Rather than use their wealth to actually solve the problems that plague Seattle, area elites have banded together to hire a public relations firm to spread misinformation in an effort to downplay the decline of the once great city. These people include Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, whose combined wealth exceeds $100 Billion. A stroke of a pen onto a check by either could solve every problem facing Seattle, but they’d rather kick the can down the road and watch the city deteriorate further.
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Former Seattle city council candidate Christopher Rufo is now an investigative reporter for City Journal. He had dropped out from the city council race last year after receiving threats against himself and his family for being a non communist running for office.
His most recent article uncovers the paper trail and unveils the PR campaign that was drafted by Pyramid Communications, called “Seattle For All,” and shows how they are deceiving the public:
Since the release of Eric Johnson’s documentary Seattle Is Dying, which depicts an epidemic of street homelessness, addiction, crime, and disorder, city elites have launched a coordinated information campaign targeted at voters frustrated with the city’s response to homelessness. Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed that a group of prominent nonprofits—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Campion Advocacy Fund, the Raikes Foundation, and the Ballmer Group—hired a PR firm, Pyramid Communications, to conduct polling, create messaging, and disseminate the resulting content through a network of silent partners in academia, the press, government, and the nonprofit sector. The campaign, #SeattleForAll, is a case study in what writer James Lindsay calls “idea laundering”—creating misinformation and legitimizing it as objective truth through repetition in sympathetic media.
The key messages of the campaign include a number of misleading claims, including: “Seattle is making progress to end homelessness,” “1 in 4 people experiencing homelessness in our community struggle with drug or alcohol abuse,” and “[62 percent of Seattle voters believe] we are not spending enough to address homelessness.” All three contentions fail to meet basic scrutiny: street homelessness has increased 131 percent over the past five years; King County’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma admits that “the majority of the homeless population is addicted to or uses opioids” (not one in four); and 62 percent of Seattle voters agree to the statement “we are not spending enough” only when it is directly prefaced in the polling questionnaire by the phrase “other cities of the same size are spending 2 to 3 times the amount that Seattle is and are seeing significant reductions in homelessness”—itself an unsubstantiated claim. (When the same question is presented neutrally, without the framing, support for “we are not spending enough” drops to 7 percent).
Nonetheless, the media have widely circulated or echoed Pyramid’s talking points. “New poll shows the majority in Seattle say we have a moral obligation to help homeless people, and we need to spend more,” declared Seattle Times data journalist Gene Balk. Catherine Hinrichsen, director of Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness, published “6 reasons why KOMO’s [Seattle’s ABC affiliate, which broadcast Seattle Is Dying] take on homelessness is the wrong one” in the local magazine Crosscut, arguing that the documentary “conflates homelessness with drug use, mental illness, and crime.” And Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan told reporters that “we have made a lot of progress” and dismissed the documentary as “an opinion piece.” Her office pushed the #SeattleForAll messaging on government social media channels.
Many of the authors and news outlets that published the #SeattleForAll messaging failed to disclose that their work is funded by the same group of foundations that hired Pyramid Communications, and that their content is distributed in direct coordination with Pyramid and the City of Seattle. For example, in her story, Hinrichsen neglects to mention that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the sole funder of her work at the Project on Family Homelessness; the publisher, Crosscut, does not reveal that the Gates and Raikes foundations are major funders of their operations and their homelessness coverage.
The inner workings of the #SeattleForAll campaign tell a clear story: a group of well-funded philanthropies hired a PR firm to produce misleading polling results, distributed them through the city’s main newspaper and other media outlets (many of which enjoy generous donations from those same philanthropies), and then concealed the fact that the messaging was part of a broader campaign coordinated with the city. The “counter-narrative” to the Seattle Is Dying documentary was not a spontaneous reaction of a diverse group of experts; it was a planned effort by Seattle’s philanthropic, academic, media, and governmental elites to steamroll critics. Seattle’s institutional powers, in other words, attempted to quash the emerging public consensus that the city’s approach to homelessness is failing.
The #SeattleForAll campaign is destined to fail. The more that majority opinion gets muzzled, the stronger the eventual backlash will be. Seattle Is Dying spoke to the anger of hundreds of thousands of residents whose voices haven’t been heard. City leaders would be wise to give the PR efforts a rest and do some listening. The residents of Seattle are demanding change.
Rufo recently appeared on the Jason Rantz show to explain in greater detail:
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Writing for Victory Girls, Lisa Carr reported on her recent trip to Seattle, and it’s not very pretty:
For every Tesla, I saw a tent. For every tent, a Tesla whizzed by. This would have been one hell of a drinking game if I were not behind the wheel of my car. I walked Seattle in the afternoon. People in the streets, muttering to themselves or their imaginary friends with clearly no faculties about them. Addicts bearing signs and sitting on street corners, strung out on God only knows what. And then, there are the people just like you and me. (Or, are they really like you and me?). They walk along with their cell phones in front of their faces, looking everywhere but at the horrific scene that is unfolding around them. They are either seemingly oblivious or just numb. I saw more reaction from Seattleites when my car inched ever-so-closely into the crosswalk when making a turn than I did when any vagrant walked by. The passive-aggressive stares from the residents of the Emerald City were amazing, I tell you. I thought for a moment that they finally woke up and would see what is actually going on around them.
The numbness, I believe, is from apathy and people honestly believing that they cannot do anything to improve these circumstances for themselves or the people on the streets. Those who have attempted to enforce law and order have their hands tied and cannot properly do their jobs. City Council doesn’t listen, nor, do they care to.
As I made my exodus out of the city yesterday afternoon, I drove through Pioneer Square which is both dirty and dangerous. Yesler Way near the freeway looks as if it vomited up tarps, tents and trash. Seattle is not the quirky, creative city hipsters flocked to in the ’90s. And, yes, if you flocked to Seattle during the time of grunge, you were a hipster. Deal with this reality accordingly and accept it. This Seattle is tone-deaf. It seems some of its residents and law-makers are more concerned with separating recycling a bazillion different ways than cleaning up syringes. Its churches are more concerned with displaying the LGBTQ and Transgender acceptance flags outside of their doors than feeding the hungry and seeking out the true marginalized, down-and-out residents. I feel the screeching guitars of Mudhoney or the Melvins may not even wake these zombies out of their slumber. Look, there goes another Tesla.
To add virus to addiction, there has now been a HIV outbreak in the homeless camps:
Health officials have identified an HIV outbreak among homeless people in North Seattle.
Between January and November 2018, 27 King County women and heterosexual men who inject drugs were diagnosed with HIV, which is a 286 percent increase over 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that will be published Friday.
Officials with Public Health–Seattle and King County identified 14 related cases that were discovered between February and mid-November, all of whom lived within a three-square-mile area and were part of a cluster of 23 cases that have been diagnosed since 2008. Of those cases, nine women said they exchanged sex for money or other items, and 12 injected drugs.
Scientists used molecular analysis to determine if people had been infected with a related strain and were therefore part of the same cluster. However, officials cautioned that having a related strain in common doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a direct epidemiological connection between each case.
Since the outbreak was identified, the health department alerted emergency departments to increase screenings of homeless people who inject drugs and increased North Seattle outreach testing, condom distribution, and syringe services. The King County Jail also expanded HIV testing.
The 2018 outbreak is part of a larger pattern of increased HIV diagnoses among drug users in King County. New HIV infections among female and heterosexual male drug users increased threefold last year, according to the CDC.
Although HIV infection rates declined 51 percent across King County from 2008 to 2017, public health officials say the outbreak shows the homeless are a population that remain vulnerable to HIV outbreaks. They also say it showed how challenging it can be to connect that population with medical care. Of the 21 living people in the cluster, seven weren’t receiving HIV care, according to the CDC.
Don’t expect the situation to improve anytime soon. The “democratic socialists of America” are actively recruiting candidates to run for Seattle city council this year, replacing three councilpersonsofunspecifiedgender who have announced they will not be running for re-election. Yes, that’s right, Seattle isn’t left wing enough and looks to be turning even further left.
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They won’t stop until every business has been run out, every building sits vacant, every road is car free, and the entire area is one big drug addicted homeless camp. Even then they’ll find some way to blame Trump, capitalism, the NRA, white people, sasquatch, Kurt Cobain…