Not so fast, socialist city council member Kshama Sawant told her council colleagues this morning as they tried to cast the Republican meanies in Olympia as the main obstacle to putting more dollars toward fighting homelessness.
After the city’s Olympia lobbying team finished cheering on a Democratic proposal in Olympia from state senator Sharon Nelson (D-34, West Seattle, Maury Island) to direct $186 million in state rainy day fund dollars for homeless services (check last week’s Fizz for details), city council member Sally Bagshaw got all knowing and cynical.
“What are the chances of that passing at this point?” Bagshaw asked city lobbying chief Nick Harper, setting him up to bash the GOP.
As we are wont to do in Seattle, Harper easily derided the Republicans: “The majority party in the senate has already made some public statements to the effect that they’re not taking this proposal very seriously.”
Bagshaw suggested getting the backing of other city lobbying forces like the Association of Washington Cities. “What I’m hearing is that statewide this [homelessness] is rising up to the number one crisis that people are recognizing.” Bagshaw thought getting them involved in the lobbying effort “could make a difference.”
Socialist Sawant pounced. “I really appreciate city council members pushing this on the state, but I would remind my colleagues that I had brought forward a similar idea during budget last year,” and then, breaking into a sly smile, “using the city’s emergency fund to provide thousands of additional shelter beds.”
Pointing out that the city council was made up entirely of Democrats (“except for me”), she concluded: “We should pass that [her emergency fund option at the city level] and then we are in a better position to point the finger at Republicans.”
Here's our report from last November's city council budget debate when Bagshaw shot down Sawant's losing proposal to direct $10 million from the city's emergency fund to fund shelter beds for the homeless.