Thanks for your Dec. 29 article, “Year in Review: A look back at Kirkland in 2017.” We write to suggest that your readers might like to reflect on several significant events that occurred during the early months of 2017 that were not included in your recent article.
As the Reporter highlighted a year ago in its Jan. 20, 2017 issue, a large crowd of supporters gathered at City Hall on Jan. 3, 2017 to hear Mayor Amy Walen present, with City Council endorsement, a proclamation declaring the city’s deep commitment to promoting a just society that respects and welcomes all people. Further, on Feb. 21, 2017, in a unanimous vote, council passed an ordinance (O-4558) that puts into law a long-standing city policy to provide everyone in Kirkland — residents, workers and visitors alike — with the full range of city services, including police and fire services, without discrimination regardless of race, ethnicity or immigration status. The ordinance was complemented by a resolution reaffirming the council’s belief in the fundamental dignity, equality and constitutional and civil rights of all people.
Council’s vote came after a citizen petition signed by more than 700 people was presented, expressing their full support for the proclamation.
Under the leadership of community organizations such as Kirkland Safe, Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods and Kirkland Interfaith Network, along with the City of Kirkland, numerous events and grassroots initiatives were held throughout 2017 specifically to support the values expressed in the ordinance and resolution.
Multi-language “All Are Welcome Here” signs are now being distributed under KirklandSafe leadership. More than 130 people from diverse Kirkland organizations paraded together in the Celebrate Kirkland July 4 parade to demonstrate their support. Another example of community group actions includes the Juanita Neighborhood Association’s sponsorship of a Welcome to Kirkland multicultural event (food and entertainment from many lands) at Heritage Park in September during National Welcoming Week. The city is currently developing models for civil discourse and community conversations.
The proclamation and ordinance have become an important part of the fabric of Kirkland life and we thank you for continuing to publish articles that encourage the entire community to participate in carrying out its goals.
To learn more, visit www.KirklandSafe.org.
Sarah Johnson, Paula White, David Greschler, Leah Kliger, Jan Nakamura, David Kiesel, Sue and Santos Contreras, Sigrid Elenga, Lynn DuPaul and Uzma and Mobeen Butte,