Two bastions of far-left liberal politics—Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington—may be reaping a bitter harvest of what “progressive” policies have provided, with violent crime up, police numbers down and public morale in a slump that even a surprise season-opener victory for the Seattle Seahawks probably can’t overcome.
According to Fox News, “Portland residents fear being assaulted or encountering people experiencing a mental health crisis while walking around town, according to a recent survey.” The story acknowledged opinions are divided about public safety in the Rose City, but a look at the data shows the situation in Oregon’s largest city is pretty bad.
Oregon gun owners are facing a restrictive gun control ballot measure that would require permits just to purchase a firearm, and mandate training which would be unavailable.
According to KXL News, there have already been 65 homicides in Portland this year, and with 3 ½ months remaining in the year, there is plenty of time to match or even exceed last year’s record 90 slayings. Hardly to its credit, Portland has logged more murders this year than Seattle, which is larger in population, and last year ended with Portland posting more than twice the number of slayings as the Jet City, about 175 miles to the north.
2022 YTD Total: 64
2022 Fatal Police Shootings: 4
2021 Total: 88
2021 Fatal Police Shootings: 4
10 Year Average: 33.4
Record High: 88 in 2021
— Portland Homicide (@pdxhomicide) September 12, 2022
One case hitting an already-raw nerve involves the arrest of a man last month for allegedly murdering the mother of his children one week after he was released from jail after a “volunteer-run abolitionist organization” known as the Portland Freedom Fund helped bail him out, according to reports at Fox News and the Portland Oregonian. The suspect allegedly cut off his GPS ankle monitor. There reportedly was a no-contact order to keep him away from the woman.
Seattle, so far, logged 45 slayings as of Sept. 11. It’s on track to exceed the 52 murders chalked up in 2020, and it has already exceeded last year’s body count of 42 for the entire year.
2022 YTD Total: 45
2022 Fatal Police Shootings: 3
2021 Total: 43
2021 Fatal Police Shootings: 2
10 Year Average: 28.8
Record High: 69 in 1994
— Seattle Homicide (@HomicideSeattle) September 12, 2022
It should be noted that neither Portland Homicide or Seatte Homicide Twitter accounts are connected with the police departments in their respective cities.
In a separate report, Fox News said Seattle is struggling “with its lowest police staffing in 30 years.”
What has been the public response? In Seattle and surrounding King County, a lot more people are obtaining concealed pistol licenses, according to data from the Washington Department of Licensing.
At the end of 2021, the agency reported 97,556 active CPLs in King County, which would include Seattle. As of Aug. 1, there were 105,091 active licenses, a rise of 7,535 CPLs. King County accounts for roughly one-sixth of all carry licenses in the state, which is also an open carry state. It is also the most populous county in the state, and is lopsidedly Democrat, though some suburban districts are Republican or swing districts.
Whether the crime problems will translate to more conservative voting in both Northwest cities remains to be seen.