On Monday afternoon, Mar. 4, Mayor Jimmy Matta held a press conference at City Hall, to “Denounce, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, and Hate” in Burien.

Matta was joined by several regional community leaders, and he presented the following info:

  • The F.B.I. released its 2017 hate crime statistics, showing a 17 percent increase in hate crimes across the country last year compared to 2016, with law enforcement agencies reporting a total of 7,175 hate crimes in 2017 and 6,121 in 2016.
  • Washington state reported 443 hate crimes total in 2017, up 42 percent from the 311 crimes reported in 2016.
  • Seattle nearly doubled the number of reported crimes, with 234 in 2017 and 118 in 2016.

“We as a community will not sit by idling and silent, allowing hate and bigotry to destroy our communities locally, or nationally,” Matta said. “Any action we take as a community, or as elected officials denouncing such acts is the right thing to do for our democracy.”

NOTE: This press conference was not organized by the City of Burien or City Councilmembers.

Here’s full video of the event, as broadcast live on our Facebook page:

Here’s the text of the proclamation Matta read, which will be presented at tonight’s Council meeting:

PROCLAMATION
OF THE BURIEN CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON, PROCLAIMING
BURIEN AS A CITY THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AND DENOUNCES HATE

WHEREAS, all human beings deserve to live in dignity, free from violence, bigotry, and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, the City of Burien has a commitment to eliminate disparities based on race, gender, and sexual orientation.

WHEREAS, the City of Burien strives to raise up all voices, achieve equity and social justice; and

WHEREAS, Burien’s diversity is a strength, valued and celebrated by both residents and City leaders; and

WHEREAS, all individuals and groups have the right to be different, to consider themselves as different, and to be regarded as such; and

WHEREAS, a person’s race and ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation may not, in any circumstances, serve as a pretext for prejudice or justify either in law or in fact any discriminatory practice; and

WHEREAS, any theory which involves the claim that a specific racial or ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation is inherently superior or inferior has no scientific foundation and is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity; and

WHEREAS, youth who hear positive and supportive messages from their community have better outcomes such as increased self-confidence, empathy, and connection to others; and

WHEREAS, racial equity and social justice are good for economic development in Burien and the Puget Sound region; and

WHEREAS, Burien’s diverse community contributes to the city’s quality of life and brings the community together more than divides it; and

WHEREAS, the City supports and encourages authentic, trust-based relationships between diverse communities; and

WHEREAS, the City envisions an inclusive society where all people can thrive and all communities are valued, respected, and self-directed; and

WHEREAS, the City denounces propaganda and behavior that promotes bigotry and creates division in Burien.

NOW THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON DOES HEREBY ASK ALL BURIEN CITIZENS TO JOIN TOGETHER TO PROCLAIM BURIEN AS A CITY THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AND DENOUNCES RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA, AND HATE IN THE CITY OF BURIEN, AND URGES ALL CITIZENS TO JOIN IN THIS SPECIAL OBSERVANCE Dated this 4th day of February, 2019.

Mayor Jimmy Matta
Deputy Mayor Austin Bell Councilmember Bob Edgar Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak
Councilmember Krystal Marx Councilmember Pedro Olguin Councilmember Nancy Tosta

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