Can Ferguson Happen Here?
Like many of you, I took great interest in the events that unfolded last month in Ferguson, Missouri. At water coolers and kitchen tables around the country, conversations are taking place about the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
South King County is not Ferguson. However, we are not immune to the tensions, questions and issues raised by these recent events.
Please join me next Wednesday, September 10th at Tyee High School's cafeteria at 6:30 pm for a public meeting to discuss King County law enforcement's relationship with our community.
As your elected King County Councilmember with responsibility for setting the policies of the King County Sheriff's Office, I want to hear directly from community members about your thoughts on King County's law enforcement. I also want to facilitate communication between our elected county law enforcement leaders and our community, so that the Sheriff and Prosecutor can hear directly from you and answer your questions. Finally, I want to elevate the voices of the community to have a candid conversation about race, justice, and the relationship between the King County Sheriff's Office and our diverse community.
We will be joined by King County Sheriff John Urquhart and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg—who will share their perspectives and answer questions from the audience. Joining these elected officials will be:
Sili Savusa is currently the White Center CDA Executive Director and a long time White Center community advocate and resident. Prior, she was the Family Center Coordinator for Southwest Youth and Family Services. Her other accomplishments include being elected to the Highline School Board in 2007 as the first woman of color, and founding the first Samoan/Pacific Islander Parent Teacher Student Association in the nation in 2002 to address education issues impacting Pacific Islander students and their families.
Dr. Edward Donalson, III currently serves Kingdom Family Worship Center in Kent. He is also the President and Founder of Logos Life Network and Leadership Institute, Co-founder of Koah International Enterprise, Founder and Host of the Kingdom Reign Holy Convocation, and Founder of Marketplace Institute of Empowerment. Dr. Donalson is also the Bishop of Education for the P.U.R.E. Ministries International Fellowship Churches.
Jorge Barón is the Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). Most recently, Jorge has served as a staff attorney in NWIRP's domestic violence unit providing immigration legal services to survivors of domestic violence. He has also served as Interim Supervising Attorney for NWIRP's Tacoma office where Jorge first worked as a staff attorney upon joining NWIRP. There he worked with individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center, providing direct representation to clients in removal proceedings and conducting presentations, intakes, and other work as part of the Legal Orientation Program.
Jim Graddon recently retired as SeaTac Chief of Police, after a law enforcement career spanning 39 years, including 34 years with the King County Sheriff's Office. Jim now serves on the advisory panel to King County's Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO). OLEO was created to help ensure integrity and transparency of the King County Sheriff's Office and its employees.
The discussion will be moderated by local Emmy award winning broadcaster, Enrique Cerna, and panelists will also take questions from the community. Topics of discussion will include:
• King County law enforcement's relationship with our diverse communities
• Militarization of the Police
• Lessons learned from recent events in Ferguson, MO
Please join us to have your questions answered and to hear your neighbors' concerns.
Councilmember, District 5
Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98104