Transit Riders Union, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, and ACLU of Washington joint statement on Court of Appeals decision leaving in place judge's order to remove CA 29 from the ballot

News Release: 
Friday, September 3, 2021
SEATTLE – Today, 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.

The plaintiffs and their attorney had these reactions:

“Now that the big business backers of CA 29 predictably lost yet again, I hope they’ll find more productive ways to join the fight against homelessness,” said Katie Wilson of the Transit Riders Union. “For example, why is the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce still trying to overturn the JumpStart Seattle corporate tax? That’s a major new revenue source that will actually build thousands of units of deeply affordable housing.”

“Today's decision leaves in place Judge Shaffer's order to remove CA 29 from the ballot, affirming the legal limits of the local initiative process and ensuring the proper functioning of our democratic systems,” said John Midgley, Senior Staff Attorney at ACLU-WA. “This ruling now clears the way to pursue inclusive, coordinated and effective regional solutions to homelessness.”

“We appreciate the court’s decision, which upholds the role of legislative bodies in governance,” said Alison Eisinger, executive director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. “We invite those who backed CA 29 to work with us and with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority by committing to secure the resources and housing necessary to achieve real and lasting solutions to homelessness.”

"We're not surprised by the outcome," said Knoll Lowney, attorney for the plaintiffs. "State law requires cost-effective and coordinated homelessness policies, which is why the law does not permit an initiative to impose up to a billion dollars in unfunded mandates without expert input or accountability."
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