Seattle's homelessness issue has created such a problem, after years of big government spending on the issue to the tune of nearly $1 billion per year for the greater Seattle area, that some voters who once thought of themselves as solidly Democratic now may support the conservative city council candidate Ari Hoffman, who has more or less declared his race a one-issue campaign.
According to The Seattle Times, voters like Christi Muoneke, an immigrant from Nigeria, is tired of politicians who have made many promises but failed to actually solve the issue.
“I’m pretty sure 99% of people in Seattle feel compassion for the homeless. We don’t think they should be thrown into the ocean,” Muoneke told The Seattle Times. “My frustration is that so many decisions in Seattle today are driven by ideology rather than the desire to get results.”
But for Muoneke, the lack of results has hit closer to home than she would prefer. In fact, it truly forced her to pay attention to politics:
Until a few years ago, Christi Muoneke didn’t pay much attention to Seattle politics. “I couldn’t even tell you who my council member was,” she said.
That changed when the streetsides around her Beacon Hill home were lined with tents and vehicles occupied by homeless people.
Around the same time, Muoneke and her family had bikes stolen and cars broken into, she says. Her mother-in-law stopped taking walks. Trash piled up in the traffic circle on their corner. Repeated calls to the police about the camping made no lasting impact.
As a result, "The 55-year-old mother of two says she may vote for Ari Hoffman, a conservative candidate who has appeared on Fox News and NRA TV."
“I’m a Democrat. I used to consider myself liberal,” she told the paper. “But I’m a single-issue voter this time around.”
Likewise, she also says that social justice warriors like the socialist Councilmember Ksahama Sawant have adopted condescending attitudes towards folks like her who simply want to solve homelessness.
Muoneke, who is staunchly anti-Trump, says, “I’m not anti-homeless. I’m just anti-people who commit crimes and are given a pass because they’re homeless,” she said. “Everybody is entitled to safety and security. All humans want that.”
However, the Seattle Times article also notes that other progressive individuals are simply becoming more extreme, using Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a role model. There are currently about 12,000 homeless individuals in Seattle, and socialists and leftists alike think the answer is more government spending.
But, in a truly in-depth report by the City-Journal, Christopher Rufo argues the only way to end the homeless is to break up the "homelessness industrial complex" and drastically stop the public assistance promoted by city leaders. He says this does nothing to solve the problem and instead just lines public officials' wallets.
With more than $1 billion spent on homelessness in Seattle every year, one should keep in mind Vladimir Lenin’s famous question: Who stands to gain? In the world of Seattle homelessness, the big “winners” are social-services providers like the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE), the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which constitute what I call the city’s homeless-industrial complex. For the executive leadership of these organizations, homelessness is a lucrative business. In the most recent federal filings, the executive director of LIHI, Sharon Lee, earned $187,209 in annual compensation, putting her in the top 3 percent of income earners nationwide. In my estimation, the executive director of DESC, Daniel Malone, has received at least $2 million in total compensation during his extended career in the misery business.
As for when Muoenke will have to decide if she supports Hoffman's city council race, "the primary election is Aug. 6, and the two candidates with the most votes in each district will advance to the Nov. 5 general election."