JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle activist group makes radical, racist demands of candidates

Sep 13, 2021, 7:51 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2021, 8:07 am
KCEN, King County Equity Now...
King County Equity Now demands unhinged, discriminatory commitments from candidates in Seattle and King County. (Photo: KIRO 7 TV)
(Photo: KIRO 7 TV)

If you’re looking for Seattle and King County candidates to support, vote for those running against whichever radicals King County Equity Now (KCEN) endorses. Any candidate trying to placate this group of radicals should be nowhere near a position of power.

KCEN submitted a questionnaire to council candidates ahead of the upcoming election. The answers will help determine which campaigns the group will endorse.

But anyone who KCEN endorses must satisfy the wild expectations and unhinged demands of a group singularly focused on discriminatory practices they justify in the name of equity.

The radical questionnaire

To earn the endorsement of KCEN, candidates must state their support to defund the police. And even when it exceeds their authority, a candidate must vow to use their position to end all drug felony and misdemeanor charges. What reasonable person thinks this will end well?

The radical group wants candidates to allow marijuana profits to be invested — seemingly exclusively — in the Black community. It demands more funding for so-called “decolonized public charter schools,” which could come from a “progressive taxation on wealth accumulated through historic theft from Black peoples.”

KCEN wants a candidate to push to sell Red Barn Ranch in Auburn exclusively to a Black-owned nonprofit because a Black person once owned the land in 1966 before being transferred to Seattle Parks and Recreation. It also wants a candidate to vow to give “all 7 vacant Sound Transit parcels of land in South Seattle to Black community ownership.”

Basing these kinds of city or county financial decisions on race isn’t just racist. It’s likely illegal.

Group wants commitment with little explanation

The KCEN General Election Candidate Questionnaire went to candidates for King County Council, King County Executive, Seattle Mayor, Seattle City Attorney, and the two open Seattle City Council races.

For all the questions, candidates can only answer yes or no. They are limited to only 500 words to explain their answers, despite being asked 16 questions that come with immense implications.

The group demands a succession plan that explains the “next ten people to replace” the candidate once they leave office. It’s a bizarre question. Apparently, KCEN forgets that candidates don’t choose successors; the voters do. Yet the question asks mayoral candidates to pick the person to take their job in the year 2062?

It also asks candidates, “What principles would you be willing to lose your seat over?” Hopefully, those losing principles are outlined in answering nearly any of the questions asked.

This group is why there are community issues

The recalcitrant activists who make up KCEN are precisely why problems persist.

It’s one thing to help any community better itself, offering opportunities that lack and focusing agenda items on specific ways to reach goals. But the survey questions show that KCEN is exclusively focused on an agenda rooted in a fringe ideology that helps no one but the people in power who stay in their positions with promises they will never keep.

KCEN prides itself on self-promoting an expertise they seem to lack.

“We leverage the brillance [sic] of our local Black ecosystem to identify, elevate, and co-create Black equity solutions to combat anti-Black racism and bring about sustained, thriving Black communities,” KCEN says on its website.

KCEN should leverage its focus on spelling “brilliance.” Misspellings aside, the group has not seen significant results.

The group spends much of its time demanding funds from politicians and pushing policies that make the community less safe. Its biggest accomplishment is earning a Washington State Auditor’s Office audit for how it benefited from Seattle city funding.

Ideology over people

KCEN, like many activist organizations in the region, focuses on ideology over the people it hopes to serve.

Defunding police doesn’t help the Black community — or any community. Despite foolish and false claims from the defund crowd, police aren’t threats to the safety of people of color. The historic violent crime wave sweeping Seattle and King County is killing and harming people of color, and it’s not the cops committing the crimes. Law enforcement staff is so low that officers can’t adequately protect people. Consequently, crime is surging.

Meanwhile, demanding a bunch of unspecified funding for any community is meaningless. If money solved problems, we’d have few in this region. Politicians looking to placate loud activists throw money at various programs and community leaders only to see few results. We’re running up on 15 years into the well-funded 10-year plan to end homelessness?

Want to help all communities in the region? Drop the race-based, discriminatory policies and posturing and focus on the collective good. To do that, start by voting for the candidates running against whomever KCEN endorses in the November election.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Seattle activist group makes radical, racist demands of candidates