Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom

August 24, 2021
Ella Banken

Calls from the streets of Whatcom County last year for social justice have inspired new groups to form and older ones to revitalize, as each takes its own approach to creating a more equitable community.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Economy, environment, social justice, COVID recovery, housing: legislators anticipate the 2021 session

January 8, 2021
Salish Current editors

Salish Current asked 40th and 42nd District legislators a few questions about how they see the legislative session that convenes on Monday, Jan. 11; their answers follow.

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Continuing case backlog slows wheels of justice for Whatcom public defenders — and their clients

October 22, 2021
Matt Benoit

Public defenders report having hard conversations about what they see as “completely unfair” options with in-custody clients, as the pandemic-driven halt to jury trials keeps people who are denied or unable to afford bail incarcerated and unsure of when their days in court will arrive.

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Local courts work to catch up on COVID-backlog delays in delivering justice

July 23, 2021
Matt Benoit

Courts in Whatcom County are trying to regain the flow of delivering justice that was in play prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown — and the recovery is proceeding differently at each level of the court system.

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Local MLK Day events set the stage for new year of racial justice action

January 15, 2021
Stella Harvey

A combination of potent social and political turmoil made many people eager to close the book on 2020 and emerge into a fresh year.

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photo: Mike Sato © 2020

‘Defund the police’ movement drives Whatcom racial justice discussions

August 14, 2020
Alex Meacham

Local activists are advocating for a 50% reduction in the Bellingham Police Department budget, even as BPD says it could use more resources for meeting the calls it routinely answers now — including a large number related to behavioral health and social welfare. While reformers would like to see change soon, community-wide conversations are just beginning, and the eventual direction and pace of change are as yet unknown.

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photo: Leta R. Sanchez © 2020

Justice delayed by COVID creates hardships, weakens protections

May 22, 2020
Matt Benoit

From local courts to federal ones, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have had a significant effect on the wheels of justice across the United States.

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Stephen S. Howie / Crosscut.com

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Search for new police chief surfaces questions about transparency and the public’s role

June 23, 2021
Stella Harvey

As the City of Bellingham, city council and the newly formed Racial Equity Commission seek to address systemic racism in and out of policing, some community members looking to engage in the selection process for a new police chief in good faith have raised questions about the city’s commitment to transparency.

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Books under scrutiny: censorship and cancel culture in a changing society

April 1, 2021
Ella Banken

In a time of massive reevaluation of once widely accepted tropes, celebrities have been called out for past insensitivities and much worse, schools renamed and statues toppled. But what does it mean when books are brought into the discussion?

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Community Voices / Clyde Ford on speaking up and raising eyebrows

March 25, 2021
Clyde W. Ford

Change happens when you speak up, and speak out. Drawing the attention of politicians and ordinary citizens to the need for change often helps bring it about … to shine light on the work that remains to be done in this great state, particularly with regard to racial equity and social justice.

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Community Voices / Democracy in America

January 15, 2021
Salish Current readers

We live in tumultuous times. Last weekend Salish Current asked people of various political persuasions to write about the state of our country’s democracy in advance of the inauguration.

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photo: Mike Sato © 2020

Bellingham police budget tweaked for near future; equity advocates continue push for more

December 18, 2020
Stella Harvey

In Bellingham, some local racial justice advocacy groups transitioned their demands from over the summer to budget season, looking for tangible proof that their representatives heard their calls for change over the last six months.

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photo: City of Bellingham © 2020

In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID

May 1, 2020
Stella Harvey

City and county councils and commissions across Washington state are finding new ways to conduct their public meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee issued the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order March 23, requiring local governing bodies to temporarily halt their in-person meetings.

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Weekly News

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