Thank you for publishing the piece by Olympia City Councilperson Clark Gilman in the August issue. It is unsettling to me that in a country that is supposed to be a democracy, one that is supposed to be a government “of, for, and by the people” that we have reached such a point in Olympia (and Thurston County) politics. I applaud Clark Gilman for standing up as a true warrior for the people and putting his “neck out” when in all honesty, this is not even a situation he should have to be confronting.
Nearly every city in Thurston County, the county commission, and the Port, has systematically found ways to silence their constituents. Public comment is left out from the minutes (they claim this is due to the labor of typing, yet all it takes is $130 for a computer speech-to-text transcriber), it’s limited to 3 minutes individually and 30 minutes total (I once witnessed a leader from a sovereign nation, a local tribe, who in my view is a dignitary, also be limited to 3 minutes), and the Olympia City Council’s recent attempt to criminalize clapping (yes, it’s true, the wording of the ordinance could have literally have been translated as arrest for clapping during a council meeting) are just a few tactics local government has used to try to violate our first amendment rights.
We must do everything we can to get people like Clark Gilman elected into office (or in this situation, retained) because we the people deserve someone who wants to listen to us, and Clark is the right person for that job.