If you thought Seattle and King County's response to homelessness couldn't get much worse, well, County Executive Dow Constantine just did the political version of "Hold my beer".
Executive Constantine and Seattle's mayor, Jenny Durkan, held a press conference yesterday to announce a partnership with the business community to be more accountable to fixing (or stopping) homelessness.
KOMO News covered this press conference and the story with video of Executive Constantine is linked here.
For anyone paying attention to the on-going homeless/crime problems around Seattle, the red flags start immediately waving when you see the headline, "local leaders announce new 'unified entity' to combat regional homelessness".
It doesn't get much more vague and confusing than the term "unified entity". Are we're trying to help (prevent) the homeless(ness) or win The Cold War? Unified entity sounds like CIA-speak for spy craft.
Perhaps this press conference wouldn't be so alarming and infuriating if this was 2008 instead of 2018. Ten years ago this concept of bringing the business and philanthropy communities together to stem the rise in homelessness would be reasonable, but now as we approach 2019 this seems like yet another example of too late and too unfocused to have any credibility.
And with credibility already in extremely short supply for Seattle/King County's response to stopping homelessness, Executive Constantine lowered the collective trust in the local politicians by stating, ""We're going to be building this plane as we're flying it." That is not an encouraging sign if you're looking for any sort of results or metrics when it comes to reversing Seattle's feckless response to homelessness/drug addiction.
After seeing how Seattle and King County have handled the response to drug addiction and homelessness for 10+ years, I have one message for Executive Constantine about this justification he provided for the new "unified entity": I don't want to fly with a pilot who says "We're going to be building this plane as we're flying it."
King County deserves better leadership.