After my wife and I accidentally crashed a ladder through an upstairs window we have realized that we are too old to wrestle ladders or work in high places.
Therefore, we have taken to hiring men from Aurora Village parking lot. Recently, Shoreline Police have been ever present, chasing the would-be helpers around.
It is difficult to find good, hard workers willing to tackle just about any task, especially on the spur of the moment. These guys are affordable and provide an important service to our communities. We know other citizens in Edmonds who have been very pleased to use day laborers.
While some merchants have complained about a few men who have caused problems we would appreciate a moratorium on police harassment until something more constructive can done.
Of the men we have hired recently to help re-shingle and repaint our home, two Mexican men and a Vietnamese man have been very reliable, hardworking, conscientious and skilled. They send money to support their families, and all spend money at Starbucks. At least one of the men has an account at the Bank of America (one of the most outspoken complainers.)
Here is an idea to try:
Have the cities of both Shoreline and Edmonds to establish a “casual labor corner” in a prominent location where laborers can wait for work. Somewhere near Home Depot, if possible. Put a high-visibility see-through fence around it and require a photo ID for all who wish to enter and wait there for work. If anyone acts irresponsibility, ban them from returning. Ask people looking for helpers to go first to the casual labor corner and to avoid hiring people from outside that corner.
We think this could be done in a way that absolves the merchants of responsibility for the behavior of the workers. The merchants would be providing a service to their shoppers and to the community.
Stopping police harassment of willing workers can allow us to “age in place,” maintain our homes, build a more humane and compassionate image for our cities, and generally enhance commerce.
The current approach doesn’t really work anyway, and gives one of our major shopping sites the appearance of a police state.
Cliff Sanderlin & Heather Marks