Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau started a “See It, Send It” campaign asking people to send descriptions and photos to elected officials of activity that they say makes both visitors and locals feel unsafe, says the Seattle Times. A hotel manager emailed a photo of a young man selling drugs day after day outside his building. “If you walk from the convention center to the Market, you pass open-air drug dealing, kids with pit bulls, aggressive panhandling and other disturbing behavior. This is one way to make city officials know what’s going on,” said the manager.
Tom Norwalk of the visitors bureau said, “The situation is getting worse, not better, and we are hearing increasing negative comments from key convention, business and leisure travel customers and clients.” A Seattle native in town last month said, “The aggressive panhandling and the sheer number of homeless are frightening. We could not walk five feet without someone literally standing in our path and asking for money.” The visitors bureau called on the city to increase foot and bike patrols downtown, increase enforcement of existing laws against illegal activity and aggressive panhandling, and increase outreach by law enforcement, human services, and mental-health professionals to people most in need.