Updated: Edmonds councilmember apologizes for emailed comment about racial equity

Councilmember Kristiana Johnson

Updated June 25 with a response from Councilmember Kristiana Johnson.

Edmonds City Councilmember Kristiana Johnson on Thursday offered an apology to anyone who may have been hurt by her comment last week about the use of racial preferences to determine which Edmonds businesses should receive federal grant money to offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Johnson’s email, which had been sent Friday to Economic Development and Community Services Director Patrick Doherty, became the topic of community discussion after Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson highlighted during Tuesday night’s council meeting. Stating there were “underlying issues” that concerned him, Nelson read excerpts from the email during his discussion about how the city will allocate federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief And Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.

During the email, Johnson was explaining her reasoning that the city should rely on “the sales tax revenue as a variable in determining which small businesses would get the limited fund.” (You can read the full email from Kristiana Johnson at this link.) As part of it, she said the following:

“Is it fair to support an Asian owned business instead of a white owned business with the same number of employees?” Johnson wrote. “I don’t think so. We do not have an affirmative action program. Do we differentiate between the Asian who has been in the United States for eight generations and the new immigrant?”

The statement drew a reaction not only from the mayor, but from two Edmonds city councilmembers who have Asian/Pacific Islander family members.

Responding Thursday via email, Johnson said: “I sincerely apologize if my words caused anyone pain, as that was not my intention.”

In his comment to the council Tuesday night, Nelson reminded councilmembers that as part of the CARES Act, Congress intended to prioritize “small businesses that are underserved, including socially disadvantaged groups and women.”

“The reality is you cannot have equality if you don’t have equity,” Nelson added.

“Mayor, I take exception with you reading a private correspondence I had with the director (Doherty) and shaming me in public,” Johnson responded. “I think it has nothing to do with our decision on the CARES act and I really think that you acted out of your role as mayor. You are supposed to run the meeting, not give testimony and not embarrass people.”

By law, almost all city correspondence is part of the public record.

Nelson told My Edmonds News that he brought up Johnson’s email because it was important to discuss what she wrote openly, adding that “nothing about these things we do are private. There is no privacy when you’re conducting city business.” He said he first saw the mail on Friday and that he did not share it with any councilmembers prior to the meeting.

When asked about Johnson’s reaction that he had shamed her in public, Nelson answered, “There’s nothing about this conversation that is private, how is that embarrassing?”

“I’m looking to make sure that we all look at these issues through a lens that’s more fair, and this issue highlights that challenge we are all wrestling with,” the mayor added.

At the end of the meeting, Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas told councilmembers: “As having an Asian Pacific Islander family and an Asian Pacific Islander child sleeping in the other room, I am greatly– and I mean greatly — offended by this sort of email. And I think everyone on this council speaking should be offended by this.”

Councilmember Luke Distelhorst

Posting on social media Wednesday morning, Councilmember Luke Distelhorst said: “I will not have patience for racism in our city, including among our city’s elected leaders.”

“The councilmember’s words cut especially deep with my family. For Edmonds residents who do not know us, my wife is Asian; our two daughters are Asian,” he wrote. “Two years ago my wife naturalized; she gave up the citizenship of her birth country, to be a citizen of this country. My family has faced discrimination and racism in their daily lives at work, school, and in our community.”

Later Wednesday, Distelhorst and Fraley-Monillas put out a joint statement:

At the June 23 Edmonds City Council meeting, Mayor Mike Nelson brought to light an extremely disturbing email from a fellow Councilmember to a city director. The email included several sentences which, at the least, are discriminatory to our Edmonds communities of color.

In reference to criteria that would help local disadvantaged businesses receive city grants to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, the Councilmember stated, “Is it fair to support an Asian owned business instead of a white owned business with the same number of employees? I don’t think so.”

In a predominantly white city our communities of color and many businesses owned by various minority groups are already at a disadvantage. Data and guidance released by the federal Small Business Administration has shown that disadvantaged business groups are often pushed out of funding opportunities. Thankfully, the majority of City Council voted to affirm our support for our diverse businesses and we appreciate the Mayor bringing this correspondence to light.

Personally, the councilmember’s words hit hard with us. While neither of us are people of color, both of our spouses, children and family are Asian/Pacific Islander: immigrants to the United States, contributors to our local economy, and voting citizens. We have seen and tried to absorb the discrimination and racism that they have faced. We hear about it at the kitchen table, see our family members push through, and know that we need to do more as elected officials.

Fortunately, as city leaders, we can do more. In representing the 42,000 citizens of Edmonds we expect more from our leaders.  Our positions offer us not only the platform to call for a more just society in our city, but also to dismantle and change the systemic racism that still permeates our institutions.

We will listen to you. We will speak out. And we will act.

– Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Council President, Position #3
– Luke Distelhorst, Councilmember, Position #2

You can watch the June 23 Edmonds City Council meeting on video here.

– By Bob Throndsen

36 Replies to “Updated: Edmonds councilmember apologizes for emailed comment about racial equity”

  1. I too am concerned about these email comments revealed at the council meeting and I’m also pretty sure, as usual, there is more to this story than we know. I find it quite troublesome the way the Edmonds City Council seems to so quickly lash out so publicly against one of their own, almost in display of political posturing. Ms. Johnson has served this community for a long time so how about some respectful due diligence before the social media massacre blitz???

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    1. I find it appalling that I see four comments on this article and not one of them is about the blatant racism of a public servant.

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      1. Ms. Ornes – just because you state it is blatant racism does not make it so. Let’s look at the context – and intent – of the question. I’m curious to know how would you propose the question to be asked? Personally, I’d ask what is the proposed criteria for one business to receive funds and another business not to receive funds? You?

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        1. Thank you Mr. Schindler for your clarity of thought. You are like a breath of fresh air. Your questions are spot on and should be taken seriously. Our Mayor only wants things “Private” when it suits his purpose, obviously.
          Thank goodness there is a grown up in the room.

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      2. Erin you never miss a “pandering” opportunity do you? Fining something “appalling”……. is just what you do. Luke and Adrienne are opportunist and disappoint in their fake outrage as well. You all find trouble if it fits your purpose, and your purpose is to make a council person, who does not always share your views, look bad. Well, all it does is make you look foolish and desperate. Many are sick to death of your in-fighting. Why don’t you stop Dividing, and get the people’s work done?

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        1. On June 2, 2015, Edmonds City Council adopted the Edmonds Code of Ethics to strengthen the quality of government through ethical principles which shall govern the conduct of elected officials and appointed citizen volunteers serving in an official capacity (i.e. Boards and Commissions).

          Support for starting “small” with the Code of Ethics was expressed. The Code of Ethics adopted by the City Council on June 2, 2015 has never been looked at again. For example, Council failed to adopt any procedures for enforcing the Code of Ethics.

          Maybe the time has come to revisit this and take it from “small” to something better that works better for all citizens of Edmonds. Maybe it is time for an Ethics Board like the one Lynnwood has. Following is what is contained in our “start small” Code of Ethics:

          We shall:
          • Be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic government.
          • Affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a sense of social responsibility.
          • Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships.
          • Recognize that the chief function of local government at all times is to serve the best interest of all the people.
          • Keep the community informed on municipal affairs and encourage communications between the citizens and all municipal officers. Emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public and each other; seek to improve the quality of public service, and confidence of citizens.
          • Seek no favor; do not personally benefit or profit by confidential information or by misuse of public resources.
          • Conduct business of the city in a manner which is not only fair in fact, but also in appearance.

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    2. Thank you Kacey for pointing out that there may be “more to this story than we know.” And thank you Teresa W. for publishing the link to Councilmember Johnson’s entire email, see above and below. There does seem to be a lot more to the story and I too am concerned that taking words out of context is a dangerous precedent. It seems to me that Councilmember Johnson was asking the question that all policy makers should always ask…What is the problem we are trying to solve?”

      Here is the whole email with bracketed areas that, I think, reflect what she was trying to get at.
      I also have put some corrections, just for clarity sake, in parenthesis. What, I think, started out as a legitimate policy analysis question (Councilmember Johnson’s background is in transportation policy) has now been turned into a public chastising. Should Councilmember Johnson have been more sensitive, even in an email to staff, about possibly sounding offensive? Obviously yes. Should she perhaps apologize for not being more cognizant of how that might come across? Yes, again. But, instead of using this as a teaching moment, some on the Council and the Mayor have chosen to publicly embarrass her which only stifles discussion and the asking of questions.

      You can judge for yourself after reading the whole email below.

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Johnson, Kristiana
      Sent: Friday, June 12, 2020 3:58 PM
      To: Doherty, Patrick Subject: Cares fund
      Patrick,

      In my comments last week, I suggested that you consider the sales tax revenue as a variable in determining which small businesses would get the limited fund. I would like you to seriously consider that as important because we want to support successful businesses with as many employees as possible to help both small businesses succeed and keep as many people employed as possible.

      If you allow 1-30 employees to apply for the grants you would accomplish two things. First you would make it fairer to all small businesses not just storefronts. Many of the single businesses have suffered too. Think about the Mosaic business at 5th and Dayton; it looks like a storefront but each beautician is actually a single proprietor. Second, by using sLes (sales) tax, you would drop most of the single businesses down to the bottom of the list.

      [I think essential to this discussion, is what are (we) trying to accomplish. Are we trying to ensure the most successful businesses for the future economic success of Edmonds, are we trying to keep the most number of employees, or are we trying to prop-up businesses theater (that) have suffered the highest losses.] Finally do we differentiate between business sectors that had to close their doors like nail salons, barber shops and gyms and businesses that remained partially open like coffee shops and restaurants.

      [I think we need to set aside our personal biases and use criteria that support the economic vitality of Edmonds. Using absolute numbers like sales tax and numbers of employees accomplish
      that. Using subjective criteria like location inside the bowl or not, minority owned businesses, or creative business within the creative district do not have the same goal.]

      Is it fair to support an Asian owned business instead of a white owned business with the same number of employees? I don’t think so. We do not have an affirmative action program. Do we differentiate between the Asian who has been in the United States for eight generations and the new immigrant?

      I think a sliding scale for sales tax and a sliding sale (scale) for employees is fairer. It would allow all companies to fairly compete for limited dollars, even if you wanted to extend it to all small businesses that had to close their doors whether a single proprietorship or a company with greater than 30 employees.

      Try running your hypothetical spreadsheet with sales tax and without credits for location and racial biases to see what happens.
      Sent from my iPad

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      1. Thank you Maggie! Way too often people are quick to judge others at the whiff of a popular topic. Secondly, being Politically Correct is so easy with everyone jumoning in the band wagon and high fiving each other. Kristiana Johnson shows tremendous leadership by asking the “unpopular“ but necessary and typical successful business questions. Those are level headed questions and statements we need to hear then make our own decisions. Who will ever want to offer a potentially valid counterpoint when they will be immediately slammed? We are in very dangerous waters with rampant misinformation and our leaders feeling they need to make quick decisions based on popular opinion versus well thought out decisions based on solid information. Thank you Kristiana for being a leader and offering a different point of view. And thank you Maggie for stepping out to share your opinion as well. Sam

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  2. I used to joke when I moved from North Seattle in 1987 that I moved to the great white north. Not so funny these days. And I’m as white as you can get. It’s time to vote out these dinosaurs. I’m also old. We need young people to run for office.

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  3. I’d be curious to see the criteria for receiving the funds. I think what was proposed – “the sales tax revenue as a variable in determining which small businesses would get the limited fund” – could certainly be one of the criteria – regardless.

    On another note, per the Mayor’s words, “nothing about these things we do are private. There is no privacy when you’re conducting city business” I would ask to see the reason our finance director was fired and received $82K. If in fact “nothing about these things we do are private….”.

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  4. I was bothered that anyone’s race came up in the matter of funding a small business. If councilwoman Johnson just talked about the city getting a higher percentage of taxes and left it at that, I doubt that Mayor Nelson would have brought that up at a city council meeting. The fact that she prefers a “white owned business to get funding over an Asian business” is racist. Period. Until we can treat others as we would like to be treated, this country will not be able to move forward and work together to make it one we can all be proud of.

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    1. Merrilyn, actually I thought she said that an Asian business should not get priority over a white business because of the skin color of the owner.

      ““Is it fair to support an Asian owned business instead of a white owned business with the same number of employees?” Johnson wrote. “I don’t think so. “”

      Is that not equality, treating all people the same instead of different, you know kind of the opposite of racism?

      Strange how so many feel racism is a failure to treat the correct people in the proper different way.

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      1. Anthony, Thank you for pointing out the mistake I made. I will try not to make that mistake again, although I know there are probably more new mistakes waiting for me to make in this world.

        I made the mistake in turning their races around in what I wrote, however, which race was favored was not the point I was trying to make. I believe even bringing their races into the discussion was wrong. I’d like to think that most people want to be treated fairly based on what they have accomplished and hope to do, not on what color their skin is.

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  5. The Mayor, a male, having a position of power while he presided over a Council meeting, singled out a female member. By specifically naming Kristiana and reading her two-week-old email, he then connected his impassioned tone reading the Cares Funds minority goals. By connecting the two, he vilified Council Member K. Johnson.

    He was virtually preaching about women and minorities while simultaneously attempting to make an example of a woman of Edmonds.

    Kristiana followed by humbly asking if she could make a point of order. She said, “Mayor, I take exception… shaming me in public… and I think you acted out of your role as mayor… to run the meeting, not give testimony… and not embarrass people.” Not all would have acted as bravely, come up with words on the spot, or continued to professionally engage in the meeting.

    It is in the Mayor’s role to create an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. If he is going to do the opposite should he be facilitating City Council meetings? He is not obligated to attend the Council’s meetings.

    The Mayor’s actions last night were an injustice. This is about representing what the Citizens already want, and have virtually given up hope, upholding standards.

    I, like Ms. K. Johnson, considered whether it should be viability of the business regardless of people of color or other minority.

    Had the information the Mayor read, regarding Cares Funding minority goals, been brought forward earlier (meaning weeks ago), I would not questioned if minorities should be part of the scoring. When it was shared, I would change my position.

    In fact, seeing the scoring chart in the agenda packet, I called into Council before the meeting, asking that minority categories receive one point each, irregardless of the possible total.

    So, for the Mayor to presume that Council Member Kristiana Johnson is not capable of independent thought and following the guidelines is highly disrespectful. Many Council Members change their opinions as they hear different perspectives.

    Attorney Taraday shared evidence during the meeting that Ms. K. Johnson (prior to the meeting) did provide an amendment of a bonus percentage to people of color and other minorities. She brought this knowledge forward from having worked on other projects. However, she was quickly shut down. We will not know if this was influenced by the Mayor’s out-of-order insert into the meeting.

    The Mayor used Ms. K. Johnson’s June 12 email for his own purposes.

    If Council Members feel they cannot separate the issues, and reconcile, then the Mayor, like the current President, keeps the legislature and citizens confused and divided.

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    1. The City Council has the following item on its extended agenda:

      Council Rules of Procedure & Code of Conduct (60 min.)

      When Council gets to this item on its Extended Agenda, Council may want to take another look at Council’s “start small” Code of Ethics and Council may want to consider the following sample City Council Rules of Procedure for mayor-council code cities found in MRSC’s Mayor and Councilmember Handbook:

      Chair and duties
      3.1 Chair: The mayor, if present, shall preside as chair at all meetings of the council. In the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tem shall preside. In the absence of both the mayor and mayor pro tem, the council shall elect a chair.
      3.2 Call to order: The meetings of the council shall be called to order by the mayor or, in his absence, by the mayor pro tem. In the absence of both the mayor and mayor pro tem, the meeting shall be called to order by the city clerk or Clerk’s designee for the election of a temporary chair.
      3.3 Preservation of order: The chair shall preserve order and decorum, prevent attacks on personalities or the impugning of members’ motives and confine members in debate to the question under discussion.
      3.4 Points of order: The chair shall determine all points of order, subject to the right of any member to appeal to the council. If any appeal is taken, the question shall be “Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?”.
      3.5 Questions to be stated: The chair shall state all questions submitted for a vote and announce the result. A roll call vote shall be taken upon all questions.
      3.6 Mayor – powers: The mayor may not make or second motions, but may participate in debate to the extent that such debate does not interfere with chairing the meeting. If the mayor wishes to participate vigorously in the debate of an issue, the mayor shall turn over chairing of that portion of the meeting to the mayor pro tem, or to another councilmember if the mayor pro tem is absent. The mayor’s voting rights and veto power are as specified in RCW 35A.12.100.

      Tuesday night, after Mayor Nelson’s spent nearly 4 ½ minutes reading his prepared comments, Councilmember Johnson requested a Point of Order. Mayor Nelson failed to respond, remaining silent. Councilmember Johnson expressed the details of her Point of Order despite Mayor Nelson’s silence. A point of order calls upon the chair (the Mayor) to make a ruling. The chair may rule on the Point of Order or submit it to the judgment of the full Council. If the chair accepts the Point of Order, it is said to be ruled “well taken”. If not, it is said to be ruled “not well taken”. Mayor Nelson did neither. He chose to not rule on the Point of Order and instead moved the meeting forward by calling of Director Patrick Daugherty, ignoring Councilmember Johnson’s request for a Point of Order.

      One benefit of an Ethics Board would be that an independent Board could review Councilmember Johnson’s email and also review Mayor Nelson’s behavior during the June 23rd Council Meeting for compliance with our Code of Ethics. There would be value to the Ethics Board’s determinations. I believe that value could help minimize confusion and division within our City and City government.

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  6. Ms. Johnson. The mayor did not shame you. You should be ashamed for what you said. Kudos to Adrienne and Luke for input to shed light in this. People, we are ALL involved here

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  7. These are tense times when it comes to race and gender, and speaking carefully is more important than ever. Ms. Johnson’s unguarded comments were careless and meant to stay private, but she raised a real issue — funding decisions should be race- and gender-neutral. The idea that minority-owned businesses are inherently “disadvantaged” makes assumptions about our Edmonds community which I don’t think are true. I certainly don’t see any evidence that my neighbors disadvantage minority-owned businesses.

    This whole furor is further evidence. We are SO intent on politically correctness that even asking a question about bias brings down the rafters. Let’s be respectful, let’s be transparent, but let’s also be honest.

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  8. Kristiana should be ashamed and should apologize for her racist comments. It doesn’t matter how long she has served, this is not okay or acceptable behavior. PERIOD. Maybe she’s been serving for too long and its time for a change and new council member. Good on the mayor rest of council for bringing light to this! Nothing you do for the city is private–shes been here long enough to clearly understand that. I bet all the people defending her comments are white and don’t even realize their privilege or what white privilege even means. Edmonds is overdue for social equality and we can’t tolerate systematic racism any longer.

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    1. Did you not read Lori’s comment how this all transpired? Are you so quick to judge an event you were not involved in? Your “bet” that “people defending her comments are white”, shows your depth of awareness. It is you who should be ashamed.

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  9. Nothing like virtue signaling, group think and cancel culture…

    We live in exciting times…tongue in cheek!

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    1. This has come down just like I knew it would, if the funds weren’t dispersed in a simple drawing format open to all businesses that believed they were entitled. The minute they started discussing a point system and brought race and gender into the equation, we were doomed to another battle over what should have been just a good thing for the business community. Sad, as the Donald would say.

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      1. Just a SYSTEM to play favorites.
        Everyone, please watch the Council meeting: Patrick stated, in the first round of Snohomish County R3, they decided YES/NO, then, then businesses went to the Scoring Matrix.

        I think this business is a NO, City Hall does not like them, to the garbage can with their request for a Grant.
        That is bias, that is discrimination, that is garbage from City Hall.

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        1. Mr. Malgarin:
          This city has never done anything to your satisfaction, but you remain here. I can only conclude that you’re a masochist.

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        2. Ron,
          Personal attacks, such a small minded person.

          No Ron, just trying to clean up the place. What have you ever, done?

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  10. COVID-19 may be pushing all of us too far

    For those who are not taking the time to take part in at least watching the City meetings, or reading the full minutes, and seeing how they progress, from one meeting to the next, it is possible information is out of context.

    This is the first time I have been let down by MyEdmondsNews (MEN). MEN has an outstanding track record, so this may be .0001% of all articles in which I have been disappointed. Ms. Wippel’s standards have proven to be much higher and perhaps this time she gave too much trust to the author.

    This article was sensationalized to the point of the facts being twisted to untruths. Putting K. Johnson’s photo on top, and choosing the article title got the tilted reactions of racism the Mayor and the author sought.

    I realize writers want an attractive story, but the way this was written went too far. I could dissect each inaccurate and or misleading portrayal within the article’s statements, but frankly, I am exhausted.

    Without much effort, this can be said,

    There is no “kicking off of a discussion” in a recent session, K. Johnson pointed out the rules on no discussion in a City Council meeting.

    Ms. K. Johnson did not fire back. She was humble and professional.

    Ms. Johnson’s statement to Mr. Doherty was a proposal to test run in his created scoring system, which I understand from watching the weekly Council meetings, was a system in process with the Mayor.

    Regarding the scoring system, Mr. Doherty failed to follow up with Council members’ requests on multiple occasions. The Mayor did not hold him accountable.

    During the previous Council meeting, Ms. K. Johnson requested Mr. Doherty follow up on many of the procedures of the national and county scoring system including something to the effect of not granting funds to businesses undergoing lawsuits. Other Council members also made requests.

    After working for hours on the second Council meeting with Mr. Doherty, in the meeting on June 23, the Council gave softened suggestions on the scoring system. The Council and the Citizens did not have the minutes to reference all the instructions provided to Mr. Doherty at the previous meeting.

    Bottom line: The article is sensationalized to the point of misleading. This is not an example of MEN’s normal work.

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  11. Clint,

    I liked your idea. Unfortunately, as usual, there is federal red tape involved that the city may only just be beginning to read as to how a business is eligible to receive funds. Hopefully, it will at a minimum, apply those rules. Months ago, the County followed the rules. Based on the Federal guidelines, Edmonds could have implemented the same or a very similar system. Instead, the Mayor with Mr. Doherty created their own. MEN posted the County’s small business funds grants criteria.

    Lori

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    1. Based on the alledged fact that over a million dead people got stimulus checks and the proven fact the Trump administration won’t devulge, specifically who got forgivable Cares Act loans, I don’t think Edmonds need fear much Fed. oversight of how we dole out the cash locally.

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  12. Deja Vu, again

    How we discriminate?

    Against an individual OR statistics?

    While I may agree there has and continues to be much discrimination against “People of Color”, or I guess it is now politically correct to say “Black”, must we discriminate against individuals because they are the wrong color???

    I am aware I almost lost a job, because I was not Asian. Luckily, the boss WAS Asian and spoke out.

    I am also aware that I could have had a larger pay raise, if I was female.

    Coming back into the U.S. I have generally been subjected to a car inspection – I can only guess they thought I was a “Middle Eastern Terrorist”. One time the officer began to let us pass, then saw me sitting in the passenger seat. At the time my hair was neat and trim.

    In the 1970’s it was referred to as “reverse” discrimination.

    For anyone that wants “equity”, we must not indiscriminately discriminate for or against anyone based on statistics alone.

    For anyone that wants “equity”, please begin an OPEN discussion. Don’t punish anyone “for the sins” of history.

    Thank you.

    v

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  13. Posted this just yesterday on the SRO thread…

    In today’s cancel culture if you don’t actively support a left side position then you are counted as opposed to it. If the school board did not support BLM on this they would have been called racist, few people are willing to stand up to the pressure of being called a racist, even more so if they are not. It is what makes it such an effective weapon.

    …today the “racist councilmember” said…

    Edmonds City Councilmember Kristiana Johnson on Thursday offered an apology to anyone who may have been hurt by her comment last week about the use of racial preferences to determine which Edmonds businesses should receive federal grant money to offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

    …consider me not shocked. Her hate crime of saying that Asians and whites should be treated the same could not be allowed to stand.

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  14. The tricky thing with dealing with the Feds (and State) is most of the time it isn’t the people at the top you have to watch out for its the middle and lower level bureaucrats. They frequently start million dollar investigations based on somewhat minor interpretations while ignoring similar situations. It isn’t coming out of their pockets and unlike the people higher in the food chain they almost never face any kind of serious repercussion.

    Look at a more local situation in the news, who decided to pull the police out of the Seattle East Precinct and make CHAZ/CHOP a possibility? The police chief says she didn’t do it, the Mayor says she didn’t do it, the Governor claimed to have not even heard about it… somebody did it, has anyone been fired or demoted?

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    1. It would be totally simple to vet all applicants as to meeting the Fed. guidelines, ask for fed. ruling on any iffy applicants to head off law suits, then hold an impartial drawing until the funds are gone. Only truly fair way to do it. Any other approach will be questioned and vilified by biased political interests in the current polarized atmosphere. Creative thinking needs to be employed locally to defeat the political bias that cuts two ways on every issue. I fail to see how, Seattle, CHOP, Durkan and Inslee have anything to do with anything on this local issue. Ms. Johnson errored in how she presented her point and presented it poorly but she is not a racist and did not have bad intentions. Forgive, forget and move on.

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  15. The voters need to not re-elect Mayor Durkan next year; she could cause the precinct to be taken back and hasn’t. Surely she gave the order to pull the police out.

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