Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is right to delay the confirmation of Human Services Department Interim Director Jason Johnson as permanent head of HSD. Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office told HSD employees there would be an inclusive selection process, as stated in an HSD employee letter to the Council, but there has not been one. Employees testified at a Jan. 24 special-committee hearing that they wanted the transparent selection process they were told would occur and that community-member clients of HSD, many of whom are low-income and people of color, as well as HSD employees, should be included. Several employees spoke against Johnson’s appointment at the meeting.
I don’t see Sawant’s resolution to have a transparent selection process for HSD director to be “politicking.” I see it as ensuring that clients and employees of HSD, and taxpayers, get the right person for the job.
Denise Krownbell, Seattle Silence Breakers co-chair and 18-year city employee (City Light)
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