My proposal to create homeless encampment removal standards

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Councilman Dunn Banner

Your Update on What's Happening at the King County Council  

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

For months, I have been working on legislation that would create a set of standard procedures for when to remove a homeless encampment from County property. I am disappointed to report that this week, this legislation failed by a two-to-two tie vote of the Local Services Committee.

My proposal sought to set health and safety standards that would warrant the removal of an encampment, including violence, crime, obstruction of playgrounds or schools, or the presence of untreated sewage or infectious diseases. It would have also created conditions for when a removal would be prohibited, such as the lack of shelter space availability. Unfortunately, I could not gain the support of enough of my colleagues on the Committee for this proposal to advance to the full Council. This means that King County still lacks a system to respond to any encampments that take root in our neighborhoods, parks, and open spaces. You can learn more about my proposal by watching my Q13 interview.

I strongly believe that it is far from compassionate to leave people to live outside without working to connect them to the services and shelter that they desperately need to rebuild their lives. I also believe it is unfair to allow public spaces taken over by encampments that pose health and safety risks. Despite this setback, I remain committed to pushing for solutions that best serve our communities and will continue to work to move this policy forward in the new year. 

I include a few more King County updates for you below. Thanks for reading, and I wish a Happy Hanukkah to all who are celebrating.

All my best,

Reagan Dunn signature



Reagan Dunn
Vice Chairman
Metropolitan King County Council

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