Luke Distelhorst will likely serve Edmonds well.
During interviews, seated council members spoke of and asked questions regarding racism, housing and community outreach. The questions were asked, yet…
Highly qualified ethnic minority candidates could have bridged gaps in social, cultural, geographic, business, language and political barriers. Representation and inclusion play vital roles in outreach. When professional research is conducted, researchers of like demographics are the ones selected to work with the populations. When professional businesses meet to make deals, like demographics are at the table. When Rites of Passage are performed, Spiritual Leaders of the same culture are the ones entrusted….
For future vacant council positions, there must be a better process. The council replaced a white male candidate with the same demographic. I am not saying or implying councilmembers did this purposefully. The first candidate who receives four votes may be the one who is chosen by a “place your bets” and then by law, is appointed. It was clear councilmembers were not going to vote for certain minority candidate(s). It was more a process of exclusion and blocking rather than inclusion and voting in favor of a candidate.
As outreach is a primary objective of the mayor and Edmonds, the council’s appointment may have set the city back. I am not saying or implying Luke Distelhorst will not serve Edmonds well. I am saying, the city may want to review the appointment process.
So many of us were interested in individual candidates, we didn’t send the bigger picture to the Council. Perhaps, by supporting our individual, highly-qualified, ethnic minority candidate of choice, we didn’t communicate, “A” highly qualified ethnic minority would benefit the city. Granted, one minority in one council position is not a fix all. However, it would have helped.
The following are excerpts from a professor of social work on how we naturally came from tribal membership, how it is spoken of so much in politics today, and even though we separate ourselves we need to take a step back, rise above it and look at ourselves as a shared tribe of humanity:
“Tribal membership meant survival… We are drawn to our group identities in part from a place of belonging, and in part from a very real evolutionary need for survival… Our racial and ethnic identities tie us to groups in a deep way… We have heard the word tribalism used a lot today in reference to our politics. Today in our political world, we have “bad tribalism.” … “Ultimately our goal should be to build the tribe we all belong to that of humanity. When we can see each other as human beings, we change bad tribalism into good tribalism. We are part of the work to ensure the survival of our shared tribe of humanity.”
— Elizabeth A. Segal, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. In print: Social Empathy: The Art of Understanding Others. Online: When Tribalism Goes Bad Human survival relies on groups, but what if those connections are toxic? Posted Mar 30, 2019