Remembering the 125th Anniversary of the Chinese Expulsion in Seattle
King County Council member Bob Ferguson read a proclamation recognizing the 125th anniversary of the Chinese Expulsion from Seattle at a King County Council meeting on Monday, February 7, proclaiming February 10 as officially Chinese Expulsion Day in Seattle. Also recognized were the works of the Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project and the members of the CERP steering committee. In addition to the proclamation, a short video documenting the CERP was presented.
Coalition Concerned about Racial Profiling Opposes Gang Bill (HB 1126)
A coalition of communities and organizations concerned about racial profiling is urging the legislature not to pass HB 1126, the omnibus gang bill. In a letter to the House Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Stop Racial Profiling Now! Coalition said, “In a state where the education system is failing our students of color AND where youth of color are two or three times more likely than white youth to be placed in a confinement facility, this type of racially charged punitive approach will only railroad our kids into the prison system.” The coalition pointed out that the legislation ignores proven methods for preventing youth from joining gangs in favor of a ratcheting up of criminal penalties. HB 1126 allows civil orders to be issued against people law enforcement labels gang members. The proposed bill would dismantle families and communities while also increasing the financial burden on the state: court fees are not cheap and costs will increase beyond the initial cost due to incarceration, recidivism, increased reliance on public services, and decreased community stability. The Stop Racial Profiling Coalition provided ten recommendations for a more effective approach that would make an impact on kids not joining gangs. Twenty-three groups cosigned a letter saying the bill will encourage racial profiling and result in railroading vulnerable youth into the juvenile justice and prison systems, including the following: Asian Counseling & Referral Service, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of King County and Pierce County, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Filipino Community of Seattle, and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) – Seattle Chapter.