The Olympian article of Aug. 30, dealing with the proposal to rename Marine Drive to Billy Frank Jr. way, revealed continuing dysfunction at the Port of Olympia. I viewed the video of the Port Commission’s Aug. 28 meeting and I am disturbed by the disrespect for neighboring governments that was put on display.
In particular, the contempt shown by Joe Downing for native people was appalling. In light of a proposal to honor Billy Frank Jr.,as an example for all people to emulate, Downing said,”...they already got a building and now we might give them a street.” The divisive “us vs. them “ attitude Downing brought to the discussion is 180 degrees away from the inclusive values of the proposal, which commemorates a life well lived.
Now more than ever, we need our leaders to demonstrate cultural awareness and to say clearly that we are at our best when we pull together as one people. Thurston County needs a Port Commission that represents the best of our community — this is not it.
Barb Bettes, Olympia