Ever think, here in the year 2022 in Bellingham and Whatcom County, folks have got to be off-base who are claiming that law enforcement officers, paramedics, EMT’s (emergency medical technicians) or firefighters don’t have sufficient knowledge of behavioral health concepts and approaches to properly serve the needs of community members?
In advance of that forum the Bellingham City Council received some presentations yesterday from the Whatcom County Prosecutor and from Bellingham Police Department’s Deputy Chief related to crime.
Based on material I heard in those presentations I sent the email below to the Whatcom County Justice Project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee. This is the email address people can use to contact them: SAC@co.whatcom.wa.us
At a recent Bellingham City Club event, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu asserted that our local county and city policies do not cause homelessness. Last night I wrote to highlight some of the local policies that came to my mind that seem to be obvious contributors to homelessness and to continue to prompt the Executive and Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood, who also appeared at the event, to take action to address those policies.
As people are becoming more and more aware, Whatcom County is moving forward in various government meetings towards a needs assessment for what they are calling a “public health, safety and justice facility.” In general, that facility is acknowledged to be a new jail in combination with mental and behavioral health services.
On March 14, 2022, a presentation was given on RV parking code enforcement by Bellingham Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Claudia Murphy to Bellingham City Council’s Committee of the Whole. This presentation was given about three and a half months after City of Bellingham had initiated rigorous parking code enforcement following the lifting of the statewide ban on evictions.
Dear Bellingham City Council, Mayor Fleetwood, Whatcom County Council, and County Executive Sidhu:
Over the last week or two, I have been reviewing body worn camera recordings of Bellingham Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Lt. Claudia Murphy related to City of Bellingham’s increase in parking enforcement during the current pandemic.
At Whatcom County Council’s March 22, 2022 public hearing regarding the Ordinance that Council Members Donovan and Galloway proposed for repealing Ordinance 2022-005, temporary closure of Gulf Road, many people turned out to voice their desire to retain vehicular access to a beach area that they testified was a very important element to the well-being in their lives.
From some of my experiences and observations over the course of the last year, I would say that we are in a period where the tools for community members in Whatcom County to hold their elected and appointed officials accountable are more challenging to employ in some ways. There are at least some public records requests that are being filled more slowly than they were in years past, and rules around providing open public comment at local government meetings have fluctuated, with some opportunities to do so in the City of Bellingham having been eliminated. It remains to be seen if this pans out to be a temporary phenomenon or one that we continue to increasingly struggle with.
PR specialist, Gerald Baron is at it again, continuing to carry out the agenda he described in a 2018 book promoting the defeat of activists, and specifically of Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development (C2C). You can read all about their leadership and ecofeminist efforts at https://www.foodjustice.org/team.
Subject: Regarding RV parking enforcement and equity in our community
Dear Bellingham City Council:
Yesterday I was able to listen to most of your March 14, 2022 Committee of the Whole meeting, and your entire discussion related to the “Update on RV’s and the 72 hour Rule.”
First, I would like to mention the part of the committee discussion on enforcing parking code for RVs where Bellingham Police Department Lieutenant Claudia Murphy responded to Bellingham City Council Chair Hannah Stone talking about the challenge of packing up camping gear increasing in relation to how often people might have to do that. It was apparent in the discussion that most of the community members undergoing code enforcement were living in their RVs as their primary shelter.