Request for LEAD sent to Mayor Murray

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.

Thank you,

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


Roxbury Street Safety Input Opportunity

HPAC has been involved in this project, and unfortunately this opportunity falls on the same night as our regular monthly meeting, but need to put it out there for those of you that can make it there to give input on the very important SW Roxbury Street Road Safety Corridor Project. You could even make it to both meetings! Please join the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) next Wednesday, February 26th from 6 to 7:30 PM at Roxhill Elementary School (9430 30th Ave SW) to review data and share your thoughts on how they can improve safety on SW Roxbury Street.

 If you can’t make it on the 26th, they’ll also be at the White Center Summit on March 1st to talk Roxbury and the White Center Chamber of Commerce meeting on March 11th. Comments are also welcome via email.

Who to share your opinion with about Nickelsville

In light of tonight’s meeting, here is some contact information to start with if you’d like to let some folks know how you feel about Nickelsville in its current location. If you think of it, please  copy me on whatever you send: .

Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith: , 233-7893

Jerry DeGrieck, Senior Policy Advisor at Mayor’s Office: , 684-4029

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council:

Sally Clark, President of Seattle City Council:

I would say Mike McGinn, but it took him 8 months to reply to my last email, so I’m not sure it really matters to write him.

Here is a copy of what I sent as a precursor of a more formal letter to follow at the beginning of April:

I want to give you a heads up that the Highland Park Action Committee met last night, and while we have been very patient with having Nickelsville at the bottom of Highland Park Drive, the consensus in the neighborhood is that we are ready to call for an eviction and ask for a move out date. We have not asked for that yet, but have continued to inform you of our displeasure with having the camp in the same location for 2 years now.

You have set a dangerous precedent for all neighborhoods in Seattle, one I am confident not all neighborhoods will be tolerant of. Organizations such as Scott Morrow’s can now point to Nickelsville and your inaction (and help in some cases), as a justification for squatting illegally on public land for years at a time. We do not want to go through another summer with the encampment at its current location, and look forward to hearing a move out date from you as soon as possible. We understand that Food Lifeline’s interests in the property will end at the end of March, if you can’t figure out how to make that deal happen, you have missed a golden opportunity. Regardless of that opportunity, we would like that property free of an encampment. Should we not hear from you with a move out date, we will be forced to take action which will include media on a local and national level, a lot of emails and visits to your offices from our community, and a lawsuit.

Thank you for your prompt attention, and I am sorry to be so abrupt – we have tried to be kind, we have tried to be tolerant and understanding of both your situation, and that of the homeless, but we are finished. We feel taken advantage of and ignored, we feel disrespected as a community, and are one big group of angry voters. We are working on a more official call for eviction to come to you after Food Lifeline’s “end of March” date for having that deal figured out.




Some Helpful Links to help you help Highland Park

Because the city doesn’t know about our issues, or allocate resources, unless YOU TELL THEM:

Police Non Emergency Number: 206-625-5011

Police  Community On-Line Reporting Program for Property Destruction, Identity Theft, Car Prowls, Auto Accessories, Theft of Property (under $500), Narcotics Activity.

On-going Drug Activity:  call narcotics directly at (206) 684-5797 or our community police team at (206) 615-1976 to report ongoing drug activity, ask to file a “Narcotics Activity Report.” Can also be reported online.

Requesting a city Service, like overgrown vegetation/ impassable sidewalks, abandoned cars in the street, damaged sidewalks, graffiti, pothole report, parking enforcement…

Illegal Dumping

Seattle Animal Shelter, dispatch center:  386-7387 ext 7 or request service here. This is to report failure to leash, failure to scoop, injured or dead animals/wildlife, stray pets, dangerous animals, animal cruelty, things like that.

Filing an anonymous complaint, especially for things like junk cars in yards, junk stored outside in residential zones, and vacant properties opened to unauthorized entry.

Please Join us for the Last Meeting in our Police Series

Tonight, February 13th at 7:00 at HPIC on 12th and Holden, the second meeting focuses on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Please join us to discuss the neighborhood with the police, how we can be more empowered, how we can help ourselves improve our part of the neighborhood, and how we can help the police help us. The presentation will be about 45 minutes, followed by your questions and discussion. Officer Kiehn will stay as long as he needs to in an effort to answer all your questions and speak to your concerns.

Thanks to Officer Kiehn

Several of you have asked how we can reach Officer Kiehn’s supervisor to share how much we appreciate his time and relay what a good job he’s doing for Highland Park. He stayed until 10:00 last week to hear and address each and every concern, and is coming back tomorrow and willing to stay as long as he needs to again. Thank you for putting in a good word if you have a chance.  Here is Pierre Davis’s email: Pierre.Davis@Seattle.Gov

Camping in the Greenbelt

We have a commitment from the Mayor’s office to help us get the greenbelt cleaned up, but we need your help and experience to locate encampments: please call the City’s Customer Service Bureau at 684-2489 with specific locations of encampments in the greenbelt. (The more calls the better)