Measure would declare Everett a city inviting to all

EVERETT — Reports of acts of intimidation and violence against minorities in other communities are prompting the city of Everett to take a public stand against such behavior.

Councilwoman Cassie Franklin said Wednesday she plans to bring a resolution to the council next week that would declare Everett to be an inviting and equitable city for all.

“We need to strongly condemn acts of hate that other communities are experiencing now,” Franklin said.

The symbolic measure comes after several people had expressed concerns for their safety, Mayor Ray Stephanson said.

Much of that concern has been prompted by the results of the Nov. 8 general election, which saw Donald Trump win the presidential contest. His campaign was marked by race-baiting, immigrant-bashing, misogyny and fear-mongering.

Roughly a third of Everett voters backed Trump, election results show.

So far, no known bias incidents reported in Snohomish County have risen to the level of a hate crime. Last week, Stephanson referred to unnamed incidents and read a statement attesting that Everett was open to all.

“The city of Everett cares about all our residents and is committed to protecting the rights of community members of all backgrounds,” Stephanson said. “We welcome all who choose to peacefully live here, we’re committed to preserving values of inclusiveness and community safety, and we reject bullying, harassment and discrimination.”

The resolution the council plans to take up next week would not have the force of law. It would be similar in some ways to the concept of a “sanctuary city,” often interpreted to mean a municipality that won’t devote resources to federal immigration actions.

Stephanson said that the city and its police department adopted a policy in 2010 stating that officers would not check immigration or citizenship status during contacts with people.

“We are really, if not by name, we are acting in our duties as a sanctuary city,” Stephanson said.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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