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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 27, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 04
Statement from King County Council Chair Joe McDermott
Section One
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Statement from King County Council Chair Joe McDermott

by Joe McDermott
King County Council Chair
Special to the SGN

In light of the flurry of executive orders by President Trump over the past week, it couldn't be more important to articulate our core values here in King County. All residents, regardless of immigration status or where they're from, must hear loud and clear from everyone that this county is safe, welcoming and supportive.

While we normally celebrate these values throughout the year, from Pride, to Martin Luther King Jr Day (the namesake of our county), to Bumbershoot to the Chinatown-ID Summer Festival, I'm heartbroken that in 2017 we are being forced to assert and reaffirm - rather than to celebrate.

We are all immigrants in some form or another, whether from the past few years, decades or going back over a thousand years. Far too many by force, and far too many fleeing oppression - but I know that all of us want lives for ourselves and loved ones that build community and create more opportunity for the next generation. That truly is the American Dream.

We are strengthened by new people moving here from other countries, economically, socially and culturally. But America has a fairly terrible track record when it comes to embracing that point of view.

From 'No Irish,' to the exclusionary policies that prevented Asians, Eastern Europeans and Jews at the start of the last century, to the 'restricted' list that would prevent people from escaping war-torn countries in the Middle East because of an irrational fear that they are 'terrorists coming to destroy America.' These are all examples of when we have fallen short.

Those policies and that thinking played a role in one of America's darkest periods exactly 75 years ago: the rounding up and internment of Japanese citizens, both native born and those who immigrated to our country.

With the Executive Order signed by President Trump this week, it appears he wants to reopen these tragic, and plainly disgusting, chapters of our history and punish local communities that have vowed to protect the innocent from persecution, imprisonment, and relocation.

New residents in our communities here in King County and around the country know better than most the promise of the American Dream. It is up to all of us who have been here only slightly longer to stand up for their rights to pursue that dream just as we do the same.

Now, more than ever, we must continue to reaffirm and assert our King County values - welcoming all who live in our communities, especially those who have come here to escape injustice or to find more opportunity for their family. When we do that together - in our homes, our neighborhoods, in our city, around our county, in our state - we send one clear message that will drown out a President bent on dividing our country:

'You are safe. You are welcome. And we will not go back to the days when people are segregated and forced out of our country because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they practice, or the person they love.'

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WOMXN'S MARCH
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Ed Murray defiant as Trump signs orders on immigration
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Trump regime 'disappears' LGBT community
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Ed Murray racks up key union endorsements
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Statement from the organizers of the Womxn's March on Seattle
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As a first-time marcher, the Womxn's March on Seattle was an uplifting experience!
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Seattle joins women around the world in historic Women's March
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Statement from King County Council Chair Joe McDermott
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Neighborhood Matching Fund announces NEW funding opportunities for community-initiated projects

Now provides increased access to funds, simpler application, and more

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Trump executive orders harm health care
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Mass resignation at State Department

Entire management team resigns as Trump appointee takes charge

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Trump order endangers LGBT Syrian refugees
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Billionaires finance TV ads for Jeff Sessions nomination
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Pride at Work condemns new anti-immigrant executive orders
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Texas Supreme Court accepts case challenging spousal benefits for same-sex couples
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A new LGBT march on Washington?
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