Who Said It? A Quiz from Last Night’s GOP-Sponsored Homelessness Forum

In a bit of kismet (or misfortune?) so perfect it almost seemed planned, the 43rd District Democrats held their primary-election endorsement meeting last night at Kane Hall on the UW campus—right next to a forum sponsored by the 36th District Republicans titled “HOMELESS & ADDICTED IN SEATTLE.” (Two Democrats I talked to in the foyer outside both events referred to the panel as “the hate group meeting” and “the Klan rally,” respectively).

The 43rd’s endorsements were uneventful (no candidate reached the 60% threshold for endorsement in Districts 3, 4, 6, or 7—the four districts that partially overlap with the 43rd), so I spent my night popping back and forth between the Democrats and the Republicans, whose security guards eventually stopped checking my backpack every time I returned.

The panel brought together two AM radio hosts, a police union leader and SWAT team offcer, the founder of Safe Seattle, a former Republican state legislator who now leads the Family Policy Institute of Washington, the program manager for Christian shelter provider Union Gospel Mission, and several others, to spend three hours agreeing at length about what causes homelessness and how to fix it. (In the panel’s apparently unanimous view, addiction, specifically heroin addiction, is the main root cause of homelessness, and the fix consists of tough-love “solutions” like forced treatment and making it “more uncomfortable to stay addicted,” as one panelist put it.)

It would have been a perfect echo chamber, if not for the presence of a few hecklers  (quickly ejected), plus a handful of folks who stuck around to ask questions that challenged the unanimous tough-love narrative of the panel (quickly shouted down). I find echo chambers exhausting (witness, on the other end of the spectrum, my extreme reluctance to cover council member Kshama Sawant’s endless “PACK CITY HALL” rallies), so instead, I’ve gathered a few quotes from last night’s panel into a little quiz.

See if you can guess which speaker from this list made each of the following statements (answers below the jump).

1. “You can’t have a relationship [with a homeless client] when you’re a social worker. My ex-wife is a social worker…. There’s no relationship.”

2. “Take the ties off of the hands of our brave men and women who are officers and allow them to do their jobs.”

3. “[There are t]hose who are advocating for giving more and more and more money and more and more services to people that aren’t taking any responsibility, and that is called enabling.”

4. “I don’t like doing my job anymore.”

5. “That question is a setup! I’m not going to tell him!”

6. “If you want to have a conversation with a bunch of experts, you can organize your own panel.”

7. “There is no homelessness in South Korea, in Japan, because they have a culture of family, of focusing on virtue. … If you have a culture that’s broken… you have evil, you have drugs, you have no accountability.”

8. “I’ve worked with hundreds of homeless people over 15 years. I have dozens of friends who have been homeless. The majority of those dozens of friends are not addicts.”

9. “Third and Pike, the downtown market, is the largest criminal organization for shoplifting in this country.”

10. “I think we have to stop calling it homelessness. I think we have to start addressing it as addiction.”

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1. KIRO radio host John Curley

2. Terry Pallas, chief program officer for Union Gospel Mission

3. Family intervention consultant Joyce Sundin

4. Seattle Police Officers Guild vice president Mike Solan

5. Safe Seattle founder David Preston (in response to an audience question about who he supports for city council.)

6. Curley again

7. Family Policy Institute of Washington director Mark Miloscia

8. Trick question! This quote is from an anthropologist and homeless policy expert during the audience Q&A (his question, which was not answered, was why the panelists kept claiming there were more than enough shelter beds when there are twice as many homeless people in King County than available beds.)

9. Fire &  Vine Hospitality CEO Chad Mackey

10. Sundin

14 thoughts on “Who Said It? A Quiz from Last Night’s GOP-Sponsored Homelessness Forum”

  1. “Government can’t do that. There is no way. You talk about relationships? You can’t have a relationship when you’re a social worker. My ex-wife is a social worker. She had 57 clients. There’s no relationship. It’s going through a series, and making sure, checking here, looking there, and making sure you’re getting your drug, and where else… next person through. How can we ever create a system where it is about relationships? Because I think that is the solution.”

    Now please define what this means to you in full context.

  2. The monthly cost of supporting C is for Crank is more than paid for by the fact that I don’t have to attend these meetings. Thank you again!

  3. Have to laugh at #7. Of course there is homelessness in S.Korea, Japan and every other country in the world. You just rarely see them because so they are treated like untouchables by both countries and completely shunned. Which of course means there is a huge festering problem in both countries of people just treading water financially.

    But hey if we don’t see it, hear it, or talk about it that means there is no problem. Right?

  4. Hecklers is a quaint term for those screaming obscenities at the top of their lungs.

    Your Terry Pallas quote is out of context. He had a lot of constructive things to say.

  5. The other panelists’ takes don’t surprise me, but I’m saddened and baffled beyond belief that the Union Gospel Mission officebearer (Terry Pallas) thinks of his clients as criminals first and humans second. Perhaps he is in the wrong job?

  6. Your reference to 43rd Democrats endorsements is inaccurate. District 6 also has many Fremont and Phinney precincts in the 43rd LD. And 60% endorsements were given in at least two of the four.

    1. Here are my notes (taken from a longtime D who was in the room the whole time): No endorsement in D4 (although close). No endorsement in D6 (will add that). No endorsement in D7. And no endorsement in D3.

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