SAUL SPADY

Spady: I’m shocked that Seattle City Council is shocked

Oct 10, 2019, 8:22 AM

A recent article by KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott caught my eye because of the headline: “Seattle council ‘shocked’ over deputy chief’s prostitution statement.” In short summary of the excellent piece, Seattle Police Deputy Chief Garth Green informed the Seattle City Council that “prostitution in the North Precinct had exploded since Backpage and similar websites were shut down, forcing many who relied on them for their livelihood onto the streets.”

“We have people that are working the streets that aren’t necessarily substance abuse — they have homes … some of them choose to do what they’re doing,” Garth Green said.

How Washington’s effort led to Friday’s seizure of Backpage.com

But, it was his use of the word “choose” that caught the attention of those on the dais.

“The idea that we can conclude that women are prostituting themselves as a choice, is something that is almost shocking to even say,” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said.

Teresa Mosqueda was so upset her voice shook as she pointed out that sex workers are often victims of the economy, and only trying to sustain themselves and their family.

“In my 15 years of working on this issue from human trafficking and labor trafficking and standing up for worker’s rights,” said Mosqueda. “I have never been so shocked by such an assertion.”

Over the last four years, I’ve observed the current council ratchet up spending on homelessness by almost double; $50 million in 2015 to a proposed $100 million in 2020. I, like all of you, have read stories of violent rapes and random stabbings. We have experienced an increase in shootings on our streets.

Landmark businesses including Bartell Drugs and Macy’s have been forced out of downtown due to rampant vagrancy. International District grocer Uwajimaya briefly stopped reporting petty crimes because SPD can’t pursue sentences for repeat offenders at the behest of Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

Family homelessness has continued to be a rampant problem both in Seattle (1,500-plus individuals) and statewide (in 2018 over 40,000 public school students are experiencing homelessness in some form).

Yet nary a peep on this serious issue from our “shocked” council.

Man behind infamous Bellevue prostitution ring

This is what shocks me. Not a single member of our Seattle City Council has found any of the above shocking and yet they are viscerally insulted when a deputy police chief shares direct anecdotes from those on the street. It took an honest observational statement, from a good police officer to ignite their virtue signal ire and elicit “SHOCKED.”

When you walk to your mailbox and vote in the coming weeks, let the above story be a warning. If you want the status quo to continue, more virtue signaling and a fully barricaded echo chamber at city hall, vote for four more years of Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez. and Kshama Sawant. They obviously understand the real priorities in our city.

Just look at their recent record: A rise in homelessness and property taxes, and a decrease in safety on our streets.

Seattle City Council has banned plastic straws, but encouraged piles of trash to accumulate around our highways and in our communities. They trumpet a “Green New Deal” and taxes on heating oil, while ignoring the RVs that explode, the toxic waste spilled into our wetlands by encampments, and the needles and feces in our parks.

I wish I was as shocked as our councilmembers that their policy decisions have increased prostitution on our streets, and that I would be shocked when they are re-elected again in 30 days.

Sadly, I live in the city of Seattle, where the only thing left to be shocked about is how little voters care to make a change.

Be bold. Vote for change in 2019. Let’s stop being shocked and start working on solutions to the real problems in Seattle.

Saul Spady

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Spady: I’m shocked that Seattle City Council is shocked