Seattle mayoral candidate Lance Randall: ‘Stop the rhetoric’ against public safety, businesses
The race for Seattle’s next mayor is arguably one of the most important races on the local ballot this fall.
The Gee & Ursula Show is introducing listeners to the leading candidates, having spoken to five so far. This week, they spoke with Lance Randall. He’s been in politics both on the East Coast and in the Seattle area where he has led several economic development programs.
To start, the top issue for many voters is the homelessness crisis, so Gee & Ursula asked: What is your plan to tackle this problem in Seattle? And how is it different or better than your opponents?
“Well, my plan focuses on a certain segment of the homeless population, which are those that are in tents on the sidewalks and also those in the RVs that are living on the streets,” Randall replied. “They are in a holding pattern. And while they’re in that pattern, they’re still dealing with some issues when it comes to mental health and drug addiction.”
“So my plan is called the Dignity Project, where we will bring dignity to these individuals and try to help them get through their challenges as we’re trying to transition them into housing or workforce development, or even transition back to where they came from,” he explained. “I want to put more emphasis on stabilizing them with treatment, and then preparing them to transition into whatever situation that we can transition them into.”
The next big topic is police. Gee Scott explains that the two main complaints seem to be a lack of communication and a lack of support when it comes to the Seattle Police Department. How would Randall bridge that gap if he were in office?
“I will keep my commitment to the public and … to our first responders that we always have to maintain a strong public safety service delivery system, and that consists of the police department, the fire department, paramedics, and human service providers,” he said. “We have to make sure that those agencies are strong, well-staffed, and well-funded.”
“Any mayor across the country will tell you that that system is what we would have to use to keep people protected and safe, which means that I have to have a partnership with each agency and work with them to make sure they have the support they need,” Randall added. “And also to make sure they are able to do that job to keep everyone safe and protected, which means that we have to stop the rhetoric against public safety, understand that there have to be partnerships between the community and the police officers if we’re going to prevent crimes, and if you’re going to solve crimes.”
He wants to push toward comprehensive community policing, where officers are supported and can do their job to the keep the people safe.
“We’ll continue to work out the other challenges with some officers who commit atrocities; we’ll deal with them,” he said. “But the main thing is we have to keep our department strong and viable and support it.”
Randall says he is not in favor of defunding the police because “it has not worked.”
“We went down the road and we did reduce some funding — not only here in Seattle, but across the country — and there were still Black men that looked like me being killed, which means that it’s not entirely police departments, it’s certain officers,” he said. “That needs to be our focus — to get them off the force. But we can reallocate resources within the department to help officers do a better job, which means that we can make available experts in mental health, drug de-escalation, and other techniques to help our officers and even accompany them on certain calls so that they can make sure that we keep everyone alive and safe and avoid fatalities.”
Listen to the full interview with Lance Randall and hear him speak about his view of the city’s business community in the audio player above or online here.
Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.