March 21, 2021 Dena Jensen
It seems that the Port of Bellingham would benefit from hearing more from all of us here in Whatcom County about the motivations for our desire of them to help contribute solutions to our friends and neighbors sleeping outside and getting swept by police officers in Bellingham and at WWU. Apparently they were also swept from Port of Bellingham property at Laurel and Cornwall on the day that COB swept folks from Geri Field. Contact information is at the bottom fo this post.
This sweep on Port property by armed police officers was not one where community members were given notice, and is getting little publicity so far. You can click through the link in this post to the part of the video (at the 01:31:53 mark) of the Port Commission’s March 16, 2021 meeting and listen to public comment about the sweep, the desired use of Port property being requested, and Port Commissioner Briscoe quizzing one of the commenters multiple times.
It would be educational for some of the Commissioners to learn how many community volunteers and advocates for folks who are sleeping out in the cold right now have spent hours of their personal time offering them services, and yes, many have offered for them to stay at their personal properties, have secured other private properties where they could stay, or have paid for them to stay in motels – all because of insufficient diverse sheltering options being provided in our local communities.
I will be letting Port Commissioner Briscoe know that it is not conducive to public engagement for him to ask his second bout of questioning of someone offering public comment and then to try to cut off the answer when the commenter first starts to respond.
Term: 1/1/18 – 12/31/21