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The homeless are people
Thank you, Lacey Councilman Michael Steadman, for “reminding” your fellow council members and specifically County Commissioner Edwards that homeless people are people.
You are exactly right that we as a society need to get rid of the stigma placed on homeless people that Edwards so arrogantly perpetuated when he suggested providing housing to the homeless is an “enabling business,” that homeless people chose their “deviant lifestyle” and that people living in their cars are “deadbeats.” (Edwards’ words).
More likely homeless people become homeless because they have lost their less than minimum wage job, leading to their loss of their housing, leading to loss of family support and ultimately to being homeless. These are the conditions of the homelessness, according to the Thurston County Point-in-Time Homeless Census conducted on Jan. 25, 2018.
Commissioner Edwards should pull his head out of his Stetson cowboy hat and read the findings of that report.
Commissioners Edwards and Hutchings and Lacey Councilmen Hearn and Greenstein should stop fixating on “accountability” and “regulations” and instead focus on providing affordable housing. That’s the first step. Homeless people do not need additional regulations or other standards for accountability just because they are homeless.
Let’s “enable” Edwards to remain at home after the 2020 election.
Keeping a promise
Six years ago, in the fall of 2013, I was aboard a regional bus in Gothenburg, Sweden, sitting beside a man in his late thirties who worked as a supervisor for the system. My own years of transit driving in Seattle gave us plenty of material for conversation.
His own ethnic extraction we’d call “Iranian,” though as seems common in Europe, he said “Persian.” When it came my time to get off, he grabbed my shirt-sleeve before I could get up. “Please. Please. When you go back to the United States, tell everyone that every ordinary person in my country loves Americans,” he said.
First thing this morning I relayed his request to Senator Murray’s office. While far from a comprehensive analysis, it sums up my human feelings about the situation between our two countries. Considering the alternatives available to our country, I think our present course of action carries the chance of far too massive friendly-fire casualties to belong on the conscience of the United States of America.
Remember that I could never suggest to my friend that his compatriots contact their elected representatives in Tehran.