Note: it’s been a couple of crushingly busy days, and not really in a good way. This same piece went out in raw-notes form yesterday. I’m going to re-release it with, y’know, some actual writing.
In theran an editorial this past week proposing some solutions in the tony, hip North Loop last week, the Strib editorial board pondered what to do about the rising crime rates in the North Loop, whose problems are a result of policies the DFL supports. On Tuesday, we noted that the problem is falling exactly into line with urban theorist Joel Kotkin’s theories on the subject (cities are turning into donuts – holes full of the very wealthy, surrounded by a doughy ring of poverty warehoused in the neighborhoods for the convenience of the social service bureaucracy.
Today? After decades of drawing bars to the North Loops, the City Council is shocked, shocked to discover drunkenness:
Police have lost some tools in the past couple of years that in particular appear to have affected quality-of-life issues. Public drunkenness and aggressive panhandling are more than nuisances — they can be threats to safety. Police used to be able to book inebriates who drank in public. But an order issued by then-Hennepin County Chief Judge Peter Cahill in early 2016 quashed that, allowing only ticketing for public drinking.
“Now you see someone with a bottle at 4th and Hennepin and you write a ticket,” Sullivan said. “A half-hour later, they’re at 5th and Hennepin, then 6th and Hennepin. Before, we could interrupt the cycle, get them off the streets and maybe even get them some help.” Hennepin County is the only jurisdiction in the state operating under such an order. Cahill said that his standing order can be changed, but that to his knowledge no such request has been made. It should be, and city officials should make it.
But the Hodges administration is too busy virtue-signalling against Donald Trump, and the city council – the only group of people in the metro not well-placed to mock Alondra Cano – are too busy building monuiments to themselves and keeping the graft wagon greased to be bothered, apparently.
Other efforts to help those with addictions should continue, but having created a neighborhood, city officials now have an obligation to ensure that public drunkenness is dealt with effectively.
Is it sexy enough for Minneapolis’ juvenile City Council to bother with?
Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.”
Isn’t that rich? Panhandling is better-protected than political dissent from the right in Minneapolis.
Similarly, businesses and patrons alike complain about the large number of young people at night whom some see as intimidating…bars and clubs downtown that lure the 18-and-older set with cover charges that can be cheaper than a movie ticket…Once in, they can party until 2 a.m.
Teenagers and booze mix about as well as politicians and power. One might think the bars would see a self-interest in curbing packs of drunk teen…
…but then, with a $15/hour minimum wage and mandatory sick time coming up, they have other best interests to see to.
Minneapolis isn’t serious about solving any social problem; the whole city is a vehicle for virtue-signaling.
Tomorrow: The Same Old Crap About Guns