Council President González Statement In Response to Targeted Protests at Homes of Councilmembers

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Council President M. Lorena González issued the following statement in response to reports of targeted protests at the homes of Councilmembers:

“As a city, we continue to confront the COVID-19 crisis, a civil rights movement, and an historic economic recession.  I want to acknowledge the frustration that people in our community are experiencing during this trying time.  For some, this may include learning new ways to connect with their elected representatives when many of us are working from our homes.

“Political pressure, demonstrations, and advocacy are part of how people in America disrupt the status quo and meaningfully move governments towards social change. Debate, discussion and demonstrations are necessary and often go hand-in-hand. 

“Our collective efforts, however, cannot devolve into personal attacks, intimidation or potential violence.  Here in Seattle we have a long tradition of protest and other public actions to demonstrate the need for people in positional power to act with urgency on behalf of their constituents.  

“Across the country, and here in Seattle, people have taken to ‘doxxing’ the personal phone numbers and home addresses of elected officials and community leaders, when they do not share your point of view. I do not support this practice because I believe that everyone, even those I may not agree with, deserves a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes.  Indeed, the efforts of defunding armed law enforcement to fund other community-driven, public safety interventions is rooted in our belief that community safety is holistic, rooted in community and designed to lift each other up.

“I share the strong feelings with many of those who are still in the streets peacefully protesting. I continue to believe that this fight for collective liberation is strengthened by holding each other in community and calling each other into the struggle to do better. Demonstrations are a protest tool but using that tool to create an environment by which people and their family members feel unsafe in their own homes is not something I can support. I urge protestors and my fellow elected officials to engage with each other in good faith and via the many tools available to access each other at City Hall, via virtual forums or during Full Council meetings that occur every Monday.”