… Because the mayor proposes more free stuff
Maria Milsted has had enough. Which means the bums, druggies, and shake-down thugs infesting upper State Street — just one block from the state Capitol — are on notice. One week ago (09-02-19) Maria issued this four-alarm alert:
Ok! Done! No more! I am going to the media. This is not a threat, it is a promise! They will listen. It’s time we support our police who have their hands tied and all of this. No more empty promises. NO MORE!
Those of us who treasure this native of Madison’s Greenbush neighborhood know Maria Milsted turns words into action. The result was the Page One, top-line headline in Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal:
Eight weeks after Madison’s mayor declared “the party’s over” there’s little sign those involved in troubling behavior at the top of State Street — including fights, aggressive panhandling, drug dealing and prostitution — are ready to call it a night.
In one particularly stark example of how bad the panhandling has become, police report that an employee at Ian’s Pizza at 100 State Street — which has its own list of people banned from the establishment — was recently chased down and “sucker punched” by a panhandler whose plea for money she declined.
… “It’s a matter of time,” Milsted said. “There’s going to be a homicide up there.”
Nike Martin of Ian’s Pizza e-mailed Maria on September 1, “The victim you read about … was an employee of mine at the State Street location. … this is the second employee assaulted this year. I’m grasping at what we do to actually move the needle on this. It’s time to get something done.
Reaping the bitter fruits …
… of Madison’s victim mentality. East Towne Mall, Hilldale, etc. are private property so they can enforce public decorum so shoppers feel safe. The City of Madison owns State Street and its sidewalks and parks. Which means visit at your own risk — especially after dark.
⇒ The root of the problem is Madison’s terribly woke ambition to be another Portland Oregon or San Francisco. Police, doncha know, are the problem. More free stuff is their answer. Indeed, The Emerald City’s lady mayor “has emphasized the need for increased services for Madison’s homeless population.” Public toilets, for instance.
Which means the other shoe will drop, according to WSJ reporter Chris Rickert. “Downtown neighborhood officer Kraig Kalka acknowledged at the Mifflin neighborhood meeting that residents and business owners may well be seeing fewer police on the streets.” They’re too tied up working crimes.
Will take their business elsewhere
Over at Caffeinated Politics, Greg Humphrey reports “Madison’s State Street has serious safety issues.”
James and I grabbed a malt from a shop, and as we sat for a moment, soon realized that the area was not suited for us. One person was clearly having a drug (whatever) episode and fell back on the pavement while in a sitting position. Another person nearby laughed and said the person was “wasted.” That was more than enough to witness and we moved to enjoy our ice cream elsewhere.
Greg then describes witnessing a drug deal before continuing.
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is playing to her progressive base when she says the homeless population is not to blame for the behavior which alarms business owners and frustrates police. But those of us who are not wedded to a mere slogan that sells at election time knows the criminal and violent behavior is created by a cast of characters who need to be dealt with in a fashion that will end the problem.
… Perhaps a policy that does not cater to people who are classified as homeless would also be an answer. Sometimes putting forth a tough and strong policy is better than adding toilets.
Also on 09-01-19, Victor Villacrez of a property management company wrote of being panhandled. “To my surprise and dismay the woman started to follow and started to harass me calling me a “bitch” etc. …
It appears to be individuals and maybe groups deliberately trying to intimidate, bullying, people into giving them money. This is unacceptable criminal behavior and should not be tolerated like we do when the same people sleep on the streets or defecate in open public. …
Madison has changed and I for one am not going to be intimidated by individuals who do not give a rat’s you know what about our downtown and am willing to do what it takes to make change. Working together in a coalition we have a better chance in getting something done. … a “Force to be Reckoned With,” I’m sorry to say, is what is needed right now. Who’s with me?
Maria and Dan Milsted’s call to action:
We have to stand up and demand this city administration allow the police to do what they have been trained and hired to do.…to PROTECT US. I am pleading to our downtown business peers and residents to stand up and speak up. Stop complaining. Do something. I’m tired of those who complain & then “kiss up” to city Administration & Legislature & and sit and wait for them to do something. Wake up! They are NOT going to solve this problem! All the city has done for us is to deem the homeless a “protective class” and allow panhandling and raise taxes and special assessments.
Dear Alder Verveer, I have a request.
In addition to your sponsoring to pass an ordinance to protect the homeless and allow panhandling, why don’t you pass an ordinance to protect businesses & downtown residents? Perhaps it might be more important to spend time on helping get rid of crime in downtown Madison than promoting the Mifflin Street party every year!
— Maria and Dan Milsted
Blaska’s Bottom Line: What do you expect from a city that has been investigating the police for the last four years?