Rantz: Mayor Harrell gives up on crime, says Seattle must keep itself safe

Sep 19, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2022, 10:44 am

staffing housing...

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced a housing levy plan that would increase affordable housing options to address the homelessness crisis.(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

It’s safe to say that Seattle residents are losing patience with the city on crime. Too bad Mayor Bruce Harrell has given up on keeping the city safe. All he has are empty gestures.

As a candidate, Harrell promised to address the rampant homelessness and crime plaguing the city. They’re often linked and both have worsened. Homelessness is spreading with dangerous encampments popping up all over the city. Seattle has already exceeded last year’s 43 homicides, hitting 46 last week.

So what’s the plan to deal with the crises? There isn’t one. Instead, Harrell is telling those impacted to pitch a plan to him, as if it’s their job to keep Seattle safe.

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After Seattle Lyft driver murder, Harrell says drivers should come up with ideas

A Lyft driver was murdered in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood on September 11. It prompted a downtown rally of rideshare drivers demanding a plan.

Mohamed Kediye, just 48, was a father of six. He was shot and killed while on the job, though police have not released many details about what happened or why. Still, it was one of the latest in a string of homicides surging in the city.

At the rally, drivers demanded support. They didn’t get much.

“Many of you in the rideshare industry know that industry better than me. Our best ideas on how to keep you safe are going to come from you. What we commit to doing, is in the next weeks and months, to understand what safety looks like,” Harrell told the crowd, according to KOMO TV.

This is completely unacceptable.

Harrell doesn’t know what he’s doing

The best ideas to keep rideshare drivers safe can only come from the drivers? Is that a joke?

Crime isn’t unique to the rideshare industry. It’s endemic across the city. And the burden to safely operate in a city shouldn’t be shouldered by its workforce. This is why we have government and law enforcement agencies. Perhaps it’s why things have gotten worse, not better, since he took over: He wants all of Seattle to do the job for him.

That Harrell doesn’t “understand what safety looks like” suggests he’s in over his head. Safety looks like not being shot to death while on the job. It looks like a family walking to a park without fear that an aggressive homeless person with mental illness will attack them. Safety means you can return from a vacation and not see your car or home was broken into.

This isn’t difficult and it shouldn’t take “weeks and months” to find a solution that should have been offered months ago.

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Try enforcing the law and lobbying against Democrat policies

It’s very easy to understand why crime is surging. Democrat policies have allowed it.

The city, county, and state Democrat leaders defunded police, dismantled the criminal justice system, and implemented policies and laws that created a culture of lawlessness. Consequently, the mass exodus of the Seattle Police Department, which was happening before the death of George Floyd, dramatically worsened. This was a recipe for the city’s current predicament.

Harrell doesn’t need Lyft drivers to tell him to allow the police to enforce the law. The mayor doesn’t need Lyft drivers to lobby Democrats in the state legislature to reverse its dangerous “reforms” that changed policing through a critical race theory lens. He certainly doesn’t need Lyft drivers to call out a jail that won’t book most misdemeanor suspects because King County Executive Dow Constantine pretends COVID is still an emergency.

“Seattle is on a trajectory to be one of the safest cities in this country, and I’ll make sure of that. That’s why I got elected,” Harrell said back in April to FOX 13.

That statement was emblematic of what Harrell does best: Talk. You’ll have a hard time finding a local politician who loves the sound of his own voice more than Harrell. It wouldn’t be a problem if he backed up his many, many, many words with action. But he’s yet to provide any plan to get us on the right trajectory. If conjecture and hot air worked, we’d already be the safest city in the country.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Mayor Harrell gives up on crime, says Seattle must keep itself safe