I am disgusted by the scenes I have seen at the park in the past weeks/months and decided to send the attached email to Mayor Durkan, also sent to Mike O’Brien, today.
Dear Mayor Durkan,
I am a long time Seattle resident and have lived in Ballard for almost 20 years.
I am astonished by the scenes I see at the Ballard Commons Park, as well as other areas in the city, in recent months/years.
The park was a space that was created for all the community to visit and especially for the children that live in the area to enjoy.
The fact that this has now been handed over the transient population and that no city laws or ordinances seem to be enforced is a disgrace.
The scenes there today were terrible and it is not surprising that you see no parents taking their children there anymore.
Since when did Seattle become a lawless city?
Every citizen in this great city must abide by the laws, if a certain part of the population is given a free pass then this not only sends a message to others that is OK to do the same but will eventually change the whole fabric of our society.
It is hard to understand why this overall disrespect for the law is tolerated by you, the city council and the Seattle police department and that nothing is done.
I understand that this is a massive problem for the whole city, and there is no easy solution, but what I do not understand is the fact that laws that are in place are not enforced.
I would appreciate your feedback in this matter and hope that the park will soon become a place for all to enjoy again.
I would recommend anyone looking to write a similar letter provide more specifics. “Wow this is terrible” isn’t nearly as effective as “There were ten homeless people. Two were sleeping/passed out on the skating benches, one half dressed in the bushes, one yelling at passing cars. I also saw two (or three, or four) people exchange money for drugs.”
The homeless have as much right to the parks as anyone, but the city needs to do something about the public health and law enforcement infractions.