This election season I encourage residents of Whatcom County to call on 2019 candidates for office to use their visibility and amplified voices during their campaigns to spark critical changes for negatively impacted communities all around us who are experiencing crisis.
Community members continue to show up weekly to call on our local government agencies to engage with members of the immigrant community, of all statuses, to reduce and hopefully put an end to, the daily fear and apprehension that they endure living under the Trump administration, not to mention the profiling and mistreatment numerous individuals experience at the hands of local officials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →