Elected leaders and community-based organizations gathered to condemn recent actions taken by an anti-immigrant organization in Burien, WA. As reported by numerous media outlets, in late October as ballots were arriving in voter’s mailboxes, Respect Washington mailed flyers to Burien residents with a list of names and addresses of alleged undocumented immigrants, claiming their connection to crimes.
OneAmerica joined King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, Burien City Council President Nancy Tosta and Burien Represent.
Statement from OneAmerica Executive Director Rich Stolz: “Respect Washington circulated this list to intimidate community residents, divide the Burien community, encourage vigilante violence, and inject the politics of fear and hatred into Burien’s City Council elections. This is unacceptable, and this level of hatred and viciousness must be held to account. Their actions demonstrate incredible disrespect for the residents, families and voters of Burien. Most of us, people who strive for a peaceful, prosperous and diverse community, must come together and take action by volunteering, by voting and by supporting and joining community-based organizations working to bring communities together.”
Earlier this summer, as a member of Burien Communities for Inclusion OneAmerica submitted a declaration as part of a lawsuit that successfully disqualified a ballot measure backed by Respect Washington that would have overturned an ordinance passed by the Burien City Council. That ordinance, which remains in effect, includes provisions to limit collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities and to ensure that the City will not contribute to the development of a Muslim registry (responding to campaign statements made by the current President and to a Muslim tactical map attempted by a disgraced City Manager in the neighboring City of SeaTac).