Letters to the Editor, Sept. 13, 2019

Men’s shelter; candidate endorsements; justice

Shelter support

Be both human and kind since we are all connected as integral parts of the spider’s web.

As Chief Sealth said, “All things share the same breath — the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

Regarding the men’s shelter questions, which was published in the Bellevue Reporter on Sept. 6, 2019, please contact Sarah Bustad at sarahb@cfhomeless.org and Ryan Murk at ryanm@cfhomeless.org to share their expertise on how they provide essential services at their facility, at Lincoln Center in Bellevue. They are also willing to come to your neighborhood gatherings or faith congregations to address your concerns about having a year-round permanent shelter for the men who are without homes. Congregations For the Homeless (CFH) has professionals who are trained to help the individuals with drug addiction or mental illness.

We all know someone in our circle of family and friends who have similar challenges. We help the men who are experiencing homelessness with building a relationship with them first and subsequently treat each individual respectfully and compassionately to address their specific needs.

A permanent shelter has been a longtime goal of CFH, as the group has had to close its men’s shelter in May every year due to funding. Having a year-round operation will allow it to serve the homeless population and help work toward additional stable housing solutions.

If interested to find out more information and facts about how to support the path from homelessness to stable living, plan to attend their annual fund raising event on Sept. 19 at Presbyterian Church Hall in Bellevue at 10:30 a.m. You can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/.


Farida Hakim

Member, Advisory Council of Muslim Community Resource Center


Stephanie Walter endorsement

As Stephanie Walter, the neighborhood’s advocate running for Bellevue City Council, has been saying for well over a year, low-income affordable housing is a priority and an issue that’s become an integral part of her campaign.

Contrary to her opponent Jeremy Barksdale’s vocal statements on the matter, Stephanie has and will be committed to helping the homeless and promoting affordable housing in Bellevue. Her continued community service has reinforced such commitment.

Mr. Barksdale draws a great deal of influence from his role as a board member of the Seattle-centric activist group Fuse Washington. Its policies and ideologies are not necessarily consistent with Bellevue’s values. His Seattle affiliation warrants concern about the role special interests will play in certain decisions affecting our city.

As the Eastside Business Alliance has stated in their endorsement of Stephanie, “Stephanie helped establish a balanced approach to protecting single-family neighborhoods while increasing affordable housing and density in downtown.”

Further endorsements by the Affordable Housing Council, WA Multi-Family Housing Association, Rental Housing Association of WA and Seattle King County Realtors all serve to reinforce the fact that Stephanie Walter is the clear choice to further Bellevue’s affording housing endeavors and support for the homeless.

These well-earned endorsements clearly illustrate that Stephanie cares deeply about our city, with her experience and accomplishments proving this time and again. Her leadership to prioritize affordable housing and solve the homelessness crisis is needed at this critical time in our city – a true crossroads as to how Bellevue will be governed now and for the next several years.

Stephanie will work with and on behalf of the people of Bellevue. In the upcoming General Election, give Stephanie your vote. She is the clear choice.

Jeanne Elliott


Supports Walter

Now is the time to review candidates’ records and watch their actions around citizen engagement and providing neighborhood support.

Stephanie Walter is just the person to lead by example as she has been to the line to help NW Bellevue hold the line on development creep in the neighborhood. Her stance while vice chair of the planning commission led to a taller than desired height for a building, but it did not allow for the foot print to expand into the neighborhood. I think that her leadership as exhibited on the planning commission and with the East Bellevue Community Council have provided me with numerous instances of her well-thought-out decisions for solving people problems. We all need to look over the candidates for meaningful past service and actions and not simply “name recognition.”

I fully endorse Stephanie Walter for city council.

Katherine Hughes


Aras for schools

As a parent of three Bellevue School District students, I wholeheartedly endorse Jane Aras for Bellevue School Board (BSD) director (District 5).

I’ve known Jane Aras for nearly 15 years in the capacities of education development, volunteerism and social equity. She brings an enormous level of passion, tenacity and impact to helping and uplifting students and communities, especially those who are under-served or with limited access.

Jane brings a unique depth and breadth of experience to the board. As a special education teacher and PTA leader in equity within elementary, middle and high schools, she has supported teachers across educational development initiatives. Her additional volunteerism is unmatched given her three-year obligation teaching computer science to remote rural high school students from under-served migrant farming communities in central Washington. She has started grass-roots math and computer science neighborhood clubs, supporting students who need more access. Jane’s consistent impact to Bellevue students and community is unlike no other and demonstrates her tireless commitment to seeing that all Bellevue students realize their deserved potential in academic success.

As a Bellevue parent, I have witnessed first-hand how students of color and marginalized populations have not adequately been served by the district. Jane’s compassion, experience and resolve will contribute to the board’s ability to advance policies that address such shortcomings and compliment the breadth of diverse perspectives that every family brings.

I represent a community of families who have witnessed, benefited and appreciated Jane’s contributions. As an accomplished community advocate for students, her impact to the Bellevue community will only multiply if served on the board. Let us elect Jane Aras as your next BSD director.

Lester Jackson


Equal justice

From the evidence of current events, it becomes more and more difficult to embrace the concept of “Equal Justice Under the Law.”

Time and again, we see “special people” escape any accountability for their actions, be they National Security violations, sexual predator issues, or others. Thanks to the seemingly ever expanding bureaucracy class of every level of our government, the guilty go free, the innocent are persecuted, and the overall society suffers for it all.

Confidence in our system lessens nearly daily, and unless there is real change, I fear for the nation.

As Ben Franklin mentioned long ago when asked “What government do we have?” His response was “A republic… if you can keep it.”

David Jones