Public Safety is Necessary to Retain and Attract Seattle Businesses
September 21, 2021
Mark Mason, CEO of HomeStreet Bank knows a lot about Seattle and what’s working and not for our city’s businesses. In a recent Seattle Times editorial, Mason makes a number of critical points that our elected leaders and candidates for office must address:
Companies are leaving Seattle or abandoning plans to locate here. Mason points out that “in many of these cases, the reason is apparent: A lack of confidence in our safety or that city leadership even considers it a priority.” City leaders must make clear that public safety IS a priority.
Mason points out that “public safety is a fundamental right.” He cites Seattle’s City Charter which states that the city’s primary responsibility is “protecting and enhancing the health, safety, environment and general welfare of the people.” That’s about as clear as it gets and yet, very few would say our elected leaders are taking that responsibility seriously.
“Business success requires an environment where customers and employees feel safe.” We’ve seen many examples lately where business owners are making it clear that they don’t feel safe or supported.
Mason says that city leaders failed by dismantling the navigation teams and threatening to cut police budgets to the point where police are leaving on their own (a number at more than 300 officers and counting)
Mason rightly calls on elected leaders to “publicly recognize the problem and demonstrate a willingness to take immediate action to restore our sense of safety.”