LETTER: ‘I witnessed the most disturbing events take place in the name of representative democracy…’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Burien City Council Meeting,

Monday night, for the second meeting in a row, I witnessed the most disturbing events take place in the name of representative democracy I have ever witnessed.

The Meeting,
After everyone spoke it was the attendees understanding they would witness some thoughtful discussion. No one had any illusions what the outcome would be. Burien Ordinance 651 which institutionalizes racism and puts human beings rights to popular vote would be on the ballot for the November election. In the end through a clever ploy CM Wagner short circuited the debate and comment process through a motion to suspend the rules. To those opposed to this initiative it was not just disappointing but it was offensive. I’m not questioning the legality of this (I’m not a lawyer I don’t know). But for those that profess to have been opposed to CM Berkowitz’s filibuster last week. This was no different in tactics only outcome.

Having an outsider, Mr. Keller (no he does not live in Burien) come (reportedly) with outside money and his racist agenda is disturbing enough. Now we have Seattle and other activists coming into our community as well. I see both sides as contributing/creating a more divisive environment. It is hard enough to have a civil dialog about sanctuary cities but this guarantees that November will be even uglier for all the attention. Hopefully some good will come of it.

The Mayor,
Any respect I had for Mayor Krakowiak who I voted for has evaporated. As stated above, IMO signing the initiative is endorsing institutionalizing racism, encourages attacks on ethnic minorities and is race baiting. I’ll stop here and say to the Mayor and the CM’s who signed this petition that we have a difference of opinion that will be decided at the ballot. What was even more disturbing than your signatures on 651 were the disciplinary tactics used in last nights council meeting. Since the Mayor Krakowiak is unable to manage the council chambers; she resorts to the strong arm tactics of petty dictators using public servants as your private goons is deeply wrong. On multiple occasions, what I have witnessed was an unruly but manageable room be converted by the Mayor into a mob because she is not interested in having a dialog with her constituents but appears to view her job as an extension of her political will. This in and of itself is not unusual or noteworthy politicians do it all the time. What is notable is the singular way she infantilized the room with her lack of respect for her employers, the citizens. No it is not ok to threaten the use of force because you are ineffectual. In particular, I was dismayed at her strong arm use of the recess, unnecessarily clearing the room and threats of police retaliation because of her lack of skill managing the room. I did not see a mayor and public servants whose job was to serve and protect. I saw a dictator and her goons. I personally felt for Chief Kimerer and his men to be used in this manor by the Mayor. It reflects badly on us as a community and a representative democracy. My apology to the Chief and his men on my behalf. Mayor Krakowiak, if you cannot run a hot city council meeting perhaps you should not be Mayor of Burien?

Why Does Any of This Matter?
This matters because this is not who we are as a country and yet we find ourselves on a slippery slope where we no longer welcome people who look, sound or practice different religions, where we institutionalize racism and encourage violence against minority communities, where we turn one deviant rapist into a symbol of al minority peoples, where we vote on rights rather than give them freely. Human and civil rights are valuable but not for sale; we are not talking about taxi medallions we are talking about human beings and inalienable rights. Just as we ask the police to learn to deescalate we as a community will either learn to deescalate or violence will become commonplace. We need to decide which it’s going to be? We don’t have control over national issues but we do have control over our actions and of our city.

I am very torn in writing the above, I know it will only add to the divisiveness that I want to see healed. The above are words not actions; remember sticks and stones? Yet we are in a time where neither side will back down. I have chosen to add my outraged voice to the side that see’s what is going on not just as a difference of opinion but the difference between right and wrong, good and evil or if you will, undocumented immigrants (human beings) versus illegal aliens.

– David Feinberg
Burien WA

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28 Responses to “LETTER: ‘I witnessed the most disturbing events take place in the name of representative democracy…’”
  1. michaelJ says:

    I think the letter writer is overreacting. First, a non-resident has no standing to file a lawsuit over this in court. It would have been thrown out in a summary judgement. This was an intimidation tactic, and it worked.

    Second, the Burien city council was wrong to delay a vote by claiming the requirements were unclear. It only delayed the inevitable. As no violations of process were found, a petition only needs one valid signature over the minimum to be legit. They really pushed the envelope, worked overtime and used dubious tactics and outside people and funding–but still were not found in violation of procedure. They have a right to due process as much as those covered by the ordinance do.

    I am confident they don’t represent the vast majority of Burien voters, and I welcome the belated decsion to approve the vote. One only hopes they will crawl back under thier rocks when it is soundly defeated.

  2. Bonnie Taub says:

    Very well written and thought out. Bravo!

  3. Question Authority says:

    It’s obvious your opinion would be that whomever wishes to speak on the topic be allowed, even if the line was 10,000 people long. What the Mayor did was restore order to a room overrun with primarily people from outside Burien brought in to speak after receiving the Liberal bat call. Mondays meeting was avoidable if the decision was made a week before as it should have been and in addition all this avoidable if fervor hadn’t run amok and caused the Sanctuary policy in the first place. Typical Socialist doctrine, talk, talk, talk until your beliefs start sounding believable because you only want to hear your side anyway.

    • Question Authority says:

      I also see you closed with legal / illegal which truly is the issue and the condoning of law breakers is what needs to stop.

      • Born in Burien says:

        What is a “Liberal bat call”? Because I don’t think mine have been coming through . . . .

        • Question Authority says:

          With due respect to 1960’s era Batman I am referencing the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other mindless social media platforms used to communicate to like minded “or mind lacking” minions. Those who are so without life meaning they grab onto social phenomenons in order to belong.

  4. Andrew McNair says:

    Some needed corrections to the letter:

    * Ordinance 651 was what the City Council passed in January, guaranteeing that city employees would not inquire after a person’s immigration status or set up a religious registry. You can read the full text of the ordinance here: http://mrsc.org/getmedia/3caec3f5-f2c5-4870-9868-9dd039342ff7/b86o2595.pdf.aspx

    * Initiative 1 is the petition that was circulated by Respect Washington to overturn Ordinance 651. That’s what Lucy, Bob and Debi signed, not 651.

    So, when it appears on the ballot, a YES vote will be to overturn 651, and a NO vote will be to keep 651.

    I hope you’re able to make some edits to your letter, David. These things can be confusing enough without inaccurate information out there.


    • michaelJ says:

      That was a much needed clarifcation. Kudos to you. Sometimes the forest gets lost in the trees…

    • David Feinberg says:

      Hi Andrew McNair,
      TY for the corrections, I will check with the editor. Regardless of the glitches, the important thing is that the intent of what I’m communicating and that it is understood. Also, it is good there is a civil dialog going on.

      Banker Bob,
      “The claim that Ordinance 651 is racist is absolutely absurd”, this is the core of the matter. I know that many people who agree with you do not see this as I have portrayed it.

      Let me ask you a question; how do we have a good public discourse with the hope of reducing the divisive nature of what is taking place not just in Burien but all over the USA?

      Al Hartman,
      I couldn’t disagree more strongly. My belief is that we are conflating criminality, the brutal rape that occurred as Mr Keller’s poster child with an entire community of law abiding hard working people. If this was not conveyed in the letter, it will not help to further explain. We disagree.

      Yes we all have to get over outsiders, Burien will be turned into a national circus as we move to November.

      For those who support my position, Thank you for the support.


  5. Rachael Levine says:

    Tnank you, David, for taking the time and having the courage to write this comment. Unfortunately, what you have observed in this instance is not a new manifestation of an unwillingness or inability to recognize the human rights of “others”. Words do matter. Voices need to be heard. Those we elect to leadership positions do have the responsibility to support and democratically manage dialog with the electorate.

  6. Seahurst resident says:

    Here is another example where terms like human rights and institutionalized racism are overly used and improperly interpreted. I also have often heard the term hate speech.

    I have heard people saying we put something on the ballot that is a human right. You can check the UN declaration on Human Rights and there is no declaration that states that anyone can freely migrate to countries of their liking without going through the country’s immigration process. If there would be not such a process everyone who does not want to work for a living would move to Finland and enjoy the basic income of that country and anyone that makes a lot of money and doesn’t want to pay would be moving to Monaco enjoying the low income tax.

    Likewise there is nothing in the immigration law that distinguishes by color or any form of racism. Also demanding someone to follow the law is not called hate speech.

    People, please take the emotional aspect out of this and please respectfully debate on facts and facts only.

    • michaelJ says:

      While it is not an officially recognized human right, it is still subject to due process in this country under the 14th amendment. And it applies to illegals as well as US citizens. Anyone who is already here is covered by that amendment. The Supreme Court has determined that they indeed covered under the 14th amendment. See:


      • Seahurst resident says:

        Well Michael, due process is something that applies when you are arrested and being tried in court of law. That certainly applies to anyone who is tried in the courts of United States, whether or not the suspect is a citizen of the United States.

        The sanctuary city ordinance is trying to prevent people from being arrested for a felony or trying to circumvent the rule of law.

        • Captain obvious says:

          Your wrong seahurst. If the supect is a wanted felon they will be arrested and process on that felony. But if they burien or king county Police runs anyone’s information and there’s no warrant signed by a judge. Then there no reason to take them in unless if they were committing a crime or are a supect in a crime investigation of course. Then they will be arrested. They just aren’t holding illegal aliens for the hell of it and haven’t in 20 years.

          Burien city council decided to put this policy in writing or on the books but some people are trying to confuse people to push them into thinking. That illegal aliens are going to be able or are able to commit crimes and not be arrested and charged. The king county sheriff’s office has explain this multiple times as being false. Stop trying to confuse people. Can you deal with the truth. Why try to confuse people seahurst running your own agenda pushing your racist bs on other people.

  7. Banker Bob says:

    The claim that Ordinance 651 is racist is absolutely absurd. I like human beings of all races and so do the many people who voted for this initiative to the City Council. This issue is about the rule of law. Why is it okay for the City Council to protect any kind of illegal behavior? It’s not okay and that’s why the people forced the Council to repeal or put it up to the voters. Thank you for your service to our community, Mr. Keller. Thank you City Council Members for following the rule of law and making a decision as mandated by the people.

    • michaelJ says:

      Agreed It is not OK to claim it is something it is not, or represents something it is not.

      Like asserting it’s OK for the City Council to protect any kind of illegal behavior. Or that this ordinance does that.

    • Haters gonna Hate says:

      Banker Bob,
      Get it straight:
      651 helps to protect against racism/xenophobia. It is the so called Sanctuary City ordinance.
      Initiative 1 which Keller introduced and you appear to support is racist. It is racist because it creates a normalization of racial profiling and xenophobia (fear of foreigners). It legitimizes a point of view which is rooted more in racism, xenophobia and misguided and thoroughly debunked beliefs, such as that immigrants of any kind(legal/illegal) take more than they give to our economy. It promotes racial profiling because of the powerful message it sends legitimizing the idea that you can tell who a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant is, simply by the color of their skin or the language they are more comfortable speaking.
      The only person you are fooling is yourself if you believe you are not promoting racism and division by supporting a repeal of Ordinance 651.

  8. Maenad says:

    Thank you David, I agree.
    As for Respect Washington, it is backed by US INC, and they have relied heavily on donations from this outside organization. PDC reports show that most of the money for the paid signatures (with a few exceptions) came from outside Burien. Only $575 dollars raised by Respect WA, assuming they are filing accurate reports, came from Burien, most from one donor, the rest of their almost $18,000 came from outside Burien, including $10,000 from US INC, based in Petoskey MI.

  9. Lake Burien says:

    There’s a lot more money than that padding the coffers of some council candidates.
    The voters can decide on this petition that won’t really change anything per KCSO policies already in place for years.
    Please step off the racism soapbox everyone, really!

    • Question Authority says:

      Whomever thought it was a good idea to promote or seek Burien as a Sanctuary city is responsible for this mess. It was absolutely unnecessary given the long standing policy of the KCSD. It’s only perpetuating the fact that those who break the law crossing into America are exempt from consequences, what’s the next law to be condoned as ok to violate?

  10. What I find interesting is... says:

    …some of the same people who want more cops in Burien tend to be the same folks who don’t want to see Burien as a “sanctuary city,” but, how are we going to have accurate statistics on crimes (and by extension the need for more police, which should lead to more being hired), if there are residents who don’t report crimes because they’re afraid of being questioned about their immigration status?

  11. Al Hartman says:


    I could not get past your statement: “Burien Ordinance 651 which institutionalizes racism and puts human beings rights to popular vote”.

    The fact that YOU believe that enforcement of our laws is racist is insulting!

    Your assertion that we are dealing with “human beings” shows your ignorance of the fact that the problem that we are dealing with is “HOW TO TREAT CRIMINALS.

  12. Scott says:

    There has been reference to “outsiders”. These “outsiders” could not sign initiatives/referendums for the City of Burien. Burien residents signed that initiative. That is the way it should be. The citizens of BURIEN wanted this to happen. Get over the “outsiders”. Now, all Burien residents will have a voice and niot just a council, which is, apparently, out of touch with what the citizens desire.

    I realize that many may not be happy with the outcome but, I will accept it as it expresses the community desires.


  13. Jan Noorda says:

    Local politics can be a messy business with a lot of emotions emanating from both sides of this debate. I have the utmost respect for each and every Council member for their willingness to stand in the line of Fire coming from each side.
    I’m glad for the discussion and look forward to voting on the issue, ending the debate and moving forward on other issues facing our city.
    I’m reminded of the old days before incorporation when King Councilman Paul Barden was our one and only decider in chief. He used to say his job as a councilman was to find out what the people wanted so he could get out in front and lead.
    Messy business, but that’s democracy.

  14. Burinal Dumas says:

    No one likes to throw a party & have uninvited guests crash it.

    That’s what illegal aliens are doing when they cross into our country uninvited.

    Being a sanctuary city is saying that it’s OK to break our laws & that’s just not right.

  15. J says:

    1. Are all illegal immigrants bad?

    2. Are all illegal immigrants not white?

    3. Will law enforcement ask people of all races for proof of citizenship or legal documentation?

    4. Would you feel more comfortable if everybody around you spoke english with an american accent?

    5. What kind of assumptions do you carry around about the people you see around you?

    6. Are you honest with yourself about those assumptions?

    7. Do you feel marginalized?

    8. If you were to look at two random people, would you be able to pick out the illegal immigrant?

    9. If you were the victim of a crime and were in an emergency, would it be a good thing if you had to provide documentation before you got any help?

    These are only 9 of the trillions of questions running through my mind when I read some of the comments regarding Ordinance 651 and the effort to repeal it. Racism and denials thereof. We’re all racist. Denying that is ignorant. We all have preconceptions that are embedded in our minds and informed by our experiences. But what any one person believes is not the entire set of reality. Fear is the only thing that allows us to believe one experience is representative of all experiences. Stop being afraid and I will too.

  16. M says:

    I applaud David’s thoughtful letter and ask each and every person who backed this effort to consider this: Craig Keller is not a Burien resident. It cannot be established that he’s even a West Seattle resident. He has several PO box addresses, including Spokane. More importantly, his organization is backed by a Michigan-based anti-immigrats groups whose leaders preach white nationalist doctrine and supports eugenics. Don’t believe it? Just check out Keller’s financial’s which he is required to report. A reporter at The Stranger followed the money trail and what she found is disturbing: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/08/10/25344703/meet-the-michigan-based-anti-immigrant-group-backing-buriens-sanctuary-city-repeal
    Congratulations Burien City Council you have made yourselves a tool for a white nationalist, white supremacist, eugenics-supporting movement. Disgusting!

  17. David Feinberg says:

    Thank you all, for your support. I will not attempt to counter the naysayers as there is little upside to responding.

    As it is going to a vote, I will vote to maintain Ordinance 651 and I will do everything I can to defeat Initiative #1.

    The tide of White Nationalism will turn. Burien will change over time. We are already diverse and will become only more diverse. Even if turnout at the polls does not change over time there will be more minorities and the vote will reflect their POV. Burien will reflect this and future votes will reflect this. Hopefully with the minority population increase our neighbors will see people and families not monsters and tension will diminish with acceptance of reality.

    Leadership will change at the local state and national level. As I write this I unfortunately am more concerned with the POTUS unleashing fiery death in N Korea than I am with Southern Heights Park which has been the victim of ARSON and set on fire TWICE in the last two weeks. Fortunately fiery death did not happen to the grass and the play set was not burned. We are blessed that nothing beyond the grass was damaged.

    I’d like to see dialog changed, we have local issues that we can do something about like a streetlight and a camera (drug dealers beware) at the park. But, please don’t interpret these comments as a lack of support for Ordinance 651. We need to do a better job protecting human dignity and we should not be voting on human rights.


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