Seattle Is Dying. It's a harsh title. Someone on social media even called it a "hopeless" title. I'll admit to you that I wrestled with the name for some time. Too dramatic, I wondered? Too dark? In the end I went with it because I believe it to be true. I believe that Seattle is dying. Rotting from within.
This show, that we've been working on for several months now, is really the third in a kind of trilogy.
The first was called "There But For the Grace of God..." It explored homelessness from the inside out in 2016.
The second was called, "Demon at the Door." It was about the hellish existence of heroin addiction.
This one is about everyone else.It's about citizens who don't feel safe taking their families into downtown Seattle. It's about parents who won't take their children into the public parks they pay for. It's about filth and degradation all around us. And theft and crime. It's about people who don't feel protected anymore, who don't feel like their voices are being heard.
This program is not about demonizing those who are struggling with addiction and homelessness and mental illness. On the contrary. Instead, it asks the question, "Why aren't we doing more? Why don't we have the courage to intervene in lives that are, in the face of a grave sickness, reeling out of control?"
It's called, Seattle is Dying, and I believe the title to be true. But it's not a hopeless program. There are ideas and concepts in the show that could start conversations about change.
Mostly, I want it to be a reminder that this is not normal. This is not the way it has to be. This is not right.
You can watch the special on KOMO 4 when it re-airs Saturday March 23 at 10 p.m. (20/20 will air at 1:05 a.m. instead) and Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m.