Few if any of Lorena's patronizing schemes will work as housing is not the answer to the majority of homeless, most of whom are chronic meth addicts from out-of-town who prefer their toxic lifestyle and have no interest in bettering themselves, respect for the environment, or for Seattle and its citizens.
Vote for Bruce Harrell or you are part of the problem.
I'd like to see the mentally unhealthy and junkies who will willingly go through detox get expedited for transitory housing. Since the counties drug treatment program is outpatient based and it doesn't take much imagination to get why being an outpatient in a tent next is an unrealistic expectation. Gonzalez needs to explain what her plan is for the recalcitrant, at least Harrell has something vague to say about it as a starter.
I can't believe anyone takes Gonzalez seriously. As president of the City Council, she - even more than Mayor Durkan or the Broadway Bolshevik (aka Kshama Sawant) - is 'The Woman Who Broke Seattle'. She has presided over the growth of the vagrancy problem. Anyone who thinks she can solve it is either retarded or delusional. The only people who win with her plan are the poverty pimps, grifters and profiteers who run the various entities that make up the Homeless-Industrial Complex (see: LIHI's Sharon Lee, who pays herself over a quarter-million a year in salary and benefits for her work warehousin vagrants.
Hey Lorena! Want to really solve the vagrancy problem? Here are some tips:
1) See the problem for what is is; not what you wish it was. Start by getting good data. Ask the obvious questions that no one wants to ask, like (a) where did the vagrant live where they were last self-supporting (i.e., had a job and a place to live)
2) Find out how many are (a) druggies, (b) people made mentally ill by illegal drug use, (c) mentally ill who aren't abusing drugs/alcohol, (c) runaways, (d) people with outstanding warrants, etc. You can't solve the problem unless you're honest with yourself about who the vagrants really are.
3) Make the primary goal restoring the vagrant to being a productive citizen. No housing without a commitment from the vagrant to be a partner in their rehabilitation. No more enabling self-destructive behavior by allowing 'low-barrier' housing, injection sites, etc.
4) Make funding of Homeless Services Providers (HSPs) contingent on demonstrated results. No money for grifters like SHARE/WHEEL who can't account for what they get in funding.
5) Pressure Olympia and surrounding cities to do more about the vagrant problem. It is not fair to Seattle taxpayers to be on the hook for housing transient addicts from God-knows-where. Seattle is not the region's 'Island of Misfit Toys'.
6) And the obvious: ENFORCE THE FUCKING LAWS! No camping in parks. No RV camping on city streets. Do not tolerate drug use in public, dealing, etc. Help those who are willing to work with us, and roust the rest until they get fed up and leave. They can commit suicide someplace else.
On a national basis, homeless numbers are declining, yet they're exploding in certain West Coast cities. Liberalism and permissiveness is attracting transient vagrants to these cities, not housing costs or clement weather.
Not enough sweeps for me. I'm out.
Gee, one would almost think you were running for mayor, since clearly you're a qualified expert on the subject of homelessness and have all the answers nobody has ever considered, implemented, analyzed - and rejected, because they've mostly been proven to be ineffective to actually solving the systemic problem.
But hey, you keep proposing Band-Aids for severed limbs; I'm sure there are roughly a dozen fellow travelers here on SLOG alone who will blindly parrot - er, agree wholeheartedly with your thoroughly researched, tested and approved methods. And maybe get started on that GoFundMe; after all, the next mayoral primary is only about three and a-half years from now.
6 - I found it his points worth discussing.
God what a nightmare this new initiative and platform will be.
Immediately work to move 4,000 people to housing.... In Seattle, the capital of process and bungling... yeah right. Why on earth do we want to house them in the city... its expensive. Next, they will want waterfront property and views.
Christ Wept... we are a year and a half into Covid and the city is still struggling to get federal, state grants, monies into the hand of those needing rental assistance out to tenants. So if we can't even get rental assistance out ....what is this great platform of failure going to look like?
Meanwhile, we'll tax business to pay for homeless folks...and study the problem further with more ineffectual programs, layered on top of other ineffectual programs run by mulit-layered state, local and charitable organizations...what we call in the lay world. A super cluster-fuk.
Take the homeless to a massive encampment, far, far north of the city, coordinate it with Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, under one authority... instead of a multi-layered cluster-fuk arrangement. Set up a CCC style camp, they can work on the camp, get cleaned up, counseling, drug rehab...learn a trade and actually learn to contribute to society. in exchange for their "free housing, food etc". Its not rocket science.
Obtuse, but they reflect our frustrations. I wish I had the passion that Lorena has for her vision. I really do.
"roust the rest until they get fed up and leave."
DIFFICULTY: They'll never get fed up.
"Hey you homeless person, you can't have housing unless you get a job and stop drinking."
"Ok then I'll just stay in my tent in the park."
"Well then we'll sweep up the park and clear you out!"
"Great, I'll just come back later then."
"Oh no you won't! You can't stay here!"
"Yeah? Well, I'm gonna."
"WE'LL JUST KEEP HARASSING YOU UNTIL YOU LEAVE!!!"
"Good luck with that."
"How to Dig the Hole Deeper in 100 Days", the story of Lorena Gonzalez.
While Lorena’s 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th bullet points are admirable goals they have absolutely nothing to do with solving the problem of encampments in parks.
Our vulnerable neighbors who have taken up residence in Ballard Commons aren’t there because of a lack of affordable housing. They are there because all of the money they steal is immediately traded for drugs. They do not want an affordable house, they do not want to recover, and they do not want to become productive members of society.
They simply want to spend their time stealing bikes and breaking into cars to fund their drug habits.
Focusing on economic solutions won’t solve the problem because it’s not an economic issue.
Let's go through Lorena's "plan" since we all know Rich and the Stranger are incapable of critiquing anyone who wraps themself in the progressive banner:
Rapidly assess camps etc - We are doing this now and once upon a time we had a team that even worked on it. What were they called again? Oh yeah the Navigation team and Lorena defunded them because they were too closely associated with the evil police so we just wax poetic and talk about some new magical team that can do the work and won't need police protection to go into some of these camps. lol.
Secure funding - check and check. Mosqueda passed her jump start tax and Uncle Joe showered Seattle with all kinds of Covid money. We have put people up in hotels but guess what? They end up back on the street because they refuse the services. Now that? We don't have a money problem.
More services - This is great and any politician will say this. moving on
Limit rent hikes and continue to demonize landlords - We all know rent control is forbidden and the mayor of Seattle can do nothing about it so what is she actually proposing? Plus this is Sawant's territory and she'll certainly not want Lorena getting in her spotlight.
Expand affordable child care - again any politician would say this. Lorena gives no details on where she would get the money not to mention that actual workers to do this.
Universal basic income - uh huh. more taxes.
Change outdated laws - this is already in work and will be subject to several lawsuits before its done. I haven't heard any candidates against increasing density so nothing really of substance here.
Increase funding for Equitable Development - more taxes
Look, Covid is not over and the city will be looking at a slow down in growth if not some decline in revenues over the next 4 years as businesses continue to utilize remote work and construction inevitably slows down. it will be a battle to maintain the existing Seattle programs much less look at adding new entitlements that will costs tens of millions of dollars. All these things sound good in political stump speeches but in reality most of them are DOA. What's lost in Lorena's grandstanding of course is how will she improve quality of life for the rest of us who pay the taxes, go to work and want to walk to a restaurant without worrying about getting attacked
Until there is a solution for those who refuse services, want to abuse the rest of us to feed their drug habits and just generally be anti-social nothing is going to change. I don't know the magical solution but we've done the overly compassionate approach for years now and these people just continue to shit on us (literally). Voting for Lorena is voting for more of the same.
@10 The next time you are walking by Ballard Commons take a look at the BIG tent setup over the skateboard park as a bicycle chop/drug shop, try and get close without encountering their "security." Or maybe take a walk through Woodland Park sometime and strike up a conversation with the guy with the chainsaw, cutting down trees for his bonfire.
Oh that's right you've never walked by Ballard Commons or Woodland Park because you've never been to FUCKING SEATTLE! So you really don't know what you are talking about.
Part of the sweeps need to be checking identities and searching for warrants, also checking for possession of stolen goods. And prior to the sweeps we need to be prosecuting for shoplifting, for misdemeanor assault, for all the petty crimes that are continually committed by the same people over and over again.
Do you really think it's some poor dishwasher who has lost their job, and then apartment, and now has no place to go so they just set up in a park? That's not naive, it's delusional.
Hey Rich, you are literally writing political propaganda at this point. You are not a reporter or a journalist. You're a blogging talking-head. There is little difference between you and Jason Rantz aside from your political viewpoint (and the money he makes being an asshole).
@4 AC, that's it in a nutshell.
Until homelessness is addressed as a national issue rather than a city issue, the vast majority of homeless people will go to whichever cities set up welfare states.
"I've seen the needle and the damage done...."
"Oh that's right you've never walked by Ballard Commons or Woodland Park because you've never been to FUCKING SEATTLE! So you really don't know what you are talking about."
And yet, I'm not wrong, am I?
Unless you imprison them, you're not getting rid of them. Yes?
"Do you really think it's some poor dishwasher who has lost their job, and then apartment, and now has no place to go so they just set up in a park?"
I have no idea who they are. I'm basing it on what you Seattleites have said they are: Out of state druggies. And if that's true, then no amount of money, housing, drug treatment, or temporary park sweeps will amount to anything. The only way you're getting rid of them is to pass a law saying it's illegal to be homeless (or something similar) and then arrest them and put them on trial for being homeless. Or I guess if the cops can catch them in the act of doing drugs or selling drugs or have drug paraphernalia on them then they can charge them with drug crimes. But nothing else will work. If you shoo them away they'll just come back.
MrB @3's sixth point was "roust the rest until they get fed up and leave." Well, if they're out of stater's then they've already shown just how committed they are to being homeless in Seattle. They aren't going to get fed up and leave. That's what my comment @10 was about.
@10 Urg, but you're wrong, they do get fed up when they're harassed. They will take the path of least resistance. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do or fixes anything, but it does discourage homeless coming here and setting up camp (quite literally).
Until the left-wing extremists here disable their reality distortion field, there's no conversation to be had, any more than can be had with a Trumper.
'...while tackling "root causes" by eliminating exclusionary zoning to juice housing supply, implementing stronger tenant protections to keep people in the housing they already have, and taxing corporations to pay for more affordable housing.'
As already noted above, several times, Seattle's homelessness crisis does not have economic roots, so none of this will make any difference.
And, I'll somewhat disagree with @13. There may be no candidates opposed to upzoning all of Seattle, but there are huge numbers of voters who oppose it. These voters own, and reside in, single-family homes north of the Ship Canal, in West Seattle, in Montlake, Magnolia, on Queen Anne, Beacon Hill, and even Capitol Hill. They do not want their neighborhoods turned into construction zones, especially not to increase density. They have money to spend on candidates, they tend to be well-connected politically, and they always, always, always vote. Thus, even if candidates who support city-wide upzoning do get elected, they will not succeed. It will become endless rounds of promised upzoning, each of which will founder, with no clear explanation as to why.
(And even if some upzoning succeeds -- even if all of it succeeds -- it will take years or decades to see even small increases in housing in those neighborhoods, and that housing will be at market rate -- or higher. It will not be "affordable," not without massive government subsidies which could be better spent elsewhere.)
'...and a commitment to expanding the Equitable Development Initiative to create "more affordable housing with, for, and in BIPOC communities."'
This will make the Black Brilliance Research Project look like a well-run success story. Again, even if anything good does actually come from it, it will be a small scattering of new housing units all across the South End, a few of which might, or might not, count as "affordable."
So, more overaged wine in a somewhat-new bottle from CM González. Little wonder she's fantasizing about how a nasty push-poll can, via the simple expedient of lying about her opponent, recoup her fifteen-point deficit.
@10 They don't stay in Bellevue long, because they get arrested. Not for being homeless, but for camping in a city park or shoplifting from a local store. That behavior is not tolerated.
Everyone has a plan that never sees any action. Why do you think Nickelsville is now Nickels-Metropolis?
@21 tensor that is why I mentioned any efforts of eliminating SF zoning in the city will be subject to lawsuits. The pols are either in bed with developers, believe this is a social justice cause or are salivating at spending all the new tax revenue. In any case no one with political ambitions will be campaign on less density despite the fact urbanism has so far only wrought more problems than it has solved.
It gives me hope to see so many posters not only seeing through Lorena’s bullshit but also calling Rich out on his gaslighting propaganda. I admit I didn’t think the sanity slate had a chance of winning in Nov but if the Stranger message board is finally fed up I can only imagine how the rest of the city feels.
@24: "In any case no one with political ambitions will be campaign on less density..."
Yes, they'll campaign on it, or at least agree with it to get elected. But it won't happen, for the reason I gave. Either there will be a populist revolt, or the upzone attempts will get killed quietly. (Remember the expanded Monorail? Four consecutive popular votes for it produced nothing, with no one to blame.) Lawsuits would be the last resort.
"...if the Stranger message board is finally fed up..."
I strongly suggest you review the many comments here, calling CM Sawant on her endless bullshit, in the years leading up to her re-election in 2019. Hopefully that effect won't repeat this time.
@6: Yes, slagging on other commenters poses far less of an embarrassment hazard than any attempt to defend CM González' agenda. (Please do remind us, on what subject are you a "qualified expert," again?)
@19: "Unless you imprison them, you're not getting rid of them. Yes?"
No, especially since prison is, by definition, the very best way of keeping someone here. Sweep the encampments, extradite the campers who have outstanding warrants in other jurisdictions, put the ones with local outstanding warrants on trial, offer shelter to anyone who wants it, and issue citations against the rest, impounding any stolen property found. Those in the last category can either pay the citation, stay and risk jail time for non-payment, or leave town. (Hint: a bus ticket costs less than paying the fine, and is a lesser hassle than going to jail.)
Now that Nat has quit, I see Rich has taken-up the banner of unapologetic Lorena cheerleader.
She giving you as good a deal as Nat got? lol
@6 is Lorena a qualified expert on homelessness? If so, how? She is an attorney by trade. I suppose the only thing that would qualify her as any more of an expert than anyone else here, MrB included, is her years of work with the SCC on failure after failure.
That anger you hear from people fed-up with the status-quo of Lorena and Co, that anger is justified. Borrowed a line from Lorena, there.
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