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Christopher F. Rufo: Fed Up in Seattle 

Citizens of the ultra-progressive city have lost patience with political leaders’ failure to address the homelessness crisis.

Don’t believe the hype that “Amazon killed the Seattle head tax,” the new levy that the city recently passed on businesses to fund an affordable-housing initiative. The truth behind the city council’s stunning reversal—repealing the tax by a 7-2 vote, just four weeks after passing it 9-0—is that Seattle citizens have erupted in frustration against the city’s tax-and-spend political class that has failed to address the homelessness crisis, despite record new revenues.

“To my astonishment, I’ve heard at least a dozen neighbors, friends, and colleagues whisper that ‘Seattle needs a Giuliani’—that is, the city needs to recognize that, in addition to public programs, we need to get tough on street homelessness and enforce the law.”

As recently as a few years ago, it seemed as if Seattle voters largely viewed our hyper-progressive city council as a harmless oddity in an otherwise tolerant, thriving, liberal city. But times have changed. Now, according to recent public polling, 83 percent of Seattle voters are dissatisfied with how the council has addressed homelessness, 65 percent believe that the local government hasn’t used new tax revenues effectively, and 63 percent believe that the city has enough money to solve the problem but isn’t pursuing the right policies.

[Read the full story here, at City Journal]

Progressives have tried to paint the anti-head tax campaign as corporate astroturfing, but beneath the surface, it’s being driven by this broader shift in public opinion. In just two weeks, the No Tax on Jobs campaign, led by local businesses, recruited 2,000 volunteer signature-gatherers and collected nearly 46,000 signatures—more than double the amount required to qualify as a ballot measure. When I spoke with one of the volunteers in the liberal Fremont neighborhood, he told me: “I’m retired and I wanted to volunteer for the cause. I think the tax is a bad idea: if you tax something, you get less of it. I’m going to collect two pages of signatures and then go home.” Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] This LA Musician Built $1,200 Tiny Houses for the Homeless. Then the City Seized Them

REASON TV: Elvis Summers crowdfunded $100,000 to build dozens of tiny homes. City officials looking to pass a $2 billion housing plan tried to shut him down.

NPR reports:

Elvis Summers is not part of any nonprofit or government agency. He’s just a 38-year-old guy with a Mohawk and tattooed arms who started a GoFundMe campaign last spring so he could build tiny houses for homeless people to live in. He got the idea after befriending a homeless woman in his neighborhood.

“It just got to me, you know, I’m just like, you know, everybody in this neighborhood knows you, they like you,” he says. “Why does nobody give a crap that you’re sleeping in the dirt? Literally.”

tinyhouse-homeless.jpg

So far Summer has given out 37 tiny 6- by 8-foot houses, which cost $1,200 each to build. They resemble sheds, painted in bright, solid colors, with solar panels on the roof, wheels to make them mobile and a portable camping toilet.

But recently, city sanitation workers confiscated three of the houses from a sidewalk in South Los Angeles and tagged others for removal.

“Unfortunately, these structures are a safety hazard,” says Connie Llanos, a spokeswoman for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These structures, some of the materials that were found in some of them, just the thought of folks having some of these things in a space so small, so confined, without the proper insulation, it really does put their lives in danger.” Read the rest of this entry »


Miley’s Homeless VMA Date Wanted by Police


Tiny Houses: Big Idea to End Homelessness

smallhouses

Advocates tackling the nation’s homeless problem are thinking small

Linda Federico-O’Murchu  reports:  In Austin, Texas, a village of 200 tiny houses is being built for the homeless. In upstate New York, Rochester Greenovation has designed a prototype for small-scale individualized shelters. “Homeless No More Survival Pods” have been built in Utah, micro-pods in Florida, miniature homes in Wisconsin and mini mobile houses in California.

“I think this is a solution for now…Our first house cost $5,000 to make, and we did it without asking for government help.”

The “Tiny House Movement,” once an architectural component to a downsized life, is now becoming something much bigger: an escape from chronic homelessness.

Brian J Reynolds A woman is seen in a shelter built by California artist Gregory Kloehn in Oakland.

A woman is seen in a shelter built by California artist Gregory Kloehn in Oakland.   Brian J. Reynolds

“This is a plan that could revolutionize the housing movement in the United States,” declares Alan Graham, 58, a Texas activist who says his self-founded organization, Community First, has already lifted 100 homeless people off the streets.

“Now, I can roll my house down the street. Now the police don’t give me a hard time. I keep my house clean and I have no problems.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Millions Homeless, Obama Blameless

obamahomeless

10,000-word New Yorker Article on Rise in Homelessness Mentions ‘Barack Obama’ Zero Times

Jamie Weinstein observes: The New Yorker magazine’s latest issue features a nearly 10,000 word article on the rise in homelessness in New York City — but the piece doesn’t mention the name “Barack Obama” a single time.

According to the article, the number of homeless in New York City has exploded in recent years.

“For baseball games, Yankee Stadium seats 50,287. If all the homeless people who now live in New York City used the stadium for a gathering, several thousand of them would have to stand,” the article opens. Read the rest of this entry »


Across the country, donors chip in to help programs hurt by federal government shutdown

Shutdown Pay It Forward.JPEG-0c8b0
As the partial government shutdown rolls on, programs that rely on federal money are feeling the strain — and so are the people who depend on their services.For 16-year-old Alishe’ah Sockwell, federal money makes a big difference.

It helps put a roof over her head. It allows her mother, Nia, to undergo job training. And it pays for childcare for Sockwell’s young daughter so that Sockwell can go to high school every day in Little Rock, Ark.

But with some federal funds out of reach because of the shutdown, Sockwell may have to stay home from school in order to watch her daughter. If the shutdown drags on much longer, her housing could be in jeopardy, too.

So, to fill in the gaps, the nonprofit organization that provides Sockwell and other homeless people in Little Rock with childcare, shelter and other assistance, has asked community members to chip in.

Read the rest of this entry »


NYC Smashes Homelessness Record

Some on Wall Street may be celebrating the Dow hitting a record high on Tuesday, but a new report says New York City now has a record 50,000 people a night sleeping in the city’s homeless shelters.

The Coalition for the Homeless says that, in January, an unprecedented 21,000 children—1% of the city’s youth—slept each night in a homeless shelter, a 22% increase over last year.

“New York is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression,”says President of the Coalition for the Homeless Mary Brosnahan.

The report says homelessness among families is also on the rise. From 2011 to 2012, family homelessness increased 1.4% nationally. In Boston, family homelessness is up 7.8%. And in “boomtown” Washington, D.C., the nation’s richest city, the number of families without a home has skyrocketed 18%.

The report’s findings offer a stark contrast between the gains made on Wall Street from the Federal Reserve’s $2.5 trillion in so-called stimulus versus the harsh reality America’s jobless recovery.

Indeed, even as today’s Dow rally marks the third-best stock-market leap in the post-World War II era, Americans now find themselves struggling in the worst labor-market recovery since World War II.

via NYC Smashes Homelessness Record — Brietbart.com