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Homelessness

Whether you live under a bridge or in a mansion makes no difference. In America, the Constitution applies to everybody. Unfortunately, cities and counties continue to pass laws that undermine basic human rights for people who are unhoused. Laws against encampments, trespassing and panhandling cause homeless people to be evicted from their dwellings, result in the destruction of their belongings, and restrict their free speech right to ask for help. When government restricts these essential, life-sustaining activities, it wrongly makes it a crime for homeless people to attempt to survive.

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, September 3, 2021
A three-judge panel from the Washington State Court of Appeals declined a request from the campaign for Seattle Charter Amendment 29 (“CA 29”) to issue a stay blocking King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer’s order to remove CA 29 from the November ballot.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, August 27, 2021
Today, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled that Seattle Charter Amendment 29 (“CA 29”), which proposed to establish city policy on homelessness through a vote by Seattle residents, violated state law limiting the permissible scope of local ballot initiatives in many ways and therefore should not appear on the November 2021 ballot.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
A lawsuit filed today on behalf of the ACLU of Washington, the Transit Riders Union and the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness claims that a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City of Seattle is an illegal use of a local ballot initiative and violates state laws that mandate how local governments make and carry out plans for addressing homelessness. The lawsuit argues that the proposed Charter Amendment 29 goes beyond the scope of Seattle’s initiative powers.
Published: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Published: 
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
As communities across the nation struggle with housing affordability crises, wage stagnation, and a shredded social safety net, all too often they have adopted panhandling ordinances that are unconstitutional and counterproductive.
Published: 
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Embedding mental health professionals in law enforcement teams saves lives.

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