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Michael Lewis
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 1:04 pm 
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https://komonews.com/news/local/criminal-justice-reform-help-for-homeless-among-seattle-budget-items-to-pass-monday

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SEATTLE -- Monday is a big day for the city of Seattle as it's the final day by law that city council has to pass a new budget.

They will meet later Monday morning to review the final proposal and pass it out of committee to the full council.

The budget committee is focusing on the city's homeless emergency, plus criminal justice and working to make sure those who do time, don't repeat crimes.

Criminal justice reform really took a front seat in the negotiations with council members looking at ways to get to the real reasons people commit crimes.

So, they're investing heavily in Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion -- or LEAD, for short.

The council budget committee added $3.5 million for its LEAD program, allowing police officers, judges, prosecutors and case workers to better look for the reasons people commit crimes: Is it because of drugs, sex, and/or mental health?

The money will add 54 new case managers to expand their capacity to help 1,400 clients.

There's money going to the city's homeless emergency with money to add 100 more beds in 24/7 shelters and tiny house villages, plus money to provide five mobile bathrooms that include a needle exchange and a place to get rid of pet waste.

This new 2020 budget proposal also adds money to increase fire department staffing and replace Fire Station 31 at Northgate.

The council began the deliberative budget process in response to the budget Mayor Jenny Durkan transmitted on Sept. 23. By law, the council is required to pass a balanced budget by Nov. 25.

I think this has potential to do a lot of good. What do you think the potential downsides are?
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Damian
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 4:16 pm 
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Looks like Criminal Justice Reform and Help for the Homeless.  As opposed to the thread title.  Additional case managers are badly needed.
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Ski
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Michael Lewis wrote:
What do you think the potential downsides are?

errr..... more middle-income city residents moving out of town because they're fed up with paying more taxes so that the City of Seattle can provide housing and free needles for the homeless and drug addicts?  dizzy.gif

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Cyclopath
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PostMon Nov 25, 2019 11:54 pm 
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@Ski

Seattle has a fantastic economy.  Who would want to lengthen their commute just because of spite that other people are being helped too?  I hate driving in traffic much more than I hate homeless people being able to sleep indoors in a bed - wait, I don't hate that at all.
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Ski
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 1:49 am 
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Yes, Seattle does have a fantastic economy.
That's why people are driving there daily from Roy, McKenna, Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Bucoda, McCleary, Elma, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, Buckley, Tumwater, Rochester, Grand Mound, etc., etc., etc..

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 6:13 am 
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Why not just park your RV or pitch a tent instead of commuting?   No property taxes, no utility fees, what could go wrong?

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Ski
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 8:11 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
"...what could go wrong?"

Other than fecal coliform levels in the lower Duwamish River being 300 times above the standard for acceptable storm water runoff? Gee, I can't think of a thing!

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 10:08 am 
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Until they address the mental health and addiction issues of the homeless, nothing will change.

I recall as far back as the 70's where the Native Americans obtained subsidized housing through the Federal Government. In most cases withing a few months, the new houses had become dilapidated, with trash, rodents, no running water or electricity, etc. Housing people does not solve the problem.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Ski
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 10:43 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
"Until they address the mental health and addiction issues..."

The solution is actually quite simple:
Make ALL drugs which are currently classified as "illegal" legal, and make them free, on demand, and paid for by the state.
This would of course require the caveat that those availing themselves to such a system become ineligible for any sort of social welfare benefits (e.g., food stamps, medicare, etc.)
The problem would be solved within a decade.

Moreover, doing so would eliminate any "black market", as well as bankrupting the cartels in Central and South America (as well as the growing Fentanyl industry in China.)

The only thing the Volstead Act accomplished was to make it possible for some small-time street gangs in New York City and Chicago to go on to become the largest criminal enterprise on the planet. (Currently that position is held by Vladimir Putin and Co.)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 10:51 am 
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I agree with that Ski, addicts don't care all that much about food and other things that most humans consider "necessities"....they many times trade their food benefits and that of their children's for alcohol and other drugs, legal or not. Getting high is their main priority most of the time. I know of a young man in my area who went to drug treatment and after his release they put him on Methadone, and the state pays for him to be transported daily nearly 60 miles RT to get his daily dose. Think of the cost and what good is it actually doing this person, other than he has no risk of over-dose, no longer has to steal to support his addiction, that's if he sticks to the program. Seems like a classic "Bandaid Solution" which as we know is no real solution at all.

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RandyHiker
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 11:10 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Why not just park your RV or pitch a tent instead of commuting?   No property taxes, no utility fees, what could go wrong?

There are a fair number of RVs parked along the ship canal near Google's Fremont offices.  Some of them have large TVs in the "living room".   They may well be occupied by Google employees.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 11:13 am 
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Ski wrote:
Chief Joseph wrote:
"Until they address the mental health and addiction issues..."

The solution is actually quite simple:
Make ALL drugs which are currently classified as "illegal" legal, and make them free, on demand, and paid for by the state.
This would of course require the caveat that those availing themselves to such a system become ineligible for any sort of social welfare benefits (e.g., food stamps, medicare, etc.)
The problem would be solved within a decade.

Moreover, doing so would eliminate any "black market", as well as bankrupting the cartels in Central and South America (as well as the growing Fentanyl industry in China.)

The only thing the Volstead Act accomplished was to make it possible for some small-time street gangs in New York City and Chicago to go on to become the largest criminal enterprise on the planet. (Currently that position is held by Vladimir Putin and Co.)

Portugal actually did something along those lines in 2001 with good results.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal
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Ski
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 11:18 am 
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Randy Hiker wrote:
"Portugal actually did something along those lines..."

No, they didn't.
You must have missed the part about "FREE" and "paid for by the state".


ftr: This was not MY idea. This was suggested to me at a dinner table one evening - about ten years ago - by a man from Leeds who was at least 20 years my senior.

(Obviously cannabis and its related products would be excluded, as they've proven to be a big money-maker for State treasuries.)

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostTue Nov 26, 2019 2:08 pm 
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Once again, the Scandihoovian countries have tried something that seems to work.  I actually think it is Finland.  They've opened what we call no barrier housing, paid for by the govt.  The theory is that an addict can't think about going thru rehab if they have to worry about a place to stay each night.  They get into the housing, don't have that worry, and can concentrate on getting off drugs.

Nothing is or would be 100% successful.

Saw a wonderful picture taken underneath a bridge in Centralia.  The ground was covered in a thick layer of garbage thanks to the local "homeless" population.  There has been a group of volunteers that cleans up areas, but it's like the mythical whatchamacallit stables, or whack a mole at the least.

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Nov 27, 2019 10:31 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Michael Lewis  wrote:
What do you think the potential downsides are?

errr..... more middle-income city residents moving out of town because they're fed up with paying more taxes so that the City of Seattle can provide housing and free needles for the homeless and drug addicts? 

This is just part of it. I read somewhere that half - half! - of the city employees make six-figure salaries. I don't know when exactly the city budget started ballooning out of control, and the city doesn't seem to realize how much they're contributing to the problem of unaffordability for long-time residents.  Ski's comment is suggestive of what a lot of the  middle-income residents feel - that the city gov't only cares about the beneficiaries of their social justice efforts, and their developer buddies.

As far as "other potential downsides", more spending may just lead to ... more coming here for the free stuff and lax civility laws.  It's a bottomless pit, otherwise cities that have had this problem longer than Seattle would have solved it by now. I don't think any one city, even one with an economy as good as ours, can solve this problem.  I recently spent a month with my family in Western NY, in of the poorest large cities for its size in the east.  There wasn't a scrap of trash anywhere, nor homeless encampments, or any of the problems Seattle has that are visible everywhere. What's different there, besides the weather?  I've no idea.

It may not be possible to discuss this without violating the rules around Topics Which Shall Not Be Discussed.  rolleyes.gif

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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