This evening I went the joint Senate/House public hearing for I-940 De-escalate Washington. Over 120 citizens attended and thirty-six testified, all but two in favor of its adoption by the legislature. It was powerful testimony. Many folks testified with data or rhetoric to make their point. Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks came and testified in support.
The most powerful testimony came from those who lost a son, daughter or loved one who did not need to die. The vast majority were minority citizens. One was a mother who called the police to help her with her son and watched as they killed him. He was unarmed. She said she will regret making that call until she dies. People testified about their community’s unwillingness to call the police when there was trouble because they did not trust them. Despite all this they were overwhelmingly positive about wanting to build bridges to the police and build community. It was 2 heart wrenching hours. I was proud to be small part of supporting this process as part of Olympia Indivisible.
And now we wait to see what the democrat controlled legislature will do. They can either accept it as is and make it law, reject it and send it to the ballet as is for next fall, or modify it and put it on the ballet.
- Tom Dyer