Trio of local Democrat groups join growing calls for Mayor Durkan’s resignation

Jul 17, 2020, 12:42 PM
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, resignation, recall...
A poster calls for the resignation of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A trio of local legislative Democratic groups have joined growing calls for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s resignation.

Petition to recall Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan clears first hurdle

The 36th, 37th, and 43rd District Democrats all passed resolutions this week calling on Durkan to step down.

“Mayor Durkan has failed to uphold the values of the Democratic Party, has failed in her responsibility to keep the people of Seattle safe, and has lost the trust of the people of Seattle,” the resolution from the 36th District Democrats reads, going on to say that if she doesn’t resign, she should instead be impeached.

The resolution cites a series of clashes between Seattle police officers and protesters in May and June, which saw SPD deploy tear gas several times in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It also accuses Durkan of “escalat[ing] the cruel and wasteful practice of ‘sweeping’ homeless encampments without providing shelter to those who are swept,” as well as withholding funding for LEAD, the city’s diversionary program for low-level offenders.

In recent weeks, at least three city councilmembers — Kshama Sawant, Tammy Morales, and Teresa Mosqueda — have also called on Durkan to resign. The mayor has stated publicly that neither she, nor Police Chief Carmen Best, have any intention of issuing their resignation.

Seattle Mayor calls on council to investigate, possibly expel Sawant

This comes in the wake of a judge’s ruling allowing a recall petition to move into the signature gathering phase. The petition alleges the mayor failed in her duty to rein in SPD’s use of crowd control weapons during protests on Capitol Hill.

If enough verified paper signatures are collected within a 180-day window — 25% of the total votes cast in the last mayoral election, totaling just over 56,000 — King County Elections will set a date for a special election between 45 and 90 days after certification, preferably on an already-scheduled election day.

Durkan filed a motion this week asking the judge to reconsider his ruling, arguing that as mayor, she had “no legal or constitutional duty to prescribe policies and procedures for SPD,” and that it would have violated the department’s ongoing consent decree for her to unilaterally enact crowd control policies “without court approval.”

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Trio of local Democrat groups join growing calls for Mayor Durkan’s resignation