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

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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.

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New Immigrant Advisory Board and WA bills to support highlighted at C2C’s Migrant Justice Forum / Noisy Waters Northwest

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Click the graphic to access video of C2C’s January 22, 2020 Migrant Justice Forum. The presentation by Liz Darrow begins at around 18:00:00

January 31, 2020  Dena Jensen

On January 22, 2020, our local ecofeminist, immigration and farm labor advocacy organization, Community to Community Development, held a Migrant Justice Forum at the Localgroup Studio in Bellingham. One the presenters, Liz Darrow, who focuses on policy coordination, legislative advocacy, and media for C2C, offered a status update on the Bellingham City Council’s Immigration Advisory Board which was created by ordinance in October 2019. Ms. Darrow also brought forward a number of Washington State bills for this legislative session that merit community members calling on state representatives to provide their support. Continue reading

Severe weather homeless strategies: picking up the pace to come from behind / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic of Bellingham City Council Member Dan Hammill wearing a gray and white plaid shirt sitting in a black chair in Bellingham City Council chambers to access video of the 8/26/19 Bellingham City Council Committee of the Whole meeting

August 30, 2019 Dena Jensen

“Okay, I’ll just take a quick point of privilege just to say that we absolutely recognize we have the need for shelter, especially – we have it all year round – but especially in the winter months. The group I believe, that Council Member Lilliquist is referring to, is the Homeless Strategies Workgroup. Council Member Barry Buchanan from the County’s side of the street organized that group. Stakeholders, several of us, attend that every two weeks. We take that issue very seriously and we want to come to a resolution on providing safe shelter for our most vulnerable neighbors. So, we absolutely take it very seriously.” – Bellingham City Council Member Dan Hammill

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It looks like a workgroup on immigration will be moving forward for Bellingham City Council’s Justice Committee / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic of a quote from Bellingham City Council Member April Barker at the 8/19/19 Council Meeting to hear her remarks at that meeting regarding a presentation on immigration issues by community members

August 20, 2019 Dena Jensen

Last night’s Bellingham City Council meeting provided a pretty good lesson in what white fragility does – and doesn’t – look like.  To the majority of the Council Member’s credit that night, most of them did not seem to exhibit “discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice,” which is the definition of white fragility offered by Oxford’s Lexico dictionary.  But a couple of them did. 

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Part 3: Notes on the 7/15/19 Bellingham City Council Justice Committee meeting regarding immigration – new meeting on 8/19/19 / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic – of a screen shot of a YouTube video frame showing Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville in a purple shirt sitting in a chair in Council Chambers – to access the video of the 7/15/19 Justice Committee Meeting

August 16, 2019 Dena Jensen

This is the final installment of notes on the July 15, 2019 Bellingham City Council Justice Committee meeting regarding immigration issues. The next Justice Committee meeting will occur this Monday, August 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Council chambers. Here is a link for the agenda for that meeting https://meetings.cob.org/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=2059&doctype=1

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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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You did NOT “Stand Down” – Rejection of the Jail Sales Tax / Letter to the Editor, Irene Morgan

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November 12, 2017  Irene Morgan, Founder, Restorative Community Coalition

Acknowledgement

A hardy THANK YOU to everyone who stood tall in opposition to the now defunct jail tax – Proposition 2017- 6.  You did NOT “Stand Down”, it was NOT a “Done Deal”, the “Ship had NOT Sailed”, the “Train is STILL in the Station” and it was NOT “a waste of our time”!  The voters said NO, with an even greater margin – again! Continue reading

City Council Member responses to the idea of changing the name of Pickett Bridge / Facebook Post, Noisy Waters Norhtwest

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July 25, 2017  Dena Jensen
I encourage people to read this opinion piece in The Western Front by Suzanna Leung, and take a look at the chart of Bellingham City Council Member responses to the idea of changing the name of Pickett Bridge, which is named for a Confederate General who, according to historian Leslie Gordon “was appalled by the notion of freeing slaves and arming black men to fight.”

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Both Councils Ignore Jail Studies / NorthwestCitizen, Juliette Davis

Jul 15, 2017  Juliette Daniels

On Monday, July 10, The Vera Institute presented its preliminary data findings on the Whatcom County justice system at a special meeting of the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force (IPRTF). It took months for the Vera Institute to obtain the necessary data on the County Jail population in 2016, but the results confirmed stunning racial disparities in the jailed population, as well as a sizable pre-trial population that could be significantly reduced with the use of evidence-based methods of incarceration prevention. Continue reading

6/13/2017 Public Hearing “to gather comments on the sizing of a proposed new jail in Whatcom County” / Facebook post, Noisy Waters Northwest

June 8, 2017  Dena Jensen

At the Public Hearing at next week’s County Council Meeting on Tuesday June 13 at 7 p.m. (rally at 6:00 beforehand), it seems our comments on jail bed numbers (the number of people we envision being incarcerated in our county in the future) need to be based on all the best statistical data we have in our private-citizen hands that supports that we now have all the tools at our disposal, and will continue to have more, that will allow a reduction in the number of people we are incarcerating and that we are ready to begin a new age that abandons our failed justice system. Continue reading