Seattle City Council, December 12, 2016
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park), together with her colleagues, adopted the City’s first Anti-Hate resolution today, reaffirming Seattle’s values of inclusion, respect and justice. The resolution passed Full Council by a unanimous vote of 8-0 and calls on the President-Elect to both condemn recent bias attacks and hate speech; and, to “…oppose the nomination of those candidates that the Senate finds to have advanced racism, religious oppression, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or bigotry.”
“As chair of the Civil Rights committee, it’s my duty to make recommendations on matters related to civil rights,” said Herbold. “It’s also our duty as a city to be explicit in our support and protection for our friends, our family members, our caregivers, activists, educators, social workers, and service industry employees and other members of vulnerable constituencies who are threatened by malicious acts.”
The increase in hate speech and acts of violence targeted at vulnerable populations is particularly concerning for city as diverse as Seattle. According to the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, 34% of Seattle residents are persons of color, and 19% of residents are foreign-born; and 129 languages are spoken in Seattle public schools.
Mayor Ed Murray, and Councilmembers Lorena González and Kshama Sawant, as well as One America, Allyship, and Gender Justice League also condemned recent attacks and hate speech that perpetuate religious persecution, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia.
“The City of Seattle will remain an inclusive and welcoming city for all who want to live and work here,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We will stand with those who face discrimination, including immigrants and our Muslim neighbors, because of who they are, where they are from or what religion they practice. Our City will not bend to hate or the results of a presidential election. Instead we will stand for our values and with our friends and neighbors who make our communities, and our city, a great place to call home.”
“When kids come to school expressing grief and fear that they will soon be separated from their families, we as a community, city, and nation need to stand up and take action,” said Councilmember Lorena González, chair of the New Americans committee. “With today’s vote we unequivocally state that we will not capitulate to fear. Together, we will make it easier for people to report incidents of bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence.”
With adoption of today’s resolution, the City also signaled intentions to establish dedicated hotlines, greater publicity for the Seattle Police Department’s Malicious Harassment/Bias Crimes website, and support to community-based organizations that support the safety of marginalized communities as part of the Council’s 2017 agenda.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant added: “Trump’s anti-worker, misogynistic, racist, and xenophobic views do not represent the majority of people in Seattle or the U.S. We need to build solidarity among the 99% against Trump’s agenda, and call for mass movements uniting workers, unions, immigrants, women and communities of color. I urge everybody to join me in building peaceful protests for Inauguration Day on January 20th and 21st.”
The Resolution will now be delivered to Mayor Murray for his signature.