Special Edition: Mayor's Statement Against Racial Violence and Resolution R-5434 Implementation Update

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this week in kirkland

March 19, 2021

city of kirkland washington

Special R-5434 Update (Link to Resolution Here)

Table of Contents:

Mayor Penny Sweet and Kirkland City Councilmembers Condemn Violence Against Asian Americans

Mayor Penny Sweet

During the Kirkland City Council meeting Tuesday, March 16, Mayor Penny Sweet, the Kirkland City Council, and City leadership took a moment to acknowledge and condemn recent acts of hatred against Asian Americans.

Mayor Sweet's statement was as follows:

At this time in our meeting when we review the progress of R-5434, it is important that we rededicate ourselves to the resolution’s fundamental principle:

"Racism, in any form, and against any group, has no place in Kirkland."

We are horrified and saddened by the recent and continuing acts of violence against Asian Americans across the country. A recent study based on police department statistics across major U.S. cities found a nearly 150 percent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020.

We condemn the acts of hate and violence displayed in the rising incidence of anti-Asian hate crimes and we must halt the spread of bigotry to keep our community safe. It’s our collective responsibility to not only speak up and stop hate crimes, but to continue to examine and dismantle institutional and structural racism, to eradicate hate, and to connect with our shared humanity.

Our hearts go out to our Asian American neighbors who have experienced hate or violence. Victims deserve support and justice, and there are systems in place to ensure offenders face consequences for these unconscionable actions. Our highest priority is to keep our community safe, and anyone in Kirkland who encounters hate or violence is encouraged to come forward and report their experience to our police department. No one should suffer in silence.

Together we can end racial violence in our communities. Thank you.

Mayor for statement

Virtual Community Resource Center Information Session is Next Week

Virtual Community Resource Center Information Session

On Wednesday, March 10, the Community Court had its inaugural session. One key aspect of the Community Court is the Community Resource Center that provides access to services. Kirkland is now making the Community Resource Center available to all residents. 

To learn more about Kirkland's partnership with the Community Resource Center, join us for a 60-minute information session 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25. The session will be facilitated by Marilyn Littlejohn, Community Court consultant, who will be joined by a panel of local providers from HopelinkLELO Relicensing ProgramThe Records Project, a program of the King County Bar Association, and more.

This is a virtual event. Register here.

About the Facilitator

Marilyn Littlejohn, a consultant on the City of Kirkland's Community Court program, is a human services professional with over 25 years of experience in public policy, service delivery and program administration. She has worked for the Children's Home Society of WA, Seattle Human Services Department in Government Relations and Domestic Violence Prevention, Refugee Women's Alliance, and King County District Court.

Community Resource center

City Organizational Equity Assessment Update

COK logo

In January 2021, the City of Kirkland contracted with Chanin Kelly-Rae of Chanin Kelly-Rae Consulting to perform a Comprehensive City Organizational Equity Assessment as one of several actions detailed in R-5434. Ms. Kelly-Rae will be evaluating City policies, practices and programs to help eliminate barriers to opportunity.

Ms. Kelly-Rae has met with and interviewed department directors and Councilmembers. 

Over the next several weeks, Ms. Kelly-Rae will also begin a community wide engagement effort as a part of this initiative.  

To request a focus group with Ms. Kelly-Rae, visit our website.

Letter from Mayor Penny Sweet to Houghton Community Council Regarding R-5434

City Council

On March 16, the City Council authorized Mayor Penny Sweet to sign a letter to the Houghton Community Council to formally request its partnership in the City's ongoing equity assessment of all areas of City policy, practice and procedure. Excerpts of the letter are available below, and our community is invited to read the full letter on our website

Dear Chair Whitney, Vice Chair Kappler, and Houghton Community Councilmembers;

"As elected leaders that share a deep love of our City and a commitment to ensuring Kirkland is one of the best places in America to live, work and play, the Kirkland City Council and the Houghton Community Council have had a long and collaborative partnership. This partnership helped unite our community and guide Kirkland through the unique tragedies and triumphs of the COVID-19 pandemic that erupted in Kirkland on February 29, 2020 and continue to this day."

"The City Council has always envisioned the Houghton Community Council (HCC) as being part of this important community dialogue. As a governing body with significant land-use authority, we believe it is necessary for the Community Council to partner with us again as we look critically at ways our community has inadvertently perpetuated barriers to equity and inclusion. We invite you to join us in this work of creating equity, justice and inclusion for everyone. We offer our staff and consulting resources to support the HCC in this effort. Together, we can realize a Kirkland where everyone feels - and knows - they belong."

To view the letter in its entirety, visit our website