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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Seattle’s budget shortfall

Raise your hand for people

Thursday’s edition of The Seattle Times decried Seattle’s budget shortfall [“Shortfall of $19 million expected in city budget,” News, Nov. 6]. The mayor’s office had the temerity to say that no vital services would be cut and that this budget “focuses on compassion.”

Effective Dec. 31, Cascade People’s Center in South Lake Union, the only family-support center in the core of Seattle, will close because of funding cuts from the city. Cascade People’s Center is a vital community link and has been for more than 10 years.

Councilmember Jean Godden was quoted as saying that the budget will focus on “what Seattleites want.” Since 2007, Seattle has increased funding to criminal justice by more than $5 million yet no leader has stepped forward to commit the mere budget dust of $75,000 needed to keep the doors open for Cascade People’s Center, where key prevention programs are provided.

Raise your hand, Seattle. Do you want a place for a young person to become a community leader instead of a gang leader? A place for the unemployed to use our computers to look for work, and a safe place to sleep rather than be arrested in their tent for the crime of homelessness?

Raise your hand Seattle. Apparently, it’s up to us.

I vote for the city to prioritize people in its planning. I raise my hand for the people served at Cascade People’s Center. This is what matters. This is vital to the safety and well-being of our South Lake Union neighborhood and Seattle.

— Janet St. Clair, Seattle

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