In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Marcellus says to Horatio, "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark." which is now more commonly phrased as "there's something rotten in Denmark", the original source believed to be referencing rotting fish, a good reason to hold your nose. Whether there is still something odoriferous in Danish castles I don't know but last night, after the Seahawk's victory over San Francisco, something definitely smelled in the greater Pioneer Square neighborhood and it wasn't just carbon emitted exhaust. There they all were, illegal and unimpeded: Uber, Eastside for Hire and the other for-hire companies, and those menacing "black car" limousines loading up all those taxi passengers.
And notably absence from the post-game festivities was any obvious enforcement and all those drivers knew it. Operating with total impunity, minus any fear of legal retribution they stole fares right before my eyes. Not only is it not reasonable, it is insulting. We are the regulated industry and the only ones licensed to pickup off of the streets. The City Council know this. The Seattle Police Department know this. The Office of Consumer Affairs know this. The City Prosecutor knows this. And nothing changes, everything remaining the same. Incredible!
The inevitable conclusion then is that something is going on beneath the surface and I want to know what it is. I want to know JUST WHO in Seattle city government is permitting this blatant theft because none of this can be accidental. I believe there are a group of individuals involved in what is essentially a conspiracy against the Seattle taxi industry. I want them to be outed and held accountable. I can not think of one other instance where an entire sector of the Seattle business community has been this victimized.
This situation is unprecedented. We need to know why this is occurring. We need to know who is allowing it. And we need it to stop. Noting less is acceptable. For over three long years I have watched these crimes perpetrated against the taxis fester and explode. All our protests have been ignored. Why? Again I ask, why?
The time for the City of Seattle to be held accountable is long past. I truly feel that once the story is revealed there will be resignations and potential arrests. It is now time to begin asking if graft is involved. Incompetence can't be the only explanation. I am calling for the Seattle Attorneys Office to open an investigation. Waiting for the Seattle City Council to finish their deliberations can not be used as justification for doing nothing. I and my taxi brethren are losing money. Thieves are stealing our business. We are not just requesting justice. We are demanding it.
This is all very strange. I am beginning to feel like Lincoln Steffens, deja vu a hundred years later. What city am I in anyway? Has Seattle suddenly relocated itself to the Midwest?