As Whatcom County moves forward with the beginning phases of their Public Health and Public Safety Initiative regarding behavioral health services, incarceration, and justice reform needs in Whatcom County — discussed in a September 19, 2019 post here on Noisy Waters Northwest — I thought it would be good for us to have some historical background and a list of materials related to the County’s progress in addressing critical life safety renovations at the existing downtown Whatcom County Jail.
The Searchlight Review published a September 22, 2019 article that focused on Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, who is running for re-election this year, as well as two conservative groups in Skagit County, in relation to We Speak, a new social media platform for Christian conservatives founded by local Trump supporter Ray Gilbride, and his wife, Danielle Gilbride.
That cute little graphic at the top of this post is displayed on a link to the Whatcom County Planning Commission’s not-so-cute 9/26/19 work session regarding the Cherry Point Comprehensive Plan and code amendments. I listened the the whole 3 hour – close to 4 – meeting. It was alarming and disappointing for a number of reasons I described in a letter to the Commissioners that I will post here.
[Editor’s Note, October 11, 2019: According to a communication from James McKinney today, who is mentioned in Jay Taber’s post below, Mr. McKinney has not been an executive director of Common Threads Northwest for two years. However, the perception that he remains the executive director is, to this editor, understandable, since a list of the current leadership of Common Threads Northwest is not available on their website. A phone call was made to Common Threads Northwest today to verify who their leadership includes, but no one answered and a recording stated their mailbox was full. Meanwhile, there is a February 6, 2018 Bellingham Herald video* with a caption that refers to Jim McKinney as being the executive director of Common Threads Northwest. Additionally, there is a November 30, 2018 annual report for Saturna Capital** — in which Mr. McKinney is listed as a trustee for Saturna Capital– that identifies him as the executive director of Common Threads Northwest.Mr. McKinney is also currently identified, at the Crew List which is linked to on the Saturna Capital website About page, as being the executive director of Common Threads Northwest.*** Again, according to Mr. McKinney, he is not currently the executive director of Common Threads Northwest. – Dena Jensen, Noisy Waters Northwest]
Below is the email I sent to members of the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force today regarding that event:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> Cc: Barry Buchanan <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 01:57:18 PM PDT Subject: Regarding the 9/23/19 Whatcom County Justice Updates event and addressing issues related to trust
Dear Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force Members:
I recently watched the video of the Whatcom County Justice Updates event that was held on Monday, September 23, 2019. I wanted to address the issue of trust that was one of the focuses of the meeting.
In a September 22, 2019 blog post, I had published the text of a September 18, 2019 email that I had sent to 2019 Bellingham mayoral candidate April Barker regarding a campaign contribution that had been made to her campaign by the Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council (WCAHC). The Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council is a 2019 continuing political action committee.