The big debate in Seattle city council, and by extension, the rest of Seattle is about the proposed bill to allow camping in our public parks. It brings with it a whole host of other problems as well, but for now, I’ll stick to simply the park camping.
I was giving this some thought last night. The argument that always comes up is “it forces people to see the problem” and that not wanting camping in parks is “just trying to hide the problem.”
I don’t buy that argument at all. The city council is the group that needs to do something. There’s literally nothing I can do to solve Seattle’s homelessness problem. At most, I would have the ability to take in one person (which, for other reasons I will not be doing), but there’s no way for me to solve the problem. We are already facing the crisis. Thinking about it and “facing it” doesn’t solve the issue one iota. It simply will lead to the public parks becoming littered with syringes and trash; the problems of the homeless aren’t even taking a step towards a solution.
Most of us are sympathetic toward the plight of the homeless. But, similarly, most of us don’t have the wherewithal to solve the problems individually. This gets lumped into the category of “not my problem.” Sure, it’s all of our problem, but we as a society have come up with an innovative system to deal with this: a representative democracy. We elect people to solve these issues for us.
This is city council making the appearance of doing something “to make people think.” Look at all the discussion we’re having here; we are already thinking about this problem. City council: we elected you, now actually fucking do something not just try to make us think. We don’t pay you so you can make us think — we pay you do do something about these issues we are facing and not just kick the can down the road.