A call to provide winter shelters in Bellingham and Whatcom County / Letter to Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council

October 30, 2020 Dena Jensen

Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 07:39:21 PM PDT

Subject: A call to provide winter shelters

Dear Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council:

I am calling on you to take immediate action to address the absence of ample winter shelters to keep individuals being left with no other option than to sleep outside overnight during conditions that can cause hypothermia, and in the middle of a pandemic. According to an October 16, 2020 King5 report, “Washington State remains on track for a cooler, wetter winter.” https://www.king5.com/article/weather/weather-blog/winter-outlook-wetter-colder-washington-state/281-8a300d02-79fb-48b3-837f-2303c49133af 

Continue reading

Agency glorification won’t generate community trust in law enforcement / Letter to BPD Chief David Doll and Bellingham City Council

Click the still frame of the Bellingham Herald video “Messages show how police used man with mental health issues in prank” to access the video on The Bellingham Herald website

August 27, 2020 Dena Jensen

Dear Chief Doll and Bellingham City Council:

I want to address the statement made by Bellingham Police Chief Doll at Bellingham City Council’s August 24, 2020 meeting. Chief Doll’s remarks were in regard to the four Bellingham Police officers who were involved in an incident where one of the officers responded to a 911 call during which a phone number was requested to a cab company from a man with a severe mental illness on Sept. 19, 2019. The incident developed into four BPD officers agreeing to one of them intercepting the victim who had called 911, and was not seeking BPD involvement or services, to use him to play a prank on some off-duty officers. 

Continue reading

Attending sweeps of unsheltered residents during pandemic sounds alarms for better solutions / Letter to Whatcom County Council & Bellingham City Council

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 6.43.27 PM

Click the graphic of a portion of a recent listing of Bellingham Police Daily Activity displaying four different items regarding Illegal Camp clean ups and notifications to access this information on the COB website

July 9, 2020  Dena Jensen

Sent: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 07:47:20 PM PDT

Subject: A call for providing funding and land for tiny home communities

Dear Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council:

I am writing to call on you to support the request of community members and members of HomesNOW! to act quickly to reappropriate funds from things like unauthorized tent site clean-ups toward the creation of tent, tiny home, or cottage communities.

Continue reading

Intensified intimidation and persecution can ensue as Whatcom County gun store stokes alarm / Letter to Ferndale City Council

June 13, 2020  Dena Jensen

Subject: Calling for Council Members to refrain from actions that intensify intimidation or persecution of people of color and other marginalized community members

Dear Ferndale City Council:

During this time of extreme pain and demand for action from people in our communities who are Black and of other oppressed and persecuted communities, I wanted to write you about what I see as a visible representation of violence and intimidation that stands in close proximity to your Council. Continue reading

Drop-in Center shelter in pursuit of move; more sheltering solutions needed / Email to the Bellingham City Council and Mayor Fleetwood

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 6.00.41 PM

Click the screenshot of a headline, photo of the Public Market building on Cornwall Ave. in Bellingham, and small section of text to access the full June 10, 2020 Press Release on the City of Bellingham website.

June 12, 2020  Dena Jensen

Here’s a summary before I move on to the text of my email to the Bellingham City Council and Mayor Fleetwood.

A couple articles have come out recently – a commentary in Northwest Citizen, and a news story in The Bellingham Heraldabout the potential move of Lighthouse Mission Ministries’ Drop-In Center, from it’s temporary location at Bellingham High School while the school was off session due to COVID-19, to the vacant Public Market building in downtown Bellingham. The relocated Drop-In Center would conceivably remain in that building for a period of up to four years. Continue reading

Restricted brainstorming during the May 29, 2020, Whatcom County Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting / Letter to the Homeless Strategies Workgroup

Screen Shot 2020-06-01 at 1.08.27 PM

Click the graphic of members of the Homeless Strategies Workgroup, each shown in their own video squares during a virtual meeting, to access the video recording of the May 29, 2020 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting on the Whatcom County website

June 1, 2020  Dena Jensen

On May 29, 2020 Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup held its first meeting since March, 13, 2020, shortly after Governor Inslee declared a State of Emergency regarding COVID-19. Here is a link to the meeting agenda: http://whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/47558/Meeting-Agenda-24—2020-05-29

Below is an email I wrote to the Homeless Strategies Workgroup regarding that May 29 meeting.

Continue reading

June 2, 2020 public hearing on moratorium regarding Cherry Point unrefined fossil fuel export projects / Letter to the Whatcom County Council

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 7.14.30 PM

Click the graphic to access the above Public Hearing Notice and any others for the week of June 2 on the Whatcom County website

May 27, 2020  Dena Jensen

Don’t forget that next week there is a virtual public hearing on the interim moratorium regarding Cherry Point. I just found out we are urged to register in advance if we want to attend and/or speak at the hearing. This is the link to the page that has information about that: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/3415/Virtual-Council-Public-Hearings

Continue reading

No hasty green-lights during COVID-19 / Letter to the Whatcom County Council

Click the graphic to access a copy of Whatcom County Council Member Ben Elenbaas’s “Letter to Governor as amended on 5.19.2020” on the Whatcom County website

May 21, 2020  Dena Jensen

Subject: Please develop resources to help businesses and community members be resilient during the current health emergency

Dear Whatcom County Council:

So far, I have listened to the first two hours and the last hour of your 5 hour Whatcom County Council meeting from May 19, 2020. During that time a lot of attention was brought by Council Member Ben Elenbaas to the idea that the Coronavirus is going to stay with us for a long time, perhaps infinitely. Continue reading

Elenbaas’ ‘illegal’ ordinance is still in the running; letter to the Whatcom County Council / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 7.35.28 PM

Screenshot of a portion of the emergency ordinance which Whatcom County Council Member Ben Elenbaas proposed at the 4/21/20 Whatcom County Council Meeting

April 24, 2020  Dena Jensen
Here is the email I sent tonight to the Whatcom County Council:
Dear Whatcom County Council:
I recently listened to your April 21, 2020 County Council and Health Board meeting and wanted to address your discussion of the emergency ordinance, “SUPPORTING A THOUGHTFUL APPROACH TO DOING BUSINESS IN WHATCOM COUNTY DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC,” proposed by Council Member Elenbaas. https://whatcom.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8264036&GUID=09006792-35A3-43D4-AF30-ACD95D3197B2
This was brought forward as an emergency ordinance, which failed 5-2 with Council Members Elenbaas and Byrd in support, but with most Council Members, along with their legal counsel Karen Frakes, noting that the ordinance would have been illegal and in violation of Governor Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Healthy order. However after voting down the proposed emergency ordinance, County Council Members perplexingly went on to vote unanimously to have the same proposal introduced to be considered as a regular ordinance at the next Whatcom County Council meeting.

Continue reading