The direct mail letter sent out by ‘Respect Washington’ in Oct., 2017 listed names, addresses, alleged crimes and a map of illegal ‘alien & gang criminals.’[/caption] ‘Respect Washington,’ the anti-immigrant organization that tried to repeal Burien’s ‘sanctuary city’ ordinance last year, was officially classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center this week. The group was added to SPLC’s ‘hate map,’ joining other racist groups active in the state like the KKK, American Front, The Right Stuff and others: In October 2017, ‘Respect Washington’ sent out a flier to residents that listed alleged crimes committed by immigrants between 2008 and 2017. The controversial flier was sent via direct mail to around 3,600 area residents who signed their petition, and it included a map showing the names, addresses and alleged crimes committed by “undocumented immigrants” in the Burien area. This mailing was strongly denounced by then-King County Sheriff John Urquhart, Executive Dow Constantine, Burien City Manager Brian Wilson, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield and many others. This direct mail piece became a key element in the November City Council election, with numerous rallies, peace marches and public scrutiny that likely turned the tide in favor of the more “progressive” slate of candidates who won. ‘Respect Washington’ was founded by a West Seattle resident named Craig Keller, who received $25,000 from US Inc., a nonprofit organization founded by John H. Tanton, a Michigan man many have described as racist. The flier also openly endorsed Burien City Council candidates Debi Wagner, Darla Green, Joel Manning and Patty Janssen – all of whom lost the election. Read our extensive previous coverage of this issue here.]]>

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