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Council candidate says homeless crisis is harming Seattle environment

Seattle's Navigation Teams cleans up a homeless encampment in Northgate in January 2019. (Carolyn Ossorio, KIRO Radio)

While many Seattle City Council candidates are pointing to the homelessness crisis, crime, and public safety as a reason for running, Ann Davison Satler has her own angle on the hot button topic.

She is concerned with how the issues are degrading Seattle’s environment and even relationships with neighboring cities.

For example, Davison Satler points to the Thornton Creek Watershed which flows through District 5 — Lake City and Northgate — and feeds into Matthews Beach in North Seattle. She notes that the city paid a lot of money to restore the environment there in 2015 for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife. But today, a few tents can been seen from the roadside — a sign of the many homeless encampments that are spread throughout the watershed. Areas have been cleared for camp BBQs.

Seattle Trash Map documents a year of waste in the city

“We spent the money to restore that, and we are a green city, we want to have our environment protected … and now we are just letting that be damaged willfully and neglectfully,” Davison Satler told The Saul Spady Show..

“The hypocrisy with the environmental push for plastic straws and plastic bags to be banned – it’s hard to explain it to young minds when they are being taught at school and at home to reduce, reuse, and recycle and then we walk outside and they are asking me why all the trash and the dumping,” she said. “I had to explain to them why there are no more straws when we go to certain locations, why we bring reusable produce bags when we go to the grocery store. We want to take our part seriously to help the environment. So we do that. Then we go outside and they see it looks like our city doesn’t care.”

Compounding the issue is the lack of communication and dialogue from city leaders. Davison Satler is running for Seattle City Council’s District 5 seat. The position is currently occupied by Debora Juarez who is running for re-election. Davison Satler argues that Juarez is not driving conversation around these issues that people care about, such as homelessness and the environment. She alleges that Juarez is giving the cold shoulder to other regional leaders who the city should work with.

“The Seattle Freeze has taken control of our politics and political discussion,” she said. “And people are fed up.”

Ann Davison Sattler pushes for balance in Seattle politics

“I had coffee with the mayor of Kenmore yesterday, and he’s tried for three years to talk with her about the station at 145th, and he has been unsuccessful and has been evaded the entire time,” Davison Satler alleges. “To me, that is not even just unconscionable, that is unprofessional that you don’t talk to our neighboring municipality leaders. We are supposed to be having a regional response on the homelessness crisis, and probably on the environmental crisis … but when we have leaders who won’t even communicate in a professional manner with regional and municipal neighbors I’m gravely concerned.”

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