[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
Letter to the Editor:
I am surprised that no one in the Burien City’s media services has covered this story!
On Monday, April 2, 2018, Dow Constantine came to the City of Burien to hold an 11 a.m. State of the County Address. The media and many camera people were all there in the City Council Chambers, several members of the Burien City Council were present and members of the King County Council were also present for the address. But Dow never came out to speak.
It seems that protestors who were silently protesting the King County youth detention facility had positioned themselves around the King County speaker’s podium with a banner. Because they were there, Dow Constantine apparently refused to come out and speak. Around 11:30 AM a representative for Dow came out and mumbled something about the address being taped and that the King County Council would be meeting at 1:30pm. And then the audience filed out from the meeting. The Burien City Hall had police in the area for this event but nothing happened.
The Minority News source published this article on April 2, 2018:
Seattle Intervenes In Latino Gang War
SEATTLE – King County plans to spend $1.4 million in reserve funds to combat the growing Latino gang problem in South King County, using both law enforcement and community outreach resources.
Hispanic News, Latino News, Mexican News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Latina, Racial Equality, Bias, EqualityThe Sheriff’s Office believes there are over 10,000 gang members among an estimated 140 street gangs in King County.
Gang related crime has gone up 165 percent since 2005 and has shifted from Seattle to South King County, the King County Council reports.
Council member Julia Patterson said gang violence is increasing along the Highway 99 corridor.
The Sheriff’s Office estimates there are 140 criminal street gangs with more than 10,000 members in King County. Although overall crime has decreased in recent years, gang-related crime has increased 165 percent since 2005.
Gangs also are involved in prostitution rings, narcotics trafficking and various property crimes, such as burglaries and car thefts.
County leaders, including Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, told the council last week that there is a “fight on sight” mentality among rival Latino gangs, putting the general public at risk.
County Executive Dow Constantine announced the $1.4 million will be spent on expanding the prosecutor’s office anti-gang unit; equipment for the sheriff’s office gang unit; a deputy to patrol storefronts in White Center; funding the sheriff’s Latino outreach program; funding two case managers; and funding two nurses for a nurse family partnership program.
Programs will be introduced over the next six weeks with the one-time funding, said Constantine.
It is unclear what Mr. Constantine intended to cover at this Burien State of the County Address because it never got said to the audience and media. Perhaps he will go to another city to deliver his speech. But perhaps citizen dissatisfaction with the way things are being handled in the county are catching up with Mr. Constantine; the lack of a collaborative King County Gang Unit to address the growing gang problems in South King County, the lack of a comprehensive delivery system of the Best Starts For Kids money to help disadvantaged kids in King County, the lack of a successful plan to solve the 12 year old homelessness problem in the county, the concern for raising property taxes with little visible progress on county wide issues or his lack of attention to funding needed services from the King County Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Office.
Perhaps,time will tell what the County Executive planned to say in Burien.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a response from Alex Fryer, Director of Communications for Dow Constantine:
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“The King County Council scheduled a special meeting in Burien for Executive Constantine to present his State of the County address. We informed select media who had expressed interest in key parts of the speech, namely juvenile justice and inquest reform.
“Anti-youth jail protesters took over the space, and prevented the meeting from being held. (I don’t believe I mumbled that announcement from the lectern, but that’s a matter of perspective, I suppose). As with all his State of the County addresses, Executive Constantine released a video and text of his remarks to media.”
Here’s Dow’s full ‘State of the County’ as recorded in a studio:
— emmyr (@emmmyr99) April 2, 2018