[EDITOR’S NOTEThe following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff.]

The following views, words and statement are mine alone and do not reflect those of the city of Burien, its staff nor the rest of the council’s. 

Dear Burien residents, 

I feel the need to explain why I proposed censuring a fellow councilmember during a City Council meeting on September 18th. It is not a motion that I take lightly. We had a very heated discussion on Ordinance 818, more commonly known as the anti-camping ordinance. During this discussion, councilmember Garcia suggested this proposed ordinance was “reeking of white supremacy.” This type of biased, racist rhetoric has no place in our city or our local government. Describing something so outlandishly as “white supremacy” is factually incorrect and crosses a line. As a Latina and one of those brown people councilmember Garcia spoke about, I will not stand for this behavior.

I’d like to point out that three of the four councilmembers who voted in favor of the anti-camping ordinance are people of color. To suggest that three people of color are racist strains common sense and logic. Our council is very diverse and I’m proud of that. It isn’t just the diversity in the color of our skin or our race. It includes diversity in genders, childhood history, income levels, education levels, family status, and most importantly neighborhood diversity. The color of someone’s skin or ethnic background does not reduce the validity of their point of view.

Councilmember Garcia was wrong and he should have been censured for the comments he made. Hate has no place here. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time he’s pulled such a stunt and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I find that ironic because councilmember Garcia campaigned wearing a t-shirt that said “Empathy, Kindness, Respect.”

I will continue to call out this nonsense when it happens. Hopefully, in the meantime, at least one of my fellow councilmembers will take the time to look up in a dictionary what the words “white supremacy” and “empathy” mean. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any hope for “kindness” and “respect.”

Stephanie Mora
Burien CouncilMember

Garcia’s Response

We reached out to councilmember Garcia for a response to Mora’s letter, but he said: “No comment.” However, he did share this comment on social media on Sept. 20, 2023:

“Systemic racism is rooted in white supremacy. One can make policy decisions that enable and further prolong systemic racism regardless of your race.”

EDITOR’S NOTEDo you have an opinion you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to scott@southkingmedia.com and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes). Read our full Letter to the Editor policy here.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

6 replies on “LETTER: Burien councilmember Stephanie Mora explains her proposed censuring of councilmember Hugo Garcia”

  1. Good for you, Stephanie! Don’t let him get away with ridiculous accusations and defamation. He wasn’t brave enough to back up his attacks when a KOMO reporter contacted him for comments. Make him show proof or learn to keep his wacky ideas to himself!

  2. You apparently have no idea what constitutes a “a racist remark.” Calling out racism and biases influenced by white supremacy is not racism, and attempting to frame calling out racism as the real racism is the equivalent of a child’s “bounces off me and sticks to you.”

  3. It’s deeply concerning that Ms Mora doesn’t understand the difference between being called a racist or white supremacist as opposed to what Mr Garcia actually said; in that the actions being taken reek of white supremacy. It would be great if Ms Mora could take a moment to educate herself before speaking but this wasn’t the first time she has replied from an uneducated standpoint and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  4. Bravo! The hard-working, tax payors of Burien deserve the same about of empathy, kindness & respect the homeless do.

  5. We need to live where we work. It’s good for Burien families, it’s good for local businesses and the essential services that we rely on everyday.

    A person must make $62,000/ year and be able to prove that, to rent a studio apartment at the new 6 story housing development in central Burien.

    We need sophisticated City Council members to work diligently to achieve this for the sake of us all. Thank You Councilman Garcia.

  6. Stephanie Mora apparently has no clue what the word “racist” means and to weaponize that word against someone who is acknowledging the effects of white supremacy (whether accurately or not) can not by ANY definition of the word be “racist.” Using that word in such an incorrect manner is harmful to black and brown communities who have to have to call a spade a spade but are always backlashes by being called racist by the folks who are the actual bigots.

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