- A copy of the following letter was sent from the Washington Policy Center to My Edmonds News for publication.
Dear Councilmember Fraley-Monillas:
We are writing to express our dismay and disappointment on learning that you publicly misrepresented Washington Policy Center’s views on gender and pay equity, and used that inaccurate conclusion as a litmus test to block one of our former employees from providing volunteer service in the Edmonds community.
On June 6th, the Edmonds City Council, on your recommendation, voted to deny Tyler Nebeker the opportunity to serve on the voluntary Salary Commission, a non-partisan five-member committee that meets every two years to set salary levels for elected city officials.
You said that you based your opposition on the fact that in the past Tyler worked for our non-profit organization, where he held the position of Communications Assistant from 2011 to 2013.
According to news reports, you said that Washington Policy Center “opposes equal pay for women for equal work.” This statement is not true.
You then used this false statement to convince four other Edmonds city council members (Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis, Kristiana Johnson, Tom Mesaros, and Mike Nelson) to bar Tyler from serving on this volunteer commission.
Wage discrimination based on gender has been illegal in Washington state since 1963, a policy that Washington Policy Center strongly supports. You based your false statement on a mis-representation of our policy analysis of H.B. 1646, a proposed 2015 bill that would have not made any change to the state’s well-founded ban on pay discrimination, but would have imposed new, vague restrictions on wages and employment. A majority of the legislature agreed with our policy recommendation and rejected the bill.
As an elected official, your public statements carry weight. In your position as a Councilmember of the City of Edmonds you are obligated to be accountable and to correct statements that hurt others and are factually wrong.
We believe you owe Washington Policy Center and our thousands of supporters across the state a correction and an apology.
More importantly, we believe you owe Tyler Nebeker an apology. Your hurtful statements and unmerited rejection of his request to volunteer caused public embarrassment. Your false statement and unfair accusations created a hostile environment that will discourage other young people from seeking to volunteer for civic positions in Edmonds.
We look forward to your reply.
Deeann Mead Smith, President
Paul Guppy, Vice President
Councilmember Kristina Johnson
Councilmember Mike Nelson
Councilmember Diane Buckshnis
Councilmember Dave Teitzel
Councilmember Thomas Mesaros
Councilmember Neil Tibbott
Mayor Dave Earling