The mayor should have led better


Your editorial chides Mayor Tim Callison for some of his actions regarding whether or not Langley should be a sanctuary (or inclusive) city. To state the obvious, the issue has become heated.

But flaring tempers aside, I wish that the mayor had done a better job of listening and leading on the issue. I kept looking for him to show that he understood why it is such an important issue to so many people in the community (including those who live outside the city boundary, although he made it clear those views were not welcome.) It’s my experience that one of the first steps in conflict management is to demonstrate that you’ve actually heard concerns in order to gain understanding and ultimately reach a workable solution. And I didn’t see the mayor do this.

This past week Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order “Reaffirming Washington’s Commitment to Tolerance, Diversity and Inclusiveness.” The order simply but strongly states the many economic, military service and cultural contributions of immigrants. It notes that immigrants comprise 17 percent of our state’s population, contributing $2.4 billion in local and state taxes (2014.)

The order states that, to the full extent allowed under federal law, state agencies will not deny services on the basis of citizenship or legal status and will not collect information beyond what is necessary to perform agency duties.

No “oath of office” concern by the governor because the order does not conflict with the law: the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States in 2012 upheld that state and local law enforcement agencies are generally prohibited from arresting people solely for violation of civil immigration laws. Further, Inslee explicitly stated that the state will continue to honor federal arrest warrants.

So, our governor listened and acted. As have the leaders of the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima and others – each adopting a different approach that responds to very real concerns about growing racism and hate crimes as well as the needs of law enforcement. Perhaps there is still an opportunity for the mayor and council to come up with a similar solution that works for Langley.



More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Clinton beach AccessMats make beach accessible for everyone

Editor, Now that the winter weather is past, Island Beach Access has… Continue reading

Letter: Trump’s immigration policy violates human rights

Editor, Trump’s new immigration policy is even worse than previously thought. Since… Continue reading

Letter: Island Transit fares should do no harm, minimize impact

Editor, Tom Walker, in a letter to the editor in the June… Continue reading

Letter: Rather than berate newspaper staff, why not educate others?

Editor, In reply to Captn Blynd: I was never even aware of… Continue reading

Letter: America should treat immigrants and children humanely

Editor, Trump’s immigration policy is treating it as a criminal problem in… Continue reading

Letter: There should be no fares charged to ride Island Transit buses

Editor, I do not agree that Island Transit should charge a fare.… Continue reading

Letter: Hearts and Hammers works to help build our community

Editor, Hearts and Hammers is one of a number of South Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: Thanking restaurant for supporting Relay for Life

Editor, I would like to send out a special thanks to the… Continue reading

Letter: Wrong production company cited in Record news article

Editor, I was sorry to hear of the passing of Gerry Woolery.… Continue reading

Letter: There should be no bus fares

Editor, I’ve been an Island County resident for 28 years, and I… Continue reading

Letter: Disappointed by vote cast by Congressman Larsen

Editor, I was dismayed to learn that Congressman Rick Larsen joined the… Continue reading

Letter: ‘Tunnel Vision’ headline was insensitive

Editor, As a person with retinitis pigmentosa, AKA “tunnel vision,” I find… Continue reading