Each candidate running for the Burien City Council Aug. 1, 2023 Primary Election was asked ten questions by The B-Town Blog, covering topics like their reasons for wanting to serve on the council, what they think about current issues in the city, and what kind of solutions they have.

The following responses to the fifth question in our series are from candidates for Position 2, which is currently filled by Cydney Moore, who is running for reelection.

Ballots are due by Aug. 1, 2023.

NOTECandidates are listed in order as per the King County Elections online Voters Guide website. Photos and links are to/from each candidate’s profile on the same website.

How would you measure and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of Burien’s homelessness policies and programs?

Brittany Williams

Did not respond.

Linda Akey

“I believe that if you are not measuring you are not managing. Rather than relying on anecdotal information or hearsay I will encourage a city sponsored study to evaluate the efficacy of solutions we attempt as a council. I will work to ensure new service contracts include measurable outcomes and evaluation methods for clear results and end contracts that are not providing these outcomes.”

Rut Perez-Studer

“Obtain information about the homeless who are in Burien and go into facilities for assistance to track the various stages of their progress could be one policy that is tracked. Oftentimes the input of policies and programs on the front end of services is tracked, but the output are not. Is it harder to track…depends on the program and how expected deliverables are set-up.  

“We need to track the impact on: the homeless individuals themselves, the businesses, and the general public.  Again, the assumption here is the homeless that we see in encampments.  Other information can be obtained by police officers and the courts on whichever variables were agreed upon. “

Cydney Moore

“Every year there is a King County Point in Time Count of unhoused people in our community. I have participated in this effort multiple times, driving around our streets through the night to find out how many people are left unsheltered. This is a detailed metric by which we can assess how many people are homeless in our area at that time each year. If we take steps to address the housing and homelessness crisis by preventing evictions, providing affordable housing for families with limited income, and providing temporary housing for people who are living unsheltered as they work towards obtaining permanent residences, we can watch our homeless numbers decrease. I believe this is a valuable tool for us to use when determining the effectiveness of our policies relating to housing and homelessness. 

“We have another number that needs to be considered as well: the number of people who die unhoused in our city. Burien has a disproportionately high mortality rate for unhoused people compared to King County as a whole. Two unhoused women died in Burien just last month alone. Homelessness decreases life expectancy by an average of 28 years for people in this area. Failing to address this crisis is literally killing people. We have to recognize homelessness as the public health emergency that it is, and act accordingly. When we take appropriate measures to face this issue head on, we can not only see the count of how many homeless people are in our city go down, but we can watch our mortality rates decrease and life expectancy rates go up. 

“We can measure the effectiveness of our policies and programs by seeing exactly how people are impacted, counting the number of people left unhoused, and counting the added years to their lives.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Look also for answers to this same question by candidates for Burien City Council, Position No. 4.

Next up in our 2023 election series – we ask Burien City Council candidates:

What are your thoughts on the job that Burien Police/King County Sheriff’s Office is doing?

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors...