Compliments to Jennifer Davis on her Board of Contributors column regarding downtown Olympia. If she is a mama bear, I am a grandmother bear. My granddaughter visits Olympia every summer. Each year, I am more concerned about walking around downtown with her.
Why? Because increasing numbers of people are sleeping, arguing loudly, panhandling, and using/recuperating from drug use as we wend our way from Plum Street to the Farmers Market. Litter is also a problem.
Here’s what I liked about Davis’ column: She has compassion, not only for homeless people, but for ALL Olympia residents and visitors, including parents, children, and older people. She helps explain the emotional reaction some of us have when we find ourselves hesitant to walk with our children through (what could be) one of the most beautiful downtowns in the world.
I live part of the year in a town roughly the size of Olympia, but with none of the problems Jennifer so accurately describes. Why is this, I wonder? Is it the low income housing the other town provides in abundance? The humane but firm interventions by police?
Is Olympia checking what other towns are doing to try and make the downtown a place ALL are welcome? I hope we can get beyond labels and finger-pointing and come up with some solutions, while Olympia is still in a position to be the world class place we all would like to call home.