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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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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Jim Peterson is stoked: Winter Haven is a go! / Facebook post, Noisy Waters Northwest

Jim Peterson on Winter HavenScreen Shot 2018-11-03 at 10.08.24 PM

Click the graphic to access this video in the Homes NOW! Bellingham Facebook group

November 3, 2018  Dena Jensen (Thanks to Jim Peterson’s video)

Jim Peterson of HomesNOW! Not Later. is stoked!:

“Winter Haven, our temporary emergency encampment for the winter, is a go. We got a green light today. We met with the City. We don’t have a site yet, but there will be a site…Not this coming Monday, but two weeks from this coming Monday, the site will be announced publicly.

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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