Electronic surveillance is an unwise and unconstitutional solution to a human problem in the Seattle Chinatown-ID. Electronic surveillance is an invasion of privacy. We must resist.
Yes, the C-ID has problems with street crime, loitering, poverty, relentless gentrification, graffiti, safety, and the biggest challenge to the C-ID: the overall lack of respect and care manifested by historic disinterest and indifference from the City, despite the historic significance of this area—Seattle’s only historic and contemporary immigrant community—and the potential for the community’s contributions to this city.
We saw this indifference and lack of support under Ed Murray’s administration. I hope Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration is not willing to endorse surveillance as much as she relied on this very community for her election.
Why doesn’t the downtown Clean Team operate in the C-ID? Why aren’t there bike cop patrols in the C-ID? Are there small business grants and assistance available to C-ID business owners? What City assistance is available to C-ID seniors for affordable housing? Is there City assistance for combating graffiti? What City assistance and support is there for this unique and amazing Historic District?
The C-ID, and I include Little Saigon which is having its own challenges with high rises swallowing up this area, needs advocacy and support from those in this community and beyond—who obviously have deep pockets and a questionable interest—as well as the City to solve these human problems and become a thriving, prosperous, and outstanding community.
The C-ID does not need electronic surveillance that will record every person innocent or guilty. This is an intrusion into privacy and a threat to our civil rights. I challenge the constitutionality of this proposal. If anything, electronic surveillance and monitoring could frighten tourists and shoppers and new residents from entering the area.
It is a horrible mistake to look to mainland China and Singapore, two of the most repressive countries in East Asia, for inspiration. As we see from what is happening in Hong Kong, the people are fighting for freedom for their own jurisprudence, fighting against the extradition law that would yield to mainland China’s authority.
An electronic surveillance system in C-ID is a poor solution to the human challenges in this wonderful community. It is a ‘sleeping policeman,’ a lazy, authoritarian, and unconstitutional solution, that will do more harm than good.
Don’t force a police state on C-ID. Resist authoritarianism. Stand up for this community with humane solutions not against it with authoritarian, unconstitutional, and repressive solutions.
No to electronic surveillance in the Chinatown-International District.
— Patty Fong