Listen, and support Indigenous voices

November 16, 2022
Terri Thayer

Commentary: Knowledge and awareness of the challenges Indigenous peoples face are good; what matters is action.

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Fact-checking what’s being said around Whatcom’s Proposition 5

October 21, 2022
Kai Uyehara

Whatcom voters will decide Nov. 8 on the Healthy Children’s Initiative, a property tax measure to fund child care and early-learning programs.

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Council votes to create Racial Equity Commission: reflections of a post-modern revolutionary

October 12, 2022
Vernon Damani Johnson

Commentary: A Whatcom County Council vote established a racial equity commission; now, the challenge for supporters is to engage others in the conversation, an organizer writes.

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Economic mobility starts at birth

October 12, 2022
Mauri Ingram

Commentary: Even though everyone wants to give their children more and better opportunities than they had, the deck is stacked in favor of babies born to families steeped in “social capital.”

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Child care shortfall frustrates families, hampers local economy

September 22, 2022
Matt Benoit and Sadie Fick

Demand far outstrips the supply of available and affordable child care locally. The problem is multifaceted, as solutions also will need to be: Part 1.

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A twisted path to homelessness

July 6, 2022
John Dunne

A community resident finds herself without long-term housing after a downward spiral into homelessness.

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Who are the homeless?

May 11, 2022
John Dunne

Our concept of the “deserving poor” needs to expand past attitudes mirroring 17th and 18th century mores that drive today’s ambivalent response to homelessness.

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Raising awareness of missing, murdered Indigenous women

May 3, 2022
Terri Thayer

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day is observed on May 5, and in an installation at the Lightcatcher Building through May 15.

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City of Bellingham police chief hiring process — success or flop?

April 14, 2022
Riveters Collective Justice System Committee

A local civic action group is hoping Bellingham’s next police chief will work to strengthen community cohesion and be transparent and accountable to the public.

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Reflecting on International Women’s Day

March 25, 2022
Terri Thayer

Much change has happened since 1910 when the idea of an International Women’s Day was proposed by Clara Zetkin at the International Conference of Working Women. A lot still needs to change, notes a Community Voices contributor.

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Food security requires connection to land, to each other

March 10, 2022
Sarah Reeves

Feeding communities is particularly challenging now, in the face of systemic upheaval, climate change and uncertainty. San Juan islanders making key connections to build resilience for future food security met recently in an ag summit.

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Confrontations, demands for parents’ rights challenge local school boards

March 4, 2022
Matt Benoit

Impassioned conversations are occurring nationwide as sometimes large groups of parents show up at once sparsely attended school board meetings — including in Whatcom County — with local issues including COVID-19 mask mandates, critical race theory and sexual health education.

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Police, mental health workers face challenge, confusion with new use-of-force law

August 20, 2021
Matt Benoit

House Bill 1310 established new rules about use of force by police when it took effect in Washington last month, and law enforcement and social service agencies continue to grapple with confusion related to challenges to the new law.

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Community Voices / San Juan County to vote on climate, environment, equity, justice amendments to county charter

August 12, 2021
Kevin Ranker

Priority for climate and environment; justice, equity and inclusion; and an emphasis on citizen engagement are driving proposals the San Juan County Charter Review Commission has advanced for the November ballot. The commission is continuing its work and plans to submit additional propositions for the 2022 ballot.

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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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photo: Amy Nelson © 2016

Community Voices / Acknowledge, learn — and transform, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 6, 2021
Terri Thayer

America continues to struggle to recognize the contributions of all to the building of this nation. In May — Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month — we have an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the resilience and voices of these communities.

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