The following is a statement from Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly:
Following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, people across our country— including on the steps of Issaquah City Hall— have rightfully demonstrated against racial injustice throughout our country. The Black Lives Matters demonstrators are asking that we take this moment to talk about what we need to do as a community to recognize racial bias, and make changes to eliminate the disproportionate damage it is doing to community members of color. This may not be my experience or your experience in the city that we share, but as Mayor, in my role, I need to seek the practical things that we can do. All cities throughout America need to be part of the solution.
During the past several days, I’ve heard many questions about the City’s now-expired three-night curfew; details on our police department’s policies, training and oversight; what we can do as a community to make meaningful change happen – both here and nationally; and how to keep the dialogue going moving forward.
Thank you to those who stayed home and safe during the past few evenings. I issued the voluntary curfew earlier this week following continued looting across the region. While the curfew is now lifted, and there are no verifiable threats to Issaquah at this time, please remain diligent in reporting concerns. If you see something, say something.
Concerning our local police department, learn more about our approach to training, policies, accountability and community policing.
Issaquah Police Chief Scott Behrbaum spoke passionately earlier this week (see the video) on how we must continue to work together to identify, develop and implement solutions to build safer and more equitable communities.
What’s next? We must listen.
City Councilmembers and I have regularly attended several of the recent demonstrations at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, and plan to be there again, June 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. to listen. If you stop by, please wear a mask to stay safe and practice physical distancing.
If you can’t attend, please email us to share your thoughts.
The future remains uncertain, and there’s no simple solution. But I do know our community must work together to develop a plan moving forward.
As your mayor, I am committed to:
- Rejecting hate and bias in all forms.
- Championing our mission to “foster a safe, vibrant, livable and inclusive community.”
- Listening to a diverse range of opinions, stories and perspectives.
- Continuing the dialogue, and sharing what we’ve heard.
- Implementing change as a community that allows all of our community members to feel like they belong.
Meanwhile, I ask that all of our community members act with compassion, listen with an open mind and support each other.
Yours in Service,
Mayor Mary Lou Pauly