Seattle, Like Sacramento?

Seems like it—way too many similarities—see this story about Seattle’s homeless problems from Fox News.

Denny Park, mentioned in the story, sounds very much like the Parkway.

An excerpt.

“It took eight months, over 60 calls to 911, 10 arsons/illegal burns, five domestic violence incidents, four assaults, three sex offenses and an attempt to burn an officer alive in his patrol vehicle, to get Seattle officials to clear a massive downtown homeless encampment.  

“And the sweep came only after a private group of fed-up volunteers did their own outreach work and cleanup.  

“Does this seem reasonable? Is this putting public safety first? 

“As progressive American cities fall to homelessness – from San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, to Portland, Oregon, and New York – is it time to tackle the issues ourselves, rather than wait for city leaders to act? 

“Despite Seattle’s love affair with green space and residents who pay remarkably high taxes for park upkeep, the city has shown a complete disinterest as dangerous, unhealthy homeless encampments have commandeered Seattle parks.  

“Open-air drug deals and use are rampant. Assaults and illegal burns are frequent. Angry and hostile homeless people, many times dealing with untreated mental illness, threaten each other and the general public.  

“Then there’s the human suffering. Homeless people stuck living outdoors in a brutal Seattle winter that saw a significant snowstorm and, at times, unrelenting rain. Addicts not getting help, surrounded by piles of garbage and human waste by the ton. Domestic violence victims living on the streets without a helping hand.  

“This isn’t how you treat human beings.   

“But Seattle leaders refuse to clean up our parks and bring people into shelter. Encampments are only cleared after the situation devolves so much that people get hurt. And even then, the city slow-walks a response, refusing to take responsibility for these encampments under the false claim that there’s nowhere for the homeless to go. 

“Denny Park is Seattle’s oldest, a serene piece of greenspace surrounded by the once-bustling neighborhood of South Lake Union, home to Amazon. Since the COVID pandemic, it’s been overwhelmed with the homeless.  

“[Nearby residents] are so concerned for their safety that they no longer go into the park,” Tim Gaydos, founder of Friends of Denny Park, told me on my Seattle-based radio show. “They have their things stolen regularly, their cars broken into on a nightly basis. And they say the criminal activity in the last few months have skyrocketed around that neighborhood at Denny Park.” 

“Seattleites picnicking on the lush grass were replaced by some 70 homeless tents. The children’s play area and off-leash dog space were rendered unusable, littered with trash and used needles.  

“During the height of the defund police movement, the Seattle City Council gutted the Navigation Team, a specialized unit of police officers and social workers who connected the homeless with resources, while sweeping the growing, untenable encampments. That decision, plus a near total ban on homeless sweeps during the pandemic, make it easy to see why the situation spiraled. 

“Denny Park isn’t an anomaly. After Seattle police finally broke up an Antifa-backed occupation for homeless people at Cal Anderson Park, inside the former Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, the homeless migrated to nearby Miller Park. Now, a youth soccer organization refuses to practice there over safety concerns and neighbors say the homeless have become aggressive and violent.”

Retrieved March 22, 2021 from Jason Rantz: Seattle reaching homeless breaking point – here’s how city residents are taking action | Fox News

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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