City Council: In Edmonds, it will be Indigenous Peoples Day, not Columbus Day

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    Meadowdale High School student Cole Sargent speaks to the city council regarding Indigenous Peoples Day.

    The second Monday in October will be known as Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of Edmonds, according to a resolution unanimously approved by the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night.

    The original resolution — proposed to the council by the Edmonds Diversity Commission — called for that day to be known as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day, with the goal of “providing a more balanced representation of our region’s cultural history.”

    However, after hearing several speakers during the public comment period address the issue — some advocating for the Diversity Commission proposal and others asking that Columbus Day not be included at all — the resolution was amended by Councilmember Mike Nelson to limit the city’s recognition only to Indigenous Peoples Day.

    “In a sense what we’re doing is, we’re still going to have a federal holiday as Columbus Day, still recognized by the State of Washington,” Nelson said. “But in this city we are going to simply recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.” You can see the entire resolution with Nelson’s amendments (indicated by strikethroughs) here.

    Among those speaking against linking the two days was Jeff Stone, an Edmonds resident and Edmonds School District educator. “The legacy of Columbus is a legacy of murder, of torture, of genocide. Indigenous Peoples Day is not about that,” Stone said.

    Presenting another point of view — in favor of recognizing the days together — were teenage brothers Ethan and Cole Sargent, both students at Meadowdale High School and members of the Tlingit tribe from Alaska.

    “I see it as a way of reshaping Columbus Day,” Cole Sargent told the council. “I’d like it to be on the same day but I don’t want to replace it. I want to focus it more on the people who were here before Columbus and recognize them.”

    Cole’s brother Ethan quoted from his history teacher, who stated that “Wars are not won with swords, they are won with words,” Ethan Sargent added that “trying to wipe out Columbus Day and pretend that this guy didn’t exist, it’s like trying to put a Band-Aid on a broken bone — it’s not going to work. I think that if we focus on treating this as an educational opportunity to restructure how we teach children, how we teach adults, how we teach everyone the real truth, the real history, that is how we are going to win this and how we are going to reach what we are looking for.”

    – Approved a request for $41,000 in additional funding to complete construction on the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. The council action followed a detailed presentation from Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite on the history of the project and the current challenges facing the project, much of which we detailed in our report on last week’s Parks, Planning and Public Works Committee meeting here.

    – Had a discussion on City of Edmonds Sustainability/Climate Goals, including costs and staffing required to fulfill the commitments contained in the climate change resolution approved by the city council June 27.  Resolution 1389 supports Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling’s endorsement of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, calls on the council to rededicate itself to partnering for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction while maximizing social and economic benefits. The resolution also has elements that involve assignments to city staff and the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee, and also sets renewable energy goals.

    Several residents offered their support during the public comment period for continuing this work, stating that it is up to cities and states to take the lead on climate action because the federal government under President Donald Trump will not.

    During the council discussion, Development Director Shane Hope said staff hoped to get more guidance from the council regarding several items, including “who’s expected to do what,” resources needed and timelines. The resolution calls for an annual report by 2018 on current municipal and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, and a recommendation to the council for a GHG emissions target for near and long term by July 1, 2018. It also calls for an update to the city’s Climate Change Action Plan, plus development of a work plan for renewable energy goals by Nov. 1, 2018.

    Staffing needed to do this work would include one full-time person at $88,0091 plus office equipment and benefits for the first year, with a half-time position thereafter, Hope said.

    In addition, the resolution calls for the city to use 100 percent renewable energy for municipal facilities by 2019 and 100 percent renewable energy for the city’s community electrical supply by 2025.

    Hope asked for clarification if the renewable energy for municipal facilities included natural gas and Councilmember Mike Nelson, who included the amendments on these items as part of the June 27 plan, said that natural gas was not included. Hope also asked if the deadlines for the above items were flexible and Nelson said they were.

    A discussion on the community’s electrical supply will have to wait until Oct. 17, when Snohomish County PUD will attend the council meeting and provide an update on its renewable energy plans, Public Works Director Phil Williams said.

    The council also approved as part of the consent agenda the Edmonds Police Officers’ Association collective bargaining agreement, as well as an interlocal agreement with the Edmonds School District to continue a long-time arrangement to place up to three students into the Meadowdale Preschool program run by the Parks and Recreation Department.

    It also:

    – Heard Mayor Earling make a proclamation for Constitution Week in Edmonds Sept. 17-23, with Judy Lehman of the Daughters of the American Revolution accepting.

    Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas with the “lock bag.”

    – Received a Snohomish Health District presentation by Interim Administrator Jeff Ketchel and newly appointed Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Beatty on updates, services and funding for the agency. Ketchel focused much of his report on how the health district is working to address the opioid epidemic in Snohomish County, and directed citizens to a new website created for that purpose: snohomishoverdoseprevention.com. Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, who chairs the health district board, demonstrated one of the agency’s new initiatives: a “lock bag” that allows people to safely secure their medications.

    – Heard a biannual report on the city’s critical areas ordinance.

     

    — By Teresa Wippel

    47 COMMENTS

    1. Thank you to all Council members and City staff members for supporting completion of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. Thanks also to Ron and Maria for their leadership to the planning and fund raising effort. Finally thanks to all who contributed, supported and worked so hard to make the project possible.

    2. Thank you for reporting on this important resolution passed last night. Thank you to our Diversity Commission, most especially Diana White, who had the vision & did the leg work to bring this proposal forward. Thank you to the council members for voting to approve & recognize the many indigenous people who were here before Columbus.

      • One might equally ask whether Columbus Day improves anyone’s life.

        We have days of celebration to underline the things we feel represent the best in us, or represent ideals we aspire to. Closer examination of Columbus’ life certainly underlines his bravery and tenacity, but it also reveals inept planning, brutal slavery imposed on the people he found, the virtual wiping out of an indigenous population, and a great deal of personal greed. Are these qualities we aspire to?

        Jim Mizzy points out rightly that it is wrong to hold the past up to present-day standards. But at the same time, do we wish to hold up those past standards as ideals? In the case of Columbus, the story-book picture we all grew up with contains a great deal of myth and whitewash, so perhaps the question might be whether continuing to celebrate a myth is more valuable than exploring the reality, or whether maintaining a whitewashed picture is more valuable than exploring the full truth?

          • Your source is hardly an unbiased one – the Knights of Columbus, a staunchly conservative Catholic organization? Plaster it over however we may, Columbus’ arrival in the New World was a disaster for native populations and saw the beginnings of European-inflicted slavery, the end of native civilizations through brutal Spanish (Catholic?) conquest, forced “conversions” at the point of a sword, the draining of the New World’s wealth into Spain (gold and silver altars in Spanish – Catholic – churches)… I fail to see how any realistic reappraisal of Columbus or his impact does anything but uphold the value of accurate, truthful representation of historic events, nor do I believe than anyone on the Council had the faintest notion of an “attack” on Catholic equality. I certainly do not wish to attack Catholics or take away any freedom – but even the illustration in the article you reference is a 19th century whitewash.

            I will grant you that Columbus sparked exploration and discovery, but it came at a huge price, which the Council’s resolution is at least a small attempt at rectifying.

            Perhaps we might think about the equality of native Americans?

          • Mr. Richardson, you have now spelled my name wrong in to different ways, leaving me to to conclude that you are anti-Nathaniel! 🙂 But my remarks below ere not anti-catholic, or if they were you know more about me than I do. My remarks were entirely based on history and real examples. If discussing real things is anti-something, then perhaps you are right. But my training and education taught me that facts, as clearly as they can be ascertained, are the solid foundation on which we build something better. I do not understand how suppressing history, or embellishing it with myths, gets us any closer to truth. Perhaps you can point out where I am wrong?

          • As a Catholic, I agree completely with Nathaniel Brown, and find Mr. Richardson’s “anti-Catholic” label specious.

            17 years of Catholic school education – including majoring in history at a Catholic university – taught me to think critically and evaluate sources, and that reason and knowledge enhance, rather than threaten, faith.

          • The K of C is not a staunchly conservative organization. Their lobbying is why there is a Columbus day. Killing, raping, and enslaving wasnt unique to white people. Natives did that too before settler ever arrived. Weapons of war, like helicopters and missiles, are named after tribes and chief because natives were observed as peaceful peoples. Natives were just as quick to behave badly on oportunity as anyone else, even took their black slaves with them on the Trail of Tears. I challenge you to look beyond your own bias. Columbus wrote down all the good and bad things he did [by our standards] and people of that time read about it and honored him. Invoking Salish Indians and Columbus in a resolution is non sequitur.

          • Mr. Richardson, nowhere did anyone argue that killing, raping and enslaving were unique to white people, but arguments of “they did it too” hardly excuse such behavior, whether in a court of law, or among historians. Nor ought we to hold someone up as an example who did such things, regardless of our standards: the damage remains the same and the suffering of native populations as a result of Columbus’ actions remains as acute.

            I’m not sure how helicopters and missiles and peaceful peoples come into the argument – especially as you seem to contradict yourself in the following sentence. I was raised to admire Columbus, so I believe I have managed to look beyond my the biases I grew up with; perhaps we all need to do so? And I still find that I cannot admire anyone who engaged in slavery, genocide and the general theft and exploitation of enormous wealth that took place following Columbus’ disastrous irruption into the New World. The fact that he “wrote down all the good and bad things he did” fails to convince any more than any conqueror’s accounts of his own exploits – “History belongs to the winners,” as George Orwell observed. Happily, we are now looking beyond the self-exculpation and self-praise of such people and beginning to try to see things from the point of view of the peoples to whom the sight of Columbus’ ships had less than agreeable consequences.

            If I may quote my old friend Fr Robert Gage, “We wouldn’t have any models [to base ourselves on] if people had not, from the dawn of history, made observations, and drawn conclusions, built up the best composite explanations they could. But they’ve gone on adjusting them in the light of new information.”

          • Nathaniel, you’re not obtuse. The resolution specifically identifies “European colonization of North America also led to the suppression, forced assimilation, and genocide of Indigenous Peoples and their cultures;” as rationale for renaming Columbus Day. It begs the question, were indigenous peoples violent killers and assimilators [aka 15th Century humans] too? Of course, and they were more likely to a victim of native violence than European violence, and as you said, history goes to the winners not the losers:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow_Creek_massacre

            Wars between tribes resulted in infanticide and taking the women for carnal reasons. My typo aside, weapons of war are named after famed tribes and chiefs for their killing acumen, not because they were all peaceful per the revisionist stereo type of “everybody in the 15th Century who was white was bad, and natives were all good”.

            Settlers didn’t commit genocide. The genocide myth comes from the myth that smallpox blankets passed out to natives to kill them off. It never happened. The revisionist historians of that myth have been dis-tenured and fired. Germ theory didn’t even exist, and settlers can’t be held responsible for spreading a disease that wiped out 90% of the indigenous population – and descendants of settlers can’t be held responsible either – otherwise it is you preaching original sin, not the Catholics. However, there are present day acts of real genocide, rape gangs and open-air slave-trading happening *today* in Libya. Hopefully we can agree that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be held accountable to 21st Century standards for turning a great country into a stateless dystopia overrun by foreign settlers: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration.

            This debate is over a holiday, and no one living today who celebrates Columbus Day has anything to do with genocide. The resolution was out of line. However, those who oppose Columbus Day are [in fact] citing smallpox blankets and white supremacy as they destroy our nation’s oldest monuments: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/21/christopher-columbus-monument-in-baltimore-smashed/ Was it in the best interest of Edmonds for the Edmonds City Council to rename Columbus Day? I challenge you to a public debate on Sunday, arguing no.

          • You make good points. As to Sunday, alas, I’m in the Hebrides at the moment, and about to go out to Iona in the morning, to spend several days at St Columba’s shrine, and not home until November – so I’ll leave the discussion with my best wishes to you, and with thanks for a stimulating exchange!

    3. Columbus Day to Indigenous people day. The city council of Edmonds voted to take away Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous people day instead of having Columbus Day and Indigenous people day which is a good idea and promotes culture all around. This was the original proposal. Please give Mike Nelson a call to find out why he wanted to abolish Columbus Day. (425) 478-6207

      • As it was pointed out last night, Columbus Day is already a federal holiday, therefore no one has taken anything away from anyone. Edmonds has, however, recognized that there is so much more to the story of the colonization of this land and has decided to honor the original people of the land by adopting Indigenous People’s Day. We now have more choices and you are free to celebrate or honor as you please.

        My thanks to the Edmonds Diversity Commission and the Edmonds City Council for their diligent work and consideration. I look forward to seeing what might come from this broader awareness and acknowledgement of our full history…. and not just the whitewashed version I was taught in school.

        • The original resolution — proposed to the council by the Edmonds Diversity Commission — called for that day to be known as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day, with the goal of “providing a more balanced representation of our region’s cultural history.”

          This was a great idea. It brought cultures together.
          Instead the council went to divide and REMOVE Columbus Day from City recognition.

          The resolution was amended by Councilmember Mike Nelson to limit the city’s recognition only to Indigenous Peoples Day.

          So what is the city of Edmonds missing here. It’s Columbus Day.

    4. I appreciate the city rising above the narrow minds of those who cannot see the harm done to the indigenous in this country. To recognize that harm is the first step and I am proud to be in a city that takes that step.

    5. Perhaps it would be more meaningful to actually work toward creating an indigenous peoples day at the federal level. We pay a federal lobbyist, right? Or to lose the celebrations of George Brackett who was not an admirable fellow at all though a very busy one. ( a truly local issue). But resolutions which are ,as this one is, useless because celebrating both Columbus and indigenous people on the same day is oxymoronic by definition, are just “feel goods” for the proponents, speechifying opportunities for Council, and accomplish little if anything. Indigenous People on Columbus Day? But working to have a real holiday celebrating our First Nation folks is hard work. And not the instant gratification that tagging it onto an existing holiday is.

    6. It will take more than naming a day to honor Indigenous people to overcome the atrocities they have suffered. At the same time, it does not further the cause of honoring Native Americans by attempting to erase European history which also shaped this country. The next time City Council sets out in a wooden boat without a map or GPS to explore the wider world, perhaps they too will have a sense of the risk and accomplishment that the European explorers achieved in their lifetimes which are deserving of an historical account too.

    7. To put it simply, our condemning historical figures because they did not act according to 21st-century norms is not only wrong but misleading. It also makes no sense. Why would you assume that people in the past ought to have behaved the same way as people today and why assume that everything we do today is better or all that different?

    8. This is just ineffective Virtue Signalling. My favorite case of Virtue Signaling in the local area was when King County’s namesake was changed from being the first openly-gay Senator and First Man of the White House (i.e. President Buchanan’s lover), Rufus King, to Martin Luther King. Meanwhile Seattle is arguably the whitest of all top-tier cities in the US and the black exodus from King County is well documented. Folks of color who remain in this area continue to become nominally poorer too. The truth is, black folks and natives have a lot of political currency, but it’s all being spent on changing the names of things and policing speech instead of actually doing things to create equally. Japanese people weren’t treated very well either, but they didn’t cash in all their chips on having buildings, counties and holidays named after them. Virtue Signaling is a new pervasive form of Jim Crow that exacerbates a stratified society. Good Job Edmonds City Council.

      • It was Mayor Earling’s own highly touted Diversity commission which proposed what the commission felt was a proper name change to the council. The Diversity Commission was the appointment project of Mayor Earling. Obviously, it was only lip service to appear socially relevant, and garner headlines. If it was in vogue to promote blue, he would tout blue, if red, then red. The use of social issues to advance ones political reputation is so abhorrent.

        To highlight the councils respect, or shall we say disrespect, for what the Diversity commission suggested, the council ignored their own commissions suggestion, and changed the name to what they personally felt was appropriate.
        This only shows the arrogance of Council members, and displays that many of the commission’s started in Edmonds are for social appearance only. The feel good rhetoric makes good press.

        The highlight of the article, is the new people to be hired by Edmonds, to tell you, the taxpayer that you contribute too much “green house gas” to the environment. Yet, that’s another person commuting, more City people running around doing whatever, probably another city vehicle, more printed documents, and to pay for it all, you will get higher taxes. But as government always displays, the most important thing is the growth of government itself, and a plethora of new regulations for you.

        Maybe to cut down on green house gasses, Mayor Earling should not have made a one day trip to D.C. to talk to legislators, when an e-mail would have accomplished the same result. Oh, lest we forget, they already have another vital trip planned to D.C.. Reminiscent to Al Gore, flying around the world in his Gulfstream Jet, complaining about greenhouse gasses. (junk science)
        If people in Edmonds are really concerned about the future of Edmonds, they should be more concerned why Mayor Earlings campaign was financed by $ 25,000 from a Chicago realestate association.

        The Government told the Native American population, we know what is best for you, –you live here– on a reservation, we need to “control you”. Oh, and yes, we will take your land that you have been the stewards of for thousands of years. Edmonds, wants to take beach property from the Ebb Tide, just as they destroyed property belonging to the Reidy family, and confiscated beach property from the Dontos family. So, Mayor Earling, you and Council love to proclaim one thing, and then continue the same base practices as Government(s) always have…..take at will, we are the Government. As always, Government in it’s arrogance, always thinks it knows what is best for the individual!

        Changing a name is at best symbolic, although the politicians in Edmonds got press from it, that is what is most important. Image over substance. Let the people of Edmonds see a change in behavior, or, any action to correct past wrongs…. that will never happen.

        As all of this area belonged to the Native population before the white man. Maybe the senior center should be scrapped and become a Native “Salish” museum. Edmonds should donate the property to the Native Tribes. Right the wrongs of the past, it is all stolen property. The tribes were never paid for the property, it was taken.

    9. I think the city council is looking for things to do to make them look productive and important. Are they looking to get headlines so they can feel like they are part of something bigger? There are more pressing issues facing us right now.. what about the massive drug crisis in the area? Do something worthwhile for once and stop pushing for nonsense like this….

    10. I support the Council, and the amendment by Mike Nelson, to name the holiday Indigenous Peoples Day. Naming a holiday is a small, but still significant event. All Northwest coastal communities should honor the First Nations who were here before the European settlers.

    11. Could someone explain how naming things after people contributes to actual positive change? Jews, Japanese and Gays were all treated horribly, but were never patronized or placated with named holidays. All three of those aforementioned groups have higher income, longer life and more social stability than the average white man. Why?

    12. This is all governing by virtue.

      Those of you unfamiliar with it or new to the city I sight examples;
      * Plastic Bag Ban – Edmonds is so virtuous, we’ve banned the evil plastic bag. (yet nobody can measure nor communicate any carbon footprint difference, now that we cut down more tree’s and utilize Asian factories to produce “reusable” bags and ship them across the sea to be distributed to Edmonds)
      * Solar Power on top of Francis Anderson – Edmonds is so virtuous, we’ve deployed solar panels on city property. (Yet, we never hear of the benefits the city has received or how much money the co-op has made or lost)
      * Paris Climate Accord – Edmonds is so virtuous we’ve agreed to the global climate initiative. (what impact does that have on our city? By Edmonds complying with this accord what specific benefit will the world receive?)
      * Indigenous Peoples Day – Edmonds is so virtuous we’ve decided to rename a holiday. (anybody reading this has benefited from the discovery of North America by whomever did it and the carnage and pillaging of North America by settlers is of such a magnitude to simply replace the name of holiday is incredibly disrespectful to the Native Americans.)

      This is lazy governing.

      • Sorry, I forgot.

        If the City Council, Mayor and/or any other forward thinking official were on their game and this wasn’t some virtuous political statement, why aren’t we seeing proposals for an Indigenous People’s celebration weekend in Edmonds?

        We have a taste of Edmonds that really isn’t, but facilities to host this even are available. Why isn’t someone proposing we create an event that would not only establish Edmonds as the home of Indigenous People’s Day, but bring cultures together in a revenue producing and positive manner?

        • Nayhan, Ed seems to be saying increased use of paper bags in the the wake of a plastic bag ban are just as bad, environmentally, as the plastic bags themselves. Im from Maine and old enough to remember a campagne on the east coast that encouraged plastic bags because their use didnt require wood resources. Also, disposable plastic bags are really usuable, more so than paper. I reuse them all the time. The issue at hand is that the government isnt properly protecting the environment. In tort, the government would assess the damage of pollution, then levy a fee on the bags directly allocated to the cost of cleaning up said waste plus any valuation of environmentsl impact. Then government would grant a contract to clean it up, paid with collected fees. Pollution has a price. Government is supposed to set the price and let the market decide which bags. Banning things and forcing ppl to recycle is not effective.

      • Solar energy is not cost effective, the cost of the panels far outstrips the energy produced.
        This was a push by a lot of politicians who had holdings in panel companies.
        Without Federal subsidies, in other words- Federal Taxpayer Dollars- paid into this phony concept, panels are a waste of time and money, they will never pay for themselves.
        Again, just another instance for Earling and the Council to get their names into the papers and to pretend to the citizens of Edmonds that they are accomplishing something.
        The ECA looses over $ 200,000 per year, this shortfall is paid for by Edmonds citizens.

        • The solar panels do not even belong to the City. A small private cooperative got the city to donate the roof used ( public property) and took the tax benefits for solar, and any ongoing profits for their investments. And it was invested in by two sitting councilmen who both promoted it and voted for it. The City is left with the expenses when the “lease” is up and will have to decide to keep them or junk the panels.

          • Of course the panels are not owned by the City. The City was ineligible for the tax benefits that the Community Solar Program offered only to the public. The program was crafted as a way for the public to participate in solar power production in ways other than at home. For example, my home would never be a good place for solar panels because of its massive shading from hills and trees.

            The small private coop mentioned here was not private at inception, but open to anyone in the public willing to participate by purchasing shares called Sun Slices, and the vision was much greater public participation and a much larger system than was finally built. Also, the two councilmembers who decided to participate were as entitled as any Edmonds citizen to do so. Why not participate and put your money where your mouth is? What effectively closed the membership was the loss of tax benefits over time that made participation beginning each year return less than the preceding years, with the major benefits ending in 2020.

            The system built turned out to be just 1/3 of what was envisioned, so what is small was hoped to be three times larger. Indeed, it is located on public property at no direct cost, but I also have difficulty imagining other competing activities sited on the rooftop of such a public building. Note that the roof has not been donated to anyone. The agreement is only about the use of the roof for this purpose.

            Lastly, the power produced by these panels is consumed at the Anderson Center and the City pays the Co-op about 30% less per kWh than from the PUD. So, there is a significant benefit to the City from this installation during the term of the lease, and the installation becomes City property when the lease expires, still producing electricity with no need to junk the panels.

    13. Council members who promoted this and invested had a conflict of interest: particularly with a monetary Return promised. The City pays the coop ( including the two former council members) for power. The sunslices were $1000k a piece. I never understood why the City didn’t just pony up and put City owned solar panels on the roof. ( ohhh that’s right there were tax benefits to be taken by the investors in the coop). And who paid for those tax benefits? We all did.

      • Yes, we all pay for the benefits that accrue to those who participate, and that was part of the rationale for creating the program, to spread the costs as widely as possible and make projects affordable. The more projects that get done, the more we learn about how best to employ constantly-evolving technology and how to drive expenses down, so as it costs us all, it serves us all.

        It looks like the core issue here is centered on the two Councilmembers who decided to buy Sun Slices after the project was approved by the full Council, 6-1.

        I don’t see this as a conflict of interest, without tangible ties to the Co-op ahead of the vote, rather as an affirmation of the belief that the project was the right thing for Edmonds to do, especially in that they put up their own money afterward to underwrite the effort. If that’s where we disagree, then I agree to disagree.

        In any case, the City is far from left holding a bag. The project remains a worthy effort that has also benefitted Edmonds financially. As long as the sun comes back up, that’s not going to stop soon either.

        • Most of the “benefit” from the tax rebate went to the for profit company that promoted the project ( Tangerine Solar). Had it been rather a concerned and proactive group of citizens without a private for profit comapany who spearheaded the project and profited from it, then it would have been everything you say. It simply wasn’t. The conflict of interest is that the Councilmen promoted the project and one invested prior to the vote. The other announced his investment just after the vote.

          • I love the discussion. Hearing people articulate facts in a civil manner is a pleasant change.

            This subsequent discussion proves my point earlier. All of these city government decisions and public announcements are lazy, virtuous governing by our elected leaders.

            If these so called “causes” were vitally important to the city and results proved these decisions correct, we’d hear about it non-stop. But, the current political leaders can put cool statements on their propaganda.

            Mark my words, the next virtuous governing decision to come out of our city leaders will be “safe bathrooms”. They will decide to spend our money to make every city bathroom facility include a “safe bathroom”. They then can virtuously yell from the mountain tops how Edmonds supports the LBGQT community.

    14. If it were up to me, all of our government holidays would represent ideals, rather than people or groups. People and groups are inherently divisive.

      Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it embraces the ideal of gratitude. While it originated with pilgrims, it has transcended that origin. New Years Day is about renewal. Independence day is about liberty. Labor Day needs no changes. Likewise, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, even though these represent groups, because any able person can choose to serve, so they don’t exclude anyone. These holidays really embrace selfless service.

      I would change Columbus day into “Exploration and Discovery Day”. If Columbus represents that to you, then by all means, celebrate his exploration and discovery. I would change Christmas into “Kindness and Generosity Day.” If Jesus Christ represents that to you, then build your own celebration around Him.

      I would change Martin Luther King day to “Equality and Acceptance Day”. I would eliminate Presidents Day and instead make Election Day a holiday.

      Holidays should bring all of us closer together, and when they represent ideals, that’s exactly what they do.

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