February 17, 2022
Poulsbo for All Steering Committee Inaugural meeting - Feb. 17, 2022 (Zoom) Minutes Chairs: Carollynn Zimmers, Pam Keeley Present: Zimmers, Keeley, Brian Collins, Roy Pardee, Lauren Lesser, Mark Walker, Maria Fergus, Claudia Gorbman Following introductions all around, the focus was: what is Poulsbo for All’s purpose as an organization? Pam suggested these three functions: 1. Monitor the meetings of the City Council and its committees 2. Hold monthly community forums; educating the public about issues of local interest and concern 3. Recruit and support candidates for City Council (there will be 4 positions open in 2023). Keeley advocates that PfA serve as a watchdog, both so that members can get educated about the workings of city government and so that we can call out the occasions on which city leaders fail to follow their own stated commitment to equity and access for all. Zimmers commented that Kitsap ERACE (Equity, Race, and Community Engagement) is also planning for citizen observation; perhaps PfA and ERACE can coordinate. Pardee asked whether the Council and committees publish minutes, which could reduce PfA’s labor. Keeley said that city govt’s ability to communicate to the public has been spotty and limited. Gorbman pointed out that city govt’s version of minutes might differ substantially from a more critical (PfA) version. The group mainly discussed two issues of importance: the pressing need for affordable housing, and race equity. In response to public pressure, Mayor Erickson had the City join GARE (Govt. Alliance on Race and Equity), a national network that provides tools and resources for achieving racial equity, but the City has done little to nothing with it—the Mayor assigned councilor Britt Livdahl to be “the GARE person.” Unlike other municipalities in Kitsap County, Poulsbo’s City Council has also avoided establishing a REAC or Racial Equity Advocacy Committee (a citizen’s advisory committee on race). The REACs of Bainbridge and Bremerton recently held a joint meeting on Zoom, attended by councilor Livdahl. Walker suggested changing the at-large system of City Council representation to a district system. He volunteers to explore this possibility. Regarding #3 above, Keeley advised that her write-in City Council campaign in fall 2021 produced tools and infrastructure, which PfA can mobilize to support future candidates. (E.g., building website and Facebook presence, prepping for forums and interviews, gaining endorsements, doing phone banks, canvassing door to door.) Gorbman raised the question of class: in light of the very small salary paid to City Council members, who can afford to run for City Council aside from those who are financially comfortable? Regarding #2 above, the group discussed ways to educate the public, in addition to PfA's website and Facebook page. Walker suggested investigating whether public access TV would be useful. Zimmers and Keeley suggested a newsletter. Zimmers would convey a newsletter via her large email network. Keeley advocates a hard copy newsletter, and Lesser endorsed this idea. A one-page (weekly? biweekly? monthly?) newsletter could be distributed at friendly businesses, in the library, and/or by PfA members door to door. Walker and Gorbman agreed to work on a newsletter. Lesser inquired about political party affiliation. All agreed that PfA is nonpartisan, though individual candidates supported by PfA may seek endorsements and material support through the party they affiliate with. Keeley has been monitoring almost all City Council and committee meetings. The work of monitoring will now be shared. Collins committed to monitoring the Council’s meetings of March 2 and 16, and the Planning & Economic Development Committee. - Fergus will monitor the Housing, Health, & Human Services committee. - We still need someone to attend the meetings of the Public Works committee, Community Services committee, Finance & Administration committee, and Public Safety / Legal committee. Zimmers will determine what meetings she can monitor. Still to be heard from: Pardee, Lesser, Gorbman, Walker. Each volunteer monitor will report back to the group on issues of importance. If you tell her the time stamp and link to the Zoom recording, Zimmers also volunteers to make excerpts of key moments in a meeting you monitor. These video clips can be very useful for the PfA website. Starting at next month’s meeting, PfA will gratefully acknowledge that we meet and live on the lands of the Suquamish and the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes. The next meeting will be by Zoom on Thursday, March 24, at 4:00pm. Take a look if you haven’t yet. Contribute, &/or give feedback to Pam: Website and blog https://www.poulsboforall.com/ Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/912292963009093
April 21, 2022
Poulsbo For All Steering Committee Minutes 4/21/2022 (Zoom) Present: Carolynn Zimmers, Pam Keeley, Lauren Lesser, Claudia Gorbman, Roy Pardee, Maria Fergus Land Acknowledgements - Shall we add Port Gamble S’klallam land acknowledgement to the Suquamish wording? It was recommended to draw from both local tribes. Pam calls for volunteer to help develop a hybrid acknowledgement that honors both. Board Structure Recommendations - Lauren has begun fleshing out descriptions of PfA’s goals and SC roles, and for structuring meetings & agendas. Lauren will circulate a draft. Those comfortable live-editing the Google doc will do that, and she will distribute an attachment version for those who prefer email. Side discussion: how shall we make decisions? Claudia proposed consensus by the whole SC, but with a time limit so that silence = consent. Those present agreed. Flyers - We would like to compose (monthly?) one-page flyers to distribute in Poulsbo community in order to foster interest and participation in PfA. At the March SC meeting, Mark proposed to work on this. Claudia will forge ahead in his absence, basing the flyer on Carollynn’s upcoming newsletter. Claudia solicited a commitment from each of those present to take (at least) 20 copies and distribute them once it’s developed. All agreed. Side discussion: blog posts. The last topic was diversity. Claudia’s next post will be either on healthcare or climate. PfA Email Newsletter - Carollynn is starting the newsletter for May, and is soliciting ideas. Topics include: what’s going on at city hall, PfA’s recent distribution of Cesar Chavez flyer at farmer’s market, COVID relief money–what is happening with (large) remaining funds, Stonechild Chiefstick memorial and the City. LWV climate roundtable and relevant issues - add links to website and newsletter. City Council meeting report - Pam: not much to report from last night’s city council meeting. The council discussed two new real estate developments—Noel Terrace (31 Homes) and Blue Heron (85 Homes). The city is providing infrastructure for these developments. There was no mention of pricing, or whether there will be low-income components. Pam says the houses go for up to $900K. Stonechild Chiefstick Permanent Memorial - What happened to the informal memorial to Stonechild Chiefstick that has been in Waterfront Park since he was killed there by police in July 2019? Pam: it appears that the city removed the flowers, boughs, pictures, statements, etc. immediately after the settling of the lawsuit and without consultation with his family. Pam has emailed the council and mayor to inquire why they did so, and when they will meet with the family to discuss a permanent memorial: no response thus far. Lauren is working with Stoney’s partner Trishandra Pickup regarding the creation of a new memorial. A GoFundMe exists. Native carvers are prepared to create something beautiful for the memorial, as a place of healing and reconciliation. DEI - Britt Livdahl is currently attending the conference of GARE (Government Alliance for Racial Equity), and it is hoped that she will return eager to apply what she’s learned. How can we support her as she returns to a more or less indifferent council? Claudia suggested all SC members send an e-mail to Livdahl asking how we can support her efforts to foster racial equity. Agreed. Climate Action - At the League of Women Voters' Kitsap Climate Roundtable in April, Bainbridge Island mayor Joe Deets conveyed a lot of useful information; BI is doing much to battle climate change, including hiring a climate officer. Mayor Becky made good points, but didn’t offer any concrete examples of what Poulsbo is doing. Pam: the Mayor’s stated philosophy was “live small.” She means act locally, plant a tree, conserve fuel, etc., but is really thinking small. Ideas for thinking less small: putting a solar roof on city hall, require all new city vehicles to be eco-friendly - e.g., 8 new police cars purchased in the coming year - are they electric?; permeable parking lots; preserve green space; discontinue all pesticide use by Public Works. What’s really needed is an overall climate policy for the city. Poulsbo has no climate resilience plan. It can easily adapt and borrow from the existing policies and plans of other municipalities such as BI and Seattle. Should PfA ask for a city council resolution? Last night’s CC meeting discussed adding charging stations for cars downtown. But since charging stations downtown (charging requires time) would clog that concentrated area, how about at Poulsbo Village instead, closing Front Street to traffic except for essential vehicles/deliveries, and having a shuttle from Poulsbo Village on weekends? Creativity and imagination are key. New Positions - Pam proposes that the city create two new (half-time each) positions: an Equity officer and a Climate officer. PfA should propose these positions - would provide someone to work with in city government and give credibility to important issues. Claudia favors the equity officer, if we had to choose. The council pays lip service to equity, but does not actually base decisions or policy on it. An equity officer would have a more immediate effect. Maria countered that it’s common for equity officers (especially part-time ones) not to be given any actual authority—frustrating for the person in the role. She suggests a full-time position pitched as an organizational change agent, or a sustainability officer—with a global infrastructure role. This must be a city government position-–consultants won’t do. In addition, how this person gets hired is crucial. Hire should be done by a diverse committee of community members. Carollynn suggested circulating a petition if/when this position becomes a possibility—door-knocking, listening, and involving as wide a public as possible. Pam: the first step is having PfA meet with Britt Livdahl. This would allow Britt to bring forward GARE principles and resources, backed by community activism. The group discussed having Livdahl attend our next meeting or a special meeting according to her/our schedules. Healthcare - In the context of “what we’re missing,” Pam and Carollynn wished to bring up equitable and quality healthcare for discussion, but noted that it might be too early for PfA to even approach this. A group called the Alliance for Equitable Healthcare has been meeting. Closing Reminder of Action Items - Suggest newsletter items to Carollynn. - Everyone: read the PfA newsletter at the end of April, and the blog on PfA’s website at the beginning of May. - Everyone: send your email to Britt Livdahl NOW. - Pam: propose/arrange PfA meeting with Livdahl. - Everyone: read, reflect on, and comment on/edit Lauren’s doc on PfA’s structure and functions. - There is a vacancy on the Civil Service Committee, reports Pam. Does someone in PfA want to sit on that committee, which reviews police officer positions for adherence to regulations? - Contact those who missed this meeting to inquire why, fill them in, etc: Pam will call Brenda, Claudia will contact Brian, Maria will contact Dana, and Carollynn will contact Mark. Next meeting: Thursday May 26 at 4:00 pm.