Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland

Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland

Kirkland council puts funds towards community outreach to address racism

The council approved a resolution to work towards ending structural racism, as well as $380,000 in outreach funding.

  • Friday, August 7, 2020 12:30pm
  • News

After several council session discussions, the Kirkland City Council approved a resolution to say Black lives matter and work towards ending structural racism, as well as a funding towards more community engagement in this effort.

Resolution R5434, “Affirming that Black Lives Matter and Approving the Framework for Kirkland to Become a Safe, Inclusive and Welcoming Community Through Actions to Improve the Safety and Respect of Black People in Kirkland and End Structural Racism by Partnering with Those Most Affected,” was passed unanimously by the council.

“The City Council has long been committed to doing the hard work to achieve our vision of being a safe, inclusive and welcoming community,” Mayor Penny Sweet stated in a press release. “R-5434 continues that commitment and helps us to ensure that Black voices are partners in our efforts to dismantle systemic anti-Blackness.”

According to the city, R-5434 was drafted based on four key guiding principles:

• Build on previous City work to become safe, inclusive and welcoming.

• Listen, learn and partner with the Black community and People of Color on actions and outcomes.

• Create broad community engagement to identify actions to increase the safety of Black residents and visitors and reduce structural racism.

• Create policy and program outcomes that are specific, measurable, timely and funded.

The City Council also approved $380,000 in early action funding requests to facilitate immediate implementation of community outreach elements, transparency elements, and national best practice research elements in the resolution. The funding will go towards new staff, consultants and technical support to begin the extensive community outreach needed to implement the items in the resolution.

Councilmember Amy Falcone thanked the Black community members in Kirkland who spoke to council on this issue and offered their intellectual and emotional labor in this process. She also acknowledged the city has an all-white council. They thanked the recently-formed Right to Breathe Committee, which formed from the Eastside Race and Leadership Coalition, for their work, much of which ended up in the council’s resolution.

“The city council recognizes that funding is required to make real change,” Councilmember Kelli Curtis stated in a press release. “Creating a community where Black people feel safe is going to take both an investment of dollars and a collective investment of time from all members of our community. The council has made a down payment on these efforts, and we strongly encourage everyone to get involved in this conversation as we move forward.”

More information about R-5434 is available on the City website.

Any community members wishing to be involved in this process can contact David Wolbrecht, Neighborhood Services Outreach Coordinator at

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Stock photo
Face coverings again recommended for indoor public settings

Regardless of vaccination status, says Public Health – Seattle & King County

Firearm violence in King County on upward trend

King County prosecutors note a backlog in court cases, point to the pandemic as the reason why.

Screenshot of King County Ecologist makes a PSA regarding water bacteria
Juanita Beach closed for bacteria levels once again

The beach is expected to be closed for at least a week.

infographic created by Coltura
Study suggests that the top 10 percent of gasoline-using drivers consume one-third of all the gas

Researchers believe converting “gasoline superusers” is an important factor in meeting climate goals

King County Logo
County property purchased in Bellevue for Eastside supportive and affordable housing

The $186 million project is expected to be finished by 2023.

Source: King County Medical Examiner’s Office
Drug overdose data shows an alarming trend in recent years

King County data indicates massive increase in fentanyl deaths from 2008 to 2020.

file photo
Eastside Fire and Rescue to share services with Woodinville Fire and Rescue

Eastside Fire and Rescue Board of Directors approved a ten-year agreement to share services.

Drop box at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton. File photo
What is ranked-choice voting and why does it matter?

King County leaders discuss implementing a new system that aims to better reflect the will of voters

Rendering of shoreline improvements at David Brink Park (courtesy of City of Kirkland)
David Brink Park to receive shoreline renovations this August

The park is expected to be closed for six months of construction.

Most Read