Open letter to Bellingham City Council / Victoria Matey and Maru Mora Villalpando

Excerpt from the March 6, 2019 “Open letter to Bellingham City Council” by Victoria Matey and Maru Mora Villalpando

March 6, 2019 Victoria Matey and Maru Mora Villalpando

On February 25th, 2019 the City of Bellingham, in Washington State, reviewed the ordinance–#2017-02-008 and BMC Chapter 2.25 regarding immigration matters in the city. Two years ago, undocumented students and community members advised the city not to collaborate with federal immigration officials in order to make Bellingham a safer city for everyone by addressing racial profiling. Instead, the city passed an ordinance that not only dismissed everything the undocumented community was collectively working towards, but also passed an ordinance supposedly to protect the undocumented community with zero enforcement and accountability, and with no promise of keeping our community safe from immigration enforcement families being torn apart. 

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Some same old lines and some questionable progress on immigrant protection: notes on the 2/25/19 Bellingham City Council Justice Committee meeting / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access video of the 2/25/29 Bellingham City Council Justice Committee meeting

It’s been two full years since the City of Bellingham abruptly pushed aside the Keep Bellingham Families Working ordinance in favor of approving their own ordinance regarding immigrant protection. In all that time there has been no amending of that ordinance or activation of civilian oversight or of a safe space to report discrimination or persecution.

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Sluggish and inadequate government response to local extreme weather threats to the unhoused / Facebook post, Sj Robson

City of Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, left. Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws, right.

February 14, 2019 Sandy Robson

It is painful to witness the continued sluggish and inadequate response from the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County governments to the critical situation facing some unhoused/unsheltered people in Whatcom County during this current period of very cold weather and the accompanying build-up of snow.

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Elected officials, beacons, and blind spots / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the Facebook event for the January 14, 2019 Monday Dignity Vigil at Bellingham City Hall

January 10, 2019 Dena Jensen

When I received a response email from Bellingham City Council Member Michael Lilliquist today, I had to think hard about whether or not I should publicly remark on it. It’s not like it was, in many ways, remarkable in comparison to the few other email responses I have received from him. In fact, some Bellingham City Council Members do not respond to me – ever – regarding my emails asking them to reach out and develop relationships with frontline and marginalized community members. Most of the time, I don’t even expect them to email me back. I just want them to take action.

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The recent HomesNOW! meeting with COB staff / Facebook post, Noisy Waters Northwest

Jim and Sepler

Click the graphic to access this video in the HOMES NOW! BELLINGHAM Facebook group

October 13, 2018  Dena Jensen

In this video Jim Peterson of HomesNOW! Not Later gives an update on a recent meeting Jim went to with Bellingham Planning Director Rick Sepler, Bellingham Police Department Chief Doll, and (I believe) COB Finance Director Brian Henshaw. It’s great to listen to, if you have the time, because you get a feel for how frustrating it is to just be granted permission to move forward with work that really, we would think our government officials would be leaping to help facilitate.  Continue reading

Overseeing the fight for civilian oversight to protect immigrants and people of color in Bellingham / Noisy Waters Northwest

you don't have my vote postcard front cropped

postcards to mayor redacted aqua

Graphics show one postcard front side (top), and multiple reverse/message sides of postcards sent to Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville by community members in June of 2017

May 23, 2018  Dena Jensen

The following report offers information gained through a public records request I made of the City of Bellingham on January 18, 2018.

Protecting vulnerable members of our community is a shared responsibility that none of us should take lightly. As much as government agencies may strive for and purport transparency, it is generally human nature to not be able to recognize our own flaws and, if others point them out, to do our best to excuse them or deny that this flaw, which another person sees, is really there.

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One Year Anniversary for Dignity Vigils in Bellingham / Letter to Bellingham City and Whatcom County Councils, Dena Jensen

February 13, 2018  Dena Jensen

Dear Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council:

I am writing early this week to let you know that next week there will be a special Dignity Vigil honoring the one year anniversary of these vigils in downtown Bellingham held in solidarity with immigrant and undocumented people, and to stand against law enforcement and federal immigration collaboration which leads to deportation. I hope you will all plan on attending during any portion, or all of the 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. time period. I will send you more details about next Monday’s vigil when they are available!:

https://www.facebook.com/events/144972296180055/ Continue reading