Philip W. Eaton, the former president of Seattle Pacific University, says in this Seattle Times editorial that he moved from "the president’s home on the lovely campus of Seattle Pacific University" to downtown, saw the signs of poverty, and declared that "we are a broken city right now." The problems? Skateboards, marijuana, addicts, people with with mental illness, and, I kid you not, "gum spots." Eaton thinks upstanding men like him need to "reclaim our city" from those people. He cites the thoroughly debunked "Broken Windows Theory" (here is the newest and best research and Wikipedia cites other leading critical research) as justification for a crackdown involving more arrests and proselytizing Christian charities.
You've got to read it for yourself.
Seattle is "broken" as much as Detroit is booming. We have a stunningly low unemployment, incredible job growth, crime that's overwhelmingly down or steady, and major investments into development. We don't need to "reclaim" the city from the neediest people in society. We need to remember that this is a city with chasms of disparity between riches and poverty, accept this is a diverse city, keep in mind that downtown has nothing to gain by becoming a sanitized shopping mall, and ignore the classist braying of uninformed blowhards like this.
We need to reclaim downtown all right—reclaim it from people like Eaton.