LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘An Open Letter to Darla Green’


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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:]

An Open Letter to Darla Green:

Ms. Green,

I moved to Burien in 2015, so I have followed both of your campaigns for city council. While it was clear from the beginning that your priorities and values don’t align with mine, I’ve simply respected your right to run, admired your passion, and decided you’re not the candidate for me.

However, with your Facebook post on the morning of September 26, I feel that dismissing you as “not my candidate” is no longer enough. In this post you proudly state that your candidacy stands for “stronger CODE ENFORCEMENT, balancing our budget and NO ACTIVISTS” (screenshot below):

The obvious flaw in this statement is that by running for office you, Ms. Green, are the very definition of an activist. You’ve been a vocal activist in the fight against safe injection sites, advocating for panhandling licenses, and increasing police presence. Therefore, it’s clear that by “activist” you mean, one who vocally disagrees with you.

For you to make anyone feel as though they would be unwelcome at city council meetings makes you wrong for city leadership, and shows a great misunderstanding of our constitutional rights. Activism is the reason we enjoy the many rights and privileges we have as Americans, and activists deserve your respect, not your disdain, even if you disagree with them.

I’m submitting this letter to you as an open letter to The B-town Blog, as I’ve witnessed your habit of deleting Facebook comments, blocking people from seeing your posts, and even going so far as to call earnest questions about policy “dumb.”

You are a successful business owner, devoted mother, and have the ability to get people’s attention. These are qualities I admire. However, Burien voters deserve a councilmember who is willing to listen to all voices and who seeks to represent all of Burien. I will be casting my vote for Nancy Tosta, and I encourage everyone I speak with to do the same.

Respectfully,
Margret Alley
Burien resident and voter

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Comments

37 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘An Open Letter to Darla Green’”
  1. Jennifer says:

    Way to go Meg!!! Darla is not right for our community!!

  2. David Feinberg says:

    Margret Alley,
    Thank you for a wonderful letter you hit the nail on the head. I hope there are undecideds out there who read your letter and make up their mind.

    I was at the candidate debate tonight and the choice for Burien was very clear. We could elect four people who will form a majority and follow a hard right, very nationalistic agenda or we can not in some new blood that will attempt to engage the entire community.

  3. Esther McRae says:

    Excellent open letter & I most assuredly agree with all of it . Thank you.

  4. Matthys van Leeuwen says:

    I would encourage the writer to have a discussion with Darla first, before you write an opinionated letter to a local blog, because it appears to me that you clearly misunderstand the meaning of ‘No Activists’ here or take it largely out of context. As you advocate for listening, here is your chance.

    Even my first language is not English I do understand the meaning in the context of Burien policies and agenda items for the past years. They have been dominated by activists outside of Burien that try to experiment with the failed Seattle policies.

    The most crucial thing we expect from our elected council members is that they represent the diverse citizens of Burien and not from elsewhere. The problem with outside activist policies is that they drag this town into the same issues as Seattle is experiencing. Even worse, this town will be used as a dumping place for their failed policies.

    Darla has been advocating for a vibrant and safe Burien and given her success as a business woman and advocacy for a safer Burien she has our support and we encourage anyone, that wants the best for the future of this town, to do the same.

    • Phil Hamlin says:

      In order of appearance:
      “Burien policies and agenda items for the past years…have been dominated by activists outside of Burien that try to experiment with the failed Seattle policies.”

      That’s not a defense of something as simple and hardline as “no activists”. (Someone should explain to Ms. Green that when text is in all caps, it’s a shout.) “No outside activists” would have brought that across, at the expense of looking like the nativist plea that it is. Words mean things; if she meant different things, she should have said different words.

      Side note: References to “failed Seattle policies” are not evidence. Specify which policies, and demonstrate that they failed. For bonus points, explain why they would fail for Burien.

      “The most crucial thing we expect from our elected council members is that they represent the diverse citizens of Burien and not from elsewhere.”

      Half of the diverse citizens of Burien -are- from elsewhere. Nativism ignores this at the city’s peril.

      “The problem with outside activist policies is that they drag this town into the same issues as Seattle is experiencing. Even worse, this town will be used as a dumping place for their failed policies.”

      Failed policies don’t actually need someplace to be dumped. When they are no longer in effect, they simply cease to exist – there isn’t actually a need for a disposal site of some kind. Your argument here sounds like you’re accusing Seattle of manipulating Burien’s policies from outside for the express purpose of making it a worse place to live. This doesn’t hold up to basic reasoning: Seattle has its hands full running its own affairs, and doesn’t stand to gain by screwing up Burien. Again, specify which policies and demonstrate their failure, please — ideally in terms relevant to Burien.

  5. B says:

    What does “no activists” even mean? At best, that the council won’t be activists? Anything else would probably be illegal and we don’t need any court fights over stupid stuff.

  6. Lisa Parks says:

    She was referring to outside activists. However, Meh probably doesn’t realize that since she moved here in 2015 – I would like to give her that .. benefit
    Here is a more recent example of what we don’t need more of:
    https://youtu.be/9Kv5daUWwH0

    Burien belongs to all of us. Not just those that scream the loudest.

    Time to get back to loving our neighbors and spreading peace ❤

  7. Seahurst resident says:

    The question now is who is going to write an open attack letter about Nancy Tosta. Or does Darla appeal more to the decent hard working people that stay away from the nastiness in politics and vote what they feel is best for their town? We’ll find out Nov 7.

    • Jon says:

      I listened to some of Darla Green’s public commentary during the Sanctuary City debate. She exhibited plenty of nastiness and divisive language to inspire the same among supporters. Not nearly as crude and vile as we have seen in national politics, but in the same vein of dog-whistle nationalism/nativism.

    • Jennifer says:

      What’s the need for that? CM Tosta is always available to hear from constituents. There are issues I don’t always agree with her on but, she (CM Tosta) is always open and is very community minded!
      Ms. Green has exhibited bullying behavior at council meetings, at the meet & greets on Thursdays farmers market & deleting comments she does not agree with.
      I will add that running for city council makes one an activist – you are taking an active role in your community.

  8. AD says:

    There actually were lengthy attempts by a number of people to get clarification about what Darla meant by her “NO ACTIVISTS” statement. I would say that the concerns about whether Darla as a Council member would listen to anyone with differing ideas or opinions sadly has some possibility. It is challenging to know when she is answering a question, or whether it may be someone else. Seems like anyone who disagrees is blocked quickly- and many posts are taken down. Frustrating.

  9. Susan says:

    What are Seattle’s failed policies? Does someone have a list? I’d like to know explicitly what hasn’t actually worked there before I vote for or against something that’ll do the same here.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      The homeless problem is a major issue just about everywhere. By being the biggest city in the Northwest, Seattle attracts a major share of the problem and is trying a number of techniques to address it. Since the issue has yet to be “solved”, the simplistic argument is that all of their efforts can be labeled “failed”. That suits those who want to do nothing about the issue here is Burien except harass it out of the area onto someone else.

      • Phil Hamlin says:

        That must be a wonderfully useful tool for perennial problems that cannot be truly solved. Someone will always be hungry; someone will always be homeless. The success criteria for those programs is not that the condition never exists, but that it can be escaped in short order.

        If one insists that the only valid success criteria is that a problem goes away forever, and then label everything that doesn’t accomplish that impossible goal “failed,” they can talk an awful long time without having to come up with a plan themselves.

        • Burienite says:

          Seattle’s failed policies you ask? Let’s count the ways:

          1. Seattle, a principal stakeholder in the “Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness,” allocated slightly more than 1 Billion dollars during the ten year period, yet the problem got WORSE in the core downtown areas. Analysts and studies point to poor oversight and lack of accountability of the subordinate groups.

          2. The Jungle debacle, whereas the city had no real plan to assist the displaced homeless folk from that area. The mayor at the time even admitted as much.

          3. The derelict RV and park camping situation. Again, the city having no real plan or procedures in place to address this. Continued “kicking the can” down the street mentality.

          4. The Pronto bike share program–run by the City of Seattle. Total failure.

          5. Seattle City Light computer system replacement. One year late and $34 MILLION dollars over budget.

          6. And much, much more…..

          • Question Mark says:

            I only count three actual issues here. Several that you list boil back down to the homeless issue also mention.

            The irony of the bike share program: It was a pilot program and was only being tried out and that several Seattle City Councilpersons admitted afterwords they thought they were voting against the program, but the wording confused them. And then there’s the fact that there are now three other bike share programs being privately run that seem to be doing fine…And does anyone really think that bike sharing is something that Burien can socially back, let alone economically?

            I’m just going to not touch City Light. That’s a whole different bag of cats.

      • Frank says:

        Seattle/King County: Homeless System Performance Assessment and Recommendations with Particular Emphasis on Single Adults
        http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/pathwayshome/FS.pdf

        Recommendations for the City of Seattle’s Homeless Investment Policy: The Path Forward – Act Now, Act Strategically, and Act Decisively
        http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/pathwayshome/BPA.pdf

  10. Like many, I too saw the original post in question on Darla Green’s Facebook page. I immediately understood the “No ACTIVISTS” in the context for which it was meant. And yes, she edited it to read, “NO ACTIVISTS HIJACKING MEETINGS.” to correct her oversight. I honestly think she assume people knew what she meant. (Wouldn’t you know it… people started objecting to her correction.)

    Regarding context, her intent was to communicate that the disruptive, combative, ‘shout-down’ tactics we have all witnessed (be honest) by those clearly intent on disrupting City Counsel meetings should not be allowed. Once again, context is everything. And many agree with her.

    My question to those who so vocally protested this statement and insisted on talking it out of context is a simple one:

    Why is it I understood what she meant, while you assumed the worst and rushed to judgment?

    Could it be that you simply hate Darla Green and will take every opportunity to malign her? I believe so. I do not believe any of you are sincerely interested in contributing. I think your sole purpose is to cause her problems. Shame on you.

    We have all witnessed the havoc created by some who, while under the banner of activism, have created an atmosphere of violence, intolerance, and hatred. We know there are some who will stop at nothing to further their opinions and agenda, and that includes hijacking City meetings to their own end.

    I do not think this is fair to the residents of Burien. They should not have to shout over disruptive chants and insults to be heard. Do anyone really think they should take a back seat to disruptive activists? How is that a good idea?

    Anyone who asserts these so-called ‘activists’ are simply exercising their First Amendment Rights, while ignoring the disruptive nature of their activism is either lying, or simply not paying attention.

    Yes, this statement applies to those who insist their comments are genuine and sincere. I have seen many of these alleged ‘genuine, sincere’ comments. They all seem to come from the same people and are usually laced with combative language, or innuendo. There is nothing sincere or genuine about them.

    Conversely, those who disagree with her, but remain respectful are never blocked. Visit her FB page and see for yourself.

    Lastly, please name SPECIFICALLY any City Council meeting wherein disruptive behavior is permitted. SPECIFICALLY. Give me the City and the State where this is allowed.

    I support Darla Green’s efforts to clean up this city. More of the same simply isn’t good enough. I hope she starts by making it difficult to shout above the voices of BUrien residents who have the right to be heard.

  11. Peter says:

    This letter by Margret Alley seems like a personal attack on Darla Green in order to help Nancy Tosta get re-elected. If Nancy needs these kinds of personal attack letters to help her get votes, then she is certainly in trouble.

    I think rather than engage in these types of attacks, in order to determine for whom to vote, voters should look at the platform of both candidates and in the case of Nancy Tosta, look at her record as city councilwoman. I think a calm, rational examination of both would cause most people to conclude that Darla Green is what this city needs, not Nancy.

    I also agree that candidates who employ “activists” who disrupt, shout down others, etc. are not what we need. Activists who exercise their rights to vote, support candidates, run for office, etc. are of course what our democracy is all about.

  12. Athena says:

    Perhaps the historical discussion has been “NO (outside) ACTIVISTS,” but her actions on Facebook and rather authoritarian stylings would indicate that dissent is not particularly welcome.

    I’m a Burien-native and have been deeply politically involved for a great many years. I’m quite familiar with the off-and-on presence of outside activists, but having had a brief interaction with her myself recently, I didn’t blink at the assumption that she was referring to activists in the general sense. That the author of the letter has only been here since ’15 would seem to be of little consequence, in my opinion.

    As it pertains to outside activists, though, they are the way of the world, now. Whether it’s naive optimism or blatant misinformation, suggesting to her supporters that she will be able to stifle their impact is simply inaccurate.

    Ultimately, faulting anyone for not appreciating the context (that was not available at the point of communication) or misunderstanding her is unfair. The woman wrote “NO ACTIVISTS”, in all caps, on an advertisement that would be fed to anyone in the area with a Facebook page. The responsibility to establish context is hers and hers alone.

    But really, Green, like many politicians have been, is short on substance and big on style. That style, as it happens, involves using phraseology that attracts the very same voters who put the current President in office. It bit her this time.

    • Peter says:

      Your response is long on style and short on substance – relying as it does on supposed Facebook actions. I would caution the voters of Burien to ignore the hearsay displayed about about who said what on Facebook, who banned who, who deleted what and focus instead the substance of the candidates’ platforms and in Nancy Tosta’s case the record as city council woman.

      Go to the candidates’ websites and check them out. I believe that if you ignore the silly gossip displayed by Athena above (and others), the conclusion for most voters is that Darla is indeed the right choice for city council. Tosta is the wrong choice.

      • MichaelJ says:

        Yes, there IS something to see here. It does undeniably speaks to her character. It’s public. Actions can certainly speak louder than words.

  13. Ash says:

    Preach girl! I completely agree! Very well said!

    Tosta! Tosta! Tosta!

  14. Dave says:

    In the 2013 election the topic was annexation of White Center. Burien citizens who wanted an advisory vote were called unwelcoming elitist bigots. When White Center voted against becoming part of Burien the subject died and so did the rhetoric that was coming from, wait for it, mainly Seattle residents. Seattle had decided they would not annex because of the cost and West Seattle Dems (the same 34th doing the name calling now against Darla, Joel Debi and Patty and spreading outright lies) were pushing hard in favor of Burien annexing White Center. This area is still up for grabs and will likely be put on the agenda with low barrier shelters, heroin injection sites, $15 an hour (another Seattle failure) and keeping your citizen letters out of the public packet. Look at the last meeting and you will see who on the council is not in favor of banning Heroin injection sites. History repeats itself and the name calling tool is an ugly and divisive instrument that usually backfires. Burien voters, many who are long term residents and have seen this in every election cycle for the last 3 at least, know better and understand that no activists means outside loud obnoxious forces wanting to shove undesireable, unaffordable, untested and often controversial, things on Burien that Seattle doesn’t want.

    • MichaelJ says:

      I dunno. Burien residents have an equal chance to weigh in too. And they don’t always take that opportuinity beore something is already implemented.

      I am far more concerned about non-residents and out of state organizations funding local Burien intiatives to force their ignorance and agendas upon us.

    • Question Mark says:

      SEATTLE’s failed $15 minimum wage? Shouldn’t it be SEATAC’s since the whole $15 thing started there?

      It isn’t even $15 in Seattle yet! It’s $13 for a lot of businesses!

  15. David Feinberg says:

    Keith Winston,

    Context,
    Were you at the city council meeting where the chanting occurred? Are you aware of the context? The context was that Mayor Krakowiak who is tone deaf to those she disagrees with combined with her inability to manage a meeting sparked that particular tinderbox; don’t blame Pedro.
    Under the circumstances I’d say (IMO) it was justified.

    Darla Hating,
    You said, “Could it be that you simply hate Darla Green and will take every opportunity to malign her? I believe so. I do not believe any of you are sincerely interested in contributing. I think your sole purpose is to cause her problems. Shame on you.”

    “Shame on you”, SERIOUSLY?
    How dare you assume anyone ones motives and how dare you use infantilizing language to describe an entire community .

    Does This Happen Anywhere Else?,
    I’d say look at Republican town halls all around the country; when you do you’ll see, people are pretty angry at the failed policies being rammed down their throats by politicians serving there own best interests. Unfortunately, Darla is a lot like the congressman who won’t attend a town hall in their own district. She will not go where she cannot control the message. It’s there for all to see, she’s only comfortable in an echo chamber where she can: block people, delete comments, blame her staff, etc.
    No that is not the type of leadership I want.

    • David Feinberg- It is obvious you are seeing Darla Green and her message through the lense of immediate disapproval and will never change your mind. I think you are an extremely intelligent person with excellent communication skills. Wasting them in this manner is unfortunate. Reading into Darla’s actions and words helps no one, but simply divides. Why insist on declaring half-truths as fact, and why generalize out of context incidents? Holding Darla accountable for YOUR interpretation of events is a tactic we are seeing play out on a daily on the national political stage. As I said, it is unfortunate.

  16. Lilly says:

    when money became avalible for two police officers why did tosta vote no for them when the majority of the citizens of burien want more police? is this listening to the citizens?

    • Question Authority says:

      Because she as the T of “NO•MTOM” along with the rest of them don’t support the Police and only want enforcement of hugs, not hancuffs.

  17. Robbie Howell says:

    I want to thank Darla Green for standing up for Burien; its businesses and its residents. Darla and the other candidates she is running with (Wagner, Janssen, Manning) will restore some sensibility and trust that the Council is working for the residents and Burien businesses and not just some group of outside protestors/activists seeking to take over Burien. For to long, our Council and City have been held hostage to the political antics of three of the Council members. On the other side Darla, Wagner, Jenssen and Manning’s goals are pro-business, adequate public safety and to create a wonderful public image in the media for Burien of a vibrant community where the residents embrace diversity, promote vitality and treasure the environment. Hang in there Darla, a lot of us love what you are doing for Burien.

  18. mark pitzner says:

    Wow people are throwing a lot of shade. pejoratives and ad hominem attacks abound. Darla Green wants safer neighborhoods, a fiscally responsible budget and a city that we would be proud to hand off to our children. Regardless of political affiliation that sounds reasonable to me.

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