Chapter Four: The City Council Members – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates / Noisy Waters Northwest

October 19, 2021 Dena Jensen

From Introduction – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates : 

Materials that were responsive to a number of recent public records requests obtained from the City of Bellingham, and one request from Whatcom County, provide insights into notable communications strategies of existing City staff, the mayor’s office, and some City Council Members regarding many of the winter’s events related to homelessness. On some of these matters, communications were being coordinated between the City and County executive branches.

Based on information contained in those materials, an important question arises regarding future actions of folks newly stepping up to run, or those continuing on to serve their community in public office: will they take action to eliminate government approaches that view or portray individuals and community organizations serving people in crisis as adversaries?

Chapter One: The County Executive – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates

Chapter Two: City Staff and the Mayor – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates

Chapter Three: The Police Department – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates

Chapter Four: The City Council Members

[Editor’s note: all redactions in this chapter are provided by the editor in the interest of not providing specific names of private persons considered unnecessary to the integrity of this review.]

During the Bellingham City Council’s public comment period at their February 22, 2021 regular Council meeting, a community member read the demands that were current at that time, that had been posted on social media by Bellingham Occupied Protest Mutual Aid, also known as BOP Mutual Aid.

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Riveters Collective Justice System Committee reviews investigation of complaint against BPD officer

Click the graphic displaying text from the Riveters Collective Justice System Committee’s review about the BPD internal investigation of their officer’s handling of a traffic incident involving Lelo Juarez in 2015 to access that full review

September 30, 2021 Dena Jensen

Although I’m not currently working with Riveters Collective Justice System Committee, I am excited about their latest work. 

Here’s the link to access their full review of Bellingham Police Department’s internal investigation regarding one of their officer’s handling of an incident involving 15 year old, Alfredo ‘Lelo’ Juarez, who ended up being detained at the Northwest Detention Center back in 2015 after being pulled over for a traffic stop:  https://riveterscollective.org/2021/09/learn-why-we-believe-police-reform-is-necessary/

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Chapter Two: City Staff and the Mayor – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates / Noisy Waters Northwest

July 29, 2021 Dena Jensen

From Introduction – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates : 

Materials that were responsive to a number of recent public records requests obtained from the City of Bellingham, and one request from Whatcom County, provide insights into notable communications strategies of existing City staff, the mayor’s office, and some City Council Members regarding many of the winter’s events related to homelessness. On some of these matters, communications were being coordinated between the City and County executive branches.

Based on information contained in those materials, an important question arises regarding future actions of folks newly stepping up to run, or those continuing on to serve their community in public office: will they take action to eliminate government approaches that view or portray individuals and community organizations serving people in crisis as adversaries?

Chapter One: The County Executive – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates

Chapter Two: City Staff and the Mayor

By the time the December 7, 2020 Bellingham City Council meeting arrived last year, the protest calling for more homeless services known as 210 Camp or Camp 210, had been occupying the lawn at Bellingham City Hall for almost a month.

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Sunrise Bellingham Climate Action Group Calls for Rep. Larsen and Washington Senators to Commit to Creating Good Jobs for All / Press Release, Sunrise Bellingham

April 5, 2021 Press Release, Sunrise Bellingham

Event Date: April 7th, 2021.

➡️‼️RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER ‼️⬅️Good Jobs for All Rally @ Taylor DockThis Thursday, April 8th, 4 – 6pm. Here is the link to sign up for the action:  https://www.mobilize.us/sunrisemovement/event/381

Bellingham, WA — The Sunrise Movement, which includes the Sunrise Bellingham Hub, is demanding a Green New Deal that guarantees a good job fighting climate change and making a safer, healthier society to anyone who wants one. We are calling on Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and Representative Larsen to take the Good Jobs for All Pledge. The pledge is a commitment to invest $10 trillion to create at least 15 million good jobs over the next decade, with 50% of funds going to communities on the frontlines of our economic, environmental, and public health crises. When we say “good jobs” we mean jobs with safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits, and protection of workers’ rights to organize.

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‘She comes and goes addressing the camps’: Who decides homeless camp ‘clean ups’ for the City of Bellingham? / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the screenshot of a HomesNow. Not Later. Facebook post with text and picturing a Zoom meeting still frame of the 9/11/20 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting in order to access a recording of that meeting


September 12, 2020 Dena Jensen

On Friday, September 11, 2020 Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup (HSW) held their most recent meeting. Many critical issues were discussed and people should watch and listen to the whole meeting. Homelessness is an emergency for many members of our community.

In this blog post, however, I am providing a transcription of a discussion during the meeting, which began shortly before public comment was taken and continued throughout some of the public comments later on. The discussion focused on Bellingham Police Department (BPD) policy/procedure related to City of Bellingham unauthorized homeless “camp clean ups”, as they are referred to by COB.

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Bellingham Police use of force statistics focus could obstruct reductions in use of force / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screen Shot 2020-07-11 at 5.50.45 PM

Click the screenshot of a YouTube video image of BPD Lieutenant Don Almer in his police uniform speaking to BPD Outreach Officer Jon Knutsen to access the video on YouTube

July 11, 2020  Dena Jensen

A July 8, 2020 Bellingham Police Perspective Project Video, is a good example of recent public relations material going out to the community from law enforcement. It seems beneficial to examine such communications as we seek to make strides toward reducing police use of force and discriminatory practices. Continue reading

April Barker’s email response addressing the Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council’s 2019 contribution to her mayoral campaign / Noisy Waters Northwest

September 24, 2019 Dena Jensen

In a September 22, 2019 blog post, I had published the text of a September 18, 2019 email that I had sent to 2019 Bellingham mayoral candidate April Barker regarding a campaign contribution that had been made to her campaign by the Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council (WCAHC). The Whatcom County Affordable Housing Council is a 2019 continuing political action committee.

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