Calling for more sheltering and services and less policing / Letter to Mayor Fleetwood and the Bellingham City Council

Click the image of two unmasked security officers in black jackets walking together in downtown Bellingham’s commercial district to access the Cascadia Daily News article, “Bellingham hires security to patrol downtown”

February 3, 2022 Dena Jensen

Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2022, 01:11:02 PM PST

Subject: Calling for more sheltering and services and less policing

Dear Mayor Fleetwood and Bellingham City Council:

I don’t know what question was asked by the reporter or what the exact statement was that Mayor Fleetwood made, but the following acknowledgement of the mayor’s that was highlighted in the February 2, 2022 Cascadia Daily article,  “Bellingham hires security to patrol downtown,”

(https://www.cascadiadaily.com/news/2022/feb/02/bellingham-hires-security-to-patrol-downtown/) is a position that I imagine a lot of community members are getting a strong sense of through the supporting actions that are described throughout the article:

“Fleetwood acknowledged that part of the security team’s job is to reduce the visible population of homeless people in the city’s commercial areas.”

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COB contract with Risk Solutions Unlimited for downtown Bellingham security personnel

January 31, 2022 Dena Jensen

On Friday, January 28, 2022, I submitted a records request for the contract the City of Bellingham has entered into with Risk Solutions Unlimited related to currently providing security personnel who, the City has said, “are scheduled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as part of an initiative to support a safe, clean, welcoming downtown.” I received a copy of the contract today, of which people can access a copy at this link: https://noisywatersnw.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/rsu_contract_-_downtown_security.pdf

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Whatcom News gives The Center Square politics a place to spark / Noisy Waters Northwest

Image of a billboard illustration with a person papering over a dog logo and the wording “watchdog” with a new sign showing a logo of linking squares and the wording “The Center Square.” Click the image to access a linked PR Watch article “Franklin’s Right-Wing Watchdog.org Rebrands as The Center Square”

January 21, 2022 Dena Jensen

Earlier this week, Blaine’s weekly community newspaper, The Northern Light, reported that an unidentified Blaine business owner had funded the United States Postal Service delivery of hundreds of copies of a startup publication called The Flame to Blaine and Birch Bay residents.

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Bellingham plans for emergency winter shelters: a spring to spring timeline / Noisy Waters Northwest

January 16, 2022 Dena Jensen

March 3, 2021

In a communications document from early last year, with the header “Winter Into Spring Communications Strategy,” shared in an email by Bellingham Parks and Recreation Director Nicole Oliver, there was an outline point that stated, “Health Dept. recommends no government-run emergency winter shelters in future.”

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The iChange Justice weekly podcast! / Press Release, Restorative Community Coalition

Click the image of the Restorative Community Coalition’s iChange Justice podcast Spotify page to access it on the Spotify website

December 10, 2021 Press Release, Restorative Community Coalition

For Immediate Release           PRESS RELEASE

BELLINGHAM, Dec 10, 2021 – The Restorative Community Coalition (RCC), www.therestorativecommunity.org, 360-354-3653

Just Announced:  The iChange Justice weekly podcast! 

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Whatcom and Bellingham governments to community: expect to go without / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image of participants at a Zoom meeting to access the Whatcom County meeting information page for the Housing Advisory Committee

December 11, 2021 Dena Jensen

Back in November it was just a statement at a City Council committee meeting and more narrowly focused on homeless sheltering: “We are doing what we can locally. We will not meet the demand. We will never meet the demand.” 

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So far, Whatcom County winter season sheltering options are Scrooged / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image to access the most recent information on Lighthouse Mission Ministries’ emergency sheltering availability

December 8, 2021 Dena Jensen

At the December 2, 2021 Whatcom County Coalition to End Homelessness (WCCEH) meeting that took place over Zoom, Whatcom County Human Services Supervisor Ann Beck prefaced her update on Whatcom County winter sheltering efforts by saying it had been a bad day at work for her. She explained that would be the reason, should she tear up at any point during her presentation. Beck also shared that she was due to attend another meeting related to the heavy flooding that has displaced unprecedented numbers of people in the County.

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Zoom event: Re-imagining–Connecting to Water, Food, and Shelter as Basic Human Rights / Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and Amnesty International Group 270

Click the image to access details and Zoom access to this event on Facebook

December 5, 2021 Event Announcement

The Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and Amnesty International Group 270 present

Re-imagining–Connecting to WaterFood, and Shelter as Basic Human Rights

Date: Friday, December 10, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Online via zoom, link on event page

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/802635657122439

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Homefullness in so-called Whatcom County: Can we get a witness?

Click the image of the POOR Press store webpage displaying the cover of the Homefulness Handbook for ordering a copy of the handbook. The page provides additional information about the book

November 15, 2021 Dena Jensen

Bellingham City Council held their November 15, 2021 Special Meeting – Public Comment session tonight. These sessions are not recorded. I have been trying to record each of them, myself, so I have a record of what our community members want their representatives to know. And I keep and submit a written copy of my comments via EngageBellingham, because over half of Council Members do not attend the public comment session each week that they occur, so they apparently never get to hear what has been said.

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