About a month ago Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced a new public safety initiative focused solely on Belltown. The mayor says it's a pro-nightlife effort, but others say it amounts to a private police force and favoritism for a single neighborhood, while the needs of other neighborhoods go unmet.
Last week the mayor announced yet another city-funded plan of exclusive support for Belltown. Starting in October, the neighborhood will have its own rapid-response poop-cleanup team, which will respond to resident complaints called in to a special hotline number.
The crews won't work in other parts of the city because, according to the Mayor's office, they don't have the same kind of nighttime activity that leaves Belltown with people puking, peeing or crapping in the streets.
Belltown may have disproportionate incidents of street feculence, but lest we forget, the Central District, the South End and West Seattle have disproportionate incidents of youth, gang and street violence.
The mayor insists that the best and most effective way to deal with youth and family issues is to spend a year having meetings, town halls, caucuses, and congresses before any recommendations or actions are taken.
It's one of the greatest failures of his administration to date.
The mayor is in an executive role to make executive decisions. His job is to move on the issues that touch residents as an entire city.
In less than a year, McGinn is showing that his focus is his own sacred cows and supporting special interests groups. He's making things happen for Belltown, transit and light rail interests groups, developers and the downtown business community.
But youth and families? Not worth immediate action. Instead the mayor puts their needs back on the community to identify fixes for problems using the same inadequate pool of resources those communities have put up with for years.
We're talking actual human suffering, violent crime and death, all compared -- literally -- to human waste. We're talking communities that have no resources and no inside relationships with City Hall compared to a single neighborhood that considers itself so special, its residents won't even take out some hoses and spray down their own sidewalks and alleyways.
When is the mayor going to take action to reduce the knifings, shootings and fisticuffs in other neighborhoods? What about the violent sexual assaults against women on Seattle streets? How about the robberies, vandalisms, car thefts and break-ins, or the selling and using of drugs in public places?
The longer the city puts off dealing with the devastating impact of issues like youth violence and public safety across the entire city, the more senseless death and harm will occur. It's time for the mayor to stop playing favorites and stop ignoring the big issues.
Mayor McGinn is busy keeping shit off his shoes. One day he's going to look up and wonder how he wound up with blood on his hands.