Letter to the editor: City of Edmonds needs to address systemic racism

An open letter to the Edmonds City Council:

We are writing on behalf of members of the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation. In our faith tradition we are committed to the inherent worth and dignity of every person and equity and compassion in human relations. This means we are listening to, believing, and supporting black people, people of color, indigenous people, and others impacted by systematic institutional oppression and discrimination.

We feel compelled to speak out after the recent events in Edmonds. We recognize others in our community are working for racial justice, through art, public witness, official statements, and other ways. But we also recognize that overcoming systemic racism means making major changes in our institutions.  

This includes reviewing, changing, and replacing policies and practices; and partnering with others working to end institutional racism. Other governmental entities, including the City of Seattle and King County, have implemented procedures to look at their policies and practices through a Racial Equity lens. This is a vital step that the City of Edmonds should also undertake and make transparent. We urge the City Council to include racial justice goals and strategies in the Comprehensive Plan. This could mean, for example, revising the city budget to find funding for a full-time social worker, as some members proposed at their recent budget retreat. 

We commend local officials, notably Mayor Nelson for the establishment of the Equity and Justice Advisory Task Force and Acting Police Chief Lawless for the establishment of a Community Response Team. We feel it is important to have educational opportunities for the community in conjunction with organizations representing marginalized people. Community members and city government must learn more about the issues connected to the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly those that have to do with the role of the police vs. the role of social workers and counselors in keeping our community safe and healthy; this includes understanding “Defund the Police.” We all must listen to people of color to transform our community, eliminating racism and marginalization.

We acknowledge that change is uncomfortable. But we must act now, as the discomfort of the privileged is of less importance than the damage racism causes to others. Together we must work to end oppression. We must transform our community in ways that achieve equity, inclusion, fairness, dignity and justice for black people, indigenous people, and people of color in our society.

Signed,
Virginia “Ginger” Alonzo
on behalf of the Racial Justice Committee of the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation

67 Replies to “Letter to the editor: City of Edmonds needs to address systemic racism”

  1. “this includes understanding “Defund the Police.” Nice. The good news about this I suspect the majority of local citizens do well understand what a bunch of virtue signaling baloney this is and how little it really has to do with fairness, dignity, or justice for all.

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    1. Mr. Dale, You appear to be objecting to a call to understand something. Do you really mean to be advocating for maintaining ignorance? Perhaps a clarification would be helpful?

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      1. Hey Nick, on this particular thread there have been 39 comments, 9 of them have been from you alone. You just keep saying the same thing over and over. Other people have a right to their opinion without having to answer to you. Give it a break!

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        1. Nick makes a good point. It’s not virtue signaling if there are specific solutions proposed. Also, Martin, comments are comments. There’s no limit on them and Nick’s comments are far more informative than many on here.

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        2. Someone did suggest we put a limit on the number of comments anyone could post in a day. But there is no way I have time to keep score and count up the number of times someone comments daily. There are MANY commenters who do this, and I often think it’s a desire to always have the last word.

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        3. Actually Valerie, Nick is repetitive and sometimes adds an insult for good measure. As you said, you are new here. Usually insults are left on the editing floor at MEN. I agree with Martin that 9 redundant comments by one person is excess. We have just recently been limited to 300 words per comment. Hopefully soon a maximum number of comments per subject, per person will also be implemented.
          Most every topic is worthy of a comment, but 9 from a single commenter is excessive, and does nothing for the diversity of the conversation.

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  2. Thank you, Ms. Alonzo for your letter.
    Change is uncomfortable. Whenever I react to a proposed change with an immediate “no”, I find I miss out on an opportunity to engage with my community. If my reaction is an immediate “no” what am I uncomfortable with? A different view point? An incorrect view point? How do I know which it is if I don’t first listen? Community members are telling us they have a view point. It is up to the whole community to listen, learn and then make a decision. An immediate “no” tells me our community does not care for its members. Edmonds, we can do better. I will listen. Let’s listen.

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    1. And here you’re objecting to what you describe as a “solution”. You’re against solutions? Again, maybe a clarification would help.

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  3. Okay, Alan, let’s listen to Mayor Baraka.

    Here are a few paragraphs from the Politico article about Mayor Baraka’s “bourgeois liberal” comment.

    “…Baraka’s comments on Thursday came as he touted an ordinance passed by the City Council on Wednesday that aims to accomplish at least some of the “defund the police” movement’s goals. The ordinance calls for reallocating 5 percent of Newark‘s annual public safety budget — roughly $230 million last year — to create a dedicated Office for Violence Prevention.

    “The purpose of the office — which will be housed in a Central Ward police precinct that was ground zero for the 1967 riot that was prompted by the beating of a black man by two white police officers — will be to ameliorate community-based conflicts and “eliminate hate crimes and racism, racial discrimination, police brutality and violence of all kind, according to the ordinance.

    “Final funding for the office remains contingent on the city’s annual budget process, said Baraka.

    “’At the end of the day, I think that the city and the residents here need police officers in their communities,’ said the mayor, adding that questions about how officers are deployed and how they engage residents should be scrutinized….”

    That’s what Mayor Baraka actually said, and II kind of agree with him. I suspect his ideas about the existence of systemic racism in police forces and what might be done about it are a lot closer to Ms. Alonzo’s than yours. I certainly agree with Ms. Alonzo that we must listen to people of color to understand and address these issues. Do you?

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    1. Your right. Mayor Baraka said: “’At the end of the day, I think that the city and the residents here need police officers in their communities,’ said the mayor, adding that questions about how officers are deployed and how they engage residents should be scrutinized….”

      Surprise. Yes, I agree Ms. Alonzo is right about listening to people of color. Especially so we don’t become a part of a “white-led movement” to defund the police.

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  4. The idea of defunding police is rediculous. Who would you call when you need help? I can tell you…I lived In Houston Texas in the late 1970s. History really does repeat itself. Crime got so bad because the bad guys quickly got word that Houston was understaffed with police, and the people who lived there had money. It got so bad..everyone started carrying guns because if you called the police they were honest and told you they may not be there or it may be several hours. Do you own a gun?? Frequent question they asked. Ultimately everyone did have a gun and pretty much a bad guys knew if they pulled a gun, you had one too. Very scary times so I moved to Seattle. All the signs are here what happened in Texas. Texas is safe now, maybe time to go back.

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    1. Ms. Trevino, The call in the letter is to understand what “Defund the police” means and what it is advocating for. You can join in with the work to understand. Here are some resources to get you started. There is a lot more out there. You could get help from an online librarian, but I’m not sure that libraries have the funding to provide that service.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/07/defund-police-heres-what-that-really-means/
      https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/last-week-tonight-john-oliver-on-how-policing-is-entangled-with-white-supremacy-reforming-the-system-and-defunding-the-police/ar-BB15aVG1
      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/opinion/sunday/police-riots.html
      https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-10/sheriffs-deputies-held-black-teens-at-gunpoint-after-they-were-called-to-help-attorney-says

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    2. This is a faithful letter from faithful, courageous people. Thank you, Ginger and the racial justice committee. I’m inspired by the work that you are doing.
      “the discomfort of the privileged is of less importance than the damage racism causes to others. Together we must work to end oppression. We must transform our community in ways that achieve equity, inclusion, fairness, dignity and justice for black people, indigenous people, and people of color in our society.” Amen.
      Edmonds (and everywhere) needs to do better.

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  5. Joy, I don’t think you’re understanding what defend the police actually means. “Who would you call when you need help?” Well, the police…duh. And yes, they would in fact still come. The idea behind it is that less crimes would occur, if more social services were available to re-offenders, people at high risk of offending, and of course the BIPOC stuck in the school to prison pipeline. And unfortunately, there is no money available for these types of services to be offered to the many that would benefit and take advantage of them. They do exist, but these positions are over stretched. Unfortunately. I’m fairly sure that the City Of Edmonds and Lynnwood share ONE social worker. I may be wrong there, but I’m fairly sure. So the idea looks something like this: redirect that money taken from the ‘defunding’ and put it into social services that directly help those convicted, or at high risk of being convicted of a crime. So for example Joe Shmoe gets a DUI. Joe meets with a Social Worker. Social Worker finds out that Joe’s life is a wreck. A lot of unfortunate circumstances have happened to him, and he’s started to drink to cope. Social Worker than connects Joe with resources that can help Joe get his life back on track. Joe then is less likely to re-offend because he is supported.

    In short, defund the police actually means “policing with empathy”.

    Also. Do you have Netflix? I highly recommend watching the Documentary ’13th’. If you don’t have an account, I’d gladly give you my password so you can watch it. It will more than likely change your perspective.

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  6. “Other governmental entities, including the City of Seattle and King County, have implemented procedures to look at their policies and practices through a Racial Equity lens. This is a vital step that the City of Edmonds should also undertake and make transparent. We urge the City Council to include racial justice goals and strategies in the Comprehensive Plan. This could mean, for example, revising the city budget to find funding for a full-time social worker, as some members proposed at their recent budget retreat. ”

    Good call

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    1. Hi Nick, since we had already been paying for a part time social worker, that was shared between the city of Edmonds and the city of Lynnwood. However, the city of Lynnwood moved to stop funding the part time social worker for their city. The council agreed with the proposal by Chief Lawless to move to having a full time social worker position after the city, and much of the council listed this as their priority for the next year.

      This falls in line with many of the social justice reforms that Chief Lawless and Mayor Nelson announced earlier

      https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/06/mayor-police-chief-announce-efforts-to-review-implement-new-police-procedures-and-policies/

      The key thing is that there definitely is a difference on the impact of social justice reforms. There certainly are ones that can cause more damage than benefit. Specifically among the data that we have on the negative impacts of ‘defund the police’ initiatives. That’s the problem with overly broad statements such as “ACAB,” or “there is no such thing as a bad protester, and no such thing as a good cop.” In this movement to create real social justice change after seeing so many broken promises and failed initiatives before, some people in their emotional distress are pushing for policies that will hurt and kill the communities and people that they are seeking to help.

      I truly want to see meaningful social justice change, but we have to realistically look at both the positive and negative affects of the different ideas to make meaningful and impactful change.

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      1. Hi Evan, I’m curious about the data you refer to. Could you share links to “the data that we have on the negative impacts of ‘defund the police’ initiatives”? The initiative I know about is Camden, NJ. From what you’re saying, you must know about other defunding work. It would be great to see the data. Thanks!

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        1. Hi Nick,

          I am glad that you know about Camden NJ, as that is one of the most successful police restructuring plans that I know of. The city effectively changed the function and focus of the police department to focus on deescalation and community policing. They massively increased public involvement, and police involvement in the community.

          One thing that is critical about this is that the police force GREW by 33%.

          Before the city dissolved the police force and remade it, there were fewer than 300 police members. After they were done there were over 400. Before the move, Camden was “routinely named one of the most violent cities,” and afterwards violent crime dropped by 42%.

          https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/us/disband-police-camden-new-jersey-trnd

          The critical component is HOW the department was restructured. These area of deescalation training, and community policing are the same departments that Seattle is cutting. Cutting the primary areas that made Camden so successful.

          The main problem with the defund narrative is that they don’t look at the data. There are proven solutions that they are ignoring, and sometimes sabotaging.

          In Minneapolis where they voted to abolish the police but have not carried through yet, there has been a dramatic reduction in police size, and there has been an over 100% increase in murders & 105% in car theft. Murders are on track to pass 150% for the year.
          https://www.southwestjournal.com/news/2020/08/summer-crime-spree/

          https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/08/04/minneapolis-crime-continues-to-spike-as-crucial-decisions-on-police-near

          See my post for more info:

          https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/08/letter-to-the-editor-a-defund-disaster-in-seattle-and-what-it-means-for-edmonds/

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        2. This is the conversation that the letter to editor is calling for when it calls for understanding defund the police. Thank you, Evan!

          As you say, Camden “changed the function and focus of the police department to focus on deescalation and community policing. They massively increased public involvement, and police involvement in the community. One thing that is critical about this is that the police force GREW by 33%. Before the city dissolved the police force and remade it, there were fewer than 300 police members. After they were done there were over 400. Before the move, Camden was “routinely named one of the most violent cities,” and afterwards violent crime dropped by 42%.”

          This is progress towards understanding defund the police. I cannot go so far as to suggest that we dissolve the police force in Edmonds, but I very much appreciate your sharing this.

          On the other hand, when referring to Minneapolis, I think you might want to reread your comment and consider what is causing what. As you write, “In Minneapolis where they voted to abolish the police but have not carried through yet, there has been a dramatic reduction in police size”. How has the size of the police force reduced when the city has not yet carried through on the reduction? Perhaps you have been caught up in what Snopes reveals in this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/minneapolis-police-advisory/ Given the examples that are provided of the increase in crime in the article you provide (12-16 year olds snatching purses, one car stolen, and one shoot out in a major city), I am skeptical about what we will see when the real statistics are provided, which makes sense, since the city hasn’t followed through on anything yet.

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        3. Thank you for the great conversation Nick.

          With a 33% increase in police, I certainly would not think of Camden is an example of a defund scenario. Although I think that is a major flaw of the term “defund the police” anyways. It constrains them to cuts only, and does not focus on the aspects that have been proven to reduce racial injustice and crime.

          All of the examples that we have so far of cutting police services has led to more death among the people of color that the idea is supposed to help.

          In cities like Memphis, the city downsized the police force 2010-2017 by about 20% and had a large increase in crime. This was noted in the Vox video on defunding police where they said that you CAN reduce police funding and put it into social services, but surprisingly only showed data that the reduced police increases crime.

          So far there has never been data to show that social workers can effectively replace police at any large scale.

          https://www.vox.com/2020/6/26/21303849/what-defund-the-police-really-means

          For Minneapolis, the council has not followed through with their abolish plan, but the message that the police are not respected or appreciated has been received. Over 80 police officers have left, 200 are on medical leave, with many more looking to leave, and no one wanting to join. Read the responses from community members to see how this along with the 100% increase in murders has affected them.

          There are a lot of positive social justice reforms that we can undertake that have proven to work. We just need to be mindful of the data to make sure that we are not doing more harm than good, and continue to listen to a wide variety of community members

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  7. Yes, lets use Seattle and King county as examples of what we should be doing in Edmonds. It is working out so well there. The new “addiction” for liberal suburbanites : pointless virtue signaling and calling to fix problems where they do not exist. Are any of you 99.9% of the population ( other than BIPOC ) getting tired of being called “racist” when you are not and never have been ?

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    1. Regarding trying to understand the ‘defund the police’ movement, another good resource is the book ‘Beyond Survival’ by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha. I’m part way through reading it and it is helping me to see how in many cases the criminal justice system fails to provide resolution for victims as well as failing to create an outcome for the perpetrator where crime is unlikely to be repeated. The system tends to label people as victim or criminal while ignoring the fact that probably the majority of people who commit crime are also victims of crime such as abuse, etc. Transformative justice as I am beginning to understand it is a means for communities to have accountability, healing, and real resolution for all involved rather then just basically trying to get rid of people who have done some kind of harm by incarcerating them. Does that mean that there is never a situation where someone who is considered imminently dangerous to themselves or others should be detained in some way to prevent violence? I don’t think that is necessarily the argument. Let’s all try to learn together with open minds. Nothing is cut and dried or simple – these are complex issues and we need to resist the urge to just polarize every issue and stand firmly on one side or the other without deep critical thinking, respectful discussion, and listening to those with the most direct experience to inform. There are possibilities for bettering our systems and our communities!

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    2. This call and the national energy for racial justice isn’t about any individual person being called “racist”. We live in a system – the American system – that was built on the notion that white people are more important than everyone else. That idea has been baked in. What we’re trying to do now is to help white people (like you and me) to see how we’re benefiting while so many others are suffering. This has nothing to do with virtue or who’s bad or good; it has everything to do with asking everyone to step up, learn our history and try to set things right.

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      1. Please stop repeating this backwards nonsense. I’ll quote my professor for clarity. “When certain Americans were denied the right to vote based on the color of their skin, that was systemic racism. When small children and college students had to be ushered to school by the National Guard, past defenders of state laws and policies that sought to maintain racial segregation, that was systemic racism. When black and white Americans were forbidden to marry, that was systemic racism—and a gross infringement on individual liberty. Our history is the best proof that America is not a racist nation. A nation of white racists wouldn’t elect and re-elect a black man as president. Those who assert that the U.S. is racist must, at a minimum, address this historical fact” and give clear examples of your ‘racism’ rather than repeat misinformation found on social media. Edmonds has so little racism some people are trying to create it through sophistry and that is something we must not tolerate or reinforce. Please stop.

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  8. Yes Jay I agree with you. I don’t believe we live in a racist community as Erin and Nick think. Nick quotes MSN ? The lowest rated TV station in the USA? that makes the Enquirer look good. Then The NY Times..gads…. that newspaper? New Yorkers Are barreling out of New York as their Mayor begs the people to come back.. he can quote those extreme sources but look at the end results..chaos. Look at what’s happening in Seattle. You want to really take Edmonds to that low source? No, what needs to happen is a common sense approach. Defund police…wow

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    1. Hi Ms. Trevino, You wrote, “I don’t believe we live in a racist community as Erin and Nick think.” As long as you’re reporting what I think, could you help me with a quote of where I reported that these are my thoughts? Thanks!

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  9. Well done UU Congregation of Edmonds! Speaking as someone whose family member has needed mental health care instead of police response, I strongly support the movement to “defund the police” and to move those funds to resources that support health! Thank you for working to save lives, rather than jail or end them.

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  10. As a white person in this country, I know that whatever challenges or difficulties I may have experienced, they are not compounded by the color of my skin.

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    1. Pam, are there not things as a white person that you can not say yet would be allowed to say if you were a person of color? The most obvious of course is the N-word, if you are a black hip hop star you can make millions using it, if you are a white celeb you can lose millions because someone remembers you saying it twenty years ago (Paula Deen). Try writing All Lives Matter on your car window or say it in an interview and find out how much the color of your skin makes a difference. If your black son kills someone nobody knows your name, if your white stepson cop kills a suspect you can lose your job (don’t remember her name, was attached to the Atlanta shooting).

      Try this one…

      there is 5% black population in my community but only 3% of the city jobs, we need more diversity. You are an advocate of racial justice and patted on the back.

      there is 5% black population in my community but 20% of the city jobs, we need less black and more something else to achieve racial justice for all populations, many would call you a racist.

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      1. Mr. Aversano, Ms. Iverson wrote “whatever challenges or difficulties I may have experienced, they are not compounded by the color of my skin.”
        She probably has not experienced the challenges or difficulties you describe. I have never experienced them, and it has been easy to avoid them.

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  11. Thank you, Ginger, and the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Edmonds, for the reminder to be involved, and to listen. May doing so bring changes necessary for justice and healing.

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    1. Thank you, Edmonds UU, for your brave and profoundly morally grounded stand for Black lives. I wish all faith communities would be inspired by your example.

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  12. Thank you, Ms. Alonzo, for your thoughtful letter encouraging all of us to listen and learn so we may better appreciate the impacts of systemic racism.
    As you note, it can be extremely uncomfortable when lookIng closely at personal practices and social policies, only to discover that they are negatively impacting many citizens. But this is the work we are asked to do and it is a small discomfort when compared to the gross inequities.
    I hope city council listens and acts on your suggestions.

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  13. I am very proud to be part of the Ministry Team for the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and grateful for our people’s courageous moral witness. We are a largely white congregation and though we are still learning how to be actively anti-racist, we have immersed ourselves in this work. Our faith compels us to act in solidarity with those who do not share the privilege which our white skin gives us, in a society that is built on racist, white supremacist structures of oppression. I’m grateful to our Racial Justice Committee for leading us in the work to examine these systems of oppression and to actively seek to dismantle them. None of us are free until all of us are free.

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    1. Thank you for your commitment to this important issue Rev. Kingman.

      There is nothing in the UU letter that I would disagree with, and I applaud your commitment to something that is so important to all of our community.

      You note that “None of us are free until all of us are free.” That is a lot more true than many people realize. It mirrors one of the most important statements on society that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      Our decisions are based on what we view as just and reasonable decisions based on laws and norms. The more that injustice is normalized, the more that it skews and harms the norms that those decisions are based upon. Damaging both those that are persecuted, and those who allow it to happen.

      In this journey, I would implore you to continue to keep open minds, and open your ears to the community voices that are most impacted by racial injustice harm. Especially to focus on positive reforms, and be mindful of the potential for damage from defund ideas.

      Omari Salisbury from Converge Media is a very respected Black media journalist in Seattle who has done an enormous amount of interviews on all sides of this issue.

      He has noted that in Seattle, there has been a lot of people, especially the city council that has talked AT the black community, but many have not talked WITH them very much. They way that the council refused to even talk to Chief Best has angered a lot of the community in South Seattle.

      https://mynorthwest.com/2084804/omari-salisbury-community-seattle-council/

      “I’ve always said that we don’t have to agree, but let’s make a commitment to understand,”

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  14. Thank you, UU Church in Edmonds! It’s never easy to take a public moral stand; I’m grateful for your leadership and witness. I pray your words have fallen on open ears.

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    1. Thank you, Edmonds UU Congregation for your leadership and advocacy! You are living out the UU Principles.

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  15. I appreciate the clear call of this letter from a group of people who are willing to wade into these divisive waters at this challenging time. I appreciate the invitation to understand what “defund the police,” moving past the first initial defensive reaction, towards something that is more grounded. Thank you for being a voice like that in the Edmonds and Washington State communities.

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  16. Shall we just wait and see how this turns out..Seattle will be the test study. So far the black Police chief has resigned her job because of a huge cut in her salary..or does her job matter?
    You think when they cut police and take off the streets.. is that going to hurt affluent neighborhoods or poor neighborhoods?

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    1. “Understanding” defund the police certainly does not mean that we are going to careless enough to enact that counterproductive and deadly policy hear in Edmonds.

      We can just watch all of the unnecessary bodies pile up in the cities that have enacted it, and thank our Gods that we did not enact that murderous policy on our own community members.

      In the meantime, there are absolutely positive social justice changes that we can move forward on to make real and meaningful change.

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      1. Yes. “Understanding” defund the police does not mean that we are going to careless enough to enact a counterproductive or deadly policy here in Edmonds.

        So far, it has created a huge increase in safety and well-being in Camden, NJ. Everett had great success as well

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  17. Thank you Ms. Alonzo for so eloquently speaking to the need for Edmonds to address systemic racism. After listening last weekend to a very thoughtful discussion among five black Edmonds residents, it is evident how pervasive racism is in our community.

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  18. I honor and encourage the efforts of the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation to lift up the importance of naming and undoing the systemic racism built into our public institutions. When the barrel itself is rotten, no good apples emerge unscathed.
    This was such a gentle naming, beloveds. I invite folks to reflect on what parts of this invitation stir up discomfort and sit with that learning for a while. With gratitude to the wisdom of Maya Angelou: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” We can do better, dear ones. Let’s choose to bless the world.

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  19. Thanks Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation for speaking out. I’m with you, and my church, although not in Edmonds, is doing so also.

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    1. “Systemic racism is bad and we call for change” is just a slogan when you hear it in America, Brazil, Canada and Egypt all on the same day at protests against their governments.

      If the systemic racism advocates would define the term, provide current examples of how it is holding people of color as a group down today and list examples of needed change, it would be much more powerful than just using it as a catch phrase.

      Show me that people can’t do “X” in 2020 and what you specifically propose to do about it and you have a much better chance of getting me out there to support the cause.

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  20. A great resource for those in need of someone to talk with – trained experts – and local: https://www.crisisconnections.org/washingtonlistens/ As one who works closely in the BH/MH world I’d rather not hire “one” social worker to handle two cities – “caring” for that care giver would be costly. Let’s tap the resources already available in and throughout our region.

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    1. “Several commenters described what they said was systemic racism in local schools that they or their loved ones have experienced on a regular basis. Issues included a lack of diversity among school staff, disparate rates of student discipline, instances of students being called racial slurs and lack of cultural engagement.”

      A lack of diversity among staff… at the least show me the numbers that show this is the case and not perception. Show me the people that were not hired because of the color of their skin. What if there just are not enough people of color applying for positions, is the district supposed to actively search and bring in people from outside the area to fill a quota? Unless there are people in power keeping people of color out of the system this is not systemic racism.

      Disparate rates of student discipline… again show me the numbers. Has to be more than X number of the population and Y number of disciplines because not every person does good and bad things at the exact same number. If my kid breaks the rules 10 times she should be disciplined 10 times, not stop after 6 because the numbers are out of balance if you enforce the other 4. If you are asking the schools to force a balance of numbers that WOULD be systemic racism.

      Students being called racial slurs… are you saying the school staff is doing this, some student calling another student a name is not systemic racism, especially if they are both persons of color.

      Lack of cultural engagement…. please expand. If we are saying that the school district does not celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Kwanzaa that is not systemic racism because they are not allowed to celebrate Halloween or Christmas either.

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  21. Yes I heard about that. Wasn’t just Yale it was 3 Ivy League schools who don’t let white or Asians in school with high grade points.

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  22. Clark county made that decision with input from 20 people, not exactly representative.

    It is easy to confuse “Affirmative Action” with “Systemic Racism” however these are different beasts.

    I have yet to find a clear definition or even an enduring example of Systemic Racism post 20th century. Affirmative Action has been around since JFK drafted Executive Order 10925 in 1961. In California we were fighting this back in 1996 with Proposition 209, which was simply meant to remove racial bias from college admissions and hiring. A current majority of faculty is attempting to undo that work with California ACA-5 which will reinstate the legal use of sexual and racial bias into the California constitution. As you can see, this battle has been ongoing for decades. Even Michelle Obama said in her book that she didn’t like how she can’t be completely confident in her school career since she always had an advantage over other students due to her race. She was correct.

    I’ve also noticed how when a school or company hires a “Chief or Director of Diversity and Inclusion” tasked with rooting out racism and whatever term you want to use for non-inclusion, the hire will generate copious memos and usually request additional funding for another and another discovery process. When you pay someone a six digit salary to find a problem, they’ll find something even if they have to make it up. At my University all incoming students are required to meet and take a special class determined by the local Diversity Officer. Could there be a connection between the current college kids sociological ideals and the mandatory Diversity classes they take in college in their first year? Maybe, this mandatory process did began around 2007 at the University of California.

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  23. I have yet to understand what is SR and what would the role of the city be to fix it? While I want to understand what it is I wonder what is the most effective way to work on it?

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    1. “Systemic Racism” is when nobody in the Main Stream Media will cover 5 yr old Cannon Hinnants Shocking Murder because it doesn’t fit their “Racial Narrative”. (Cannon was murdered August 9th, finally under pressure from many people, only today, August 13th, the MSM was forced to cover the gruesome murder of this little boy). Who will say his name? Who will March in his honor? Who will stand on the corner holding up his photo and his name? This is wrong, and it is all about race.

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  24. I had an interesting conversation with a retired police chief from a small city earlier this week. He said that there are lots of small police departments (with under 50 employees) and not many that are the size of the City of Seattle’s. Police in small cities spend about 2% of the time on arresting people. The remainder of the time is spent on what he called community policing. That is, responding to a mother who wants him to speak to her child about why he shouldn’t skip school, comforting/consoling someone whose child has gone missing, working with the parents of a child who has drug issues to try to get them some help, consoling and comforting families of people who died suddenly…

    He said that we are talking about police departments as if they are all the same. The function and duties of those in the Seattle police department are very different from those in the Edmonds police department. He believes that some time soon, those two ideas are going to clash.

    It seems to me that those white people who are crying out to defund the police are again trying to make decisions/speak for people of color instead of letting them speak for themselves. A recent Gallup poll showed that 61% of Black Americans want the police presence to remain the same. 20% would like the police to spend more time in their area and 19% would like the police to spend less time in their area. https://news.gallup.com/poll/316571/black-americans-police-retain-local-presence.aspx Instead of white people telling people of color what they want, shouldn’t we ask them instead?

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  25. Hey Ron, the only thing getting beaten to death are the rights of caucasians through affirmative action and the like. Get your head out of the sand. How would you feel if you were told through AA that you wern’t smart enough to get somewhere on yoru own, so the gov’t needs to mandate it? Thats the most racist thing I can think of. There is your systematic racism in plain site harming both sides of the “arguement” at the same time through the same “action”.

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    1. There are people of all races who are not “smart enough to get somewhere on yoru(their) own”.

      The above link offered by Nick Maxwell creates some definitions of racism. Here is the link again.
      https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/aug/12/clark-county-council-hears-from-residents-about-systemic-racism/

      Before we all chat about SR or racism in general is their any chance we can agree on some definitions so we can have a focused chat about what we are actually talking about?

      If we can agree on the problem we are trying to solve may be we can have an informed conversation about the problem or problems we are trying to solve. Seems an agreed up definition is a good starting point.

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  26. That’s a long reach. At the beginning of the 2019-2020 legislative session, the NY Senate Democratic Conference held 39 of the chamber’s 63 seats. Edmonds has little to zero in common with New York State demographics, history or culture.

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