Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. There’s Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains (see my blog header), Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and the Seattle skyline with the Space Needle. Unfortunately, not too far beneath that beauty exist local governments who seem bent on ruining the livability of their towns, by encouraging and rewarding antisocial behavior. Let’s take a look at some.
First today, we have the KOMO article describing how the Seattle City Council is preparing for the end of the “eviction moratoria” that have been in place since the government shutdowns of 2020 ejected thousands from their jobs. In the city, a large number of apartments and rental homes are owned by individuals and small companies, who have been prevented for over a year, from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent. The moratorium on evictions has helped the renters, but prevented landlords from collecting the rents that they live on. In “helping” one group, the City is in the process of ruining another group. The City Council is currently considering banning some evictions by statute. Here’s a quote from the article.
One of the bills blocks most evictions involving schoolchildren, parents and teachers. Some on the council believe removing kids from their homes will impact their learning and mental health. Another measure requires landlords to offer lease extensions to tenants after leases expire.
If you were a landlord and these laws went into effect, would you even consider renting to teachers or families with small children? Those tenants would have great power over you, with the city essentially telling them that they cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent. Why even pay rent at all, if you can’t be evicted? One instance of the encouragement of anti-social behavior. Already, many small landlords are selling their rental properties and leaving the city that has made their businesses impossible to run profitably.
Next, there is an article about homelessness in the city of Vancouver, Washington, on the Oregon border. I lived in Vancouver for a while, and I found the city a very pleasant place to live. With no sales tax in Oregon, it’s common for residents to live in Washington and shop in Oregon. Very handy money-saver! Well, it seems that Vancouver is experiencing the same problem with homeless encampments that Seattle and Portland are. So their city government is considering starting what they call “supported campsites” as a way of dealing with the expanding nuisances in town (parks taken over, bringing drugs, drug-dealing, guns, filth, and crime). In their efforts to deal with homelessness, they want to set up attended camps “all over the city”, to reduce trash and better provide services to the homeless. Here are some quotes: Boldface mine.
The proposal looks to set up small “supported campsites” across the city that have on-site services that unhoused people would need the most. It would also open designated Safe Parking Zones for people living in vehicles or motor homes.
City officials also said the plan focuses on trash cleanup in public spaces and expanding Vancouver’s homeless assistance programs while also removing barriers for access.
To me, this says that they are planning to make it easier to be homeless in Vancouver.
The city said it has removed more than 48 tons of solid waste from camps since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Once again, in their sincere efforts to help the homeless, they are encouraging antisocial behavior. Instead of reducing homelessness, these helping measures will attract more homeless to their city.
Finally, back in Seattle, we have the ongoing efforts by the city government and the police department to reduce the presence of police in the city, take away some of their duties, and make it much harder for the police officers that remain to handle violent suspects. The city and police are bent on de-escalation, reductions in use of force (with police required to “de-escalate” violent situations), and slowing the pace of responses. Here are some quotes:
The push for expanded de-escalation is meant to help officers understand how to throttle their use of force on high-risk calls to try and avoid deadly outcomes.
To that end, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission is trying to show recruits and veteran officers that slowing down the pace of a response can open more options and reduce the chance of anyone getting hurt.
My Pacific Northwest is becoming a much less pleasant place to live. This is a direct result of the city and state governments implementing plans that make it harder for their law-abiding citizens to live, make the environment less conducive to health and welfare, support criminals and homeless while hamstringing legitimate businesses with rules that make it very expensive for them to operate, and just in general taking the goodwill of their citizens for granted. This cannot last, and citizens are already leaving the state as their living costs rise and their public spaces become less accessible and given over to those who are no longer contributing to society.
The Left ruins everything it touches.