City Council vows to keep Olympia great after divisive election

Students at The Evergreen State College walked out of classes Nov. 9 to protest the election of Donald Trump.
Students at The Evergreen State College walked out of classes Nov. 9 to protest the election of Donald Trump. The Olympian

In the turbulent aftermath of the presidential election, the Olympia City Council has passed a resolution that reinforces “Olympia values” such as diversity, compassion and inclusiveness.

The council issued the resolution Tuesday, just a week after the divisive election of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president. Protests have ensued in cities nationwide — including Olympia — over Trump’s controversial statements about immigration and race during his campaign. Media reports have cited violent attacks by and against Trump supporters.

Although it doesn’t mention the president-elect by name, Olympia’s resolution reflects principles that millions of Americans, and many Olympia residents, fear are under siege as a result of Trump’s polarizing rhetoric.

“On the eve of national change, the Olympia community remains who we are and who we have always been,” said Mayor Cheryl Selby as she recited a portion of the resolution. “The values we held yesterday are the values we hold today and the values we will hold tomorrow.”

More from the resolution:

▪ “Olympians are a proud mosaic of people of diverse cultures, faiths, beliefs, identities, histories, perspectives and understandings. We choose to remain good neighbors to one another, to support and protect each other, and to live in a city, a county and a state that honors and celebrates both our individuality and our commonality.”

▪ “As Olympians, and because our children are watching, we will model the grace, respect, compassion and inclusiveness we seek in our nation and in the world.”

▪ “We will continue to be engaged in building a world in which all human beings can live freely in the wholeness of their identity. We stand up against bigotry, hate speech and violence of any kind.”

▪ “We understand the gravity of the destruction associated with carbon pollution and climate change. We stand committed to the health of the planet and all the creatures who call it home.”

▪ “We believe that the prosperity and vitality of our community is made more secure and sustainable when men and women are paid a fair and livable wage for their labor, and we believe our society is more free and safer when reproductive rights are respected and health care is broadly available and easily affordable.”

▪ “We know our differences are our strength. We embrace equity and we will engage in open dialogue for even the hardest conversations.”

▪ “We are more than our political parties. We refuse to be defined or controlled by fear, and we are ready to be more courageous, more generous of spirit, and more committed to Olympia values. And we resolve to move forward, together, in hope.”

In addition, council member Jessica Bateman asked city staff to come up with recommendations for establishing Olympia as a “sanctuary city” that shuns Islamophobia, and conversion therapy, which is counseling intended to change a person’s sexual orientation.

The council also voted unanimously Tuesday to support the Olympia Charter for Compassion, which was announced last week by leaders of Olympia’s faith community. Prompted by recent hate crimes and race-related violence in the area, the charter outlines civic values “that we hope the larger community will adopt as a standard of behavior and as a tool for dialogue as we seek to live together in a way that nurtures the well-being of all people.”