We celebrate the collective effort of our Olympia community to grow and continue the Black Lives Matter Movement locally. From participating in protests and demonstrations, to donating money and supplies to those on the ground, to the hundreds of meetings and conversations happening to build lasting safety, belonging, and well-being for Black and People of Color, Indigenous, Latinx, Transgender, LGBQIA, Disabled, and other marginalized community members – Olympians are ready for real change, now.
Anti-racism is a multifaceted process, but the time is upon us to move boldly. We must collaborate to build policies that will transform Olympia into the integrated, anti-racist community we aspire to be. Together, we can generate homegrown and transformative strategies that build trust across our city. The ideas put forward by the Black Lives Matter Movement entail justice for African Americans and People of Color, but they also assure a framework for the support and protection of all marginalized members of society. Balance and inclusion will come when we focus on policies built on such a framework as it is voiced by the people.
To this end, we demand the City of Olympia:
- Acknowledge All Black Lives Matter as an entity standing to uplift politically, economically, and socially marginalized people.
- Declare Systemic Racism a public health concern.
Develop an anti-racism strategy for the City of Olympia that actively dismantles white supremacy within its departments and all operations/contracting.
Engage in public activities and dialogue to foster trust and community healing, on the terms of those who experience racism and anti-Blackness as well all marginalized communities in Olympia.
- Decriminalize BLM demonstrations/rallies/assemblies and immediately stop arresting BLM protestors. Drop charges for all who are being held, as well as for those who have been released.
- Immediately halt the use of chemical weapons, including those banned by the Geneva Convention, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. These weapons threaten the health and lives of those with respiratory conditions and chronic illness and, alongside other harsh tactics, contribute to the spread of COVID-19 while cases skyrocket.
- Defund, demilitarize, and abolish the Olympia Police Department. Redirect resources toward a new model of public safety responsive to the history of policing and the failures of incremental reform. We propose the following framework for a transition:
Halt the police union collective bargaining and contract negotiation process until participatory boards are in place.
Immediately begin developing and implementing a plan that removes lethal force from officers responding to all nonviolent crime service calls.
Place OPD under the control of an elected Community Control Management Board (CCMB), fully staffed with its own employees and budget. The CCMB will also work alongside a Reconciliation and Equity Oversight Board (REOB) to advise the council on all matters related to public safety and criminal justice. The REOB, comprised of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Transgender, LGBQIA, Disabled, and other marginalized community members, would have the power to:
t Immediately cut OPD’s budget by 50% for redistribution under the oversight of the REOB.
t Freeze police force hiring, including the hiring of a new Police Chief.
t Reallocate OPD funds and law enforcement functions to community-based safety programs, especially those that secure people’s basic needs like housing, food, health care, education, childcare, etc., again under the oversight of REOB.
While we realize this reorganization will take time, there is much that can be done immediately.
Our communities of color are ready to lead.
We call on the City Council to act: to take good faith measures toward these five demands and engage community partners without unwarranted delays.
Signed by: Amplified Voices of Olympia
Owner, Shirro’s Plate
Kylen Ellwood Clayton
Owner, Unicorn Gardens
Urban Farm & Garden Center
Owner, Sift and Gather
Nellie and Joe Riehle
Owners, Color My World Childcare
Owner, Olympia Rolfing Center
Co-owner, True Self Yoga
Owner, Wisteria Moon
Massage & Yoga
Lea Finnell Townsend
Mental Health Counselor
Customer service representative
Director retail and
Board of Directors
Olympia Food Coop
Tela Hogle Music Studio
Co-owner, Octapas Cafe
Bar owner/ tender,
The Crypt, LLC
Owner, Raventree Designs
Owner, Sofie’s Scoops
Moms Against Police Brutality
Voter, Business Owner
Owner, Puget Painting
& Home Repair
Retired state employee
Facilities Planning & Management
High School Teacher
Citizens for a Clean Black Lake
Olympia School District
Endorsed by Olympia Democratic Socialists of America (Oly DSA)