I wanted to follow up with more information about why the Geographic Representation amendment to the Police Accountability legislation is so critical and why it’s important for North Seattle residents to consider engaging on the issue.
Currently the Community Police Commission (CPC) opposes my amendment to establish a standard for sufficient representation. The CPC believes that city-wide representation is already adequate and there does not need to be any requirement for sufficient representation. I disagree. I believe adequate representation on the CPC is too important to leave to chance. Without representation codified into the ordinance, we risk leaving Seattle neighborhoods out of the system of police accountability and professional oversight.
The Commission is the key outlet for community members to engage on police reform and ongoing police system improvements. I do not feel that it is appropriate to leave something that is so important up to arbitrary discretion. My amendment would require that the commission have at least one commissioner representing each council district. The current practice from the CPC is to have someone engaging with each precinct. So just like the police station, District 4,5 and 6 or 40% of Seattle’s population, are expected to share a single representative. The rationale for opposing more representation is that some communities simply do not need a voice on the CPC and qualified people somehow do not live in all the neighborhoods across the city.
You can see in the clip of the meeting I am arguing for geographic representation and the CPC arguing against more representation.
If you want to ensure you have a voice represented on the CPC, write to other Councilmembers and ask they support my amendment. An email can be sent to all councilmembers by email firstname.lastname@example.org and individual contact for offices is also provided below.
If you support a more adequate requirement for community representation on the Seattle Community Police Commission please write in saying, “Please vote YES on Councilmember Juarez’s amendment to require geographic representation on the CPC”
Councilmember Lorena González
Councilmember Rob Johnson
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Lisa Herbold
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Council President Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Thank you for being my partner in fighting for D5 and North Seattle!