Seattle city council member slams colleague for public safety issues in Chinatown

Seattle city council member slams colleague for public safety issues in Chinatown
Jose Fabula on Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
September 7, 2023
Seattle city council member Sara Nelson publicly criticized her colleague Tammy Morales during a press conference due to increasing public safety issues in her district’s Chinatown.
Nelson’s criticism of Morales: Nelson expressed concerns about the dramatic increase in violence in south Seattle, particularly in the Chinatown-International District, at a rally in support of Tanya Woo, Morales’ opponent for the District 2 council seat. Nelson suggested that Morales should be voted out due to her failure in addressing the public safety issues in her district, including mass shootings, home invasion robberies and drug-related problems in the Little Saigon neighborhood. 
“My colleagues and I get hundreds of emails from people who feel scared and abandoned and angry because they don’t feel like anybody’s listening to them at City Hall,” Nelson said, according to MYNorthwest. “And I can’t blame them one bit. And as I’m replying to these emails, I wonder to myself, ‘Where’s Tammy Morales in all this? And how is she responding?’ Because I know where her votes are.”
Nelson launched into Moreles’ voting record, highlighting her opposition to police incentives, graffiti removal, homeless encampment sweeps and following state law on drug criminalization. The unusual attack on a fellow council member reflects the urgency of the public safety situation.
Woo’s campaign: Woo, who finished second after Morales in the primary election, emphasized the fentanyl crisis and demanded representation for the community during the gathering. 
“We are standing at ground zero for fentanyl, sales, and use. And you can see here, and we will see later, that this is a neighborhood that’s been not long neglected,” Woo said.

“So, why is this allowed to flourish in Little Saigon? We’ve seen a rise in burglaries also that particularly hits are non-English speaking Asian community members, not only here, but in South Seattle… There’s so much need, and we need resources, and we need action. We need change. Because we’re all tired. [It has] been four years.”

Seattle Indian Health Board CEO Esther Lucero and Friends of Little Saigon Executive Director Quynh Pham echoed the same concerns, expressing frustration with Morales and elected leaders for their perceived inaction, according to KOMO News.
Morales’ defense: Morales responded to the situation on X, noting that she was not invited to the campaign event and questioning Nelson’s priorities. 
“For the record, I was not invited to this campaign event for my opponent,” Morales tweeted. “My question for Sara is why were you campaigning instead of attending our Transportation committee?”
The upcoming general election on Nov. 7 will determine the council representative for District 2. In the meantime, many businesses have resorted to installing fences and barbed wire to deter chronic abusers.

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