Ross: Just like at home, we cleaned up for our All-Star guests
Jul 12, 2023, 7:58 AM | Updated: 8:14 am
(Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Seattle felt a lot safer this week, and the reason appears to be the All-Star game.
The dilapidated RVs and tents in SODO miraculously disappeared, and while the official explanation is that it was just part of the city’s ongoing work in the neighborhood, I say, why not just admit that, yes, we tidied up for our guests?
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We all do it. When you throw a party, you clean the carpets. When you’re putting up out-of-town relatives, you change the sheets. You sweep the cobwebs. You drop fizzy lemon-scented tablets in the toilets.
You want to make a good impression, which is perfectly normal, and nothing to cover up.
Cleaning is hard – we all need motivation. And based on the accounts I’m hearing, even jaded Seattleites noticed a difference. I would have liked to see more of the graffiti disappear. But the point is, people felt safe.
And why not? You had a huge national event that attracted 100,000 people, all of them with money to spend and a place to be. And when you’re surrounded by people who are here to shop and have a good time, it’s contagious.
And yes, it upstages the people in crisis.
But here’s the problem when all you focus on day after day is people in crisis.
You get tired of the issue. You get a negative image of your city. And eventually, you give up because the problem looks too big.
But this week, we got a glimpse of another vision –a city full of people who are there to shop and have fun. It creates a sense of security, spreads a little optimism, and collects a ton of sales tax that could be used to make life a little easier for the people in the shadows.
You can’t put on an All-Star game every week. But there are a lot of events on the Visit Seattle Calendar, and the more people that show up, the more events there will be.
And as for the issue of whether it was indeed the All-Star Game that motivated the cleanup, my suggestion is that we stop arguing about why it was done.
Because what matters is that we now know it can be done. It just takes some motivation.
By the way – according to Wikipedia, the 2030 Olympics are still up for grabs.
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