Topic: Mike McGinn
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September 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Seattle mayoral candidate Sen. Ed Murray said today he would hire 100 new police officers to help address crime in the city and rebuild the ranks of the force, after numbers have fallen over the past four years with retirements and a police hiring freeze because of city budget cuts. The remarks represented a contrast with Mayor Mike McGinn, who has proposed funding 15 new officers in 2014.
Murray’s plan calls for 25 new officers each year for the next four years, above attrition. He said the staffing levels are below similarly sized cities at the same time Seattle continues to grow.
Murray’s call for more police came at the annual breakfast in support of Real Change, the advocacy newspaper for homeless and low-income people. McGinn and Murray were featured speakers and addressed half-a-dozen questions about poverty, social services and homelessness posed by moderator C.R. Douglas of Q13 FOX news.
McGinn said police are not the solution and again questioned whether there was a downtown crime problem. He accused The Seattle Times of manufacturing a summer crime spike to undermine his candidacy. He said the enforcement-only model failed in the national War on Drugs and that he has brought people together around his Center City Initiative to tackle the root causes of crime, disorder and untreated mental illness.
Murray said he would not hire new officers until they have the training and skills to avoid problems including bias and excessive use of force, two issues identified by the Department of Justice in its settlement agreement with the city and the SPD.
“I hear it constantly from people who go downtown. They’re hassled or intimidated or mugged. These are not law-and-order, lock em up folks. These are liberal Democrats.”
August 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM
The King County Labor Council failed to endorse any candidate for Seattle mayor after a contentious two-hour meeting tonight. The Council’s Executive Board earlier in the day had recommended a dual endorsement of Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray, but the motion failed to win the needed two-thirds support from the assembled delegates.
Delegates did approve a dual endorsement of Councilman Mike O’Brien and challenger Albert Shen.
The Executive Board could recommend a sole endorsement for mayor at the next Labor Council meeting Sept. 19, said David Freiboth, executive secretary. No incumbent mayor since Paul Schell in 2001 has failed to pick up the Labor Council endorsement.
Not choosing one candidate effectively neutralizes the resources of the Labor Council. Individual unions are still free to mobilize their members in behalf of Murray or McGinn.
Both candidates have picked up endorsements from local affiliates, leaving no clear front-runner for labor in the race. McGinn has the support of the activist unions Unite Here Local 8, which represents hotel and restaurant workers, and the machinists union, while Murray has several maritime and construction unions.
The Labor Council stayed out of the crowded primary because affiliates were divided among the top four candidates, McGinn, Murray, former Councilman Peter Steinbrueck and Councilman Bruce Harrell.
June 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM
The city of Seattle embraces pot tourism and wants state regulators to consider allowing private clubs for visitors to consume marijuana in, according to a letter sent to state regulators by City Attorney Pete Holmes.
Mayor Mike McGinn supports the letter. City Council President Sally Clark said the council has not formally approved it. “That’s not to say anybody wouldn’t be on board with it,” Clark said. “But I haven’t had enough involvement with the detail yet to know if I’d want to sign on to the letter.”
The letter from Holmes, a sponsor of the state’s new adult recreational pot law, was sent Monday, the last day for comments on the state’s initial draft rules for a legal seed-to-store system.
It also asked the state Liquor Control Board to allow outdoor growing — which would likely occur east of the Cascades — and study the possibility of allowing delivery services.
As for private clubs, the new pot law does not allow consumption “in view of the general public.” Other state laws allow landlords to bar tenants from smoking, and they prohibit tourists from lighting up in bars, restaurants and most hotel rooms. ”For renters and tourists, allowing marijuana use in certain types of establishments other than private residents (sic) may be the only mechanism to enjoy marijuana.”
“This is both a race & social justice and an economic development issue,” the letter continued. “Renters and tourists should not be forced to use marijuana in parks or sidewalks.”
A spokesman for the liquor board, which is charged with creating rules for the new system, said private clubs and delivery services have not been viewed favorably in staff discussions. But he noted that the appointed board members have final say on decisions.
There are two apparent ways for tourists to work around existing rules when state-regulated stores open next year. They could buy and consume pot-infused edibles or liquids. Or, they could vaporize their pot using devices that heat marijuana and release key chemicals without igniting dried plant matter. Instead of creating smoke, users inhale vapors.
May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM
The city of Seattle is donating an additional $500,000 to Seattle Public Schools so that students in the city’s Central District will receive at least two hours of arts education each week.
In an announcement today, Mayor Mike McGinn said the money will come from higher-than-expected revenue from admissions taxes, and will also be used to purchase instruments and art supplies for classrooms.
Two yeras ago, the city and school district received $1 million from the Wallace Foundation to create a comprehensive arts-education plan for the city’s public schools. The district applied for a second Wallace grant to carry out the plan, which was completed in March, but did not receive it.
The city grant announced today, to be dispersed over two years, will help. By 2020, the plan calls for ensuring that all students in Seattle Public Schools receive two hours of arts education instruction each week. As it stands now, some students do, but many do not, including many students in low-income areas.
April 29, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Whoa! That’s all we can say. M’s take series from Angels
Who’s “Fat Rabbit?” Speaking of sports, we couldn’t pass up reading this headline on the Seahawks blog regarding an NFL draft pick: More on “Fat Rabbit” and the rest of the Seahawks’ seventh-round draft picks. Jared “Fat Rabbit” Smith” was one of the players taken in the seventh round. To see why they call him Fat Rabbit, read this story.
West Seattle apartment fire: Some three dozen people were evacuated because of a fire about 2:30 a.m. today. They were eventually allowed to return, except for the people who lived in the apartment where the fire started, apparently in a stove, according to KIRO-TV.
Seven people who want Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s job are scheduled to meet in a big forum between 6-8 tonight at South Seattle Community College, Georgetown Campus, 6737 Corson Ave. S. Do you think any of them will bring up some of hizzoner’s missteps? What? He’s had a bit of a rocky tenure, right? How interested are you in the Seattle mayoral race? Vote in our poll.
And speaking of public servants … Is anyone surprised that the Legislature is going into special session? We’re not. Among other things, an agreement on tougher DUI laws has yet to be finalized.
Snowmobiler killed on Mount Adams: He was just 35 and from the Goldendale area. His snowmobile went over a 10-foot snow bank, and he landed on rocks. He wasn’t found for about an hour and couldn’t be revived, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s office.
Five dead in B.C. crash: The dead, three adults and two children, were in a car hit by a minivan in Surrey . The impact ripped the car in two. The RCMP said the minivan ran a red light. Surrey is southeast of Vancouver, B.C., not far from the U.S.-Canadian border. The names of the victims have yet to be released.
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Nick Provenza: 206-464-2142 or email@example.com
February 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said today that he will not abide by Mayor Mike McGinn’s request to step aside from representing the city in its negotiations with a federal monitor to reach an agreement on how to carry out police reforms.
McGinn reiterated earlier today that he would not include Holmes in formal talks because of concerns about his ability to ethically represent the city.
In a statement released this afternoon, Holmes’ office said, “City Attorney Pete Holmes will not screen himself from representing the City in this case. The City Charter gives the City Attorney supervisory control of all litigation and, although the City has entered a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, this remains a pending lawsuit under the supervision of a federal judge.
“Mr. Holmes has violated no client confidences or breached any ethical obligations to his client, the City of Seattle. Mr. Holmes communicated his position to the mayor’s legal counsel in a private letter today,” the letter said.
Holmes’ statement comes one day after McGinn moved to bar Holmes from participating in talks on police reforms, accusing Holmes of “undercutting” Police Chief John Diaz in negotiations with the monitor.
In a strongly worded email, McGinn’s legal counsel, Carl Marquardt, accused Holmes of an ethical breach of the attorney-client privilege as the city works to comply with a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing.
Marquardt said it was time to institute an “ethical screen” between Holmes and the attorneys in his office who are representing the city in the matter.
Holmes’ office replied in a terse statement Tuesday night, saying his office “categorically denies any breach of the City Attorney’s ethical obligations to the City.”
February 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Chief John Diaz announced today that police have begun using new “predictive policing” software in the city’s East and Southwest precincts in an effort to reduce crime through analysis of data on crime and location.
“This technology will allow us to be proactive rather than reactive in responding to crime,” said McGinn during a news conference. “This investment, along with our existing hot spot policing work, will help us to fulfill the commitments we made in the ’20/20′ plan to use data in deploying our officers to make our streets safer.”
According to a Los Angeles Times article on predictive policing employed by the LAPD, predictive policing is rooted in the notion that it is possible, through sophisticated computer analysis of information about previous crimes, to predict where and when crimes will occur. Based on models for predicting aftershocks from earthquakes, predictive policing forecasts the locations where crime is likely to occur.
It works by entering all crime and location data dating back to 2008 into a complex algorithm that generates a prediction about where crimes are likely to take place on a certain day and time. Officers are provided with these forecasts before beginning their shifts, and are assigned to use their “proactive time” between 911 calls to patrol those areas, according to Seattle police.
“The predictive policing software is estimated to be twice as effective as a human data analyst working from the same information” said Diaz. “It’s all part of our effort to build an agile, flexible and innovative Police Department that provides the best service possible to the public.”
Predictive policing is currently analyzing only property crimes in Seattle’s East and Southwest precincts, but the Police Department plans to expand it every precinct in April, with analysis of other types of crime soon to follow.
The Police Chief, the magazine for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, called predictive policing “the next era in policing.” Time magazine called the Santa Cruz, Calif. Police Department’s predictive policing program one of the 50 best inventions of 2011 and it was highlighted in this New York Times story.
However, Loyola Law School professor Stan Goldman told National Public Radio in 2011 he was worried authorities could use the data to stop and search innocent people who happen to be in highlighted neighborhoods.
“It may very well end up reducing crime to a certain degree,” he said. “The question is at what cost, at what price?”
February 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn gathered with top Seattle police brass this morning to update the progress in the city’s “20/20″ policing plan.
The “20/20″ plan is aimed at overhauling the Police Department after a Department of Justice investigation found officers had used excessive force and displayed evidence of biased policing. Unveiled in March, the plan calls for 20 initiatives over 20 months. McGinn has touted the plan for change, saying it would address Justice Department concerns while likely staying within the existing police budget.
The Police Department is under federal oversight after reaching a settlement with the Department of Justice.
“We are about halfway through our timeline for reforming the Seattle Police Department in 20 months, and significant progress has been made,” McGinn said this morning. “I encourage the public to visit seattle.gov/spd2020 to learn more about our changes to recruitment, training, transparency, community outreach, use of data in policing and much more.”
Among the highlights cited this morning by McGinn:
– The city hopes to hire 85 new officers this year. (For more information on the department’s hiring efforts, click here.)
– The SPD now has a Force Review Board, designed on the model of the Firearms Review Board. It meets each week to review every use of force by every Seattle officer and draw conclusions about whether the use of force was handled correctly. The department also has a Force Investigation Team to respond and investigate at the scene of a use-of-force incident.
– The department now has a fulltime Race and Social Justice Initiative program coordinator.
– By the end of the year, all sworn and civilian officers will take part in in race training titled, ”Race: The Power of an Illusion.”
– SPD is working with tribes across Washington, including the Lummi Nation and Tulalip Tribes, to develop specific training for officers on issues affecting Native-American populations.
– The department last year launched Tweets by Beat, an interactive 911 crime map with real-time updates, and precinct specific webpages are coming soon.
McGinn has said that the “20/20″ plan represents a broad effort that goes beyond the changes sought by federal attorneys. Some initiatives directly address issues raised in the Justice Department report: reducing police escalation of low-level incidents into violent incidents; having specific guidelines for reporting the use of force; managing public demonstrations; educating officers on when and how they can stop to question or search citizens; and ensuring that front-line supervisors are doing their job. It also calls on officers, for the first time, to sign a code of ethics.
February 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn today announced he is permanently grounding the Seattle Police Department’s proposed aerial drone program.
“Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor,” McGinn said in a statement.
The Police Department is among dozens of law-enforcement agencies, academic institutions and other agencies that were given approval last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones. The FAA action came after President Obama signed a law that compelled the agency to plan for safe integration of civilian drones into American airspace by 2015.
The Police Department purchased two 3.5-pound Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Tech drones with money from a regional Urban Area Security Initiative grant.
Police Department officials said their plans for the drones included providing camera images in homicide and traffic investigations; search-and-rescue operations; and cases involving hazardous materials, barricaded people and natural disasters. The FAA specifically prohibits civilian drones from carrying weapons systems.
But during a community meeting last fall and a public hearing on Wednesday night, opponents voiced strong opposition to the program, citing privacy concerns. Opponents included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington.
“We’re pleased with the mayor’s action. It’s a wise decision,” Doug Honig, spokesman for the ACLU, said this afternoon. “Drones would have given police unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance and intrude on people’s privacy.”
Going forward, Honig said the ACLU of Washington still hopes to see legislation placing restrictions on the acquisition and use of drones by law enforcement statewide.
McGinn’s decision to end the program comes as the city was developing a proposed ordinance to govern the use of the aircraft.
The ordinance would have banned the use of drones for general surveillance or for flights over open-air assemblies. It also would have required police to obtain a warrant before using drones for all but “exigent” or emergency circumstances, such as situations involving hostages, search-and-rescue operations, the pursuit of armed felons, bomb threats and the detection of “hot spots” in fires, or for the collection of traffic data.
Earlier this week, Charlottesville, Va., ordered a two-year moratorium on the citywide use of unmanned aircraft. It is the first city in the nation to do so, supporters say.
Seattle recently installed 30 security cameras along the city’s shoreline, from Fauntleroy to Golden Gardens, under a $5 million federal grant aimed at increasing the Port of Seattle and the city’s ability to respond to hazards and emergencies. The cameras, which could be operational by March 31, will provide police with a sweeping view of the port facilities, Elliott Bay and the shoreline.
January 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Mayor Mike McGinn and Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn this morning announced a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking, the second such public-awareness effort announced this month.
McGinn and Dunn were joined at a news conference by representatives from Clear Channel Outdoor, which donated $94,000 in advertising space, and Clear Channel Entertainment+Media, which donated $88,000 of air time for public service announcements.
“Hundreds of people, many of them underage, are trafficked in our region each year for sex, manual labor, domestic labor and more,” McGinn said. “This is not something from history, or something that only happens in other countries – this is reality for many people in our community. We hope this campaign will help build awareness and connect victims to resources and assistance.”
Clear Channel Outdoor has donated billboards in English, Vietnamese and Korean. The ads will feature examples of human trafficking and direct victims to the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Earlier this month, King County’s launched a campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, which includes posting ads in six languages on 200 Metro buses.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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