King Co. Council candidate: We’re throwing money at homelessness without helping

Jun 28, 2019, 2:43 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm
King County Council, county head tax...
The King County Council in 2018. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

With three candidates, including one named Goodspaceguy, the race for the King County District 8 seat is not quite as heated as some of the other council races. But Michael Neher is hoping to distinguish himself by bringing the issue of public safety and homelessness to the fore. He joined the Saul Spady Show on KTTH to discuss what separates him from incumbent Joe McDermott.

“My number one issue is public safety. I think that it’s clear on the streets of Seattle and throughout King County that there’s been an allowance of people not just to trespass or live on the street, but there’s been an allowance for drug dealers and human traffickers and the thugs that helped them push their agenda,” he said.

“I also want to look into FEMA style tents with wraparound services as a transitional area where we can treat people by their needs individually, and figure out who they are and where they came from. And then thirdly I want to ban heroin injection sites and use that money along with any other funds that we can use to establish on-demand treatment and counseling countywide.”

Neher is an engineering administrator at Markey Machinery, a former community organizer with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and also worked on the “No Head Tax” movement. Part of what motivated Neher to run is the slide he says occurred under Joe McDermott’s leadership.

A possible solution to Washington’s homeless drug crisis

“Until this year he was president of the County Council for most of the last decade, so he oversaw a lot of this slide that we’ve seen and he voted to move forward with injection sites and put county money into that,” Neher said.

His goal would be to return to accountability, where spending on homelessness and crime is more results-oriented instead of feel-good policies that seem to do little help.

“We see hundreds of millions and indeed billions over the last 15 years, and we’re not we’re not taking account for what is actually helping people get out of the homelessness situation, get out of their addiction or their mental issues,” he said.

Seattle vs LA: Observations on the homelessness crisis

“We’re just focused on ‘Hey, we’re being helpful because we’re throwing more money at it.'”

More information about Neher’s campaign can be found here.

Listen to the Saul Spady Show weekday afternoons from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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King Co. Council candidate: We’re throwing money at homelessness without helping