JASON RANTZ

Rantz: ‘Seattle Compassion’ from Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold will kill the homeless

Oct 18, 2019, 6:03 AM
Sawant...
Kshama Sawant. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold want to gut the Navigation Team, a specialized group of police officers and social workers who connect the homeless with shelter and other resources. Their proposals are driven by ideological agenda that will result in homeless people dying on our streets.

Shame on any of us, and any politician, that lets this happen.

We can pretend that there aren’t serious consequences to such bad ideas, perhaps out of concern that it’ll be deemed nothing but hyperbole. But we’ve been down this path before: Seattle politicians pretending to be compassionate when, in fact, they have ulterior motives. This kind of Seattle compassion has deadly consequences.

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If they cut the Navigation Team, homeless encampments will grow in our parks, our alleyways, our sidewalks, our freeway on-ramps, and off-ramps. People who live on the streets, some addicted to heroin, others addicted to alcohol, too many living with untreated mental health issues, will continue to live on the streets just in time for colder, wetter, darker nights.

Putting them in a shelter, getting them into a bed with fresh blankets, pillows and sheets, with access to showers, indoor plumbing and electricity will save these people’s lives in the short term. Putting them in mental health care treatment and connecting them with addiction services will save them in the long term.

“The bulk of the money that is used on the sweeps, is used to literally sweep human beings from one spot to another,” Sawant said this week in defense of her budget cut proposals.

Sawant is a liar. She’s not just mistaken; she’s a liar with such little respect for the voters, she doesn’t expect you’ll do any research on your own and realize she’s purposefully pushing propaganda.

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I’ve done a drive-along with the Navigation Team and I saw how they work. They went to a particularly dangerous spot in Pioneer Square to connect with homeless living in a dangerous, unsanctioned camp. These human beings were living in filth.

Their “home” smelled of human waste, trash was everywhere, and needles were strewn around. The “sweep” ended up cleaning the area and connecting a couple with a home in the tiny home village in South Lake Union.

Letting them live in an alleyway or the side of a road on a cold winter night is not compassionate. Having them use a park as a toilet is not humane.

I don’t think the system as it currently stands is perfect. But you know what? I would rather have an imperfect system where some people are getting help, than no system that keeps these people living out on the streets. They need more resources, not fewer.

Fringe activists own Sawant and Herbold. Sawant leads a cult of millennial socialists from out of district and out of town, and they’ve decided to turn Seattle into a test city for socialist policies they’d like to take national.

Herbold listens exclusively to those who agree with her, clinging to any lie or revisionist history she can, in order to stay in power. They frequently vote together, regardless of the consequences.

“Going after the Navigation Team helps them score easy political points under the guise of trying to help people living on the streets,” a source from the city of Seattle tells me.

Both Sawant and Herbold have pulled this nonsense before. Sawant owns up to it, with Herbold lying about her record.

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Mayor Jenny Durkan tries to fight back, but she’s shown no willingness or ability to get the public to rally on her side. There’s only so much a sternly worded memo will get you when dealing with ideologues who won’t give up.

But Durkan stays away from media outlets to discuss these issues in-depth and connect with voters. Sawant and Herbold don’t have this problem. Sawant is media savvy and unless you disagree with her too many times, she’ll talk to you.

Herbold uses bottom of the barrel, hack consultants, and leaks talking points to a blogger with a victim-complex that will help the councilmember shape the media narrative.

So, this up to the voters to step up and stop this from happening. If you want Seattle to get more dangerous for the homeless and for residents and businesses, do nothing. Sit back and watch Herbold and Sawant get re-elected, to be joined by socialist Tammy Morales and union-backed Dan Strauss.

Or, if you’d like to promote actual compassion — the kind that brings homeless indoors — start beating the drums and letting folks know what’s on the line.

Vote incumbents out, keep as many of the fringe candidates off our Council, and let’s do what the mayor can’t do: Save the Navigation Team and the soul of the city.

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 Compassion’ from Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold will kill the homeless