November Bellingham events: A Homeless People’s Solution to Homelessness…/ Press release, POOR Magazine

Image – included with the press release – of mural on the side of a building displaying the word Homefulness at the top, in orange and yellow graduated tones. Images of Indigenous people, Black people, and people of color are painted below the lettering, some shown speaking, some shown with drums, some shown with masks, some hold posters. One poster says ‘We Are Not Trash – Stop Sweeping Us.’ The other poster says ‘Land Back so Houseless Indigenous Peoples Can Build Homes.’

October 25, 2021 Press release, POOR Magazine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

A Homeless People’s Solution to Homelessness…

POOR MAGAZINE, a collective of Poor, Homeless, Indigenous, Black and Brown writers and activists, hit the road to share an innovative model to solving homelessness called Homefulness. Members of POOR Magazine will share their innovative “Homefulness Handbook,” accompanied by a series of writing/poetry workshops in encampments, community centers, schools and jails with other homeless and formerly homeless communities. Leading a tour on stolen land and hoarded resources, they share the template of Homefulness via storytelling and spoken word performance with fellow houseless and housed residents of so-called Bellingham, WA., Bend and Eugene, OR. 

Continue reading

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/

Continue reading

Ferndale permits being issued for ICE office on Boulos property / Noisy Waters Northwest

August 9, 2021 Dena Jensen

So! I have some additional news about the ICE Enforcement & Removals Operations office in Ferndale. It’s been known that such Immigration and Customs Enforcement locations exist in our local communities but it is challenging to find out where they are.  Community members learned about an address in Ferndale and showed up there today for a Dignity Vigil to say we want ICE OUT of our Whatcom County communities!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Notes: Whatcom County Council Committee of the Whole discussion of district court judge vacancy / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image to access a copy of a letter on the Whatcom County website, sent by former Whatcom County District Court Judge David Grant to Whatcom County Council Chairman Barry Buchanan, providing additional information on Grant’s retirement

July 17, 2021 Dena Jensen

At Whatcom County Council’s last Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, one of the items Council Members discussed was establishing a process for filling a Whatcom County District Court judicial vacancy. The Council will be filling the position that was left vacant when District Court Judge David Grant retired prior to the end of his term.

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

Introduction – Whatcom Barriers to Equity, a review for 2021 candidates / Noisy Waters Northwest

July 9, 2021 Dena Jensen

Introduction

In May of this year, Whatcom County 2021 candidate filing yielded seven candidates running for a total of four Bellingham City Council seats. There are fourteen candidates vying to fill four County Council seats, along with five Port of Bellingham candidates to potentially fill two seats. Whether running unopposed, or facing challengers, each one of them has potential to generate public conversation and advance solutions for critical community issues. 

Continue reading

Whatcom Housing Advisory Committee gets brief presentation on sheltering recommendations / Noisy Waters Northwest

June 20, 2021 Dena Jensen

Draft minutes have been posted to the June 10, 2021 Whatcom County Housing Advisory Committee meeting on the County website. This is the Whatcom County government committee that has been given responsibility by the Whatcom County Council to oversee the carrying out of long and short term sheltering recommendations that were assembled by Health Department staff.

Continue reading

Pushing back on the push-back on tiny home villages / Letter to Bellingham and Whatcom County officials

Click the still frame of a YouTube video of the Bellingham City Council Community and Economic Development Committee to access the recording of the May 24, 2021 meeting

March 26, 2021 Dena Jensen

Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 09:54:49 PM PDT

Subject: Pushing back on the push-back on tiny home villages

Dear Bellingham City Council, Mayor Fleetwood, Whatcom County Council, and County Executive Sidhu:

I recently listened to Bellingham City Council’s Monday, May 24, 2021 Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. I wanted to address comments made by a couple of the City Council Members after Whatcom County Health Department Human Services Manager Anne Deacon gave her presentation. The presentation was on the Health Department’s Recommendations for Consideration by the Homeless Strategies Workgroup that the now-disbanded workgroup had voted to recommend to Whatcom County Council for approval. 

Continue reading