SEATTLE — KIRO 7 has obtained a June letter addressed to Seattle City Council’s president from Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County board of directors that accused council members of stoking “chaos” in the black community and against BLMSKC for political gain.
The nonprofit also claims some council members have intentionally shared private information about its members that has been posted on the internet, resulting in threats and harassment.
“The public, community, and political chaos generated by the Council isn’t about Black lives,” the letter states. “It isn’t about police brutality.”
The letter, dated June 15 to Seattle City Council President Lorena González, was written in reference to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s June executive order on the use of police body cams during protests. The mayor’s executive order requests city council work with oversight and community groups, including BLMSKC, to help shape an updated policy.
But Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County said in the letter that it cannot, in good faith, come to the table and work with Seattle City Council without accountability for the actions of council members, both past and present, and a written apology, that specifically includes the signatures of Gonzalez, Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold.
“White and white-adjacent women in particular, have mastered the manipulation of Seattle’s Black community. City Council has, for decades, injected misinformation to our communities to intentionally undercut, prevent, or otherwise jeopardize Black organizing at the Council-level,” the letter states. “Members of the council have preyed on the Black community as ongoing, livestreamed entertainment and have the audacity to associate those actions with achieving racial justice and ending anti-Black racism.”
BLMSKC said the advocacy work they’ve done the last few years has been accomplished without city council, which the nonprofit says “speaks volumes” to where council members really stand on working towards change that activists have been fighting for.
The group also accused council members of intentionally using their power to “target and harm” Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County members, jeopardizing their safety.
“Members of your Council have, bullied, intimidated, and encouraged harassment of BLMSKC leadership and allies,” the letter states. “Members of your Council have shared private information about members of BLMSKC that was/is posted to the internet and resulted in threats, harassment, and ongoing and continuous efforts to dox our leadership, volunteers and staff.”
Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, that is calling on city council to address the claims and issue an apology or face calls of resignation, declined an interview with KIRO 7 Tuesday to discuss the letter in more detail. A Seattle City Council spokesperson told KIRO 7 they were working on a response to the claims but had not yet responded by Tuesday night.
“The ‘Seattle way’ isn’t just broken, it’s racist, and City Council is core to the rot, The Council has positioned itself on the wrong side of the movement, and the wrong side of history,” the BLMSKC letter states.
On July 1, Seattle City council members Lorena González, Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold all signed an apology letter to Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County.