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Public safety top of mind for many in Seattle as they vote for the next City Council

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SEATTLE - Getting coffee at Starbucks on Monday came with a dose of politics.

Employees at a number of Seattle locations were handing out a free sample of coffee along with a reminder for people to vote on Tuesday.

Monday’s efforts come on the heels of Starbucks executives sending a letter to their employees using Seattle’s public safety decline as a critical reason to care for this election.

But before many businesses got involved, it was Seattle residents who got loud, starting in 2018 when we spoke with people fed up with homelessness and property crime.

“What you are seeing here is an uprising of everyday folks who work 9 to 5,” Seattle resident Erika Nagy said.

In 2019, Q13 News has done many stories also on repeat offenders.

One that made headlines include Francisco Calderon, accused of throwing coffee on a toddler in downtown Seattle just two days after getting out of jail. Calderon at the time had more than 70 convictions.

Calderon’s sister told Q13 News earlier this year that her brother suffers from mental illness, and he did the heinous act on purpose to go back to jail. The sister says for the sake of public safety her brother needed to be involuntarily committed.

There was also Jonathan James Wilson, who police say tried to throw a stranger off the Madison Street overpass onto I-5. He had been picked up for previous assaults before the overpass incident.

Also in downtown Seattle, Christopher Morisette was arrested after randomly stabbing three people.

“What we are doing now with a small population of people who are dealing with mental illness and substance abuse is not working,” Downtown Seattle Association President Jon Scholes said.

The impact on the community is a constant cycle of assaults, harassment and shoplifting. Bartell Drugs CEO Kathi Lentzsch sat down with Q13 News back in March, sharing surveillance footage of the issues.

Then in September Bartell Drugs announced they were shutting down their 3rd and Union branch.

Meanwhile, other businesses are on the brink. In Pioneer Square, Emerald City Guitars has called 911 too many times to count.

“I am appalled. I am angry. I am frustrated over what`s going on down here and in our city in general,” Emerald City Guitars owner Jay Boone said.

For many in Seattle, public safety is top of mind.

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