Seattle's 'progressive' politicians proudly stand up for immigrants and women. Their vocal advocacy for those two demographics are usually the backbone of campaigns and political policy in Seattle. But the advocacy quickly becomes lip service from those same political figures when it comes to how Seattle politicians and officials handle the on-going problems of drug addiction, repeat criminals and homelessness in the city.
Right now, during the virus pandemic restrictions, the new hot spot for crime/homeless problems in Seattle has become 2nd Avenue where the downtown core flattens to meet Pioneer Square. KOMO's Matt Markovich has been at the forefront of tracking homeless-related issues, political policy and the actual real world life (strong synonym) of what's happening on Seattle streets. His latest story shows that Seattle politicians are putting some of the constituencies they profess to support the most in serious jeopardy because of their refusal to deal honestly with the drug addicted homeless problems. You can watch the story by clicking the embedded link in this tweet below.
Seattle politicians proudly say Seattle is a welcoming city to immigrants. It strains credulity to reconcile that claim when you hear about the plight of Hamza Albadan, owner of Main St. Gyros who tells KOMO News, "Its now, its getting so dangerous. Homeless, its now, almost they take over the city." Albadan's restaurant security cameras capture video clips of criminals breaking in to steal whatever they can grab. Its a constant battle to safeguard your business from thieves and those costs (for security systems, high insurance claims, lost supplies, damaged doors and windows, etc) merely get passed on to customers or else the business goes bankrupt.
That means Seattle residents are paying more for everything they buy in the city as store owners have to guard against crime. That cost to the consumer, in turn, means less money in their pocket to pay for rent. And then the same Seattle politicians complain that housing affordability is the reason they need to raise taxes on the businesses with the biggest payrolls like Amazon.
If Seattle politicians were really concerned with protecting immigrants and renters they would solve the repeat criminal and homeless problems first. It could be done relatively quickly if they just showed some back bone to underscore that drug addiction, repeat criminals and homeless camping will not be allowed on city streets (parks, underpasses, right-of-way, etc).
And that brings us to the plight of women who have probably been subjected to the most violence as Seattle tarries in its drug-addicted homeless response.
In the KOMO story above, Jessica Primavera, tells the frightening confrontation of having a homeless man cough on her, claiming he had COVID-19. In the midst of the virus pandemic a confrontation in Seattle streets doesn't get more chilling than that. She tells KOMO, “He ran up after me and yelled in my face COVID and then purposely coughed in my face, “ she said. “He was very aggressive about it and I continued to run as fast as I could to get away.”
There are three well known sexual assault cases in Seattle during recent years involving women attacked by homeless men. One at a car dealership bathroom in the Ballard neighborhood.
Another inside the public bathroom at Golden Gardens Park at Shilshole Bay.
And another woman jogging near Greenlake as she trained for the New York Marathon told KVI's Kirby Wilbur she believes the suspect who was never caught was from a nearby homeless camp.
Women, immigrants and vulnerable renters in Seattle will all be in greater danger in this city as long as Seattle's city council and mayor fail to adequately address the failed response to drug addiction, repeat criminals and homelessness. More Seattle residents need to band together and demand real solutions from city officials. We don't have to accept this continuing failure and allow so much harm to immigrants, women and renters.
Phil Vandervort is the morning show producer for The John Carlson Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI.