In light of our last meeting, we sent a request to Mayor Murray for the LEAD program for our neighborhood and the entire Delridge District. If you missed it, here is more information about the LEAD program, and a piece in Huffington Post from last year. A copy of the request is below, it was copied to the City Council, the City Attorney’s Office, the King County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Police Chief:
Dear Mayor Murray,
We are the co-chairs of the community group in Southwest Seattle called Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC). Kris Nyrop recently came to speak with our community about the pre-booking diversion program known as LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion). We were astounded at the data he shared with us, and see this program as a viable alternative with positive results for our neighborhood. Where the obvious benefits are in cost and resource effectiveness, we also see the LEAD Model as a compassionate response to intervene when someone is in need of positive life changes. We read in a 2009 assessment of Seattle’s pilot projects that “participants reported an increase in the… critical areas of personal dignity, a restored connection with family, and a commitment to self-improvement.” We see this effect as the most significant, unquantifiable result of the program, and the reason it has a positive impact on a community.
We would like to request the LEAD program for our area. We understand that LEAD has been successful in highly urban areas like Bell Town, and that White Center is going to be “on-line” soon with LEAD. Given our proximity to White Center and the fact that crime spills back and forth across our fluid boundaries, it makes sense to carry the program over the County Line and throughout the Delridge District. We are writing with the support of the Delridge District Council and community groups in our District, and would like a response to our request with steps on how to proceed with acquiring LEAD for our neighborhood.
Carolyn and Billy Stauffer, Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC)
With the support of the following community leaders:
Mat McBride, Delridge Neighborhood District Council (DNDC)
Amanda Kay Helmick, Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights (WWRHAH)
Pete Spalding, Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council