ELECTION 2023 RE-AIR: Cydney Moore, Candidate for Burien City Council Position 2
Release Date: 10/24/2023
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On this Election 2023 re-air, Crystal chats with Cydney Moore about her campaign for re-election to Burien City Council Position 2, accomplishments from her first term, and her consistent progressive track record. They then dig into the details of Burien government’s recent non-handling of their unhoused population as sweep after sweep has disrupted and endangered lives, caused community division, and failed to solve anything. Highlighting the importance of upcoming elections, a 4-3 majority on the Burien City Council has been unwilling to accept an offer of help from King County and has instead focused on retaliation against those working on solutions.
As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.
Cydney Moore is a mother, activist, and elected representative with a long history of service to her community. Her background includes over a decade of experience in nonprofit leadership, and years of experience as a small business owner, a journalist covering politics, and as an advocate for social justice issues including housing for all, fair wages, women's rights, LGBTQIA2S+ rights, immigrant rights, ending the war on drugs, and more. She has worked on policy issues at the city, county, and state level, and currently holds office as a Burien City Councilmember. Cydney also serves on the board of 3 nonprofits (the Burien Arts Association, Tukwila Pantry food bank, and the Multi Service Center), and is on several regional boards and committees, including the Domestic Violence Initiative Regional Task Force. Her other experience includes acting as a Lead Organizer for ACLU Burien People Power, and volunteering for organizations like the Burien Severe Weather Shelter and Burien C.A.R.E.S. Animal Shelter.
[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review show and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.
I am very excited today to be welcoming Burien City Councilmember Cydney Moore to the program. Welcome, Cydney.
[00:01:00] Cydney Moore: Hi, thank you so much for having me - I'm really excited to be here.
[00:01:04] Crystal Fincher: Well, we certainly have no shortage of things to talk about, especially with recent news and events in Burien. But I do want to start because you are a councilmember, you are running for reelection right now - is to talk about what led you to run for office, to want to serve, and what have you been spending your time doing in your first term?
[00:01:24] Cydney Moore: Well, I feel like I've always been drawn towards public office. Even as a kid, I used to dream about becoming the first female president. Even as far as third grade - I found some old notes in school folders my mom had stashed away where I had written policy proposals for what I would do - and it's pretty consistent, actually. One of the things that I talked about was everyone will have a home. I guess I've always wanted to serve my community, I've been an activist my whole life, I have been working in nonprofit leadership for over a decade now. So this is my passion, this is what drives me - creating a better community for all of us, creating a better future for our people - that's what gives me joy.
In my first term - it's been a rough go - I took office in January of 2020, right before the pandemic hit, so I had a lot of goals and aspirations for what I wanted to do, and we ended up scrambling to mitigate the harms that were ongoing in the crisis we were all facing. But throughout that, we were able to accomplish some great good. One of the things that we were able to do in Burien that I'm really, really proud of was approve hazard pay for essential workers throughout the pandemic, and we also implemented an eviction moratorium that kept people from losing their homes throughout the entire state of emergency in Washington. I also have been involved with passing a groundbreaking list of renters' protections in Burien. We're leading the charge in some of these areas and other cities are certainly looking to us as an example - I'm incredibly proud of that.
We have launched a new co-responder model that integrates behavioral and mental health professionals and crisis responders alongside police on calls. I am hoping that we can work towards having an individual standalone crisis response team that can call in police if needed, but can operate independently. I proposed an increase in our human services budget, so I'm really, really proud of that - that was just in our last budget cycle and it actually funds a lot of incredible services across our city, including things like rental assistance, utility assistance, education opportunities, mental health support, therapy for children, youth and adults, food banks - just all the good things - doubled the city arts budget. Right now, we are working on passing legislation to raise the minimum wage here in Burien - very, very excited about that, that's something that I started working on initially right after I got into office and that sort of got put on halt due to the pandemic, so I'm really excited to be taking that back up again. I created a lobby effort to King County Council through my work with the Domestic Violence Initiative Regional Task Force, serving as a representative from our council, to allocate additional funding for domestic violence protection order advocates, and proud to announce that we actually got $375,000 allocated to the protection order advocacy program. So, yeah - I think we've done some good, I'm really proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I'm really proud of my track record so far in office, and I'm hoping to continue the work.
[00:04:54] Crystal Fincher: It is an impressive track record, particularly with new councilmembers coming in, dealing with things during the pandemic. But, hey - it sounds like you guys have a totally progressive council - there's no friction or issues in Burien, is there?
[00:05:10] Cydney Moore: You know - it's funny because it's not funny. But if you don't laugh, you cry. So one would think that - forward-facing - our council is progressive. We have people - the majority of our council has claimed to be progressive - they ran on progressive values. And as of late, we're not seeing quite so much of that as we would like. There has been a lot of divisiveness. And I'll tell you - getting positive things passed is like pulling teeth with our council - to put it plainly. It's brutal. It's painful work. And I really wish that we were a little more cohesive and aligned in our goals and our values so that we could do more work because it is slow-going and it's unfortunate.
[00:05:59] Crystal Fincher: It is unfortunate, and we've seen it blow up in the news. So, is it that there's a 4-3 kind of moderate conservative majority on the council now?
[00:06:07] Cydney Moore: Yes, that's very accurate. You can see a pretty consistent 4-3 split on just about everything major, and especially when it comes to passing progressive policies. Absolutely.
[00:06:21] Crystal Fincher: So, Burien has been in the news because of sweeps, a lease, what to do with the unhoused population, and whether to help, how to help, the county has stepped in. This has been an ongoing saga that we have been talking about during the week-in-reviews. But can you walk us through what has been happening and where things stand?
[00:06:42] Cydney Moore: Okay. So, we had a number of unhoused people who were camping on property that is jointly owned and operated by our City and the King County Library system. Our building - the first two stories is our Burien Library, and then the third story is City Hall, and we share a space on the ground floor for city council meetings and multipurpose uses for the library. So, there's a condo association of those two entities that operates this building. We had a lot of campers out there for quite a long time. Some of them had been there for - I'd say, a year, maybe more - and it was fairly mellow. A lot of these people are individuals that those of us who've worked directly with our homeless population have known for, sometimes years. But the condo association decided they wanted to sweep people off the property - and our city council and our city manager essentially took a hands-off approach, deferred to the condo association, and we did not take action to allocate new space for people to go. We directed our contractors that provide outreach services, LEAD and REACH, to go out and offer people what support they can, but it's been abundantly clear there is not shelter space available in Burien - we don't have any significant shelter here. And the shelters in the surrounding area are absolutely full, so we were told outright there aren't shelter beds available for most of these people.
We moved forward with the sweep, and I worked very diligently for the weeks leading up to the sweep to try and find any alternative options for people in terms of places they could relocate to, looking for different property, reaching out to different organizations, and fell short. So the night before the sweep, myself and my dear friend and colleague, Charles Schaefer, who was then the chair of our planning commission, we went out and we told the unhoused people camping there - We don't have anywhere for you to go. Do you have any plans for where you might go? And most of them said - No, they had no idea where to go, otherwise they would have gone there already. Most of them were scared and didn't know what was going to happen to them, and so Charles and I let them know legally they have a right to camp on public property - besides parks, because Burien has a ban on camping in parks. And we have very little public property in the city that is not parks. It's very minimal - and I can say that with a very strong degree of certainty because I've looked, I've looked at length - but we did locate a small piece of public land one block away in our downtown core, and we told people - If you camp here - legally, that is allowed and per Martin v. Boise, the Ninth Circuit Court ruling that says we can't criminalize homelessness, our city will not sweep you until policy changes or they figure out some loophole. We told them straight up - the City doesn't condone this, we're not acting on behalf of the City, the City is not sanctioning this, and quite frankly, people are gonna be upset, and the City is probably going to work to remove you as quickly as possible. But for the time being, until there's some other alternative, you can go here if you choose to - and they did.
And so the following morning, we had a big media circus - lots of people coming out to watch the sweep, see what happens. A lot of people in the area were devastated at the prospect, but there were, alternatively, people who were very excited to see people removed and were under the impression that by removing them from this piece of property, they were somehow going to disappear. Again, many of these unhoused people have been living here in Burien for years - this is their home - even if they don't have a house, they have strong roots here, connections, family even. So there was quite an uproar when people came out the next morning and realized that the problem had not gone away, they didn't solve anything, and people they thought they were going to disperse out of our downtown core moved one block away, and at that point could not be swept. Our city council and our city manager collaborated to take action to lease out that property quickly, and they decided to lease the property to Burien C.A.R.E.S., which is our contracted animal shelter here. They leased the property for $185 a month, which has been speculated as far below fair market value - it's a sizable piece of land in a prime location, so that is of some concern. And as soon as the lease was signed, they conducted a sweep on that property and did not allocate any space for those people to relocate to. I begged them for months, I tried at every city council meeting between the two sweeps to ask our council to consider any option. I made a few proposals - none of them are ideal, but emergency temporary places that people could stay for the time being while we sorted through it - and they denied all asks for taking action.
So they swept the unhoused population again, which had grown in size because people here have, again, close ties, and there are people who I know of personally who typically tend to avoid camps, that realized that that was a safe place, that there was safety in numbers there, that it was someplace they would be able to stay in contact with people like service providers and family members because they were not hiding off on the side of the road or in a bush somewhere - they were centrally located and stable for the time being. So they got swept again, and Charles and I went up there again and informed people - Hey, we've been looking, we still haven't found anything, but we have located some other public property that is big enough for you to camp on if you decide to go there. Charles and I consulted the King County parcel viewer and a number of city maps, and we found a little slice of - patch of grass - that ran adjacent to a park just a few blocks away. And according to the King County parcel viewer and all the city maps we consulted, that piece of land was somehow overlooked or whatever - it just wasn't part of the park, so legally, it would be acceptable for people to camp there.
So many of the people relocated there, and they stayed there for a couple of days until one of our city councilmembers apparently called the police. The police said they wouldn't sweep them because as far as the police could see, that's not part of the park and it's legal for them to be there. She contacted our city manager, who took it upon himself to do some digging, and found one map in our city files that contradicted all the other maps we have and said that it was a park. And so he told the police - This is a park, I'm deciding that this is a part of a park, you have to go remove them. A testament to the ambiguity of the legal status of whether this piece of land is park or not park is the fact that our police will immediately sweep people who are in a park - that's just a policy that's standard ops for them. They did not immediately sweep people. They posted a 72-hour notice, giving people time to get their things together and try and relocate. City council still did not take any action.
So Charles and I went out and spoke to people again, and the options continue to get increasingly worse - the land is increasingly smaller every time that we are finding. We let them know there is a very small piece of dirt that runs along our main downtown strip, right next door to the Library-City Hall building - literally on the next block, and two blocks down from the original lot that they went to after the first sweep - so they're right back where they started, pretty much. But a number of our unhoused people camping out have relocated to this very small patch of dirt. Some people decided to go try their odds camping on some vacant private property that had sat empty for a while - they managed to go unnoticed for a few weeks. But I got a text last Tuesday from one of their mothers - and she's a very kind woman, she does what she can, but she lives in Puyallup and is on the verge of homelessness herself, so she's not able to fully support her son - but she let me know that there were 14 people who were camping on this private lot in the north end of town, and police had just arrived with a trespass order, and they were giving them two hours to get out. So I went out again and tried to get whoever I could to come out and help get people assistance in relocating and getting their stuff, and trying to make sure they could get where they were going to go without losing too many of their important belongings. And some of them decided to come down to the patch of dirt on 152nd and our downtown core and join the others, and some of them decided to drag their tents to a median in the middle of a very busy road just down the block, and it's a really dangerous area in that particular corridor, but they asked the police - Is this public land, are you gonna sweep us? And the police said no, and so they decided that they were gonna take their chances. And so to my understanding, there are still a couple of people who are camping out in a very small island median in the middle of a very busy road.
And to this day, our council has refused to take action. We have had an offer come in from King County of $1 million and 35 Pallet homes, which house two people apiece, to allocate property and help us operate a safe space for people. Our council voted that down.
[00:16:43] Crystal Fincher: And I wanna talk about this for a minute - because you talked about what was happening on the ground, but during this process, the City of Burien received a letter from the Office of the King County Executive, Dow Constantine, from his legal counsel, saying - Hey, it is illegal to sweep people off of public property when there is no shelter available. You basically made it explicit, City of Burien, that there's no shelter available. And your police force are actually county sheriff's deputies who are contracted by the City of Burien, so because they fall under the authority of the county as deputies, we are saying they can't participate in that - which caused quite an uproar. What was the response to that?
[00:17:25] Cydney Moore: People were confused and upset. Some of us were very pleased. I was very surprised when I found out our city got that letter, and I was very grateful to our county for their response and taking a stance that they're not going to violate people's constitutional rights to exist in a public space with nowhere else to go.
[00:17:47] Crystal Fincher: And that's really the crux of it right there - is that time after time, as we've seen in so many other cities, just sweeping someone and saying - Well, you can't camp here - does not do anything to address the issue of homelessness. It doesn't do anything to provide shelter, to provide housing, to address that underlying problem. And so many times, people who come at this problem from the issue of - Well, the people being there, their existence, me having to look at them and deal with them is the problem - when the root of the problem is they don't have a home, and so many other issues become exacerbated, and so many things get destabilized from not having a home. So as you said, they move from one location to another to another, because it's not like there's any attempt to work on housing from the council majority. And also, illustrative of how councils work, you can have people on very different sides, but the majority is going to carry the day. So although there were three people who have been working diligently on the council to try and provide a real solution that doesn't just create the next spot for someone to camp, or once you've made all of the spots in one city illegal, just push them into another city and say it's their problem - it's about really finding a way to provide people with shelter. Because it is not ideal for people to be sleeping outside. As you said, it's dangerous, it's completely suboptimal. So this offer from the county that came in - about three weeks ago now, I think - has the majority of the council done anything to take advantage of the million dollars, the 35 Pallet shelter help?
[00:19:24] Cydney Moore: No, we had that brought before us for a vote, and our council majority declined and they voted it down. And at this point, our next regularly scheduled council meeting isn't until July 17th, and so we are working to take advantage of this gap to rally public support and coordinate with a variety of different organizations in our community to hopefully put pressure on council enough that they will take action. Burien is actually in the middle of a budgetary shortfall - we're facing an impending fiscal cliff if we don't raise taxes and fees and find new revenue sources. And so turning down a million dollars for anything at this point seems pretty irresponsible, but certainly turning down a million dollars to serve our unhoused and vulnerable population is - it's unconscionable in my mind. I can't tell you how many times I've sat there thinking how amazing it would be if somebody dropped a million dollars in front of me to go help the homeless - that's literally the stuff that dreams are made of. And to turn it down is - I just can't fathom why anybody would say no to that.
And like you pointed out, sweeps are dangerous. People living outside - it's dangerous. Unhoused people are disproportionately targeted as victims of harassment and violence. And we have data that shows that sweeps cause a number of disruptions to people's lives - they result in people losing things like documentation, identification, medication - disrupting any kind of progress they are making towards stability. It interrupts their contact with service providers, case managers, family members that serve as a support system. And they increase the mortality rate of unhoused people. It just - they're dangerous. Burien already has a disproportionately high mortality rate for our unhoused population compared to King County as a whole. So we are facing a very real crisis here - our region is facing a homelessness crisis in general, but Burien is finally having to stare that issue in the face and we're failing in our response, our leaders are failing in our response. And our people are suffering as a consequence of that. And it is quite devastating to witness, especially being on the ground in direct contact with these people that some of us have worked with for years. We know their names, we know their faces, we know some of their backstories, some of them I know family members of. It's an ugly thing to witness seeing people who are already in crisis being shuffled around and disregarded and hung out to dry - by leaders who are tasked with protecting the safety and wellbeing of all of our constituents. So it's disappointing, to say the least.
[00:22:05] Crystal Fincher: Very disappointing. And very disappointing that your attempt to help people while following the law, and the law that the Office of King County Executive Dow Constantine very helpfully and forcefully advised the City of Burien that they were running afoul of in their current way, their reaction wasn't to say - Okay, let's pause and reevaluate. Obviously we're getting legal advice that this is illegal. It does jive with the court decision saying that we can't sweep without offers of shelter. We've pretty much just flatly admitted that there aren't offers of shelter. So maybe we pause and talk with some of our partners and figure out ways to get these people housed. No one wants people out on the street - if we can try and work to find a way to get them into shelter, that would be excellent. They decided not to do that. They decided to double down on the way things were going, to basically - I think a fair characterization to the letter from the King County Executive's legal counsel was indignation from the city manager, who then went forward and basically just kept doing the things that he was doing, even appearing to not check with the council before some of the things - although he does have the support of the council majority.
So now we're in a situation where they haven't taken up any of this offer to house people, and people are being harmed by this. People are out exposed to the elements and to a very hostile, activated, conservative, radical element that has been drawn to Burien over this issue. And some of the contentious scenes that we've seen across the region with people just talking in very dehumanizing ways about the homeless population - really not seeing them as people, really just seeing the problem is that they're inconvenienced by having to look at people and not really caring about what that person is going through - that's a challenge. So they haven't had time to address the offer of a million bucks and Pallet shelters. They did have time, however, to hold a special meeting to consider censuring you and to consider removing Charles, who you talked about - the Chair of the Planning Commission - because of your helping and trying to find a solution to this problem. What in the world? What was your reaction to that?
[00:24:16] Cydney Moore: Yeah, I spoke to this during the special meeting when the council was considering removing Charles from the Planning Commission - who I might add, has served our community dutifully for many years and has been serving the homeless directly, I think, for 14 years in our city - so he knows them very well. And what are you going to expect from somebody who's been in that field for so long other than trying to help? But my response is that - throughout history, there is a pattern of punishments being doled out to people who try to help persecuted minority groups, whether that's people based on their race or their religion or who they love - it's a consistent pattern. And history does not look kindly on those who are enacting those punishments against people who try and help. I told our council, I said - Charles is going to have to live with what we do tonight for the rest of his life, or at least until our council makeup changes. But every person on this council is also going to have to live with their decision and this decision may follow you. Are you prepared to answer for it, for what you do tonight? 'Cause I'm very comfortable in my position, but I don't know if later on when people ask you - Why would you do this? - if you'll have justification or excuses enough to explain why you would take such action.
It was very, very clear that what Charles and I have done is try to inform our constituents of what our laws are and how best to comply. And I think that's something that really needs to be noted in these conversations - these unhoused people have been asking how they can follow the law. They're asking - Where is it legal for me to go? Where can I be? Where am I allowed to exist? And our city has offered no real option, but has publicly stated - Oh yeah, you can be on public property - until we find a loophole to take it away from you. And you can be on sidewalks, which obviously is true to the extent of people can stay on sidewalks large enough where they're not obstructing them - you have to maintain a three feet clearance path on a sidewalk and there's not that many sidewalks that are wide enough for people to camp on in Burien without obstructing. So these individuals are literally just asking their leaders - Where can I go? Where am I allowed to be? And we did our best to inform our constituents of what the City's policies are, where they are legally allowed to go, how they can comply with the laws. And that's the duty and obligation of any public servant, especially a councilmember that makes those laws and policies and a planning commissioner, the Chair of the Planning Commission, whose job it is to advise on zoning and land use issues. So arguably we were doing our job to the best of our ability and to the expectation that I think we should all be held.
And our council - the term that has been used by many in our community - used Charles as a scapegoat. They can't remove me - I am an elected official. But Charles was appointed, and they found a target and took advantage of that. And I think it just reflects really, really poorly on our council and on our city as a whole that our leadership would penalize someone for informing people of their constitutional rights and informing people of knowledge that is public, by the way - all of the information that we shared is all public knowledge, it's all easily accessible on government websites. Yeah, I don't know how they felt comfortable doing that. I really don't understand any valid justification for that - and that's what I said.
[00:28:08] Crystal Fincher: Well, I'm gonna hop in here and editorialize. We know there wasn't a valid reason for that - but as we've seen in Tennessee, as we've seen in so many other places - if they feel they have the power to do it, they will. They had the power to remove Charles. I think they initially thought they may have the power to remove you. You were actually, as you said, doing your job. They still have not taken up the offer to house people. Their job is to serve and take care of their constituents. They have constituents who have been out on the street. There's an offer of shelter and money to make that happen available that they just won't do - they would rather just sweep people, just kick them out - knowing how destabilizing that is and knowing how much it has failed directly in the City of Burien. This clearly isn't working. It's really expensive to do - requires a lot of public enforcement resources, law enforcement resources, parks resources - requires a whole lot and it's not making a difference. So one would think that they would stop doing the same thing over and over again - getting failing results - and start to do something that would work. The county didn't just say - This is illegal, you can't do it. They offered an olive branch and said - And we will help you. And they basically slapped that hand away and said - No, we're good. In fact, we're not even gonna deal with that. We're just gonna try and kick out people who disagree with us and enact these really retaliatory actions. And it is really a shame.
But what happened was lots of people saw this and people of all cross-ideological spectrums - I don't think many of the commissioners who wound up taking action would call themselves progressive, but they do call themselves public servants - and were appalled at this negligence and scapegoating and retaliation by the majority on the city council, mayor, deputy mayor, city manager, others, and said - This is unacceptable - and resigned in protest. And the entire Planning Commission resigned in protest and several other commissioners throughout the city - I think 12 in total resigned from their position. So now, Burien is in a crisis - doesn't have a planning commission, has several other commissions short-staffed. Many cities - this is comprehensive planning time where the Planning Commission is doing some heavy lifting - and now there is nothing there, because they decided to act petty and retaliate and not use money offered to them for free to house people. So where do things go from here?
[00:30:35] Cydney Moore: That's a good question. As you said, we don't have a planning commission now, and they were absolutely in the middle of a major project. We haven't heard from our city any official statement in regard to what the plan is going to be to fill these vacancies. So our entire Planning Commission is gone. Our Parks Board has lost their chair, the vice-chair, and another member. We've lost at least one Airport Committee member and arts commissioner. Like we - arguably our city is in a spiral right now, and I don't know what's going to happen next. I don't know what we're going to do, I haven't heard anything from our leadership, I haven't heard anything from our city manager - certainly haven't heard anything regarding plans to move forward. As I said, my goal right now is to work with my fellow progressives on council to lobby as much support as we can and pressure as we can to get the council majority to approve use of this million dollars and designate a safe space for people to go.
Our unhoused population is still waiting for a response and things aren't getting better. And as you said, there is significant anger in the community and there's been a large conservative presence - and the hostility there is not dissipating. I'm aware of people who have - like I said, unhoused people are always disproportionately targeted as victims of harassment and violence, but people have been very aggressive towards our unhoused people here throughout this - throwing fireworks at their tents, stealing their tents, and bragging about it openly. There are people who are openly in public talking about wanting to shoot them and shoot me. So this violent rhetoric has maintained and our unhoused people are out there exposed with nowhere to go, no safety, no walls to hide behind. And so we're going to continue pushing for our council to take action - because we don't have an option not to, honestly - doing nothing is just not an option in my mind and in the mind of many others in our community.
As far as our city operations go - like I said, I really just don't know. We are legally required to have a planning commission and to have a comp plan, a comprehensive plan, and we just don't have the people now. And it usually takes quite a while for us to go through the process of putting out a call for new applicants and going through the screening process, interview process, all of this. And quite frankly, the strain on our staff has been significant - like you said, it takes a lot of resources to engage in things like sweeps. Our staff is already pretty bare bones. Burien operates with some incredible people, but they are stretched thin. And having to call multiple special meetings certainly doesn't help with their workload. Having to engage in sweeps doesn't help with their workload. And now having to add on to their plate - trying to figure out what to do with a whole bunch of empty spaces and an entire empty planning commission - yeah, I don't know what that process is going to look like, or how quickly any of that will move forward. You would expect our city manager to be offering some insight or - the City was really quick to respond to that letter from King County, but obviously not so quick to respond to the fact that we have had a mass resignation from our public servants that we need, we legally have to have. So I'm waiting with bated breath, just like everyone else, to see what happens there.
[00:34:20] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. I should note, while they haven't taken up any substantive action at all to try and house people - even though there's an offer of a million dollars, 35 Pallet shelters, they've had meetings to censure and retaliate against their opponents - they also had time to welcome Prime Minister Modi from India, who has taken a lot of heat from the human rights community for human rights violations, free speech violations. They rank very, very low - I think they've dropped from something like 140th to just under 160th out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index. Certainly seeing a lot of protests - I think there's no one who says - Ah, everything is great. And yes, this is someone we should celebrate and welcome. Although those three Burien city councilmembers did somehow and they found time for that, but not time to take up the ability to house their residents who are without homes right now.
Now, before we close - usually we talk about a lot of other stuff with candidates - this time, I felt it was appropriate to talk about everything that has been happening with the situation in Burien because it has been in the news and is so pressing - and is still just languishing with the council not doing anything at the time that we're recording. But this is happening also while you're running for reelection. And you've drawn several opponents - I think most, if not all, come from the people who are virulently anti-homeless - is the way to say it. They don't seem to have any solutions or care at all about the actual housing - Just get them out of here - seems to be the thing. And they're running to take a hard line on getting those people out of here and getting someone who actually is doing the work to house people out. What can people do if they're looking for more information about your campaign?
[00:36:09] Cydney Moore: I would encourage everyone to check out my website - it's votecydney.com - C-Y-D-N-E-Y. Sign up for updates, sign up to volunteer. Please donate if you can - I run a grassroots campaign, always have - I'm not a particularly wealthy person that's self-funding my operations here, so anything that you can do to help will help us get through this election. I am working very diligently with our partners in the community to build a coalition of support for my campaign. But this is of the people, by the people, for the people - so if you can, please contribute however you are able to. Also, you can always follow me on social media - @vote_cydney on Twitter, Facebook - Cydney Moore for Burien City Council. I welcome any feedback people might have, any input you might have, any ideas for creative campaigning you might have. This is rough - it's a rough time to be dealing with all of these things and running a campaign - and I have drawn out a lot of scrutiny. I guess you could say that I'm a pretty polarizing person at this moment and people are drawing some hard lines. And people aren't always falling on the side of those lines that you would expect. I have had people who don't actually necessarily agree with my position, but do respect the fact that I'm willing to stand up for my position, who have expressed their support. And I have people who you would think are progressive, who you would think would be aligned with me, who are pissed - they're really mad at me for what I've been doing. And so, yeah, I can use all the support I can get at this time.
And what I'll say about my opponents are the most vocal one is avidly anti-homeless and has been actively asking our council to sweep people and seems to be of the mindset that we should let them hit rock bottom, which I guess in my mind means let them die - because if you're outside and have nothing and have nowhere to go and have - barely even have clothes on your back, no food, no safety, I don't know how much more rock bottom it gets than that than just letting them die. And that's what happens. Our unhoused people are dying. So that's certainly concerning and not somebody that I would want representing me in elected office in my city. And my other two opponents - I just have not seen or heard much at all from - I literally just met one of them for the first time the other day. I've never missed a city council meeting in all of my years of serving, and I've never seen those individuals attend a single meeting. I've never seen them out in the public engaging with people, and I'm actively involved in a lot of things - I serve on the board of three different nonprofits in this community, I volunteer for a number of different organizations and causes. And so it concerns me that we have people running that I don't know and nobody that I know who are also involved in the community have ever seen, so I can't speak to their values.
But I'm here and I am present and I'm active and I will remain so. And you can look at my track record - my voting record is available on the City of Burien website and I encourage everyone to look to it - I don't think you're ever gonna find a single vote I've ever taken that is not solidly progressive. So I'm - like I said, I'm pretty consistent in that - and I am adamant about maintaining the fight for positive change in our city. And I would ask and invite everyone who is willing to join me in that. What happens here in Burien has a ripple effect across our region - like I said, we are leading as an example in a lot of different ways for a lot of different policy issues. And so community doesn't end at city limits - what happens here can absolutely impact our neighboring cities and cities across this area and sometimes across the country - there are other cities who have looked at us and our policies from around the country. So please help me because there are a lot of people who are against what's going on here and we need all the help we can get. We need people who will continue to fight for what's right in office and keep things real in local politics.
[00:40:14] Crystal Fincher: Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Cydney Moore. And we'll continue to follow the events happening in Burien. Thank you.
[00:40:22] Cydney Moore: Awesome, thank you so much for having me. And I look forward to following your future coverage.
[00:40:27] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is produced by Shannon Cheng. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on every podcast service and app - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of our Friday week-in-review shows and our Tuesday topical show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.
Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.