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Call of Action to the City of Olympia

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:

  1. Acknowledge All Black Lives Matter as an entity standing to uplift politically, economically, and socially marginalized people.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  • Immediately cut OPD’s budget by 50% for redistribution under the oversight of the REOB.
  • Freeze police force hiring, including the hiring of a new Police Chief.
  • 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.

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Signed By:  Amplified Voices of Olympia

Endorsed by Olympia Democratic Socialists of America (Oly DSA)

Mercy Kariuki-McGee
Owner, Shirro’s Plate
Olympia, WA

Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors

Kylen Ellwood Clayton
Owner, Unicorn Gardens
Olympia, WA

Brighida deVargas
Owner, Eastside Urban Farm & Garden Center
Olympia, WA

Amber Markland
Owner, Sift and Gather
Olympia, WA

Nellie and Joe Riehle
Owner, Color My World Childcare
Olympia, WA

Jazmine Fox-Stern
Owner, Olympia Rolfing Center
Olympia, WA

Christina Lagdameo
Co-owner, True Self Yoga
Olympia, WA

Jessica Ryan
Olympia, WA

Jennifer Shafer
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Olympia, WA

Paris McClusky
Executive Director of environmental non-profit
Olympia, WA

John Kersting
Teacher
Olympia, WA

Lea Finnell Townsend
Mental Health Counselor
Olympia, WA

Eleanor Steinhagen
Communications Specialist
Olympia, WA

Susan Stack
Olympia, WA

Syd Locke
State employee
Olympia, WA

Keoki Kauanoe
Olympia, WA

Arisa Nogler
Nurse
Olympia, WA

Ashly Elstrom
Mother
Olympia, WA

Audrey Schissell
Computer Programmer
Olympia, WA

August Waldron
Student Teacher
Olympia, WA

Cory Miller
Customer service representative
Tumwater, WA

Patrick Bruen
Olympia, WA

Fred Medlicott
Co-op Developer
Olympia, WA

Erich Brown
Director retail and attractions
Olympia, WA

Debra Peri
Olympia, WA

Kenny Farver
Olympia, WA

Miguel Louis
Economics for Everyone
Olympia, WA

Chelsea Gustafson
Olympia, WA

Martha Eden
Business Owner
Olympia, WA

Zoltan Grossman
Olympia, WA

Lauren Janda
Olympia, WA

Mel Bilodeau
Mel O’Soup
Board of Directors Olympia Food Coop
Olympia, WA

Tela Hogle
Tela Hogle Music Studio
Music Instructor
Olympia, WA

Jamie Brayshaw
Co-owner, Octapas Cafe
Olympia, WA

Meave Short
Bar owner/ tender, The Crypt, LLC
Olympia, WA

Dan Leahy
Olympia, WA

Laurie Armstrong
Student
Olympia, WA

Talitha Thalya
Owner, Raventree Designs 
Olympia, WA

 

Sofie Landis
Owner, Sofie’s Scoops
Olympia, WA

Tamara Smith
Moms Against Police Brutality
Olympia, WA

Kirsten Harris
Voter, Business Owner
Olympia, WA

Gabrielle Perez
Therapist
Olympia, WA

Joseph Andreotti
Olympia, WA

Robyn Sowers
Mental Health Counselor
Olympia, WA

Christopher Stegman
Owner, Puget Painting & Home Repair
Olympia, WA

Lenore Miller
Retired state employee
Facilities Planning & Management
Olympia, WA

Jeff Sowers
High School Teacher
Olympia, WA

Joshua Chambers
Olympia, WA

Pat Holm
Retired Researcher
Olympia, WA

Suzanne Kline
Citizens for a Clean Black Lake
Olympia, WA

Mike Pelly
Para Educator, Olympia School District
Thurston County

Bethany Weidner
Olympia, WA

Jenni Post
Thurston County employee
Olympia, WA

Carolyn Roos
Olympia, WA

 

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