Kristina Michele Martens shares post-election perspectives with Noisy Waters Northwest

Image of Kristina Michele Martens, the apparent winner of Bellingham City Council’s At-Large seat in the 2021 general election. She will be the first Black woman to serve on that Council. She is smiling in the photo, is wearing a dark top with buttons, and there is green landscaping behind her.

November 8, 2021 Dena Jensen

But I just truly hope that a lot of people that would have normally never paid attention to a Council race or a campaign this long, and never thought that they could see themselves in local government and/or being able to have an impact – I’m hoping I inspired a handful who will go on to do the same, so that there’s just more people who understand the exact crises that we’re up against, being able to discuss them at a level that actually has impact. 

— Kristina Michele Martens
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Chapter One: The County Executive – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates / Noisy Waters Northwest

July 10, 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

July 14, 2021 Dena Jensen

After the unsheltered community members who had been camping at Bellingham City Hall were swept from the area known as Camp 210 on January 28, 2021, City of Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood and Bellingham Police Chief Flo Simon held a press conference that same day. They presented their points of view regarding their actions related to the militarized sweep of around 100 unsheltered individuals and their belongings. In his statement, Mayor Fleetwood asserted, “Our civic center was becoming the target of agitators far more intent on mayhem than working toward any social good.”

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