Listen to us

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Take action: Sign this open letter and then join your neighbors for an important town hall meeting with District 6 City Councilmember Mike O’Brien at 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 at Trinity Methodist United Church in Ballard, 6512 23rd Ave. NW. 

Everyone is welcome to sign this letter and attend the town hall. 

Show up and be heard if you want the situation to change.

Councilmember O’Brien:

We are the neighbors of District 6 (and beyond), and we are frustrated. 

  • We are frustrated by the lack of progress by you — our elected representative — and the city in addressing the growing problem of street homelessness in our community.
  • We are frustrated because the failure to effectively reduce street homelessness has led to a serious deterioration of health and safety for everyone in our neighborhoods.
  • We are frustrated that many of our parks, greenbelts and public spaces have become dangerous and unwelcoming.
  • We are frustrated to see our green spaces and critical habitat trashed and damaged, in some cases after years of efforts to restore them to health.
  • We are frustrated that our bikes are stolen, our cars prowled, our homes and businesses broken into only to learn that our police department doesn’t have the time or resources to respond.
  • We are frustrated that we have to teach our children to avoid needles and human waste on their way to school, and on playgrounds and playfields.
  • We are frustrated that you want to experiment with our neighborhoods without taking the basic steps of safeguarding the community’s health and safety.
  • We are frustrated and horrified that the body count is growing in our neighborhoods and violent crime is taking root in our community.   
  • We are frustrated that you dismiss us as “housed” people instead of neighbors committed to a safe and health community for all.
  • We are frustrated that you continue to spend more on these problems – while they just keep getting worse. 

We have simple message for you, since all of the other efforts to get through to you haven’t made a difference:

You're wrong, Mike.

You’re wrong to advocate for opening our parks, public spaces and streets to camping.

You’re wrong to support drug injection sites.

You’re wrong to promote a hands-off approach to street homelessness that allows people to reject services.

You’re wrong to let paid advocates with a vested interest in maintaining this failed approach write laws and implement policies.

You’re wrong to keep raising taxes without demonstrating first that the services and supports we are putting into place actually work. 

But most importantly, you’re wrong to ignore us.

We stand ready to help solve this problem. We want to help move more people out of addiction and into recovery. We want to help more people with mental illness get the support and services they need. We want to help build more real housing for those in need. We want to help to rebuild the lives and hopes of those living on our streets.

We will open our wallets and our hearts even wider. But not if leaders like you continue to double down on the same failed policies and bad ideas from the same special interests that have made this problem worse.

It is time for you to listen to the thousands of people who are just trying to raise a family, earn a living and build a safe and healthy community that welcomes everyone.

It’s time to listen to us — or it will be time for the people of District 6 to make a change.



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