As your elected representatives in the 21st District, we join together to make a statement against two acts that took place on the same day in our community, two acts that illustrate the deep need to confront the systemic racism that permeates our society.
In the light of day, a vandal defaced an important and politically powerful “I Can’t Breathe” art installation in downtown Edmonds. This installation was created by a local high-school graduate with the support of the City. While we are saddened to have to address this wanton destruction, we were also heartened by the outpouring of support from local residents who quickly gathered to repair the artwork.
Later that evening, our community again came together to condemn and challenge ill-informed and dangerous statements made by the student representative at the Edmonds City Council meeting. Those words highlighted the real legacy of racism and why our shared American history cannot be understood without understanding the evolution of slavery into legal, political, and economic oppression. We need to truly address the deep and long-lasting effects these dark periods of our history have on black and brown people.
As your elected officials in Olympia, we will continue to work with our communities of color to address systemic racism and create long-lasting and sustainable anti-racist solutions—stopping police brutality, creating access and opportunities for people of color, addressing mass incarceration, and investing in underserved communities.
The solidarity demonstrated by our community in reaction to this racism reinforces the persistence and fortitude we will need to do this work and to continue to say out loud that Black Lives Matter.
Senator Marko Liias
Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self
Representative Strom Peterson