In 2017, Seattleites nearly elected a slam poet as mayor. The 31-year-old biracial, queer, poetry artist and community organizer named Nikkita Oliver came in a close third to be the city’s top executive. While on the campaign trail at a slam poetry club, Oliver said the best way to push back against the Trump administration and to achieve a ‘real sanctuary city that is about equity,’ voters in Seattle must cast their ballot for her genitalia.
‘When you go into a community that is struggling and you put the money in a woman’s hands it’s more likely to benefit the community as a whole. This is science, y’all,’ she said being interviewed on a dimly-lit stage by a Gargantua of indeterminate sex or ethnicity sporting a bowtie and trucker hat.
Seattle did elect a female mayor that year, just not Oliver, and her theory about chromosomes determining the best municipal managers appears to be not panning out. Seattle’s city council is also two-thirds female and the city is dying.
Oliver received the endorsement of city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist and a former software engineer, who led the charge on a ‘head tax’ on all Amazon employees that would go to pay for ‘social housing’. She blames capitalism for Seattle’s homeless epidemic. As Sawant campaigned across the city for the head tax, unions showed up to shout her down. The measure passed but was then repealed by the city council.
Down the coast, in San Francisco, a heated battle underway at the Embarcadero waterfront over a proposed homeless shelter is a microcosm for the despair gripping our once beautiful, alabaster cities as they are consumed by dirt and disease under the tyranny of one-party, progressive rule. But in San Francisco, don’t you dare call them ‘homeless shelters.’ They’re known as ‘navigation centers.’
Real estate is so expensive in the City by the Bay that the mayor, London Breed, a born and bred San Franciscan, can’t afford a home there. She’s been a lifelong renter. Breed quite literally inherited a city drowning in human feces. It’s a far cry from the 1970s when Harvey Milk, the nation’s first openly gay elected official marched into City Hall campaigning on one issue: dog poop.
‘Whoever can solve the dogshit problem can be elected mayor of San Francisco, even president of the United States,’ he said. Today a website tracking reports of human excrement on the streets of San Francisco documented 28,000 incidents in 2018, up from 5,500 in 2011. Mayor Breed has stated she will not enforce penalties for public human defecation. The fine for leaving dog poop on the streets, however, remains $350. Researchers believe contamination levels in parts of San Francisco may be among the worst in the world, higher than slums in Brazil, Kenya, or India.
In April, at a meeting about the Embarcadero project, activists shouted over Breed, booed her, and chanted ‘go home.’ The city is descending into social justice civil war, pitting rich, young progressives against rich, old NIMBY progressives. Amid the chaos of that meeting, you ought not be surprised to find a frothing, purple-haired tech worker suddenly aghast to realize she’d been hurling insults across the room at her own boomer liberal dad.
The Embarcadero project Breed is selling to her city is a 44,000 square foot Navigation Center. The design looks like a boutique resort that belongs nestled between the sugar cube homes of Mykonos. Breed’s sales pitch focused on the homeless shelter’s many flattering design elements, including outdoor spaces bathed in fragrant bougainvillea, breezy trellised walkways, accommodations for pets, and sweeping, million-dollar views of the Bay Bridge. Free, luxury living for San Francisco’s street-poopers.
Opponents of the shelter have raised nearly $100,000 on GoFundMe, prompting supporters to start their own GoFundMe. But if real estate scarcity is the problem in San Francisco, no one is talking about the glut of foreign money in the market. Chinese billionaires, paying above market and in cash, ceaselessly gobble up homes in San Francisco. Most of these properties sit empty. Wealthy Chinese spent nearly $13 billion on homes in California last year alone.
On the West Coast, another villain aids the collapse of our cities: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nation’s highest, Left-wing authority, in a lawsuit backed by the Obama administration, slapped down an anti-vagrancy law in Boise, Idaho, consequently making tent cities legal. This year, homeless advocates attempted to legalize camping in Denver’s parks and public spaces. A battle raged over ballot initiative 300. In a city that only voted 19 percent for Donald Trump in 2016, voters shot down the referendum to legalize vagrancy by 83 percent. Homeless advocates are expected to take the issue to court, where the voters may lose.
For conservative internet celebrities, if you’re visiting the West Coast, it is now standard issue content to pay a visit to Skid Row in Los Angeles, or any other tent city up the coast, to marvel at the decay. Fox News has steadily reported on the crisis. It’s a cherished sight for right-wing media. The intent is always to humiliate inept Democrats and show the devastation their policies leave in the wake.
But these leaders aren’t bothered. There’s something more sinister at play. Perhaps the homeless epidemic isn’t due to incompetence or bad municipal management, but that city leaders are encouraging it to fester, in fact, they love it and they want more of it, all in a power grab to raise taxes, beat back capitalism, and crowbar themselves into the real estate market. Maybe they are nurturing the crisis to push through with their singular vision to cure all of mankind’s ills: more government, more services, more socialism.
Seattle’s city leaders may be the most honest, or sloppy, in revealing who this new class of municipal managers are, and what they want. All of Seattle’s city leaders have blamed the homeless epidemic that is destroying their city on housing shortages and have used the crisis to push for higher taxes and more socialized housing. Yet, every police officer on the beat, and dozens of homeless interviewed in a recent documentary about the crisis confessed that 100 percent of Seattle’s homeless are in the throes of drug addiction.
‘If we won’t even name the thing that is destroying Seattle, what hope do we have in fixing it?’ one officer told local news station KOMO.
Police officers in these progressive utopias have been stripped of their power and authority and are increasingly demoralized. Their jobs, they feel, are now meaningless. Seattle has the second highest rate of property crimes in the nation, next to San Francisco. 46 percent of police reports there are never even investigated. Only 18 percent result in convictions.
‘It is wrong to conflate homelessness with crime,’ Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan has said.
‘You can’t arrest your way out of this problem,’ City Attorney Pete Holmes told reporters, issuing a directive to stop prosecuting civility crimes.
By castrating law enforcement, they’ve eliminated any alternative to their plan. As long as Trump Derangement Syndrome festers in liberal enclaves, these city leaders aren’t concerned with losing elections. If residents of San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle want the problem to go away, they have no choice but to fork over more power, more money, and more land.
They fundamentally don’t care about the places they were elected to lead. Their ambitions are national, and global. As Seattle city councilwoman Sawant told The Nation magazine, ‘As socialists, we are also internationalists. To the core, it’s a recognition that capitalism is a global system,’ she said. ‘That’s why our links are not with Americans who are our bosses, but working people in India or Mexico or Brazil.’