Thursday, October 04, 2007

Need: One Strategy

Street disorder in approximately a one-block radios around 9th & Commerce continues to fester. It's not the first time that a portion of downtown Tacoma has suffered with a "hot spot" for unsavory behavior--and this community has learned some valuable lessons along the way.

What's different this time is that we have yet to have all parties agree on a concerted strategy for addressing the problem. The flurry of e-mails and meetings that continue to fire demands at various parties are more a cry for help than a proposed course of action--that takes engagement from everyone who wants to be part of the solution. Some would discount the real progress already made by the new ownership at the Winthrop Hotel, disparage the efforts of Tacoma Police and the BIA to manage street activity, or cynically suggest that the Olympus Hotel is unmanageable no matter who is the owner.

It's time to get past all that. We need a renewed commitment from residents, property owners, clubs and bars, Brick CITY, merchants and others to come to the table, honestly explore differences, and form a consensus on how to take back this area from the undesirable elements that currently seem to have a majority some hours of the day. The discussion needs to progress from "we could move forward if only THEY were gone" to "here's how we can help all of US move forward"--and it needs to progress now.

Here's one vote for a common strategy--and one hand up to commit to its implementation. Are there others?

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