Three district Democratic organizations representing a majority of Seattle call for the resignation or removal of Mayor Jenny Durkan
- Scott Alspach, Chair, 43rd District Democrats
- Ashok Chandwaney, Resolution Sponsor, 37th District Democrats
- Nicole Gomez, Chair, 36th District Democrats
Seattle, WA (July 16, 2020) - Several Democratic organizations covering much of Seattle called for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to immediately resign or for the Seattle City Council to remove her if she does not resign. In the past few weeks, the 43rd, 37th, and 36th Legislative District Democrats voted for Mayor Durkan’s resignation or removal based upon her failure to protect the residents of Seattle; listen to Black, Brown, and Indigenous community leaders; or to uphold Democratic party -- and Seattle -- values. These three Democratic party organizations stretch from Rainier Beach to Broadview and cover Beacon Hill, the Central District, Rainier Valley, Columbia City, the International District, Capitol Hill, Montlake, the University District, First Hill, South Lake Union, Madison Park, Eastlake, Wallingford, Ravenna, Fremont, Green Lake, Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Phinney Ridge, Sunset Hill, Greenwood, and Downtown.
Under the Mayor’s authority, and often at her direction or with her approval, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) enacted violence against Seattle residents. Mayor Durkan and SPD have used chemical weapons, flash bangs, and other forms of police brutality; enacted restrictive and explicitly biased curfews; and performed cruel “sweeps” of unsheltered people during a pandemic, which violate both human rights and the Centers for Disease Control’s policy.
Key leaders and members of Democratic legislative district organizations shared their outrage over the violence perpetrated by Mayor Durkan and SPD:
43rd District Democrats
Full text of the 43rd resolution is available here.
"While Mayor Durkan would like to pretend that only socialists are calling for her removal, the passage of these resolutions shows that Mayor Durkan's own party has lost trust in her ability and commitment to keep our communities safe from an out of control police department,” said Scott Alspach, 43rd District Democrats Chair. “Mayor Durkan should heed these calls and resign."
“I am an Asian American Seattleite. I was raised to believe in law and order, to trust leaders and the police, and to have faith in the system. Mayor Durkan has abused my trust by leading a military-style force against civilians exercising their right to free speech, and has failed to hear the many voices in the community calling for a different approach,” said Ellen Eades, 43rd District Democrats Board Secretary.
37th District Democrats
Full text of the 37th resolution is available here.
Ashok Chandwaney, 37th District Democrats member and sponsor of the resolution, explained: "The level of contempt and dishonesty we witnessessed from Durkan towards community calls for an end to police violence is obscene. Most recently, she argued to a judge that she has no duty or purview to enact policies such as a police chemical weapons ban. I've never been more proud to be a member of the 37th District Democrats than to see us pass a resolution calling for her resignation to make room for a leader who wants to end the police violence endemic."
“The 37th District Democrats’ back-to-back resolutions calling on the Mayor to Resign and to defund SPD send a strong message: South Seattle will no longer put up with the status quo of police violence and community disinvestment,” said Devin Glaser, 37th District Democrats member and sponsor of the resolution. “For too long the City of Seattle has used our tax dollars against us by overfunding a violent police force that over-polices our communities of color, while repeatedly telling community members that there is never money available to invest in our health and safety. As the mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan has refused to hold her police department accountable and dismissively mocked our calls for community-led investment. She has got to go.”
36th District Democrats
Full text of the 36th resolution is available here.
“We as a local party organization do not take calling for the resignation of an elected official frivolously,” said 36th District Democrats Chair, Nicole Gomez. “Our membership places the well-being of people as the highest priority. Last night, in light of Mayor Durkan’s failure to rein in SPD’s atrocious actions, the 36th sided with the values we uphold.”
“Like many in Seattle, I watched live streams of our city in crisis—facing extreme violence and escalation from a militarized police force. Rather than rebuilding trust and establishing control over the officers, the Mayor has spread falsehoods and flatly lied counter to video evidence,” says 36th District Democrats’ resolution sponsor Jazmine Smith. “Either she doesn’t have control over SPD or she is allowing them to operate with disregard for human rights and life, both of which indicate a clear dereliction of duty. We must stand together for accountability by Defunding SPD and calling for her removal from office.”
If the Mayor fails to step down, 36th, 37th, and 43rd District Democrats call on the Seattle City Council to use their powers, per Article V.10 of the Seattle City Charter, and remove the Mayor from office.