LETTER: ‘Speaking a Positive Message: Burien Welcomes Immigrants & Refugees’

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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:]

Speaking a Positive Message: “Burien Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees”

Lots of people in Burien are trying to make a difference for a better community. Some volunteer in litter clean-ups, some tutor in classrooms, drive seniors to appointments – some get out the vote, and some advocate for causes they care about.

Some of us decided to make a banner for display that would call attention to the solidarity we feel within our diverse community. It reads, “Burien Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees.” It got a lot of positive response on Friday evening, the 6th of July, for an hour when displayed from the sidewalk of a bridge over Highway 509.

Why this message? A lot of us in Burien are immigrants and refugees, or the children or grandchildren of immigrants and refugees. Many of us just plain support our immigrant and refugee neighbors because we deeply value how our lives are enriched by all the cultures we bring together. Also, many people in our community fiercely defend the right to dignity and equality for each and every person.

Why make a banner that makes people feel welcome? Because we can. We live in a democracy which – so far – protects freedom of speech.

The banner was made, displayed and is supported by a loose network of friends and acquaintances not belonging to any one organization – between full-time jobs, raising families, making community in churches, taking care of loved ones, and being active in retirement, people work to find extra time to support what they believe in.

Why make that banner today? Because devastating things are happening at our southern border and across our country, because many people – adults and children – are living in fear who should never ever have to live in fear, because if we don’t weigh in on the side of justice, decency and solidarity now, things could just get worse – as they have in other moments in history.

Many honks and many thumbs up that the banner received confirmed a view that many people share: “Burien Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees.”

– Irene Danysh, Burien resident

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