No New Youth Jail!

#Nonewyouthjail movement vows continued resistance

December 22, 2016 – Following days of sustained protest targeting Mayor Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) issued a decision supporting the youth jail permit early this morning. Late yesterday afternoon, Mayor Murray released a statement attempting to disavow responsibility, claiming that he had no control over the actions of his own agency. His statement came after #nonewyouthjail coalition members confronted Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine on their support of the jail during a press conference to declare Washington a hate-free state, and held a picket at Murray’s home.

In response to the SDCI decision, which allows the $210 million project to move forward, #Blockthebunker coalition member Rose Harriot stated, “Mayor Murray had the power stop this racist jail-building project in its tracks. His refusal to do so translates into support of the project, and no amount of citing his commitment to ending racial disparities can hide that fact.” She added, “The Mayor and his staff made a political decision to try to sneak the SDCI permit out during the holiday season. Maybe they were hoping we wouldn’t notice. But the movement against the youth jail is growing every day. The Mayor cannot wash his hands of this project. As the elected leader of this City, Murray is not exempt from challenging racist policies.”

Coalition members pointed out that content of the SDCI decision was also political. Knoll Lowney, attorney for the organization Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) agreed, stating, “Rather than analyzing whether the jail complied with the law, the permit merely quotes the County’s flimsy justification for the project — a justification submitted less than a month ago, and after the permit application was pending for a year. There was no follow up questions about the justification, showing that this was less of a permit decision and more of a political favor to Dow Constantine.”

Responding to Mayor Murray’s claim that, in light of the Shell decision, he could not legally intervene in SDCI’s decision, EPIC member Bana Abera stated, “The Shell decision does not support the Mayor’s action. He is being a coward by hiding behind that decision. If anything, the Shell decision shows that the Mayor can and does intervene, when asked to by his donors.” Seattle University law professor and jail-critic Dean Spade agreed with Abera’s assessment. “The notion that the Mayor cannot intervene is simply false. This is a totally different situation from the Shell decision he cites. Unlike in that case, there is no existing permit and the code does not support the master use permit. The Mayor could have chosen to be on the right side or the wrong side, and he chose the wrong side. While the City cannot ignore the code, the code here supported denial.”

Call the Mayor, County Executive, and City Council Today!

**Mayor Murray, Dow Constantine, the City of Seattle, and King County intend to give our children and families a new children jail for the holidays.**

On December 22nd the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection will released its decision to grant permits to King County to build a new children’s jail in Seattle.

Why release this decision during winter break when so few people are in town and/or paying attention? Well, #NoNewYouthJail organizers and community members believe the City of Seattle intends to grant the permits. The holidays are a busy time for many, which means few people may take notice of the decision before it is too late to appeal.

Let’s flood their inboxes all week and let them know why it’s hypocritical to say we’re going to make Seattle a Sanctuary City then build a jail to cage our youth!

Mayor Ed Murray and Dow Constantine, King County Executive are both up for re-election in the near future. We, the People, will be sure to let them know how we feel about this if a) the permits are granted and/or b) they do not intervene and prevent the construction of a new children’s jail in our city.

#NoNewYouthJail #BlocktheBunker #DontBeAGrinch #InvestInYouthNotJails

Calling Script

Dear {insert name here},

Please do your part and deny continuation of the process to issues permits for King County to build a new children’s jail in Seattle. It’s time to put a nail in the coffin of this project. This is an opportunity to make Seattle a safer haven for our youth, particularly our youth of color, by challenging the school to prison pipeline and investing in dreams instead of cages. With the national political climate leading to the election of a hateful, racist, xenophobic tyrant, we cannot afford to build another monument to white supremacy in this city. If Seattle truly wants to be a Sanctuary City, we need you to put your money where your mouth is by prioritizing the safety and security of all of our people, including our young people.

I’m counting on you to demonstrate your belief in the futures of our youth and stop the permitting process today.


Here is a list of phone numbers and email addresses for the Mayor, King County Executive, and City Council members.

– Call and email the Mayor’s Office – (206) 684-4000;

– Call and email the King County Executive Office – (206) 263-9600;

– Call and email your district and citywide City Council members

District 1 (West Seattle, South Park)
Lisa Herbold
Phone: 206-684-8803

District 2 (Georgetown, South Seattle)
Bruce Harrell
Phone: 206-684-8804

District 4 (Northeast Seattle)
Rob Johnson
Phone: 206-684- 8808

District 5 (North Seattle)
Debora Juarez
Phone: 206-684-8805

District 6(Northwest Seattle)
Mike O’Brien
Phone: 206-684-8800

District 7 (Pioneer Square to Magnolia)
Sally Bagshaw

Position 8 (Citywide)
Tim Burgess

Position 9 (Citywide)
Lorena Gonzalez
Phone: 206-684-8802