In Seattle, the City Council passed, over the Mayor’s veto, a bill to reduce the budget of the police department. Included in this bill was a provision to eliminate the Navigation Team (wherever did they get that name? It says zero about what the team actually does.) that has been doing (ineffective) outreach to the so-called “unsheltered” population of the streets of the city.
First is a story about the proposed new outreach team from the city. Here is a very interesting quote from the KOMO article. From the mayor’s response:
This proposal is a first step in addressing Mayor Durkan’s significant concerns about the elimination of all City resources to coordinate outreach and mitigation of health and safety impacts at unmanaged encampments. In the coming weeks, the City will prepare to operationalize this plan to scale outreach, shelter, and address the most hazardous encampments that pose a risk to encampment residents or surrounding communities. As Council knows, outreach and mitigation at those encampments that present significant public safety or health risks may continue to need the support and services of the Seattle Police Department. This bill would attempt to reduce the number of such cases by expanding outreach.
Please notice that the city is giving a higher priority to addressing risks to the homeless over the risks to the residents of surrounding communities. I think that the taxpaying citizens of Seattle might not be too happy about that, if they actually read this article.
And then, another story about those poor, unsheltered, residents of Seattle.
I wonder how those taxpaying citizens of Ballard are liking the ubiquitous homeless camps in a formerly pleasant city neighborhood. I used to live in Ballard. With the defunding of the police, my crystal ball tells me that those taxpayers are in for more, not fewer, homeless camps in their neighborhoods, accompanied by high levels of crime and drug use and trafficking.
The citizens of Seattle deserve the government they elect.