Kirkland City Council to hold public hearing on Inclusive City actions tonight

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:42am
  • News
Kirkland City Hall - Reporter file photo

Kirkland City Hall - Reporter file photo

The Kirkland City Council will hold a public hearing tomorrow to consider the adoption of a resolution and an ordinance related to sustaining Kirkland as a safe, inclusive and welcoming city.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirkland City Hall Council Chambers. The public is encouraged to attend and provide comments regarding the proposed ordinance and resolution and how the City can continue to demonstrate its commitment to inclusiveness.

The resolution formally adopts as policy the values outlined in the Mayor Amy Walen’s Jan. 3 proclamation. The ordinance adopts current Kirkland Police Department policy and generally prohibits City of Kirkland officers and employees from inquiring into the immigration status or collecting information regarding religious affiliation for any person residing, working or visiting Kirkland.

For those unable to attend the public hearing, comments can be submitted to

The ordinance and resolution follow action that the City Council took on Jan. 3 when the mayor, on behalf of the City Council, proclaimed Kirkland a safe, inclusive and welcoming city for all people. The proclamation affirmed the City’s commitment to protect and serve everyone who resides in, works in, or visits Kirkland without discrimination, as well its belief in the dignity, equality and constitutional and civil rights of all people. It further proclaimed that the City will not tolerate hate, intolerance, discrimination, harassment or any behavior that creates fear, isolation or intimidation. The Council will consider a resolution that formalizes the statements in the Jan. 3 proclamation as City policy. The Council will also consider an ordinance that would deepen the City of Kirkland’s commitment to safety and inclusion by officially placing long-held police policy into the City’s code.

“Kirkland is a safe, inclusive and welcoming city, and we want to remain a welcoming city into the future,” Walen said. “We are considering the resolution and ordinance as a way to make a solid commitment to ensuring the safety and dignity for all members of our community.”

The ordinance is grounded in the City’s police power authority under Article 11, Section 11 of the Washington Constitution to enact legislation to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and it simply codifies long-standing City policies, including those of the Kirkland Police Department, generally prohibiting City officers and employees from inquiring into the immigration status of, or collecting information regarding religious affiliation from, individuals in Kirkland unless either required by law or provided voluntarily. The ordinance is also expressly intended to be consistent with applicable federal laws. The resolution, ordinance and related documentation will be posted to the City of Kirkland website prior to Tuesday’s city council meeting.

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