The “Defund the Police” Movement: A Closer Look at the Bellevue City Council Race
In 2020, a topic emerged as a critical issue for voters across the nation: defunding the police. Although not as commonly discussed, it still resonates today. I want to delve into the significance of this topic and its impact on the upcoming Bellevue City Council race.
Defunding the Police and Why It Matters
The concept of defunding the police has been a divisive issue, never broadly popular with any community in our country. It was a radical, activist-driven policy, and enormous pressure was placed on elected leaders to support it. It became a test of judgment for political leaders, and regrettably, many failed this test.
While defunding the police was rarely implemented, the idea has poisoned relationships between city governments and their police departments in places like Seattle. The consequences of this policy, even when not enacted, have been deeply felt – Seattle in particular has lost hundreds of officers the last few years
John Stokes History with Ruth Lipscomb
How does this relate to Bellevue? On June 15th, 2020, Ruth Lipscomb wrote to the Bellevue City Council advocating that they “defund the police.” Although she later distanced herself from this position, it remains a point of concern.
What's particularly noteworthy is that Mr. Stokes endorsed Ruth for her Council run the following year, despite her earlier support for defunding the police. This raises questions about his judgment in endorsing someone willing to push such a radical, ideology-driven policy.
During our chamber debate, John even misrepresented the sequence of events, claiming he endorsed her before her defund advocacy, when the timeline clearly indicates the reverse.
The Misleading Mailer
Recently, you might have received a misleading mailer supporting Mr. Stokes and his public safety record. What's notably absent from this mailer is any reference to support by Bellevue police officers. The reason is simple: Mr. Stokes didn't secure that support.
The Bellevue Police Officers Guild (BPOG) endorsed me, a first-time challenger, despite John's status as an incumbent and former mayor.
It's essential to highlight that the mailer was paid for by several partisan groups, including one known as FUSE. For those unfamiliar, FUSE is known for supporting radical policies that have contributed to Seattle's decline over the years. In fact, they also called for police defunding in 2020.
Defending Bellevue from Radical Ideology
In the end, the key takeaway is clear: Bellevue residents should be wary of allowing those with strident, ideologically-driven agendas, that have wreaked havoc in Seattle, to influence our beloved city. The decision at the ballot box is a vital one, and it's crucial to choose leaders who prioritize the safety, security, and prosperity of our community.