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Mike Lonergan to council: Don’t rush to judgment about Arizona

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on May 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
May 25, 2010 9:47 am

Mike Lonergan may have left the Tacoma City Council, but he’s still got a lot to say about city affairs. Here’s some advice he emailed Sunday to the current council:

I’m just one of 208,000 residents of Tacoma now, but I do have a different perspective because of my recent Council work. So here goes:

It is important to restoring confidence that our City government is responsive to the citizens of Tacoma that you do not move to reconsider the Resolution condemning Arizona’s recent legislation on Tuesday. Instead, Council Member Boe was exactly right when he said that this deserves more study and specific recommendations as it relates to Tacoma, with no need even to mention Arizona.

Because the Resolution specifically concludes as a fact that the Arizona law violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I looked up the amendment. I assume that Council Members supporting the Resolution also do so. (Ironically, the Amendment, passed after the Civil War, deal primarily with recognizing the rights of citizens, both born and properly naturalized.) Upon what basis (i..e. whose legal opinion) is this serious allegation stated as fact in an official document of the City of Tacoma?

What policies or laws will aid the Tacoma Police in doing the job of protecting the citizens of Tacoma? What is the current extent and effect of employment and provision of social services to undocumented people in Tacoma, and what changes, if any, should be made to the City’s policies and laws? These are the questions that should be answered using the established Commitee system of the Council before any vote is taken.

The topic of the Resolution should be referred to the Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee, for due research, staff reporting, deliberation, and possibly a do-pass recommendation for legislation. A motion to that effect by the Deputy Mayor could be made and unanimously approved on Tuesday night. I believe it could be done before public comment, since the item is not now on the agenda, thus eliminating the need for a repetition of last week’s testimony, and possibly much additional testimony. There is no need to further polarize the community,

In recent years, many items of review and consideration by Council Committees have been brought as a result of actions in other jurisdictions. The focus has been to see how the matter affects our City, not to pass judgment on another jurisdiction. That can be done by referring this matter to Committee, an action which I believe every member of the Council can support.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

Mike Lonergan

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