Berkowitz filibuster forces Council to delay sending sanctuary ordinance to voters


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By Jack Mayne

In what many felt was a weird Burien City Council special session Monday night, the Council finally adjourned at 10:38 p.m. despite a legal requirement that the Council either rescind Burien’s sanctuary ordinance or send it to the November ballot.

Outgoing Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz launched into a 20-minute filibuster at 10:15, and after Councilmember Stephen Armstrong asked how long she could keep up her monologue, she claimed she could keep up all night.

That caused Armstrong to join Berkowitz, Austin Bell and Nancy Tosta to adjourn.

Wait ‘til Aug. 7
Berkowitz went on for several minutes claiming the Council members could discuss the matter at the next meeting on Aug. 7, saying that many of the 39 people testifying for putting the issue on the ballot said they felt misled or forced to sign the petition. The Council, she said, needed more time to consider these objections.

Burien City Attorney Lisa Marshall said the cost to put the measure on the November ballot would be $25,000 but it would be much more expensive if it were delayed to a February or March special ballot, maybe “even six figures.” She said that was only a guess since there was no way to determine that at this early date.

Berkowitz said that refusing to wait and hear from those opposed to either revoking the ordinance or putting it up for a November vote would deny the rights of the public to be heard on their concerns.

As we previously reported, this meeting was called after a recent petition obtained enough signatures to request that an ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 651 be submitted to a vote of the registered voters of the City of Burien.

Most of the people who testified at the meeting were for keeping Sanctuary status. A rough count showed 39 wanted the measure kept, while 7 did not. Several non-member candidates for the Burien Council were among the speakers. 


Here are some relevant Tweets:

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Comments

27 Responses to “Berkowitz filibuster forces Council to delay sending sanctuary ordinance to voters”
  1. Duke Jones says:

    Is that Pedro Olguin in the second video? Anyone know?

  2. Seahurst resident says:

    It is clear that voting out Tosta and Armstrong would save the city a lot of money and future problems. Now it is up to the voters to deliver.

  3. Question Authority says:

    Why would anyone want to elect or reelect for that matter – Matta, Marx, Olguin, Tosta or Armstrong for good measure just to get four more years of this Liberal/Socialist fiasco. Run the City and not your Social Justice Warrior agenda instead!

    • capt obvious says:

      Oh no you mean this is not you wanted. Dammit I thought you been using reverse physiological this whole time. owell better luck next time

  4. Burien voter says:

    America has its roots in social justice. Social justice freed us from King George’s tyranny. Social justice freed the slaves and ended slavery. Social justice granted women and people of color the right to vote Social justice brought us the eight-hour day and 40-hour week, clean air and water.

    Whoever treats social justice as a pejorative, as something to oppose, I have a message for you. You will lose, and you will lose big. You are on the wrong side of history, along with the slavers, the misogynists, the polluters, and the economic royalists. Burien will spit you out, like a big gob of phegm.

    • Question Authority says:

      Social Justice has it’s place in history and BTW it’s that Unions that fought for the 8/40. The problem with this mess is the focus on perceived rights for illegal immigrants is totally without merit. How can anyone honestly support rights or benefits for obvious law breakers. Crossing any international border without permission is a crime and those who violated that should be punished, not coddled while legal citizens get further burdened.

      • Burien voter says:

        Social justice has its place not only in history, but in the present and in the future. Do you disagree with that? Yes or no?

  5. JJ Greive says:

    Proud of my council standing up for what is right, Ty!

  6. AML says:

    It was inspiring to see that there were so many people speaking in favor of leaving the ordinance in tact last night, and only a few speaking against. The King 5 News story gives the false impression that people were equally divided on the topic. In reality, there were dozens and dozens of speakers in support of the current law, and only a handful speaking against it. We don’t seem to be a very divided city at all, to tell the truth. My comments during public comment were inspired by the mom of one of my elementary school students who came to me last Spring distraught because she had found a gun in her yard. She was terrified of calling the police for fear of deportation. At the same time, she knew that calling 911 was the right thing to do in order to keep her kids safe and to cooperate with any potential criminal investigations that might be related to that gun. In the end, she came to me (I was the school’s social worker) and I made the report on her behalf. The terror of being deported was too great for her. How many of our neighbors feel that same fear and hold back from reaching out to law enforcement for help when they should? I know so many wonderful families who are great members of our communities and who want nothing more than to stay out of trouble and feed their families. They have shared with me that the reason they made the journey to the US was for their own safety and survival. They would have preferred to stay in their own homes, but came out of desperation to survive. Many of our ancestors came here for similar reasons. Our immigration laws are wrong and need to be changed. Currently there is no legal path for most families from Latin American countries to avail themselves of, and yet our economy demands the workers. If work visas or refugee status were available, these folks would happily apply for them. But we don’t offer them. Work visas are only offered in rare cases like sports stars, models or software engineers… And refugee status is not available in most Latin American countries. It’s not fair that our economy needs workers to come here for jobs, but we don’t offer a way for people to take those jobs safely and legally. Instead, we put them in the position of risking their lives to travel here to do work that needs to be done, all the while they enjoy no rights or protections. They live in the shadows and amidst constant fear. That’s why I think a sanctuary law is the ethical thing to do in the face of unfair immigration policies.

  7. Martin Metz says:

    Did Berkowitz filibuster in person or did she phone it in like she usually does?

    • Robbie Howell says:

      No, actually Burien is being stolen by Teamsters Local 117. According to Pedro E. Olguin’s statement in the Voters Pamphlet his occupation is organizer, Teamsters Local 117. In the second video above you see Pedro leading the disruption at the city in behalf of Teamsters 117, Lauren, Nancy, and Austin. In a published video the Teamsters 117 interviewing candidates for Burien City Council said they will only sponsor people to run for city Council if they will fight for Union goals. The second video above does not record everything that was chanted. You do hear “We got the power” but they also chanted “whose city, OUR CITY”.

      • Diane says:

        Pedro would like us to think he’s “everyman”, fighting for “social justice” as a union organizer. He’s actually Teamster 117’s Organizing Coordinator , and his total compensation is $107,733.00 a year. Maybe he can get that for all of us?

  8. capt obvious says:

    Look at that 39 wanted to keep it 7 did not. Luckily those 7 are not on the city council.

    • Dave says:

      Most of the people providing comments wanted it to go to a vote and it will happen, just now at more expense to the city than if council had done its due diligence. For those who don’t understand the process, the democratic initiative petition process to obtain a vote of the people on a controversial issue is constitutional. Those denying the process to put it on a ballot are taking your freedom, voice and vote away! Yes there are 39 speakers but why do I have to remind you there are 5,000 signers, of whom 3,648 validated Burien voters wanted a voice in the process that was denied to them. And more signatures are coming in every day. The council should realize this many signers aware of the policy have the strength in numbers to decide a Burien election. Maybe this is why they were afraid to put it on the ballot?

  9. Seahurst resident says:

    Why would you deny democracy to let it go it course if you are a Social Justice warrior? Let it go to the ballot.

    Liberals tend to be very anti-democratic. They are only for democracy when it fits their agenda.

    Given its unique location parallel to the runways and at the waterfront, Burien has a chance to shine, yet not when it is run by liberals. Three Tree Point and Seahurst should separate from Burien and run its own town to be a sanctuary city for people that are avoiding the socialist hellhole of Seattle.

    • Captain obvious says:

      Well yes and no if some people felt as they where confused on what petition they sigh or what the whole thing is about. Then they have the right to raise a flag. If possible remove them from the petition.

      I know from my experience at the 128th Safeway the petition person there was a rather large African American male that might be intimidating to some with out trying to be. Also when your a hurry trying to buy food your family you might not read the thing all the way and just sign it.

      Then there all the nonsense in the media over this where people can’t get a clear cut answer. One station says one thing another stations says different. Then theirs people that over rationalize everything to make sound worse.

  10. Why is this posted in the crime section? Is it because it’s about undocumented people? Is it because our city is being ‘stolen’ by big money outside interests?

    • Captain obvious says:

      It could be because the police had to tell people it’s time to go.I f they did not leave they could be arrested and trespassed.

  11. rlc says:

    Its plain and simple come here legally like the millions of previous immigrants did. We welcome you to America legally and wish you well to prosper and contribute to America.

    A pretty simple plan that has worked for decades..

    God Bless the USA

  12. Bob Stewart says:

    Over three thousand registered voters living in the City of Burien signed the petition. I was one of them. Our names and signatures have been checked against the voter list by King County, so there can be no question that the Council is accountable to us. The comments above seem focused on the 39 speakers who did not support the petition, but we have no way of knowing if these people actually live in Burien, and even if they did, we don’t know if they are eligible to vote. To ignore the thousands of voters who signed the petition while cowering before a mob that seeks to control Burien by mass action is a disgrace. The majority of the board may think it can hide behind the 39 speakers, but I think the majority of voters can see the street theatre that characterizes our council meetings for what it is, and this electorate will demand a change in the coming election.

  13. dj says:

    berkowitz isn’t even running for reelection, yet she is still tearing our community apart till the end of her term

  14. David Silver says:

    You can be sure the Founding Fathers would think your social justice views on illegal aliens is wrong.

    • Burien voter says:

      I’m even more sure that you can’t read the minds of people who have been dead for 200 years.

      • Bob Stewart says:

        Burien voter, your ignorance of the events and written documents that led to the founding of the United States has caused you to confuse “social justice” with the principles that are the basis for our republic. Social justice is a cultist phrase that elevates greed and envy into entitlements. Nothing could be farther from the intentions of our founders.

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