From Erica Barnett’s analysis of the Mayor’s budget I Read the Mayor’s Budget So You Don’t Have To
Three public-safety programs—Get Off the Streets, Co-Stars, and Communities Uniting Rainier Beach—are being proposed for elimination. Get Off the Streets is a program aimed at “lowering crime in the Central Area by providing services to people involved in non-violent street crime who are drug or alcohol dependent and homeless”; Co-Stars was intended to help homeless people get into and stay in permanent housing; and CURB, formerly known as Clean Dreams, attempts to identify, reach, and reeducate young people at risk of causing public safety problems in crime-ridden areas. Cutting funding for all three programs—which Dively said were targeted because they “did not actually save any money in jail usage… by the people that were actually served by the programs”—will save the city $456,000.
Your job here is really easy: just call up as many city council members as you can and tell them “please fully fund GOTS”. You can find their contact information here: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/council/councilcontact.htm . According to people in the know, Councilmember Burgess is a key part of the equation, so make him a priority: 206-684-8806 or [email protected]
GOTS gives people a chance to Get Off The Streets, and to avoid jail and a downward spiral. Please help convince the City to continue funding this humanitarian face of law enforcement.
And be prepared to trot on down to City Hall and testify at the inevitable City Council public hearings on the budget. Here’s the Budget webpage and here are details of the Public Hearings (Wednesday, October 8 and Monday, October 27).
Recall that we all live near enough to City Hall that it’s easy to monitor the hearings via the streaming video, and then pop down towards the end of the hearing and given them your 2 minutes of wisdom. Some of the Councilmembers (and the TV) may have left by then, but if you don’t have the spare 2 hours it may well take to stand in line, sign up and wait & wait, it’s a good alternative.