Press Releases

SEATTLE, WA – Today the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations announced that $60 million dollars will be included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations bill for the creation and expansion of alternative crisis response teams across the country. Earlier this year, Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) sent a letter with their colleagues to the Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-Texas) requesting this funding be included in the appropriations bill to enable the growth of crisis response teams to help better address the mental health, behavioral health, and substance use crises that communities across the country are grappling with.

See below for the statements of support from community organization leaders:

“In One Seattle, every person deserves to feel safe and supported. Diversifying our crisis response options and expanding our public safety toolkit allow for improved response times and capacity. This investment will help Seattle continue to advance innovative solutions to keep residents healthy and safe and allow law enforcement to focus where they’re needed most.” - Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell

“The behavioral health crisis that we are experiencing here in Seattle and King County is among the greatest of threats to our community’s wellbeing. People are suffering and even dying in the streets because of our society’s failure to invest in the housing and healthcare infrastructure needed to treat and heal sick people. The traditional criminal justice responses are ineffective and harmful with respect to these issues. We must build up our alternative crisis response systems now before we lose even more lives to this preventable and treatable crisis.” - King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay
 
“As we address the behavioral health crisis, there are three questions we are all solving for: Who can we call? Who will come? Where will they go? 988 coming online in July will start the answer to the first one. Critical conversations with Behavioral Health Specialists, health care centers, Fire and Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, Tribes, King County Regional Homelessness Authority and more are forging a path toward answering the second one. However, the final question remains a critical missing piece of the puzzle. Having an integrated, functioning approach to this last question will start us on the path of ensuring that critical behavioral health issues might just be a blip in someone’s life on their road to stabilization, rather than the catastrophe individuals and society at large keep facing simply by our lack of integration and coordination. Rep. Smith’s leadership in pursing support at this level would be monumental in moving the needle in this area.” - King County Councilmember Sarah Perry
 
"Lavender Rights Project supports large investments in alternative responses to mental health crises and emergency situations. It is important for Black and Trans communities to have responders that are experts in handling the challenges that only we face, with trauma-informed modalities that are specific to our populations. Traditional 911 responses often escalate and become deadly because responders have not been properly trained to understand our community and needs. We believe this action will save lives and protect our community." - Jaelynn Scott, Executive Director, Lavender Rights Project
 
“I don’t think you have to look any further than what happened to George Floyd to know that an armed police response is not always the right way to handle a 911 call. But if you look at our data, nearly a third of these calls are labeled ‘nonurgent,’ and even of those that are labeled 'urgent' could be handled, and would actually be better handled, by trained mental health professionals and other community responders without an armed police presence both across the country and regardless of regional differences. We need to let cops be cops, but to do that, we need to adequately fund auxiliary services.” - Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.), Executive Director, Law Enforcement Action Partnership
 
“The Alternative Mobile Services Association supports the efforts of Congresspersons Cori Bush, Adam Smith, and others, to support the local efforts of cities and counties across America to provide community-based crisis responders to bolster our public safety and public health system. We fully endorse an increase of $100 million dollars in the upcoming Appropriations bill.” - Jason Renaud, Facilitator of the Alternative Mobile Services Association
 
“Crisis response funding is critical in maintaining and sustainability in the livelihood of communities when crisis occurs. Sufficient funds lessen the impact the negative impact on humanity and community. To have sufficient funding available is a necessary proactive approach in sustainability and recovery when crisis occurs which will happen!” - Dr. Linda Smith, SKY/Renton KC Alliance for Justice

Find more information about Reps. Smith’s and Bush’s request to the House Committee on Appropriations, including a link to their letter, here.

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Decision Robs Millions of Americans of Their Bodily Autonomy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which breaks from more than 50 years of precedent and strips millions of Americans of their reproductive rights.

“Today’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade means that millions of Americans will be stripped of their right to make deeply personal and medical decisions about their own bodies and futures. In a country built on the principle of freedom, this decision bulldozes over the freedom of millions. As a staunch advocate for reproductive rights and a woman’s right to choose, I am enraged, saddened, and fearful.

“The Republican party has been working towards this day for decades, and they won’t stop here. Republicans in the House and Senate have made it clear they intend to pass a federal abortion ban if they regain control of Congress, a proposal that the majority of Americans vehemently disagree with. This ban cannot become a reality.

“Central to Roe is the idea that any person should have the right to choose whether to get an abortion and the right to privacy in that decision without undue government interference. The Court’s ruling today goes far beyond reproductive rights – it tramples Americans’ right to privacy and puts all personal liberties at risk. The threats against our liberties are not theoretical. Justice Thomas is now calling on the court to reconsider landmark rulings that protect the right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.

“Now is the time for action. The stakes are too high. I was proud to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act last September that would codify into law the right to an abortion for every person regardless of socioeconomic status or zip code. We cannot allow states to pick and choose which Americans get full rights and autonomy to determine their health, well-being and future. The Senate must end the undemocratic filibuster so that Democrats can pass meaningful legislation to codify those rights the Supreme Court would otherwise strip away from us. America will only remain the land of the free if we are brave enough to take a stand.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, by a vote of 234 to 193, sending this life-saving legislation to the President’s desk. Once signed into law, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will become the most significant piece of gun violence prevention legislation in nearly 30 years.

“Far too many Americans have been affected by the devastating consequences of gun violence, and today Congress finally acted to better protect our children, families, and communities. The entire country felt the collective pain when tragedy recently struck in Buffalo and Uvalde and we mourned the loss of 10 Black community members, two elementary school teachers, and 19 fourth graders who had their entire lives ripped away from them in senseless acts of violence. For years, as the country has faced mass shooting after mass shooting, Americans have demanded action to address gun violence. Finally, Congress is taking meaningful action on the issue.

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act makes real progress by addressing all forms of gun violence. From suicide and domestic violence to gun violence in our cities and mass shootings, this legislation creates commonsense gun safety regulations to tackle the problem from all angles. Unfettered access to firearms and weapons of war is the primary reason there is a gun violence crisis in our country. That’s why this bill includes provisions that strengthen our background check system, create a mechanism to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or others and enact the first federal ban on gun trafficking. This bill also includes historic amounts of funding to expand mental health and tele-health programs in our schools and communities.

“This piece of legislation on its own is not enough to end our country’s gun violence problem, but it will no doubt save lives. I commend the leaders on both sides of the aisle who came together to craft this legislation and deliver real change for the American people. It is my hope that the negotiations that got us to this point have created a foundation for additional reforms in the future so that we can finally put an end to gun violence in America.”

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The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act would:

  • Provide funding for the development and implementation of crisis intervention orders in every state, including so called "red flag" laws that would allow courts to temporarily remove guns from people who pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • Close the “boyfriend loophole,” which prohibits domestic abusers who have assaulted a girlfriend or ex-girlfriend from buying or owning a gun;
  • Enhance and strengthen background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21, including a call to the local police department to see if the individual is in crisis, providing a critical “cooling off” period;
  • Create a first of its kind federal ban on gun trafficking and straw purchasing to help stop the flow of illegal guns into our cities;
  • Clarify who is required to register as a federally licensed commercial gun dealer, to get additional gun purchases through the background check system;
  • Make a historic investment in our nation’s mental health care system, including expanding community health centers, school based health centers, and telehealth services;
  • Provide funding for school and community safety programs that would make our school campuses safer and expand anti-violence programs in our cities.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement announcing the successful inclusion of over $24 million for 15 community projects across Washington’s Ninth District in the House Committee on Appropriations Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills.

“It is crucial that we do a better job of getting federal dollars directly into communities of need across the country. That’s why I am thrilled to announce that the House Committee on Appropriations included my 15 community project requests in the FY 2023 House appropriations bills, investing over $24 million in the Ninth District,” said Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash). “Community leaders and organizations across the Ninth are rising to meet the challenges we face. Additional funding will help give these organizations the resources they need to continue and expand upon their life-changing work. The 15 projects will go a long way to address some of our region’s most pressing challenges, including housing, health care, workforce development, substance use and mental health, and economic development. Importantly, these projects focus on supporting some of the most vulnerable and underserved members of our community, including women and children, seniors, refugees and immigrants, unhoused individuals, low-income communities, and communities of color. I am proud that these projects are included in the appropriations bills this year and look forward to passage by the House in the coming weeks.”

See below for the full list of Community Project Funding requests submitted by Rep. Smith for FY 2023.

Find more information about the FY 2023 Community Project Funding requests, including project descriptions here.

El Centro de la Raza - Pattison’s West Community Campus Property Acquisition
Amount: $4 Million
Location: Federal Way
 
Somali Health Board – Somali Community Cultural Innovation Hub
Amount: $4 Million
Location: Rainier Valley, Seattle
 
Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women (ANEW) – Pre-Apprenticeship Commercial Driver’s License Program
Amount: $675,000
Location: South King County
 
Plymouth Housing – Eastgate Permanent Supportive Housing and Health Clinic
Amount: $1 Million
Location: Bellevue
 
Friends of Little Saigon – Little Saigon Landmark
Amount: $4 Million
Location: Little Saigon, Chinatown - International District, Seattle
 
Low Income Housing Institute – Skyway Affordable Housing and Early Learning Center
Amount: $750,000
Location: Skyway (unincorporated King County)
 
African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest – African Business Innovation Center (ABIC)
Amount: $750,000
Location: Tukwila
 
Sea Mar Community Health Centers – Kent Medical Clinic and Affordable Housing Mixed Use Facility
Amount: $2.2 Million
Location: Kent
 
Central District Community Preservation and Development Authority (CD CPDA) – McKinney Center Capital Project
Amount: $1 Million
Location: Central District, Seattle
 
Southeast Seattle Senior Foundation – Southeast Seattle Affordable Housing and Home Ownership
Amount: $750,000
Location: Rainier Valley, Seattle 
 
Congolese Integration Network - Washington Refugee Healing Center
Amount: $500,000
Location: SeaTac
 
UTOPIA – Mapu Maia Clinic
Amount: $500,000
Location: Kent
 
Public Defender Association – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program
Amount: $1.5 Million
Location: Chinatown-International District and Southeast Seattle
 
City of Renton – Logan Place Market
Amount: $1.5 Million       
Location: Renton
 
Cowlitz Indian Tribe – Cowlitz Tribal Health Clinic
Amount: $1 Million
Location: Tukwila

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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement in honor of Juneteenth:

“One hundred and fifty-seven years ago, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and delivered the news that all enslaved Americans were free following the conclusion of the war. Juneteenth marks the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, but it also serves as a reminder of the ongoing injustices that Black Americans face to this day. From inequitable access to education and economic opportunity, to health disparities and the threat of police brutality, that is the Black experience in America and it must change. In Congress I remain committed to doing everything in my power to fight hate and racism and I will not stop until every American has equal opportunities to succeed.”

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