Expanding LEAD to The North Precinct

An update about LEAD expanding to the North Precinct from Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s July newsletter:

Today, LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) is one of the City’s ‘crown jewels’ with a proven track record of reducing crime and disorder through targeted outreach and social services to individuals.  Last week, Council’s Human Services, Equitable Development and Renters’ Rights committee heard a briefing on the Council’s intentto extend the hugely successful program to North Seattle with some emphasis on people living inside vehicles.  While LEAD is not specifically a homeless program, many participants experience homelessness and the program increases public safety and health for the whole community.

LEAD provides a tool for Seattle Police officers to refer individuals engaged in low level drug and sex work offenses to an intensive social services intervention program in lieu of arrest and prosecution. The impetus for LEAD spawned in 2005 when the Public Defenders Association (PDA) collaborated with the Seattle Police Department, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the City of Seattle Attorney’s Office to address enforcement of disproportionately high numbers of Black people into incarceration.

Since its inception, community advocates have championed LEAD as a possible alternative to failed “tough on crime” policies plaguing North Seattle. In my district, and in neighboring districts of my colleagues Councilmember Johnson and Councilmember Juarez we expect the LEAD expansion in North Seattle will allow police officers to connect people with social services instead of sending them to jail that can ensure more public safety. For people who live in their vehicles and others in North Seattle living in extreme poverty, this public safety program has the potential to reduce recidivism rates for individuals who commit low-level crimes.

The program cuts out the criminal-justice system and assigns voluntary participants to case workers, who can provide immediate help — a safe place to sleep or vehicular assistance to force compliance with parking laws, for instance — and longer-term services such as substance use treatment. Evergreen Treatment Services, a private nonprofit founded in 1973 with treatment facilities in Seattle and Olympia, was awarded the contract to develop and execute intervention plans for LEAD participants. In exchange for their participation, no criminal charges will be filed, even if someone later relapses.

According to the PDA,  there are presently approximately 350 active LEAD participants and an additional 2,000 people at any given time in Seattle who would be appropriate LEAD participants.  PDA has requested funding for a modest increase to allow a launch in 2018 in the North and South or Southwest Precincts, plus a plan to complete expansion over a period of 2-3 years, rather than take LEAD to scale citywide.

Despite widespread support for LEAD in North Seattle, there has been insufficient funding for case management and office space required to offer the program to new referrals in the North Precincts – until now. LEAD’s proven method of helping people in crisis on our streets is critical to our neighborhood stability.  Enthusiasm for LEAD has grown in neighborhoods like mine who are longing for a meaningful response to problems stemming from behavioral health needs and extreme poverty.

Pinehurstfest is Saturday, July 21st

Pinehurstfest is this weekend! Come meet your neighbors at this free outdoor event, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm Saturday, July 21st. It’s at Pinehurst Playground, NE 120th St & 14th Ave NE. Hope to see you there!

Victory Heights Potluck & Ice Cream Social July 17

Victory Height’s sixth annual potluck and ice cream social

Tuesday, July 17th
6-8 pm

NE 106th St, just west of the Victory Heights Park


Bring a chair and a dish to share!

* Plates, silverware, drinks, and ice cream provided

For more information check the Victory Heights blog (

or e-mail


– Fire truck visit (if they’re available)

– Information about events in the neighborhood

Thornton Creek Alliance Meeting July 19

Two Educational Presentations at the next Thornton Creek Alliance meeting:

Thursday, JULY 19TH, 2018
6:30 pm Social Time
7:00 to 9:00 pm General Meeting

At Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, 10005 32nd Ave NE


  1. Dredging the Meadowbrook Pond Stormwater Detention Facility

SPU plans to conduct its routine dredging of Meadowbrook Pond from approximately July 9th through September 30th, 2018.

  • How will this be accomplished?
  • What methods will be used?
  • How will wildlife and vegetation impacts be mitigated?

SPU presenters will be:

Jonathan Brown, PE, Sr. Civil Engineer & Project Manager, and Dylan King, Outreach

  1. Northgate Pedestrian Bridge

Find out how SDOT plans to build the long anticipated Northgate Pedestrian Bridge

  • Where it will begin on the North Seattle College campus
  • Impacts to wetlands, trees, and wildlife
  • Safety concerns

SDOT Presenters will be:

Sandra Gurkewitz and Cayla Ravancho Outreach Team

For questions about the meeting contact Dan Keefe at:

Add Your Voice

Want to tell the city what you think? The city wants to hear from you. Your perspective and ideas and efforts help Seattle become a better place. There are many ways you can let the city know how you think and feel about issues. The hub Add Your Voice provides links to various projects that are seeking public feedback on topics such as housing, public safety, planning and land use, parks and open space, transportation and sustainability.

Here’s the hub:

Live in District 5 Celebration June 30th

Council member Debora Juarez is hosting her 3rd annual Live in D5 event this Saturday, June 30. Live in D5 is a community celebration of North Seattle featuring:

    • 3 local bands
    • Free salmon and fry bread sponsored by the United Indians of All Tribes
    • A baby goat petting zoo
    • Over 30 booths from neighborhood & municipal organizations

This is a free and family-friendly celebration!

  • Saturday, June 30, 2018
  • 1pm – 4pm
  • Hubbard Homestead Park, 11203 5th Ave NE, 98125
  • Free | Live Music | Neighbors | Family Fun | Food

Do We Have Mean World Syndrome?

There’s an interesting article in Seattle Times about perception of crime compared to rate of crime in Seattle’s neighborhoods. I remember taking that survey. The article is here.

The author analyzed results from Seattle University Department of Justice’s annual survey on perceptions of crime in Seattle. For SPD policing planning, Pinehurst fits into two different neighborhood plans  – the part east of 15th Ave NE is in the Lake City area, while west of 15th Ave NE is part of the Northgate area.  Here are the numbers for those two neighborhoods:

Lake City

Fear of crime is reported at 45.8 out of a possible 100, while rate of crime is 40 crimes per 1000 people.


Fear of crime is reported at 49.3 out of a possible 100, while rate of crime is 78 crimes per 1000 people.

The average fear of crime in Seattle is 45.4 out of 100. You can see an interactive map in the article (see link above.)

Paraphrasing from the article:

There is a phenomenon known as the ‘mean world syndrome’ that the world is a much more dangerous place than it actually is.

A number of factors contribute to this sense of fear, including reading or watching a lot of news, or hyperlocal websites like, where neighbors frequently post about crime.

A person who is a high media consumer will believe the world is a much more dangerous place than his or her neighbor who is a low media consumer.

Past personal experience with victimization can also contribute to the sense of fear an individual feels. So can certain demographic characteristics, like age or gender, that might put a person at higher risk for certain types of crime.

Visible signs of disorder within a neighborhood — things like broken windows, graffiti, disorderly behavior, and so on — can make a place feel more dangerous, too.

So my question is, are we whipping up fear of crime, and fomenting discomfort living in Pinehurst by talking about crime in our Facebook group and on NextDoor. etc? Would we all be happier if we didn’t report crimes and suspicious activities on social media? Should we stop? Or is it useful?


Kids’ Art in Pinehurst Pocket Park

Well, the current kid’s art in the pocket park got severely faded from our NW sun (good news that we had some sun, bad news that the picture faded) so I changed it before the end of the month this time. And just to shake things up a little more, this work is not by a kid; *I* took the photo of a friend’s cat today.  Which is to suggest that if you are an adult who would like to share your art, please do! We will have the kids’ drawing table at Pinehurstfest in July to create some new works, but it would be fun to have some adult art in the kiosk, too. The pocket park is at NE 117th St & 19th Ave NE. Contact if you or your child would like to contribute.

Pinehurstfest 2018

Date: Saturday, July 21st
Time: 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Place: Pinehurst Playground

Presentation on Race and Equity

Lake City Future First is having a Community Conversation Wednesday, June 27th: