Update: Shortly before the event began, the City of Bellevue posted that there was not the extent of property damage originally believed, and so significant amounts of volunteers for cleanup work is not necessary. The Chamber is still hosting a small volunteer cleanup.
After property damage Sunday night in downtown Bellevue by looters, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is hosting a volunteer cleanup at 10 a.m. Monday, June 1, for stores in need. Volunteers are asked to meet at Downtown Park and wear gloves and masks and maintain social distancing.
Here is the message from Chamber CEO and President Joe Fain on the cleanup:
We were all shocked and outraged by the violence that ended the life of an unarmed black man last Monday. While we work to rebuild our community, we cannot ignore the pain that so many feel – not merely as a result of history – but because of their own experiences. Unfortunately, a small few sought to exploit that pain for greed and mayhem.
Despite the complexity of the problems our society faces: racial violence and injustice; property damage; economic hardship; and pandemic – the solution is always the same: Help one another.
Dozens of people have reached out to the Chamber to offer help in cleaning up Bellevue after tonight’s looting and vandalism.
Public gatherings still pose a health risk due to Covid-19. To best manage that risk and to maximize the recovery efforts – those who would like to help in the cleanup should meet at Downtown Park at 10 am, Monday morning.
We still do not know the nature and scope of the damage but we recognize that this is also an important time to show support to those impacted businesses. We also expect strict compliance with social distancing recommendations. We ask that all attendees bring appropriate protective equipment (mask and gloves) and we recommend that high-health risk individuals not attend.
This is a watershed day for Bellevue. Our growth and success as a community will undoubtedly place bigger challenges before us. We will rise to those challenges the same way we always have, together.
President & CEO