by Longtime Burien Resident,
As the homeless crisis intensifies, so do the public debates and political conflicts over potential solutions. Some cities have enacted stricter anti-camping laws to remove encampments to protect the rights of citizens and restore safety and basic cleanliness to the taxpayers who pay for safety and cleanliness.
But such legal measures to get control of city homeless campers who are taking over city land have been rejected by Burien Council members. Instead of using the rule-making power to take steps to mitigate the growing safety and cleanliness hazard, Burien leaders are instead opting to fill Burien full of Rocks in the hope that putting large uncomfortable Rocks in areas where the homeless camp will make the campers so uncomfortable they will pack up and leave our city to find better camping accommodations elsewhere.
There is a strong consensus that a comprehensive and holistic approach involving cooperation between local, state, and federal governments, as well as collaboration with non-profit organizations and community members, is required to tackle the root causes of homelessness and provide sustainable support to those in need. Filling the city with Rocks is a short-sighted approach that will result in failure and wasted time that could be better used to make and enforce rules prohibiting in-city homeless camping.
The taxpayers that pay for safety and cleanliness are being shortchanged by council members who refuse to do their jobs by allowing the human tragedy of homelessness to impact the safety and health of all residents. Burien taxpayers are not responsible for the circumstances that created homelessness but are increasingly being asked to sacrifice personal health and safety because city leaders think filling the city with Rocks is a better idea than doing their jobs to get control of the problem. We demand better!