On March 8, 2018, the Seattle City Council's Committee on Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers Rights discussed the path forward to create a safe consumption space (SCS) in Seattle.
There were two portions of the meeting dedicated to discussing SCS, public testimony and a discussion of the SCS Feasibility Study. You can find both below.
For the unabridged version of the public testimony click here.
There were a number of Yes to SCS supporters in attendance to impress upon elected leaders that our community cannot wait any longer for an SCS to be implemented. Here are three of them:
Laurie Watkins shares her perspective as both a parent and resident affected by drug use:
Laurie is one of many Capitol Hill residents who supports establishing an SCS in her neighborhood. In addition to residents, organizations like the Capitol Hill Community Council and Capitol Hill Renters' Initiative are supporting the Yes to SCS campaign.
Penny LeGate shares her perspective as a bereaved mother:
To hear more from Peggy about her daughter Marah and how she envisions an SCS supporting people who use drugs, click here.
Jason Arlington shares his perspective as someone who would use the space:
To watch the rest of the public testimony in full - including perspectives from healthcare workers, front-line workers, people in recovery, residents, and more - click here. For additional video and text-based statements about SCS in Seattle, browse our "Seattleites for SCS" page.
Discussion of SCS Feasibility Study
For the unabridged version of the presentation of the feasibility study and discussion that followed, click here. What follows below are some clips from the discussion.
Councilmember Gonzalez comments on the need to balance budget considerations with delivering an effective service, noting that drug use is not a "7 hour-a-day, 5 day-a-week" type of problem:
Councilmember Mosqueda with a quick note on the importance of co-locating health care services with a safe consumption space:
Between presentations, Councilmember Mosqueda remarked that it took the U.S. Surgeon General nearly 30 years to recognize needle exchange as a valid public health response to drug use, and that Seattle cannot afford to wait for the federal government to catch up on safe consumption spaces:
ACLU's Mark Cook, a member of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force, provides some helpful historical context to the feasibility study and ongoing discussion:
Public Defender Association's Patricia Sully, also a member of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force, speaks about siting considerations and commenting on the distinction between mobile and fixed spaces:
In closing, Councilmember Mosqueda noted that widespread support and the commitment of decision-makers to Seattle's SCS positions it to be a leader in the opioid crisis response:
Last but not least, Councilmember Gonzalez made the good point that SCSs are not just about saving the lives of people who use drugs, but also making them better: