Next week, on Thursday, July 13, Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold is hosting a town hall discussion panel focused on a proposal which will effectively make convicted criminals a protected class in housing. The proposal would prevent landlords from using criminal records older than two years from the date of conviction - not the date of release from prison - when screening applicants
RHAWA needs a strong showing of its membership at this event to send the message that public safety matters, and that landlords are not responsible for solving societal problems which they have not created.
RHAWA strongly opposes this legislation, and asks that you join us in making our voices heard during public comment at the event.
Your presence in-person at this event is the most effective and valuable way you can participate in this discussion.
Those unable to attend the discussion panel in person are still strongly encouraged to email and call Seattle City Council to voice your opposition to this proposal.
Email Sean Martin for more information and to rsvp that you're attending.
RHAWA's talking points against this proposal are as simple as 1 - 2 - 3:
1. The US Supreme Court's ruling on "disparate impact" and HUD guidelines regarding how landlords may use criminal records when screening an applicant already comprehensivley cover this issue.
2. Federal data shows that 76% of ex-offenders re-entering society commit another crime within 5 years after their release. Property offenders are the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime.
3. Public safety should be the ultimate litmus test when evaluating this legislation. Simply put, this proposal places renters and neighbors demanding safe housing at a higher risk of living next to an individual who has committed a violent crime and may be a high risk to re-offend.
We hope to see you next Thursday, July 13th!