Last October, I took a PDF of some things coming up into Photoshop and rewrote the parts that spoke to me, and then republished a document that looked much like the original. Most people thought it was great and had a laugh. But these people freaked.
This is the Terrible Thing I did that caused my Board President to quit, caused three tables of United Way people to NOT ATTEND our Annual Breakfast a few days later (they paid), and had Sandy Brown half a hair from threatening legal action?
All on the same day.
The fire the Out-of-Control founders-diseased asshole faction was also well represented that day in the comments section of the Sandy Brown post.
I posted Sandy Brown's voice mail demanding that I remove the Church Council logo from an already widely distributed image. Some people said that was unethical. A breach of some sort of implied confidentiality. I think some people just don't like surprises, and would rather I have more "discretion."
The love is basically gone with United Way as well. They used to at least talk about giving us money. Now, even Vince barely returns my calls.
Street Roots down in Portland's feelin' the love from their United Way. If Vince got me $60K, I'd of at least called him before I put out the flier. It's enough to make you think twice.
But I can't even get these guys to buy an ad. When we went activist a few years back, they ran scared.
None of these guys have had a damn thing to say about the Seattle homeless sweeps unless they're for it. This is a bad thing, because they are the institutional players, and the City knows that if they're on board they can do whatever they want, because the rest of us, when it comes right down to it, don't really matter all that much.
Bill is scrupulously avoidant of the sweeps issue. As is United Way. The Interfaith Task Force is on the right side and has helped with the organizing, but the Church Council has gone dark, unless you count Bill and Sandy's bland neutralities to the press about the City being on the right track.
That's actually not a bad position to have, if you back it up with negotiation, transparency, oversight, and action. But none of these guys are getting involved in anything like that.
"What's being proposed is a big step in the right direction. I'm glad to see that the city is responding out of a sense of humanity toward people who are in encampments," said the Rev. Sandy Brown, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. He and several other advocates for the homeless were briefed Thursday on the protocol by city officials.
Brown's main concerns were that the city have outreach workers available to notify and refer homeless campers, and that shelter beds be available for those losing their campsite.
At the briefing referred to above, advocates were told that their role in shaping policy would be limited to participation in public comment. Apparently, that's OK with United Way, CEHKC, and Church Council, because their participation in and support for efforts to oppose the sweeps has been Zero. They and the City, so far as it appears, are on the same page.
They shouldn't get to just go dark. They should either declare their support for the city's policy, or come on board with those of us who want a real discussion of what it would take to address homelessness in Seattle.
Then, at least, we'd know what's what. They have important, complicated, and powerful relationships to maintain. We understand. It's a powerful feeling, we imagine, being on the inside.