[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have added a screenshot of the Facebook post referred to in this Letter to the Editor, and have also revised the headline. This Letter was submitted by a verified resident, and does not reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff:]

This week, Burien City Councilmember Stephanie Mora made a statement opposing putting a Porta Potty downtown, where a number of homeless individuals are camping. After hearing the community outcry declaring the lack of sanitation services inhumane and a risk to the health and safety of all residents and businesses in our downtown core, the Burien City Manager took action. A Porta Potty has been placed next to the area where several unhoused people are camping, awaiting direction from the city as to where else they could relocate to. Disposal of human waste is a serious concern, and unhoused individuals with nowhere to relieve themselves have an utter lack of privacy or sufficient options available for this unavoidable human need. 

Despite the fact that people have been living unhoused in the downtown core for several months, if not longer, and the need for somewhere for them to relieve themselves has become ever more apparent, Councilmember Stephanie Mora has taken a stance against this basic provision of sanitation service. 

Screenshot from an email written by Burien City Councilmember Stephanie Mora that was posted on Facebook.

In a comment publicized across social media (screenshot, right), Councilmember Mora stated that unsheltered individuals in our downtown core should be forced to continue relieving themselves in public, and use “city provided poop bags” that are put out for dogs. She literally stated that unhoused individuals should poop on our sidewalks and doorways and alleys, and then scoop it up like dogs. 

I cannot think of a clearer way to demonstrate a complete lack of civility, or basic human decency. This is not what I would expect from a city leader, or a person with a modicum of humanity. The homeless have little to no privacy, no doors or walls to hide behind for safety or security. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs, maybe a blanket, or, if they are really lucky, a tent to escape the rain in. To deprive them of a basic necessity like a toilet, and to literally say they should have no other choice but to demean themselves, be forced to expose themselves with nowhere to hide, because they have the same human functions as anyone yet lack the resources to do it in dignity like those of us lucky enough to have homes, is truly depraved. This is truly shameful. I am appalled and disgusted. 

People in our city should demand better. We can disagree with the placement of the homeless camp – and should encourage our city leadership to take action to provide somewhere more appropriate for them to go – but we should still acknowledge that these are human beings. These are people. They aren’t dogs. And they sure as hell shouldn’t be told to go out and poop on our street. 

– Mike McPherson

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6 replies on “LETTER: Resident upset with Burien City Councilmember’s take on homeless ‘poop’”

  1. When this City quits coddling the homeless and leads with consequences only then will progress be made. To allow drug deranged or mentally compromised campers a free ride only perpetuates the problem and adds to the real issues affecting the City core.

  2. I totally agree. Citizens with such negative attitudes need to be voted out. Compassion and empathy can help find solutions. NIMBY’s lack such traits. Ethical leaders care about everyone’s needs. Thanks.
    Burien neighbor.

  3. she has no right to say anything as inhuman as that comment how about we all go poop in her yard insead same difference the way i see it. then see if she thinks the same way and she is on the council why she shouldnt even be allowed to work at walmart with that attitude she should resign becouse if she is re elected the all of us should be ashamed of our selves we can do better as peaple

  4. Porta potty. I did not personally hear the “quoted words poop like dogs” from anyone.
    I do know that the homeless only had use of the bathrooms at city hall/library during open hours and have used the surrounding landscape and sheltered areas of neighboring residences and businesses as toilets for years. The Porta potties at the library were removed due to vandalism and drug use and other behavior. The one previously located on 6th ave SW was vandalized and destroyed by an arson fire. Porta potties are expensive and require expensive maintenance. The public comments about placing one at the new encampment was negative. The city manager was concerned about funding as were other council members. Once the situation at the new encampment grew in proportion and property damage became an issue the city manager decided to install the Porta potty. Another expense for residents and businesses as the issue of what to do about the growing encampment continues. Attacking Council member Stephanie Mora while giving other very public officials a pass on their activities during this ongoing issue is
    Not helpful.

    1. Thanks for the clarification. I find it difficult to believe that any Council member would say such an insensitive remark, especially if they want to remain in their position.
      My schedule does not allow me to attend meetings right now, but I do read the B- town blog and reports.

    2. There is literally a screenshot of her email in this article. Stephanie Mora has been publicly anti-homeless in the past. And I don’t mean that she wants to address the issue of homelessness, she wants to shove the homeless people out. She has no empathy for humans. All she does is complain that not everyone who is or once was impoverished could make it like her. She thinks her own past and experience means everyone else is lazy and undeserving of compassion. She’s submitted letters to this very publication in the past which read as such. She’s awful.

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