October 22, 2020
Resolution on Racism, Police Funding and Worker Layoffs in Kent
PASSED OCTOBER 21, 2020
WHEREAS, since the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent national anti-racist uprising, MLK Labor has affirmed its commitment to an anti-racist labor movement, and to working in alignment with the BIPOC Community and African American Leadership to divest from current law enforcement structure and policy and invest instead in non-violent, non-coercive, unarmed civilian jobs supporting community services, health, public welfare, parks & recreation, and housing and community development and that layoffs of these jobs be avoided at all costs, and
WHEREAS, 28.5% of registered voters in Kent live in union households, and
WHEREAS, 67.1% of the students in the Kent School District are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; and
WHEREAS, BIPOC young people in Kent have formed a collective, called ForFortyTwo, and they are organizing around issues of anti-racism, and
WHEREAS, labor can play a critical role, along with community and our elected leaders, in redefining the role of law enforcement in our society. This will require working closely with our community allies to establish a renewed and principled relationship foremost by following the lead of our sisters, brothers, and siblings in the broader community, and
WHEREAS, police cannot solve the problems that poverty creates, and
WHEREAS, it is the Labor Council’s mission to further the cause of social justice throughout the world which is inclusive of the fight for racial justice in Kent.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that MLK Labor calls on the City of Kent, and all King County local government entities to:
- Prioritize investments in youth, health, human, and community services (like those being called for in Kent like after school programs that empower BIPOC youth, affordable housing, and a BIPOC Community Center that offers mental health services) over sworn law enforcement jobs and equipment; and
- Solicit the engagement and feedback of BIPOC communities and African American Leadership in such decisions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor will sign on to the attached letter, solicit affiliate and community partner signatures, send both the letter and resolution to Kent County Councilmembers and Mayor, and work with affiliates to mobilize members in support of this cause.