Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Latest from the Bee: Downtown is on Edge

An article in the June 28, 2017, Bee is quite disturbing. It's title is "'Rash of violent and aggressive behavior' has downtown on edge." The reporter who wrote the piece is the Bee's best, Ryan Lillis.

Of course, the bad behavior is attributed to homeless people downtown.

Those cited in the story as being upset about what all is going on are Steve Hansen, who represents the downtown area on the City Council; "key downtown and midtown business leaders"; Mayor Darrell Steinberg; Mike Testa, who will soon take over as President and CEO of the Visit Sacramento tourism board; Michael Ault, who leads the Downtown Sacramento Partnership business group; and Councilman Jay Schenirer, who called a press conference to protest a "wave of violence" that is occurring in Oak Park.

Testa is quoted in the article, saying, "Perception is such an important thing in our business [i.e., encouraging people to visit Sacramento]; ... it hasn't been an issue [before] the way it is now."

Ault told Lillis that the city and private sector had invested too much time and money into downtown Sacramento in recent years "for this trend to continue."

He further said, "What's taken place over the last several months -- the uptick in aggressive behavior -- has been an absolute turn of events. Now is not the time for us to back off in managing the environment down here. We can't tolerate this behavior."

Typically, this blog acts in defense of homeless folk, but from the disturbing many instances of aggression and violence -- including what was going on along the American River Parkway ten days or so ago, clearly some things need to be done immediately, and perhaps continually, until it is possible for things to settle down.

What must not be forgotten is the need for homeless people to have places to go in the daytime and at night. Making the downtown and midtown safer must not turn into a big wave of activity by police to harrass homeless folk. I hope that Sacramento has learned that a brutal and bullying police force is counterproductive. There is a lot else that the police and City leaders can do that would truly make the city a safe and happy place that does not involve borderline saddhism.

In this blog, I have suggested several times [ See "The thing that distinguishes our species from others is only this: We Contemplate the Future" ]  that we should get homeless people who have long been left on the street and in shelters to get jazzed about a good and happy future they can have once they are in housing.

Recent scientific research informs us that unlike other animals, we cogitate on what our future might be. That is what our brains should be doing: Directing our thoughts toward less troublesome times that will open up in the future.

If we want fewer homeless people drinking and drugging and behaving in an anti-social manner, how can we encourage that to happen? BY PROVIDING HAPPY ALTERNATIVE things for them to do that relate to a future that they will want to live to see.


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