
percent more on social services for the homeless within 18 months.

The judge's ruling reverses last week's decision by the elections board. 
Elections Superintendent Julie Anne Kempf had said on Sept. 5, the day her 
staff finished its count, that I-71 fell 1,046 signatures short of the 
18,830 needed.

The group had turned in thousands more, Kempf said, but many of the 
signatures belonged to people who were not registered to vote.

The backers of I-71 sued, arguing the city charter allows 20 days to count 
the signatures and after that, state law presumes them valid. The last batch 
of signatures was turned in Aug. 10, making the deadline Aug. 30, said the 
group's lawyer, Christopher Beer. Finishing on Sept. 5, Beer said, violated 
the law.

The I-71 proponents sued the city, rather than the county, because the city 
charter charges city officials with handling initiatives.

But the state long ago transferred the power of running elections to King 
County.

Gary Keese, assistant city attorney, argued that the county elections office 
did not abide by the city's 20-day rule and did not need to, according to 
state law. The county office follows state rules that give no specific 
deadline.

"When there's a state law that conflicts with a charter provision, that 
state law governs," Keese said.

City officials, while favoring many of the principles behind I-71, say it 
would be too costly, especially given new revenue shortfalls.

City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck and Deputy Mayor Tom Byers had been trying 
to negotiate a deal in which I-71 backers would drop the initiative in favor 
of new funding for homeless shelters, social services and housing.

Steinbrueck and Timothy Harris, an I-71 proponent and executive director of 
Real Change, a newspaper about homelessness, said they still hope to reach 
that compromise.

Beth Kaiman can be reached at 206-464-2441 or bkaiman@seattletimes.com.

---End of forwarded article---

~~~Related information:

Complete Text of Initiative Measure Number 71
<http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/init71.htm>

Be it ordained be the City of Seattle as follows

In order to reduce the impact of homelessness on the community and address 
the factors that produce homelessness, the City of Seattle shall provide 
additional overnight shelter beds and services for its homeless residents, 
and make it the policy of the City of Seattle to provide such shelter and 
services on an ongoing basis.

Establishment of Additional Shelter: According to the recommendations of the 
Seattle-King County Homeless Advisory Group and the City of Seattle 
Consolidated Plan, a need exists for expanded shelter opportunity in the 
City of Seattle. The City of Seattle shall have one year from the passage of 
this initiative to fund and establish a plan to create at least an 
additional 400 new, year-round shelter beds. All new shelter beds mandated 
herein shall be fully operational within one year and six months from 
enactment hereof. These new shelter beds shall have access to appropriate 
support services to help people move out of homelessness and to become 
self-sufficient.

Establishment of Expanded Homeless Services. According to the City of 
Seattle there is an extreme shortage of supportive services for its homeless 
residents. This shortage of services often prevents homeless people from 
receiving the help they need to address the problems contributing to their 
homelessness. Within one year of passage of this initiative, the City of 
Seattle shall fund additional support services for the homeless, such as: 
housing placement; employment assistance; childcare; domestic violence 
intervention, and health services, the funding for which shall represent a 
minimum of a 20% increase over existing City funding now allocated for such 
services. The new services shall be made fully operational and accessible to 
those in need within one year and six months of passage of this initiative.

Declaration of Policy. In the interest of preventing human suffering and 
reducing the costs of providing medical care and public safety, and in 
recognition of the right of all persons to overnight shelter, it is by the 
Citizens declared the public policy of the City of Seattle to provide at 
least 400 new, year-round shelter beds and services, as referenced above, to 
homeless persons in the City of Seattle requesting such shelter and willing 
to abide by reasonable regulations governing the operation of shelter 
facilities. Adequate shelter is that which to a reasonable degree maintains, 
protects, and supports human health, is accessible, safe, and sanitary, and 
has an atmosphere of reasonable dignity.

Definition of Homeless. A person is considered to be homeless if:

(a) The person has no present possessory interest in an accommodation and 
lacks the means necessary to obtain such interest, or

The person has a possessory interest in an accommodation but

the person is unable to secure entry to that accommodation, or

occupation of the accommodation may lead to violence from another.

Continuum of Care. By creating additional shelter, this initiative will help 
to provide additional access to supportive services and options for entry 
into transitional and permanent housing. Continued support of other efforts 
and initiatives to provide additional transitional and permanent housing is 
critical to provide the means for homeless people to achieve 
self-sufficiency and stability.

Funding: Upon passage of this initiative, the City of Seattle shall pursue 
all possible options to fund the new shelter and services mandated herein, 
but shall not take, or in any way interfere with, funding from existing or 
planned expenditures for health, human services, and housing programs. The 
City shall leverage all available funding from private, county, state and 
federal sources as necessary to accomplish its mandate herein. The City 
shall pursue creative options for low-cost shelter, including faith-based 
shelter and self-management strategies.

Prioritization. The City must facilitate this measure in any way needed to 
ensure that the goals of this initiative are achieved and its intent carried 
out, including, but not limited to, prioritizing the processing and 
providing of all applicable permits, or obtaining any waivers or changes in 
any state or other superior law that may be needed.

Legal Construction. This measure shall be most liberally and broadly 
construed or interpreted, by any court or other body or official, in order 
to effectuate and carry out its purpose and intent.

Severability. If any provision of this initiative, or its application to any 
person or circumstances, is declared invalid in a court of law, the 
remainder, or the application of the provision to other persons or 
circumstances, shall not be affected.

Enforceability. Any registered voter of the City of Seattle, and any other 
legal person with an interest in providing services to the homeless and low 
income population, shall have standing and may bring suit to enforce the 
provisions hereof, in an individual or class action, and may recover all 
actual damages sustained, attorneys' fees, costs of litigation, and any and 
all equitable or injunctive relief necessary to enforce the provisions 
hereof or remedy any violations of this measure.

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**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**

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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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