Venezuela is dying, California is dying, Seattle is dying .. Why? One word: Socialism!
Seattle Is Dying. It’s a harsh title. Someone on social media even called it a “hopeless” title. I’ll admit to you that I wrestled with the name for some time. Too dramatic, I wondered? Too dark? In the end I went with it because I believe it to be true. I believe that Seattle is dying. Rotting from within.
This show, that we’ve been working on for several months now, is really the third in a kind of trilogy.
The first was called “There But For the Grace of God…” It explored homelessness from the inside out in 2016.
The second was called, “Demon at the Door.” It was about the hellish existence of heroin addiction.
This one is about everyone else.It’s about citizens who don’t feel safe taking their families into downtown Seattle. It’s about parents who won’t take their children into the public parks they pay for. It’s about filth and degradation all around us. And theft and crime. It’s about people who don’t feel protected anymore, who don’t feel like their voices are being heard.
This program is not about demonizing those who are struggling with addiction and homelessness and mental illness. On the contrary. Instead, it asks the question, “Why aren’t we doing more? Why don’t we have the courage to intervene in lives that are, in the face of a grave sickness, reeling out of control?”
It’s called, Seattle is Dying, and I believe the title to be true. But it’s not a hopeless program. There are ideas and concepts in the show that could start conversations about change.
Mostly, I want it to be a reminder that this is not normal. This is not the way it has to be. This is not right.
Socialism is incompetence
Local officials react to KOMO News Special
SEATTLE — Seattle is Dying gave a voice to the voices we typically don’t hear from – police officers, habitual offenders and those living with addictions and homelessness. The intent was to hear from those people dealing with these issues at the ground level on the street.
In fairness, KOMO News did not ask politicians and experts in the field about the issues because we have heard from them before.
“I did see the special,” says Mayor Jenny Durkan when asked the question following a swearing-in event for two city department heads.
She was asked if she thought the special was fair.
“It’s unfortunate that it focused on a very limited part of Seattle,” she said. “I think if you went to any neighborhood in Seattle today and told the story from Alki to Seward Park, up north to Seattle Center, you’re going to see a city that’s thriving with people who care, that’s welcoming and diverse.”
Seattle is Dying shared candid view points from Seattle Police officers who responded anonymously to survey sent out by KOMO News. A common sentiment shared by respondents was a frustration with city leaders allegedly not letting them enforce common camping and loitering laws. Many said addicts need help getting off the street and into treatment.
“We have made a lot of progress in a lot of areas. I’d be happy to walk KOMO through those any time,” the mayor said. “The City of Seattle controls most of the shelter capacity but the mental health and the addictions dollars are with the county and the state.”
As a King County Council member, Kathy Lambert is one of those in control of the mental health and addiction dollars.
“I thought it was a very fair representation — it’s exactly what I hear from people about how they feel about coming to Seattle,” Lambert said reacting to the special. “They don’t feel safe in Seattle anymore, its dirty, and when you see those statistics that 100 people are responsible for 3,600 crimes — that is frightening.”
Lambert wants to explore new programs that have shown success such as the Rhode Island program featured in the special, that offers addiction treatments to inmates in state prison.
“I used to work with people who are drug addicts and I realize that compassion is not allowing them to continue like this but actually giving them a hand up,” Lambert said. “If you see someone on the street that’s bleeding you just don’t walk by and say ‘well when you want to stop bleeding let me know I’ll help you,’ you call for help immediately and I think that’s what we are seeing on the streets of Seattle today, it’s time to call for help immediately.”
Community homeless advocate Matthew Lang did not think the special was fair and believes it preyed on people’s fear and stereotype of the homeless.
“I don’t think it was really representative of the people who live in Seattle,” says Lang. “I think it needed the voice of the community supporters of the unhoused that are doing work with them.”
Lang would like to have heard from the people who spend their days trying to find homes for the homeless and the people who treat those with addictions.
Seattle is dying , who is killing Seattle?
Video: Chinese Radio Seattle