The Fight for the Soul of Seattle
The city of Seattle is dying. It is now run by the criminal element without apparent care or concern from the city government or apparently even the state government. The retail core is dying, people don't feel safe and the streets of Seattle are filled with homeless drug addicts who have become the criminal element, who are consistently arrested, released, rearrested and released again and again. Because of the corruption as well as the failed policies of these city and state governments, businesses are shuttering, people are leaving and that means the city is going bankrupt.
From the description of the video documentary created by an ABC affiliate, on YouTube:
"The Fight for the Soul of Seattle" examines the role of Seattle's City Council in allowing the situation to reach what many experts consider epidemic levels under the guise of a compassionate approach to people who suffer from substance addiction and who commit crimes to feed their habit. It documents the heartbreaking condition of people on the streets, and the crushing decisions Seattle entrepreneurs are forced to contemplate as their life savings and dreams are destroyed by theft, vandalism and a dwindling customer base. This documentary also explores potential bold solutions to treat those living on the streets and pair them with agencies and assistance that can provide a clear path away from the endless circle of addiction and crime."
I am including the timeline for this video as well for those who want to skip to or go back to certain portions to study this story.
00:03:20 - Seattle eBike store, Brian Nordwell
00:07:20 - Mark Sidran, Former Seattle City Attorney
00:12:16 - Scott Lindsey, Former Public Safety for Mayor Ed Murray
00:14:35 - Ginny Burton
00:17:30 - Tom Wolf
00:20:50 - Seattle PD difficult job
00:29:00 - CHOP, Lorenzo Anderson
00:32:00 - East precinct taken back
00:33:21 - Court house protection
00:37:00 - Former Judge Ed Mckenna
00:49:07 - Seattle City Council, defund police
00:52:20 - Business fighting for survival
00:58:00 - Mental health issues, support
01:06:28 - Drug and homeless epidemic reform
01:13:30 - Travis Berge, repeat offenders
01:20:00 - Kevan Carter Jr.'s mental illness
01:26:40 - What can be done? What's the plan?
For the City of Seattle, crime has increased exponentially over the past ten years, likely due to the city's decision to not prosecute drug addicts who committed them but instead to continue letting them back out onto the streets to commit more crimes. Below are just a few examples taken from this video.
For calls to the police there have been;
50% increase in priority calls
47% increase in assault calls
47% increase in burglary calls
80% increase in domestic violence calls
AND THE MURDER RATE HAS DOUBLED!
Only six percent or less of calls to the police are for what is called nuisance calls according to the data despite what city council members are saying. There are more than 280,000 calls per year for the top three priority calls.
Near the end of this documentary, there is a suggestion for a vision of hope. This vision is, in my opinion, a good one, a compassionate one. This or something similar could be a real solution not only for Seattle but for many other places such as Los Angeles and San Francisco or Chicago or any place where there is rampant homelessness driven by drug addiction and contributing to criminal behavior. "Hope Haven" is a true vision of hope and healing.
Sure this is expensive and people say there is no money for this, yet with all of the wasteful spending I am sure some of that could be diverted to real solutions and programs to help people. These "throw away" people need real hope and real help. The bottom line is that there is a way to save many, perhaps not all, but many.
I am an advocate for involuntary commitment because I do not believe people in the deep throws of these addictions can "choose" to help themselves. They cannot decide for themselves. They need our help deciding. They are like our sick children who need us to help them get well. Jail can sometimes help people get clean and decide to change their lives but real treatment is what these people need.
As you watch video, parts of it will break your heart. Heart break is part of life. But what do we do? Was it Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Isn't it time we tried a different approach?
I am not suggesting that all criminality is related to drug addiction or that a place like "Hope Haven" is the answer for all people. There is that criminal element that just needs to be in jail or prison. But for many there is hope and we need to work to figure out real solutions, for real people.