Seattle, formerly known as The Emerald City, continues it’s transition into the San Francisco on Puget Sound.
That’s not a good thing.
Picking up from the reports on Seattle’s death throes chronicled previously here and here, City Journal writer Christopher F. Rufo has posted a story titled Emerald Trash Heap on the latest machinations of The Ruling Class from their continuing cruise on De Nile:
Over the past few years, Seattle has become a dumping ground for millions of pounds of garbage, needles, feces, and biohazardous waste, largely emanating from the hundreds of homeless encampments that have sprouted across the city. Now, the Emerald City is on the verge of a full-blown public-health crisis. Last year saw a 400 percent increase in HIV infectionsamong mostly homeless addicts and prostitutes in the city’s northern corridor. Public-health officials are sounding the alarms about the return of diseases like typhus, tuberculosis, and trench fever. Even the region’s famed mussels and clams have tested positive for opioids.
While anyone who travels through Seattle can see the trash and litter along the roadside and green spaces, I wanted to understand the scale of the problem with more quantitative precision. Last month, I requested from the city all public complaints about trash, needles, tents, feces, and biohazardous waste from 2018. I then geocoded each complaint to create a data visualization that I call the Great Seattle Trash Map. The map documents more than 19,000 citizen complaints, from mundane reports of abandoned appliances to more serious pleas to clean up dangerous waste. Each data point on the map demonstrates that homeless encampments, opioid addiction, and mental illness have created significant disorder in almost every corner of Seattle.
As the trash map reveals, a solution is possible. Seattle’s most elite neighborhoods—Madison Park, Broadmoor, Laurelhurst, and Windermere—have avoided the garbage plague. Neighbors in these enclaves have pushed back against tent encampments and, in some cases, hired private security firms to implement what is, in effect, localized Broken Windows policing. These neighborhoods logged almost no complaints in all of 2018.
Seattle’s leaders should give the rest of the city’s neighborhoods the same kind of protection.
Rufo is all over this story. He’s doing great work giving this sad story of a city in terminal decline the exposure it needs.
The Seattle television station KOMO documentary on the issue can be accessed here.