Thousands sign petition to recall Lisa Herbold over defunding police ‘without plan’

Aug 20, 2020, 5:15 AM
Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold. (Seattle Channel)
(Seattle Channel)

Tim McConnell is a resident in West Seattle who has lost patience with Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, and started a unofficial petition to recall. While it’s mostly symbolic in nature, it has a few thousand people already in support. He joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss what prompted him to create the petition.

“With different topics, she’s chosen to go against what I consider the norm. But I think the final straw was, … without actually having any input from the community, to just move forward and defund the police, which again, I’m not against. I just want to see a comprehensive plan because I feel like we’re taking pieces out without having any plan to replace those pieces,” he said.

“I think she needs to listen to everybody, and not just a small group of people that are upset with the current system,” McConnell added.

What’s been mostly concerning for McConnell and other residents he’s spoken with in West Seattle is the potential safety concerns of defunding the police without a tangible backup plan in place.

“I’d like to see what this is going to look like before I jump on board, but it seems to be, ‘let’s take it apart first and fix it later,'” he said. “And I don’t think a lapse in safety is any good for a neighborhood.”

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McConnell says this petition began as a casual way for him to vent his frustration, but it seemed to gather more and more traction without him promoting it, which he feels is a reflection the mood toward Herbold.

“This whole petition thing started as just a way for me to vent on my personal Facebook page. I went to change.org; it takes about five minutes to start a petition. I wrote this big click-bait headline on it, and I wrote some copy in there to kind of explain my stance on this. And I was hoping I’d get two or three of my friends to jump on board or at least understand where I stood on this,” he said.

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“I posted this once to my page, and then when it just took off, I posted it again with an update. That’s it. I’ve never promoted this thing. I’ve never posted it anywhere other than my own personal page. This thing has taken off organically, and I think it just kind of reflects the mood of the people who are just kind of upset with the move forward with no plan. And I think they feel like they don’t have a voice.”

What does McConnell hope comes of the petition to recall Herbold?

“I would hope that this whole thing doesn’t fall on deaf ears,” he said. “I did the math, she beat Phil Tavel by roughly 5,000 votes. We’re about 2,500 people on there — if those 2,500 people that had voted for her voted for Phil Tavel, she would have lost. She only got about 18% of the population of West Seattle to vote for her. So I hope this is a message to her that there’s a lot of us out there that are unhappy with the way you’re doing it. And we’d like some answers.”

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Thousands sign petition to recall Lisa Herbold over defunding police ‘without plan’