Yesterday in this blog when I was discussing all the shootings, stabbings, and violence in downtown Seattle I forgot to mention this story.
Five days ago a homeless man was found strangled to death just three blocks from the Convention Center in downtown Seattle. It turns out that he was suicidal and asked a friend to put him out of his misery. So his associate, also a homeless man, murdered his companion and has been arrested for the crime.
Are you starting to sense the atmosphere of decay and malevolence in downtown Seattle that I have been describing in this blog for months? Desperation and despair. You can smell the anxiety in the air. A veil of melancholy shrouds the city like a thick fog. Danger appears to be everywhere.
So yesterday, in response to these shootings, stabbings, open air drug markets, prostitution, murders, assaults, rapes, and assorted felonies, King County (where Seattle is located) announced that its sheriff's office will be cut by nearly 10%. This action does little to trim the bureaucratic fat at the King County Sheriff's Office but instead falls heaviest on those deputies and detectives who actually investigate crime.
It is clear that the political elite have lost all touch with the electorate. At the very same time voters and residents are BEGGING the city of Seattle and King County for MORE police action to combat a crime epidemic in downtown Seattle, both the city and the county are shrinking the size of local law enforcement.
Real estate values are a reflection of public desires to live or work in a certain place. The large inventory of downtown Seattle condos and growing commercial vacancies, which are extensive in areas like Pioneer Square and the International District, are proof positive of this axiom.
The city of Seattle and King County are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue by failing to address what are basic concerns over livability and safety. Residents (prospective ones too) vote with their feet and pocketbooks, as well as at the ballot box in November.
Bureaucrats please take note.
By the way, the photograph above is of a drug addict named Shanna who lives under the I-5 overpass on Pike Street in downtown Seattle. According to the reporter who wrote an article on her, she has been living under the highway for more than a year shooting up drugs with other homeless men and often turning tricks as a prostitute to do it. The buildings in the background of the photo are some of Seattle's finest hotels. The location in the picture is four blocks from the Washington State Convention Center which welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.