All nine Seattle City Councilmembers issued the following statement after yesterday’s bomb threat to the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island:
“We are horrified by yesterday’s bomb threat against the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island and the anti-Semitic and racist graffiti found in Ballard. As leaders of Seattle and neighbors to Mercer Island, we are deeply concerned that members of our community are increasingly becoming the targets of discrimination and hatred.
“Seattle will not be a place where children and their families live in fear. We do not tolerate hate speech or threats of violence.
“Council recently adopted an Anti-Hate Resolution 31724 and a Welcoming City Resolution 31730, which emphasize the City of Seattle’s commitment to dedicating its resources to support and protect communities of persecution.
“The Office for Civil Rights is conducting an outreach campaign, developing a hotline, and continuing to work to enforce federal and local laws against illegal discrimination and harassment based on age, religion, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, and other protected groups in housing, employment, public accommodations and contracting.
“The Seattle Police Department and the Office for Civil Rights will continue to work with the community to ensure that the people of Seattle are protected under state and local malicious harassment laws and understand these protections. And we call upon the Department of Justice to condemn these actions and prosecute those who feel emboldened to threaten human life.
“In late 2016 the Council commissioned a City Auditor review of Hate Crimes in Seattle. The Auditor is analyzing how the City is addressing hate crimes, including analyzing geographic and demographic trends, possible strategies for prevention, and consideration of questions from the US Department of Justice Center for Community Policing Services Hate Crimes report.
“The people behind these acts intend to instill fear and divisiveness in our community. Today, we respond unequivocally with resolve and unity against hate and violence. Locally or nationally, hate crimes are not to be tolerated. We also stand in solidarity with the South Asian families in Olathe, Kansas, targeted in recent heinous hate crimes.
“We will continue to work together to combat the fear and hatred spread through anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, and racist actions and uphold our values as a welcoming city and welcoming nation.
“If you or someone you know experiences a hate crime, bias crime, or malicious harassment, call 9-1-1 immediately. If the incident has already occurred, the immediate danger is over and there are no injuries, call (206) 625-5011. For additional resources and information on reporting bias harassment, click here.”