Thursday, August 21, 2008

I love Seattle--but it's time to get tough on crime

Hi all,

I'm writing today with some serious stuff on my mind. Last weekend, a 24-year-old woman, on her way to a job interview, was brutally raped in broad daylight in one of Seattle's most beloved landmarks: Pike Place Market. My response?

Where were the police?

Where were the people--you, me, anyone--who could have helped her while she was beaten to a state of unconsciousness and raped repeatedly?

What the #%^&#! is going on in this city?

I'm angry. Really angry. What has happened to this city--this place I have loved since I was a child? Now, I know crime is a reality in today's world--especially in the city, especially in the year 2008, but I'm not willing to sit idly back and accept that this is our new reality--that I should worry about being raped when I want to, I don't know, head down to Pike Place to pick up flowers for a dinner party or rhubarb for a pie.

For me, this news was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back, for lack of a better analogy. Crime seems to be sweeping into Seattle with an eerily steady force. First there were the male gang rapes happening in Belltown (yes, male gang rapes), then the upswing in youth violence that has inner-city kids chasing each other around with guns--even my own brother was brutally and randomly beaten up last year by a gang of guys after leaving a restaurant downtown (in case you're wondering, the place was Jillian's--and, nope, not a fan of the joint).

So where does this leave me--besides being very angry? It makes me think it's time to get tough on crime. I never thought I'd say this, but I think it's time Seattle got itself some Giuliani-style "round 'em up and get 'em prosecuted" leadership. Even our friends from New York say they see more blatant crime in downtown Seattle (drug deals, you name it) than they ever witnessed on the streets of New York.

OK, have we been snoozing while crime snuck in and took up residence in this great city? Time to wake up people. You. Me. I think we can all do something about it.

I just mailed in my ballot for the primary election, and now this all has me thinking about the general election ahead. For the first time in a long while, I'm willing to cross party lines to vote for a candidate who promises to get tough on crime--in Seattle, and elsewhere in the state.

I never thought I'd say this, but the things I care about--the environment, help for the poor, and all those other worthy social issues--are all good, but at the moment, keeping our streets safe matters more to me. Seriously. Pollution control vs. rape control. Yeah, I'd vote for the latter right now--if given a choice.

What are your thoughts on this? And, for those Seattle-ites reading, which candidates in the upcoming election seem to be toughest on crime?


Carleen said...

I don't know if other parents have had this experience, and not to say that crime wasn't an important topic before, but I'm a heck of a lot more sensitive to these types of news stories that that I'm a mother. I'm all for greening our lifestyles and such but what good will any of that do if we don't feel safe walking in public in the middle of the day. Even our small city in northern Oklahoma has seen a rise in crime recently. I'm at a loss when it comes to my son at times. He's only two but at some point I'm going to have to let him out of the house alone. I dread that day.

Jessie said...

So sad. Where are the good sameritans and heros these days? We're becoming a world of self-ism. No one cares until it affects their own life personally. If no one will defend the helpless, and our cities are overtaken by violence.... how UNfree this country will be. Makes you want to learn more self defence moves or carry a weapon or something.

Hillary said...

This is really scary and sad to me. I just went to Seattle Pike Place Market for the first time less than two weeks ago, and I'm terrible!

Lindsey Burgess said...

OMG! This has been so heavy on my heart of late. Three weeks ago on a Wednesday night Eric was at a show in Fremont and he was assaulted and mugged. He was picked up by an ambulance knocked out on the side of the road. He spent two days in the ER as a result of a stage 3 concussion among many other things. It was a completely surreal and frightening experience. I mean, FREMONT? On a WEDNESDAY NIGHT?