Seattle

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The Harm in “Harm Reduction”

As cities in the United States, including San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and Seattle, consider opening their own safe-injection sites, they should understand the full consequences of these practices. Read More ›
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Cult Programming in Seattle

Last month, the City of Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights sent an email inviting “white City employees” to attend a training session on “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.” Read More ›
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Photo by Julio Rosas

The State of CHAZ

The new state of CHAZ has evolved. Over the past week, left-wing protesters have transformed the surrounding neighborhood into the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), hoping to create a new political authority based on social-justice principles. Read More ›
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Photo by the Black Rose Organization.

Anarchy in Seattle

Seattle’s hard-Left secessionist movement has claimed its first territory: six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Read More ›
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Discovery Founding Chairman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Seattle Business Magazine

Discovery Institute founding board chair Tom Alberg, who served on the board from 1991 to 2004, has been given a lifetime achievement award by Seattle Business Magazine for what they call his “uncanny knack for anticipating tech’s next blockbuster hit.” In addition to his tech senses, he also has a deep understanding of transportation and mobility challenges in the Puget Read More ›

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An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis

By latest count, some 109,089 men and women are sleeping on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon, and Washington. The homelessness crisis in these cities has generated headlines and speculation about “root causes.” Progressive political activists allege that tech companies have inflated housing costs and forced middle-class people onto the streets. Declaring that “no two people living on Skid Row . . . ended up there for the same reasons,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, for his part, blames a housing shortage, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic and sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice, and a lack of resources for veterans. These factors may all have played a role, but the most pervasive cause of West Coast homelessness is clear: heroin, fentanyl, and synthetic opioids. Read More ›
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Seattle’s Revolt of the Elites

In Seattle, people are losing patience with city leadership over the homelessness crisis, but the frustration is running in both directions: the city’s political, cultural, and academic elites are conducting their own revolt — against the people.

Since the release of Eric Johnson’s documentary Seattle Is Dying, which depicts an epidemic of street homelessness, addiction, crime, and disorder, city elites have launched a coordinated information campaign targeted at voters frustrated with the city’s response to homelessness. Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed that a group of prominent nonprofits — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Campion Advocacy Fund, the Raikes Foundation, and the Ballmer Group — hired a PR firm, Pyramid Communications, to conduct polling, create messaging, and disseminate the resulting content through a network of silent partners in academia, the press, government, and the nonprofit sector. The campaign, #SeattleForAll, is a case study in what writer James Lindsay calls “idea laundering” — creating misinformation and legitimizing it as objective truth through repetition in sympathetic media.

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A Brewing Rebellion in the Emerald City

For the past five years, like many of its West Coast counterparts, Seattle has endured a steady expansion of homelessness, addiction, mental illness, crime, and street disorder. But the activist class—a political and cultural elite comprising leaders in government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and media—has enforced a strict taboo on declaring the obvious: something is terribly wrong in the Emerald City. Last month, veteran Seattle reporter Eric Johnson of KOMO violated that taboo with a shocking, hour-long documentary called Seattle is Dying, which revealed how the city has allowed a small subset of the homeless population—drug-addicted and mentally-ill criminals—to wreak havoc. Johnson’s portrait is backed up by evidence from King County homelessness data, by city attorney candidate Scott Lindsay’s “prolific offender” report on 100 homeless individuals responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases, and by my own reporting on the homelessness crisis. Read More ›
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The Politics of Ruinous Compassion

Abstract: The City of Seattle has failed to address its current homelessness crisis. In fact, because of ideological capture and poor public policy, the city has created a system of perverse incentives that has only made the problem worse. In order to truly confront the problem of homelessness, the city’s leadership must embrace a policy of realism: dismantle the system of perverse incentives, quickly build emergency shelter, and enforce the law against public camping and drug use. Ultimately, the city currently has enough resources to solve the crisis—it needs to summon the political courage to make the right choices. Read More ›