Rantz: Seattle Mayor Durkan is shockingly clueless on homelessness

Mar 21, 2019, 5:45 AM | Updated: 1:29 pm
jenny durkan...

If you want to truly understand why Seattle homelessness is so out-of-control, just review a recent comment by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. She displays a shocking bit of cluelessness.

The KOMO News documentary “Seattle is Dying” has been a renewed spotlight on a failure of leadership in the city. It’s gained national attention — I recently appeared again on Tucker Carlson Tonight on FOX News to discuss the homeless reality plaguing, and killing, Seattle.

In the aftermath of the damning documentary, Durkan is doing some Legion of Boom level defending that suggests her head if firmly planted in the sand.

“It’s unfortunate that it focused on a very limited part of Seattle,” Durkan told KOMO. “I think if you went to any neighborhood in Seattle today and told the story from Alki to Seward Park, up north to Seattle Center, you’re going to see a city that’s thriving with people who care, that’s welcoming and diverse.”

This is equal parts delusion and downright nonsense.

Though the neighborhoods she names deal with homelessness, it’s particularly perplexing that she’d highlight the Seattle Center, which has dealt with embarrassing levels of homelessness.

You’ll recall, for example, the longstanding so-called “tent mansion” just a block away from the Seattle Center. It got so big and out-of-control that it added a keg as an amenity. One of the occupants was literally in the “Seattle is Dying” documentary.

And not long after, it was the site of a dangerous attack by a homeless man on an out-of-town visitor. The homeless man, mentally ill, attacked an innocent passerby with a rope, trying to strangle him to death. Is this really the area Durkan wants to highlight as a spot not ravaged by homelessness?

And, by the way, did you see what Durkan did there? She threw in the D-word: Diverse. No one disputes the city is diverse, nor that we have people thriving, and many who care. That’s not what this issue is about, but kudos for trying to deflect with a Progressive talking point as meaningless here as your homelessness strategy.

“We have made a lot of progress in a lot of areas. I’d be happy to walk KOMO through those any time,” the mayor told them.

Interesting, since the mayor rarely visits neighborhoods outside of a couple mile radius of her home. I’d like to offer her a tour, instead, since Durkan isn’t very familiar with the city.

Perhaps she can go to Northgate? I recommend she check out the SB I-5 onramp where an out-of-control homeless encampment, recently sweeped, is rebuilding. Just a few blocks away, we’ll review the Northgate Mall parking lot where a woman was recently pricked by a needle.

How about a walk through the waterfront? Hopefully she won’t find the used condom and discarded needles that one dad — now a council candidate — found while walking with his young kids.

If she has time, perhaps Durkan can head back to Lake City, that neighborhood she forgot existed until it became politically untenable to continue to ignore. We can offer her a tour of the planters the homeless used as toilets. The city pushed the problem somewhere else by removing the planters, instead of dealing with the crisis she pretends isn’t out of control.

An innocent woman was raped in the bathroom of a Ballard car dealership after police say a homeless man followed her and attacked her. Should we include this spot in the tour? If not, perhaps a walking tour of the neighborhood where homelessness quadrupled.

Maybe we can walk with Durkan through Crown Hill, but I will recommend she wear sturdy boots. A police officer was stuck in the foot with a dirty needle while walking through Baker Park last year. He was served up a steady cocktail of drugs to combat possible HIV infection.

Let’s not forget about West Seattle, where a homeless man’s broken down 15-passenger van crashed into a health club, causing $300,000 worth of damage.

Maybe the mayor can take a selfie at the Fremont Troll where, after two years, an encampment was finally cleaned out but, already, we’re hearing reports of homeless people coming back.

Want to know why homelessness is getting worse in Seattle? Jenny Durkan is living in another reality and doesn’t think we have that big of a problem. Seattle is, indeed, dying and Durkan is hastening our city’s demise.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.


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Rantz: Seattle Mayor Durkan is shockingly clueless on homelessness