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As Progressive Cities Are Overrun with Homelessness, Will Enabling Democrats Face a Reckoning?

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

cities

Millions of Americans across the country are emerging from the pandemic to find their streets filled with tent cities, drug needles, and, in some cases, human feces. In fact, since the pandemic began, homeless encampments and slums have exploded in size following a series of progressive-led initiatives. While many liberal media outlets have attempted to downplay these concerns and shift blame, voters are increasingly skeptical of Democrats’ ability to solve the crisis. Across the nation, Democrat politicians are increasingly concerned that the problem is weighing the party down—as voters of all political stripes are asking how it is possible that our greatest cities have been overrun with homeless camps.

There is no one single reason for the steady increase of the urban homeless population in public parks and spaces from coast-to-coast–but the evidence suggests that a series of progressive policy decisions have been the driving factor.

While deinstitutionalization efforts in the 1970s and 80’s directly led to a rise in homeless populations, the overall rate of homeless individuals had been declining nationally in recent years. Then, in 2018, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled that “the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause prohibited cities from penalizing people for sleeping outside when they lack access to indoor shelter or long-term housing.” This made it largely illegal for police or social workers to remove encampments or assist homeless individuals who refused to move. In conjunction with progressive efforts to increase illegal immigration and the release of thousands of prisoners from state prisons, this new ruling led to an explosion of homeless tent cities across California.

Throughout the country, even areas that were more equipped to handle homelessness were hobbled by pandemic CDC guidance that demanded cities allow “people who are living unsheltered or in encampments to remain where they are” if there’s no place to house them. The rationale for this guidance was that, should the homeless be dispersed, they may carry COVID into surrounding areas.

Even as vaccines became readily available and COVID rates began to decline, homeless encampments in left-leaning cities continued to expand. Journalist and author Michael Shellenberger, a former California homeless advocate, believes that liberal leaders in major cities are directly responsible for creating and exacerbating many of the issues urbanites now face. In his latest book “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities,” he reveals that, between 2015 and 2018, San Francisco had to replace 300 lampposts that had been so corroded by urine that one collapsed and destroyed a vehicle.

Shellenberger also argues that San Francisco’s many liberal policies aimed at helping the homeless actually exacerbate the problem significantly. He refers to this as “pathological altruism,” pointing to things like the fact that homeless individuals are given over $300 a month with no strings attached, “safe injecting zones” for heroin addicts, and cities’ refusal to prosecute or even arrest people for shoplifting. As noted by columnist George Will:

“An “advocate,” says: “We can’t end overdoses until we end poverty until we end racism.” So, in 2020, the city put up two billboards promoting the safe use of hard drugs (heroin, fentanyl): “Change it up. Injecting drugs has the highest risk of overdose, so consider snorting or smoking instead.” “Try not to use alone. Do it with friends. Use with people and take turns.” Last year, however, San Francisco did ban smoking in apartments.”

Instead of acknowledging the fact that these programs clearly are, at minimum, less effective than originally thought, liberals are pivoting. They instead blame the homeless problem on a lack of affordable homes. While cities like New York and Chicago have large and comprehensive shelters, California’s “Housing First” advocates are aggressively opposed. Instead, they demand the city provide free houses to the homeless, with no stipulations that recipients are tested for drug use or even obey the law.

These radical policies are already starting to affect elections. Earlier this month, for example, Republicans won several races for local government in New York City, despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans seven to one in the Big Apple. One of the biggest causes for the success cited by Republicans was “dissatisfaction with quality-of-life issues such as homelessness and crime,” which made even some Democrats break ranks and vote red. In Denver, Democrats predict homelessness will be the “No. 1” issue in the upcoming mayoral election. Even in far-left California, experts predicted that if Newsom was recalled earlier this fall, his failure to address the homeless crisis would be the reason why.

Some Democratic leaders, likely recognizing the political disaster this issue could become, are beginning to address it. In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has begun clearing homeless encampments and relocating the homeless to hotels and low-income apartments. Los Angles is making a similar move, but is already facing stiff pushback from progressive media outlets for “playing politics.” The fact that these homeless encampments have been overrun with drugs, disease, and sexual assault is not acknowledged in these criticisms. But even if progressive leaders do make efforts to clean up their streets, it may prove to be too little, too late.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.

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Garye
9 days ago

IF our Country had a TRUE free press that was not controlled by the Anti American, marxist, radical corrupt democrat party this homeless,sanctuary desecration of cities would not be accepted.
It’s just another scourge thrust upon Citizens by a political class who cares NOTHING about the people they work for!!!
THROW THESE INGRATE LIARS OUT!!
Make them earn a REAL living ,stop living off and fleecing the taxpayers!
ANY/ALL who voted for the BIG LIE infrastructure pork should be REMOVED.
A list exposing them all must be shared daily so people wake up and see what these losers have done!!

Karen
10 days ago

Ignorance is BLISS!

Garye
10 days ago

What is wrong with these useless democrats ability to think and reason??
Evidence clearly shows that the cities and states run by marxist democrat are TOTAL FAILURES! ,
Three questions come to mind.
What moron thinks that providing addicts access to illegal drugs that will kill them is a good idea??
At what stupidity level is ANY individual who would vote for these failures???
Are there that many lazy,ignorant or clueless people with their hand out for freebies that are democrat supporters???

Obviously homeless encampments, lawbreakers in sanctuary cities, crime and drugs are BAD for America!!
Throw the failed,corrupt,lying democrats out now!

Denise
12 days ago

Open borders, homelessness, deliberately weakened police, “liberal” judges, deliberately manufactured “pandemic”, deliberate destruction of energy sources, increasing crime, “supply chain shortages”…un-Constitutional lock downs ( NEVER in the history of this nation has there EVER been a “lock down”!) illegals pouring across our borders, all part of the traitor left plan to reduce this nation to a dump…so they can rule on the rubble…BUT…a thorn in their yellow sides…the Second Amendment … and true Americans ready to employ it…the attack on our Second Amendment is paramount to these traitors and wannabe “rulers”…think about it. George Washington: “Firearms are the liberty’s teeth.”…none of this is by accident…none of it.
Fauci…bought and paid for?? More are also “curious” to say the least, about Barack Hussein Obama’s greedy claws possibly pulling the puppet strings of the less than lucid Biden…and who, perhaps, is behind the now uber wealthy Obama who once opined “there comes a time in your life when you’ve made enough money” unquote. Now of course a multi-millionaire and owners of 3 multi-million dollar mansions…curious A wot?

Donna Christensen
1 day ago
Reply to  Denise

What nearly everyone has not considered is this! Almighty God is still in charge! Liars never win and God’ s justice will continue to be in charge of our ultimate solution! I look forward to His plan, and He does have a plan!! You can count on that! Praise His Holy Name!!

Mandy
12 days ago

All these libs and they won’t help their homeless people.

George
12 days ago

If liberals are starting to blame homelessness on high cost of housing rather than their policies, I guess that is why blue states will be outlawing single-family dwellings. I have to admit they are creative in their blame games.

Garye
10 days ago
Reply to  George

George ,
I think it’s more that these failed democrats have found a group of people who buy into their constant lies and anti America rhetoric.
So how mindless and hateful are individuals who support a political party like democrats, who preys on society’s weakest and downtrodden???
These politicians are clearly an evil and self serving lot.

Hal
12 days ago

No surprise in increase in Homeless situation. And sidin’ with Joe Hidin’ Biden will insure that trend continues. How are the Democraps going to get voter riggers in sufficient numbers to win upcoming elections otherwise??? This is just a preliminary illustration of one tactic that the Democraps use to sweeten the number of votes they get in future elections. Often the Democraps need actual people to cast votes from their recent tombstone list, especially if the can procure ballots sent thru the mail!!!

Myrna
12 days ago

People in tents cannot be selling the expensive merchandise they are stealing. Some of these destruction & theft operations have to be well organized — the only ANTIFA meeting I ever saw when somebody filmed it on a phone was held in nearly total darkness with those attending almost all disguised so nobody would know and the end of the meeting was an admonition to not tell anyone about anything covered in the meeting and to look at Black Lives Matter meeting announcements to know where and when to go late at night after the BLM marches. The attempt has been made many times — broadcast after the riots in Ferguson, MO and again in Minnesota etc to start a revolution. That is what the Marxists hope will usher in their taking over America. So far — no real revolution, but there are dreams that it is coming. Caving in, bowing down, and over-reacting will not put it off. We need positive strength applied at the right time. Heaven help us use good judgment…

Garye
10 days ago
Reply to  Myrna

The majority of these so called protest groups are nothing by opportunists and criminals nothing more.
democrat politicians and useless lawbreakers on the bench give them a pass.
Our Country needs law and order, removing all marxist liberal democrats is the answer.

HocasPocas
12 days ago

Sounds like we should all quit fending for ourselves and our families, get hooked on drugs, loot (rob) stores and burn down cities. Maybe we’ll get some of this free stuff that’s being given out to people who haven’t learned how to live in society. Oh I forgot to add quit working to the mix, that way someone else really does have to foot the bill.

Richard Sanders
12 days ago

There is a basic MISUNDERSTANDING, lack of caring and a disjointed disconnection of the hedonistic, unread American public from those that they have entrusted the management of America, We are in Deep Trouble…….

Hal
12 days ago

Hmmm. With the Communistic Democraps running the show, even a hedonistic Democrat might likely be unhappy!!!!

Garye
10 days ago

Misunderstanding??
I call it total ignorance of what these morons are voting for.
democrat voters have believed the same lies,supported the same failed policies for over 50 years!
If they just look at history, EVERYTHING democrats touch is FAILURE!

M-1
13 days ago

Good! It could not happen to a more deserving group of mentally challenged goofballs. I hope their property values drop to zero and the crime rate grows to 1,000%! May they tread on hypo needles and deification forever.

SimpleObserver
13 days ago

Like it or not but the Democrats outnumber the Republicans by at least 10 Million folks.
The USA has been trending towards liberalism ever since we entered the 21st Century.

The Question is… Who is to Blame? The Answer is: The Republicans.
The Republicans really did screw up badly under Bush43. Going to Iraq was a big mistake. It cost us around $5 Trln and thousands of dead and wounded. Under his leadership we also had the housing bubble which was entirely preventable. On the top of it, we had so many things that the (R)s did and say that pushed younger voters to the left. The (R)s lost the messaging battle.

Well, on the top those mistakes we had Donald Trump – the 45th and the absolutely dumbest President of the United States. And even though Trump had some good ideas on how to sort things out his articulation was dumb. On the top of it, his many personal faults were responsible for the losses that the (R)s suffered in 2020. Again, the (R)s have been losing on the messaging front.

Don’t get me wrong – I think the Democrats are a disaster of epic proportions too. But they have the numbers on their side and the media. Things must go horribly wrong before those numbers start switching to the Republicans. As the article has pointed out, this is already happening. However, celebrating such a shift at the expense of the damage the country is suffering for decades is not a strong position to have, I think. We must root for competent people – both Republicans and Democrats that work for the good of the country.

Morbious
13 days ago
Reply to  SimpleObserver

Whoa. Where to start… first, the housing bubble was caused by the CRA, which ostensibly sought to increase home ownership among unqualified people. The result was massive defaults followed by the financial industry bundling bad mortgages and hot potatoing them to unsuspecting buyers. You’re right that the iraq war was disastrous and that 43 emerges as yet another progressive. Like nixon, he leaned left but was still despised by the organized Left. Y. Given the recent revelations re our intelligence services, its possible bush and powell were deliberately fed misinformation in order to weaken the country with another vietnam. Yes, the left is that evil. As to the youth; while we were having highballs and seeking self actualization, the left poisoned the educational system. Zinns so called history book was adopted as classroom text in high schools and colleges. This is just one reason little johnny and jane went to school as carefree kids but came back with furrowed brow and mood disorders. We cant change the past but we can affect the future by trying to get our gkids into non pathological educational environments. The key is home schooling if possible. Its not necessary or advisable to wing it. There are valid programs the can be plugged into like ‘Classical Conversations’. If our civilization is to be saved, we cant sit by while the youth has their minds poisoned.

HocasPocas
12 days ago
Reply to  SimpleObserver

You better look into your country’s history a little better and get the cobwebs out of your brain and take off your democrat rose colored glasses so you can understand things a little better

HocasPocas
12 days ago
Reply to  SimpleObserver

Simple is a good name for your title. Minded should have been the second part instead you picked observer. What a crap shoot that was

J C
12 days ago
Reply to  SimpleObserver

Hey Simple Minded come on over to my neighborhood and spew your bull shi%, you sound like you received a participating trophy fool..

Garye
10 days ago
Reply to  SimpleObserver

Never root for ANY marxist,liberal useless democrat EVER!
The entire party is for the destruction of America and Freedom!
Only root for Real Citizens to throw them all out!
Did you see ANY of the democrat failures stand up against the big lie of infrastructure recently???
Not ONE, THROW THEM OUT

Hal
13 days ago

I think all the illegals (Democraps call them “rigged voting candidates”) crossing the Southern Border ought to be dropped off in Vermont with the provision that they may not leave the state for any reason, and if they do leave for any reason, they will be automatically returned to the Nation state of their legal citizenry and not allowed to return … ever to the boundaries of the USA or its territories without incarceration and immediate return to their homeland. And no special funding should be made to VT for handling them (they will probably get funded for participating illegally and secretly in a vote rigging scheme). I’m sure the citizens of Vermont will thank homeboy Joe Hidin’ Biden for providin’ such an action.

M-1
13 days ago
Reply to  Hal

Why just Vermont? Include New England, Minnesota, and the entire left coast. Build a 60-foot wall around them with a one-way door and no way out. Like a roach motel.

Kevin S
12 days ago
Reply to  M-1

I’ve oft thought of a 3 “United States”: East, West and Middle America, We in “fly over” country know and deserve SO much better than DC feeds us.

Bill on the Hill
10 days ago
Reply to  Hal

Hal… Vermont would welcome them with OPEN arms. Not the true patriotic Vermonters mind you, but the political to the extreme left wing Vermont legislature, both houses, owned & operated by left wing Democrats for decades… Vermont will be doing ” mail in ballots ” on the upcoming elections per notices they sent out to all the voters across the state… Democrat politicians in Vermont know only to well just how important it is to mail the ballots out after seeing FIRST HAND how successful their esteemed leader & friend JRB won his 2020 election whilst he sat in his basement by overwhelming numbers, all the while, the ballot boxes were overflowing with 100% Biden supporters & our foreign friends, i.e. adversaries via the internet switching votes & total numbers cast…
Rifle season ends this coming Sunday, but there is always next year, that is if we have a country left next year… The people within VT that vote these SOB’s back into office year after year should have nothing to complain about so long as they continue to receive their taxpayer funded, federally backed ” social benefits, ” month in, month out… The Democrats buy themselves into office, year in, year out & when that is not enough, they rig the elections, as the entire nation did in fact experience a fraudulent presidential election on a massive scale on Nov.3, 2020 & not a single individual has been held to account thus far & lest we forget the down ballots & 1/5/21 Georgia Senate runoffs, all rigged for Biden & his ( 2 ) communist senators for the Peach State, effectively nailing the coffin shut for the Republican party…Speaking of peaches, a well earned round of applause for SOS Brad Raffensberger & the one & only Governor Brian Kemp…The CCP must be loving the both of you…
Bill on the Hill… :~)

J C
13 days ago

There will be MILLIONS more now that we have an Open Border Policy, plus paying these Illegal Aliens with Free Everything, and scattering them throughout the United States. I do not care about these homeless. People keep voting for the same damn Fool Libtards into office, decade after decade.. and I am suppose to Care for Them.. I for one do not give a good damn about any of this crap anymore.. One Man!! 17 years old stood up while everyone else is sitting doing nothing but waiting for some Magically Restored (mid-term election) Country a year from now.. Nothing will wake up the complacent .. all this and still Nothing is being Done.. The Communist Democrats are well organized.. and we do NOTHING… if you need ask.. Well what can we do.. You are the Problem.. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving..

Tim Toroian
13 days ago

It isn’t Democratic failure, it is Democratic stupidity, deliberate stupidity.

Hal
13 days ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

To me, it more fits to having more bodies to provide rigged votes for the Democraps.

HocasPocas
12 days ago
Reply to  Hal

They are replacing all those dead voters that they dug up last November.

Patriot Adam
13 days ago

Free money, the opioid for Marxist rule

Garye
13 days ago

The democrat failures should and I hope their so called supporters are bright enough to see how useless and anti American , destructive , lying and self serving they are.
How can people with their eyes open not see it???

edward
13 days ago
Reply to  Garye

That is why they are called “useful idiots”.

M-1
13 days ago
Reply to  Garye

The leaders of the Communist Association of Political Criminals, aka the Democrats, know exactly what they are doing. The plan is to destroy our country and turn it into a satellite Communist police state of China.

HocasPocas
12 days ago
Reply to  Garye

All they see is all the free stuff that they are given. I was at a march in Harrisburg PA this past summer and there was a lady there who made the comment that obama gave her a free phone, that’s more than Trump did for her. I reminded her that those phones weren’t free and they were only given so obama could keep track of her

Hal
13 days ago

As far as the Democraps are concerned, the homeless are grove of human citizens ripe for settling for Communism (with, of course, a guarantee to vote Democrap … multiple times in the same election, if possible).

anna hubert
13 days ago
Reply to  Hal

How many homeless and drug addicts not working collecting welfare are in communist china?

Hal
13 days ago
Reply to  anna hubert

Probably not many. The Chinese commies ruling clan won’t put up with it .. they don’t have to scrounge around doing it like the Democraps do in our Nation.

Morbious
13 days ago

First, the media eliminated the use of the word vagrant. Thats what most of them are. The homelessness results from bad decisions. Im not referring to the mentally ill, but to the sort that refuses to punch a time clock. The more they’re catered to the more there will be. Duh.

Eddie Van Halen
13 days ago
Reply to  Morbious

There is NO help for these “people.”

anna hubert
13 days ago

You are right the old cases are beyond help and the only way to prevent new ones would be to deal mercilessly with suppliers,who will propose that one?

Larry W.
13 days ago

It doesn’t matter what the Liberal Democrats say, this is one of many examples that show they DO NOT care about people, only their agenda. WAKE UP AMERICANS

Garye
13 days ago
Reply to  Larry W.

Amen Larry , Amen.

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