JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Residents literally beg Seattle leaders for help on homelessness, crime

Oct 21, 2020, 9:25 PM | Updated: Oct 22, 2020, 5:45 am

Residents and business owners in Seattle are literally begging city leaders for help as homelessness and crime take over neighborhoods.

Parks are covered in tents with used needles left near playgrounds. Employees are being hassled by aggressive homeless individuals near their offices. Homeowners witness daily criminal acts.

Unfortunately, the city council and mayor’s office is, again, ignoring the community. It’s what they do. And honestly it’ll never change, so let that sink in.

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Seattle taxpayers are ignored

A decade after fighting to keep a green space from becoming a parking lot, residents in Lake City no longer have Albert Davis Park. The council and mayor gave it to criminal homeless.

The 50-tent encampment at the small park isn’t just an eyesore. It’s dangerous.

“I’ve seen a young girl literally pulled out of a vehicle yelling, pulled into a tent while I’m on the phone with 911. By the time police came, she was gone. They couldn’t find her,” a neighbor told KIRO 7 TV.

And, like everyone else in the community, this neighbor can’t bring her kids to the park.

“To tell your son or daughter, ‘I’m sorry you can’t go outside and play. You live across the street from a park, and you can’t go out and play,’” she said. “Frankly, being scared to leave your house.”

A similar issue plagues Georgetown, where RVs line streets and homeless occupants sell stolen goods at all hours of the night.

“The crime has escalated,” Dawna Holloway, board member for the Georgetown Merchants Association, told KOMO. “People are getting broken into every night.”

JW Harvey owns Orcas Business Park. He’s literally begging for help: “I’m tired of being the police officer of my business park – I need help.”

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Seattle council and mayor are silent

The stories above aren’t outliers. They’re the norm.

Ballard Commons Park looks like a refugee camp. Denny Park is a dangerous, olfactory nightmare. Pioneer Square and SODO have become hellscapes. And the common thread with all of the complaints? City leaders ignoring our pleas.

KOMO reports the Georgetown Merchant’s Association said 50 of their members reached out to councilmember Tammy Morales, but not a single one got a response. KIRO 7 TV said they reached out to councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda, chair of the Select Budget Committee, and Debora Juarez, whose district includes Lake City. Neither of the members responded.

South Lake Union’s issues? Councilmember Andrew Lewis offered no response to our interview request. Ballard? Good luck getting councilmember Dan Strauss to respond to an email. He ignores complaints.

And where is the mayor? She’s busy wishing Sue Bird a happy birthday on Twitter. Running a city is of little interest.

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We’re all saps

Part of the problem here is that we’re saps. It’s a harsh reality.

We pay our taxes, we play by the rules, we respectfully reach out to city leaders for help, and that’s why we’re ignored. We’re an endless bank account to this council and mayor.

They’ll pander for a few months when they’re up for election. They’ll flat out lie to you. Then, when in power, they’ll ignore the very people who put them in office.

In Seattle, the only people who have influence are the ones who burn down buildings, try to kill cops, or blatantly violate the law by shooting up in parks and using sidewalks as toilets. Criminal activists break the law and they get the council to defund the police. Homeless advocates demand an end to sweeps and, just like that, the sweeps end.

This is a shame, of course, not because we’ll have to break laws to get noticed. But because we rightly refuse to break them and will continue to be ignored.

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Rantz: Residents literally beg Seattle leaders for help on homelessness, crime