Scott Lindsay, who is challenging the incumbent Seattle City Attorney, plans to upend the status quo in the homeless- and opioid-addiction crisis.
SEATTLE’S crisis with homelessness, opioid addiction and downtown street disorder demands an all-hands-on-deck muster. The city at all levels needs to innovate. The status quo is not working.
One critical player in this crisis should be the Seattle City attorney. After eight years, Pete Holmes has a strong record shepherding through police reforms, and deserves much credit as a drug reformer. But his office, which prosecutes misdemeanors, is not a key player in improving the homelessness crisis, and the interrelated problems of drug addiction and criminal justice.
Scott Lindsay presents the first serious challenge to Holmes’ incumbency, and he makes a persuasive case that he would better use the office to be a progressive but tougher force to upend the status quo. Voters should give Lindsay that chance.
The 39-year-old Seattle-area native worked on Capitol Hill and at a white-shoe law firm in Seattle before becoming Mayor Ed Murray’s top crime adviser. That City Hall work gives Lindsay a full understanding of what works and doesn’t work within the Venn diagram of misdemeanor prosecution, mental illness and drug addiction.
He showed creativity and expertise while in City Hall, pushing through the “9½ blocks” strategy to disrupt the open-air drug market at Third and Pike. He came up with a new, stronger approach for outreach to homeless tent camps that has proved far more effective than the old laissez-faire approach.
He has other good ideas for the City Attorney’s office. He proposes using the city’s contract with the King County Jail to…