Alex Berezow, a microbiologist from the University of Washington, is leaving Seattle after fourteen years in what he believed was the most beautiful city in the world.
He has penned an eloquent column on his decision for the Seattle Times. It makes for startling reading no matter where you live in the U.S.
For starters, Seattle's policies have created a larger homeless population than in the past. Berezow was so concerned about this that he made an appointment with Debora Juarez, the District 5 City Council member for whom Berezow had voted, to talk about the matter:
I believe strongly that it is not compassionate to leave people who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves to suffer and die on the street. Because many (but certainly not all) homeless people struggle with mental illness or drug addiction, I suggested that Seattle find a way to make it easier to provide treatment to these troubled souls — involuntarily, if need be. It could literally save their lives.
Juarez exclaimed, “What is this? Nazi Germany?”
Appalled — in part because my grandparents survived Nazi Germany — I got up and walked out.
Seattle prides itself on being an anti-Trump city, but in some ways the conduct of its elected officials leave something to be desired, too. They have made Seattle unpleasant and as toxic as any place in the nation:
Slowly but surely, Seattle has become an angry place. Councilmember Kshama Sawant called a police shooting a “brutal murder.” She also tweeted that it was “terrible” for a feminist organization to wish that Barbara Bush, on her death, rest in peace. As a congressional candidate, Pramila Jayapal supporters implied that her respectable opponent, Brady Walkinshaw, was a misogynist and racist. And former Mayor Ed Murray, whose pattern of alleged sexual behavior finally caught up with him, remained defiant until the bitter end.
For a city that prides itself on being “anti-Trump,” it is difficult to see how exactly we’re supposed to possess the moral high ground over “The Other Washington.”
Seattle is also becoming unaffordable:
Seattle is well on its way to becoming the next Vancouver, British Columbia, with the median housing price having spiked to an eye-watering $820,000, far outside the reach of the middle class. Unless they are able to save for about 14 years to afford a down payment, millennials can forget about homeownership entirely.
The $15 minimum wage has added gasoline to the fire. Though it hasn’t even been fully implemented yet, the most recent study last summer revealed that when the minimum moved from $11 to $13 an hour, low-wage workers lost about $125 per month. That means that the law raises costs for businesses and customers while actually harming employees it was meant to help.
Meanwhile, the City Council turns its attention to such issues as climate change and foreign policy, neglecting homelessness and traffic problems.
In a nutshell, Alex Berezow is leaving the city he loved because Seattle is a progressive paradise.