Letter to the editor: My experience using the online portal to report bias


I may have been the first to officially report an instance of bias in Edmonds using the portal. Ultimately this report should serve as a case study to see how the portal is used, what corrective actions are taken and what latitude Edmonds has with reports as serious as this. My report read as follows:

“The City Council had the opportunity to appoint more qualified women of color to fill Mike Nelson’s vacated City Council seat. Instead of choosing from minorities who actually ran a campaign for office, they chose a person of privilege. Alicia Crank is one of the best communicators of all our public figures. She ran a terrific campaign. She has the most experience. She (and other minorities such as Nand and Chen) have experienced bias.”

This is a legitimate complaint in good faith  I was surprised to know that the portal does not provide a case number or an automated email to let people know that their entry was received. I emailed Patrick Doherty about this and he said that an automated feedback response might be incorporated.

Matt Richardson

  1. So you think a person should be appointed based on sex and color, I would call that bias discrimination.

    1. Susan, I would call the entire “portal” idea an act of stupidity and time wasting of epic proportions.

  2. Personally I think Alicia should have been appointed because she had done the actual work of running and putting herself out there, while Luke was appointed, apparently, because the Mayor and majority of the council (including the Council President) liked his Left leaning politics. I think Matt makes a great point (intentionally or not), that this reporting of bias and hate nonsense is a fairly subjective thing. My apologies in advance Matt, if I’ve put meaning in your post that you didn’t mean.

  3. I’m an attorney. The City is exposing itself to lawsuits by publicizing possibly slanderous accusations of “hate.” Anybody who is accused of “hate” can go after the City. The taxpayers will end up paying. This portal is a lawsuit waiting to happen. And it WILL happen. The City should junk the portal now.

    1. Thank you Jeffrey. I wanted to mention something to that effect but felt unqualified. Now I know you are qualified and thrilled you came forward. Thank you Deb.

  4. Shades of 1984 by George Orwell….the one minute complaint to the Ministry of….?

    We already have a plethora of media to sound off on, such as now.

    I agree with Frank Demme.

  5. I agree with Delores Haugland & Frank Demme.

    .Why could anyone think this is a good idea and not consider the consequences of their action. I fear too many folks do not consider the consequences, i.e. defund the police. How has that been working?

    Bette Bell

  6. Yes this new Edmonds City portal will be good for reporting if there’s any more “wrong thinking” bias cookies at the bakery.

    1. The actual TikTok took place in Edmonds. It’s a shame the wrong guy was identified but it doesn’t negate what happened to the man just trying to enjoy a meal in our city.

      1. HOw is what happened racist? The person that this was about said: “An older gentleman walked out and said I think you need to go pay for your drinks. They are looking for your tab.” When dillard was asked if he thought this older gentleman did this becuase Dillard was a black man, dillard said “i thought he did it because he wasn’t minding his own business.” Dillard said he didn’t think this was because of race at all. Someone else who watched this and had no clue decided to post it.

        This is exactly what will happen with the portal.

        1. All Sam ___ker’s sound the same to me, but they can be really different if you take the time to get to know one. Don’t judge a Sam by their first name.

  7. This is so bizarre. Are complaints on the online portal supposed to be public? It feels strange for my name to be mentioned as a so-called “victim of bias” because I wasn’t appointed to Edmonds City Council in 2019. Will this be searchable on the Internet? I am not comfortable with being identified as a victim of racism in this context, that is not how I see myself.

    The fact that four candidates of color who had previously run for office and served on city boards and commissions for years were not picked was frankly disappointing and embarrassing for the six white members of Edmonds City Council. Many of whom claim to be “anti-racist“ and tout their commitment to diversity. But their choice had a lot to do with the politics of the progressives on the council. They found a kindred spirit in Luke. They vote as a unit and are 100% aligned with the mayor on every issue.

    That’s why the progressives shut out moderate Democrats like Will Chen and me and would only vote for progressives like Alicia Crank and Luke Diestelhorst. It was entirely about loyalty to the progressive agenda.

    1. Jenna,

      Portal reports, such as the one filed by Matt Richardson, are subject to public records requests. Questions about public records requests and archives of requests for a variety of issues are posted here:


      Here is a link to the form that Matt completed:

      In his Council comments on July 20, Council member Distelhorst strongly supported the establishment of this portal suggesting “upgrades” and “robust distribution out to the community” to make sure everyone knows the portal to report bias, discrimination and hate is available.

      And here is the City announcement of the portal:

      1. Jenna,

        The first link in my response doesn’t seem to be working, so below is the definition of a public record, from the COE website. All complaints are considered part of the public record and are accessible through a public records request.


        What is a public record?

        A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, email, microfilm audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision, but as much detail as you can provide will be helpful. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.

  8. This reporting portal is a very bad idea. It’s nothing but the person reporting it’s opinion. The Nazi’s rewarded it’s citizens for ratting our their family, friends, neighbors, and anyone they didn’t like. Absolutely pathetic!

  9. Matt, you are a Master at your craft. You know how to “upset the Apple cart”, you certainly know how to make those that support this portal look like fools, Marxist Fools.
    We still have not heard from Alicia Crank on this. She was very quick to call out the superintendent (who was fired just for being the super) of 50 Pine St when the “noose” was found, although he had nothing to do with it; she criticized the nail salon when they called the police when people of color got angry, she always had an opinion before. What is Alicia’s opinion now?

    1. I communicated with that super. I didn’t have particular reasons, but putting myself in his shoes I was really worried for his life. The thought would have crossed my mind if as depressed as he was. Edmonds’ response to that situation was absolutely deplorable. That super was a victim of Discriminatiom and Bias, and not a public figure like the aforementioned people.

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