Ensuring the Safety and Respect of Black People

The City strives to create a Kirkland where Black people feel safe and respected and interpersonal, institutional and structural racism no longer exists. On August 4, 2020 the City passed legislation (R-5434) committing to several actions related to examining and dismantling institutional and structural racism in Kirkland.

These actions come with significant funding over the next two years, and we need your input to advise us on how best to use this funding and how to reimagine Kirkland. Your feedback on this work will have a direct influence on various City and Police Department culture, policies, programs, and practices. This work is intended to ensure the safety and respect of Black people in Kirkland.

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Community Engagement

R-5434 centers the community engagement process around Black people and their lived experiences. This means that City staff and consultants will be meeting with formal and informal Black-led community groups, Black community leaders, Black youth, and other Black community members to help inform our approach to this work.

We are also seeking additional intentional engagement with Indigenous people and other people of color, with a focus on including intersectional voices.

We will also engage the broader community through this effort to identify and implement solutions to interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism in Kirkland. 

If your group is interested in scheduling a focus group with City staff or if you have questions please contact Chelsea Zibolsky at czibolsky@kirklandwa.gov.

 Request a Focus Group

The City began this outreach effort alongside the drafting of R-5434 in June. Throughout this process, staff will provide periodic updates to the City Council and the community. The outreach effort is anticipated to conclude in April of 2021.

R-5434 Funding Commitments

The City has committed significant funding to support many actions aimed at dismantling structural racism. Some of actions started immediately as part of the Early Action Initiative, and will continue as part of the 2021 Community Safety Initiative.

Early Action Initiative

Early Action Initiative

This initiative consists of a variety of actions that are beginning in Fall 2020:

  • Developing a Police “use of force” public dashboard to display the Kirkland Police Department’s baseline data on use of force, such as: total incidents, total use of force incidents, type of force used and the reason, subject race/gender, and officer race/gender.
  • Evaluating enhancements to the existing police dashboard that help guard against bias in police action. The Kirkland Police Department has an existing dashboard that is presented to the City Council quarterly. The current dashboard reviews various crimes, including: murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary (residential and commercial), motor vehicle theft and prowl, DUI, and collisions. This dashboard will be evaluated to incorporate updates consistent with the intent of Resolution R-5434.
  • Developing a School Resource Officer (SRO) public dashboard. With the passage of Police Proposition 1 in November of 2018, the City added a School Resource Officers to each middle school in Kirkland. Working with the Lake Washington School District, the SRO dashboard will incorporate metrics such as: the number of students served, the outcome of each contact, race, gender, age, etc.
  • Developing a Human Resources public dashboard to show information about Kirkland employees, such as race and gender, to benchmark against the makeup of Kirkland’s population. This dashboard will also help the City review its hiring practices to be more inclusive.
  • Developing a Human Services public dashboard to display metrics such as: which service providers receive City grant funds, amount of investment in human services programming, grants awarded in the last five years, and outreach efforts to make the community aware of human services programs that exist.
  • “8 Can’t Wait” police use of force policy review. “8 Can’t Wait” is a national project of Campaign Zero to end police violence. The City of Kirkland has already adopted nearly all the policies but seeks outside review for confirmation and recommendations.
  • Contracting for third party policy use of force review and use of force data evaluation and analysis. Separate of the use of force dashboard, but certainly informed by it, the City will be contracting for a review of its use of force policy, data evaluation, and analysis. The contractor will make recommendations to the City for future implementation.
  • Contracting for a comprehensive City organizational equity assessment to identify gaps in diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of City policy, practice and procedure, and to identify proposed actions steps to address these gaps.
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of City procurement and contracting processes and documents to eliminate barriers for disadvantaged businesses enterprises to compete for City projects.
  • Evaluating whether public art, public symbols, special events and City programming in Kirkland are welcoming to all community members.
  • Expanding the diversity of public art, symbols, events and programming to be more inclusive.
  • Other potential strategies to undo structural racism in Kirkland.


2021 Community Safety Initiative

This initiative is described in overview via this informational flyer(PDF, 272KB). This effort consists of various actions that will be starting at different times throughout 2021-2022:

  • Four new Community Safety Partners are funded in the 2021-2022 budget. These “co-responders” might be Mental Health Professionals (MHP), social workers, and/or cultural navigators who partner with Police to respond to service calls that require something different than a Police Officer. These partners can relieve the burden on Police by helping people with mental illness or providing services to those are experiencing homelessness.
  • Police community accountability initiatives. One example may be the implementation of civilian review of certain Police use of force incidents.
  • Funding to provide body worn cameras for all Kirkland Police Officers, providing mutual transparency, accountability and safety for Police Officers and members of the public. Included are the evidence technician and public records staff positions necessary to support the body worn camera program.
  • Pilot program for Community Court in Kirkland to divert disadvantaged populations from the criminal justice system and connect them instead with needed support services.
  • Public Safety Community Relations Specialist that is shared between the Police and Fire Departments. This position implements public safety community education and outreach programs. The position also supports Police PIOs, emergency management, and crisis communication.
  • Various equity, diversity and inclusion efforts for the City organization once the equity gap analysis is completed. This includes money allocated specifically in the Police and Fire budgets to improve the recruitment and retention of women and people of color.
  • Hiring a Diversity and Inclusion Manager

The Community Safety Initiative contains funding for additional items:

  • The 2021-2022 budget retains the significantly enhanced human services grant funding amounts that were intended to expire at the end of 2020.
  • The 2021-2022 budget includes for the first time the Affordable Housing Sales Tax authorized by State House Bill 1406. This revenue is a credit provided to the City by the state and may be used for rental assistance or the construction of affordable housing. Giving the economic impact of COVID-19, the preliminary budget proposes to use these funds for low-income resident rental assistance in 2021-2022.
  • The 2021-2022 budget sustains the record high 2019-2020 investment in A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) as well as additional operating and capital funds for the creation of affordable housing.
  • Development Services/Welcoming Hall. The capital budget proposes to adapt a pending expansion of City Hall for development services staff into a more open customer service space designed to provide virtual service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The structure of this facility will also create a welcoming space and exhibition hall where multicultural heritage can be celebrated. This new hall is funded by development services fees and not general-purpose tax dollars.


Early Actions Update

Since the adoption of R-5434 on August 4, 2020, City staff across various departments have undertaken several actions as called for in Resolution R-5434. Below is a summary of the January 5, 2020 memo highlighting early action items related to R-5434, as well as next steps for each topic. You can read the memo in full detail here(PDF, 6MB) .

For reference, we have organized the actions into the sections in R-5434: transparency strategiesaccountability strategies, and community engagement strategies. Although beyond the specific scope of R-5434, we have also listed additional strategies related to the themes of R-5434.  

Accountability Strategies

Changes to the Use of Force Policy  

The Kirkland Police Department does not authorize the use of choke holds. Prior to June 2020, the Police Department allowed the use of Vascular Neck Restraint (VNR) as an intermediate use of force. However, in response to the death of George Floyd, on June 23, 2020, the Police Department changed the use of force policy categorizing VNR as deadly force. As such, the Police Department has discontinued training Kirkland’s officers in the use of VNR, which required an initial eight hours for certification and four hours every year to maintain that certification. Any technique or tool categorized as deadly force can only be used by officers to protect themselves or others from what they reasonably believe would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. VNR remains specifically categorized as deadly force not to support the use of VNR, but to acknowledge that numerous officers have been trained on VNR for many years.  Additionally, the Police Department has an independent chapter in its policy manual on “crisis intervention incidents” which defines de-escalation and how it should be used while dealing with someone in a behavioral health crisis. This definition is now also included in the forefront of the chapter on use of force in the section under definitions.  

An initial review of Kirkland Police Department’s use of force policy was the topic of the July 7, 2020 Council Study Session.  More information can be found in the Council memo(PDF, 1022KB).

Next steps: Use of force evaluation will be ongoing in 2021. 
 

Evaluating Options for Independent Civilian Oversight of Police Use of Force 
The City Attorney’s Office (CAO) is currently reviewing independent police oversight models implemented in various cities. With more than two hundred oversight agencies throughout the U.S., the CAO is focusing on models utilized in cities like Kirkland in size, resources, and/or community.

There are many different configurations for police oversight, with three general categories of oversight models:

  1. Investigative/ombudsman, where the oversight body conducts independent investigations of specific incidents or complaints through professional, non-police staff;
  2. Review, where the oversight body, through either professional or volunteer board members, reviews and may hear appeals of completed police investigations of specific incidents; and
  3. Auditor/monitor/inspector general, where the oversight body, through professional staff, evaluates systemic issues with police investigations, training, policies, and supervision, rather than reviewing specific incidents.

With these models and any hybrid iterations, the authority of the oversight body can extend to policy recommendations, facilitating community forums, and more.

Next steps: We will present additional information for Council consideration at a subsequent meeting. 

National Best Practice Research for Alternatives to Police  

City staff have been researching co-responder programs across the nation, and an overview of several such programs are provided here(PDF, 121KB). Staff analysis by the City Manager’s Office and Police Department has made a preliminary determination that a program similar to the Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) model that began in Eugene, Oregon may be the most applicable to the City of Kirkland. Chief Harris is working with the same consultant the City used to define the Neighborhood Resource Officer and Mental Health Professional roles from the 2018 Enhanced Police Services and Community Safety Proposition 1. The consultant is evaluating options and the relationship such a program would have to the Community Court.  

Additionally, we are in discussion with the Eugene Police Department and NORCOM to look at how emergency dispatch is used as a key component of the CAHOOTS model. 

Next steps: NORCOM will report out to the Governing Board in February 2021 on their findings of how the CAHOOTS model would affect the current NORCOM process. Staff will also be scheduling a call with the White Bird Clinic that operates CAHOOTS to see what consulting services they provide and the cost. 

Community Court Implementation  

The Kirkland Municipal Court convened a Community Court formation committee in January 2020, but with the onset of the COVID pandemic, meetings were put on hold until September 2020. The committee is actively meeting in anticipation of the Kirkland Community Court’s expected beginning in March 2021.

Next steps: Judge John Olson and Community Court consultant Marilyn Littlejohn will provide the Council with an in-depth review of this topic at the January 5, 2021 Study Session. Ms. Littlejohn previously coordinated the Burien Community Court, and is working with the Judge, Court Administrator, Prosecutor, Public Defenders, and City staff on implementing Kirkland’s Community Court, with a first Community Court calendar targeted for the first half of March 2021. Staff is also working on defining and recruiting volunteer roles for Resource Center, a key component of Community Court. 

Contract for an Organizational Equity Assessment and Creating an Equity and Diversity Strategic Plan 

The City has contracted with Chanin Kelly-Rae Consulting on conducting an organizational equity needs assessment. The purpose of this work is to allow City Council, City staff, and the community to better understand issues related to organizational and community inequities and to identify strategies for addressing those inequities in City government and the community.  

In addition to the organizational equity needs assessment, Ms. Kelly-Rae will guide a gap analysis and strategic planning process involving the community to better position the City in identifying internal and external growth opportunities relative to the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The result of this work will be an “Equity Plan of Record”, which is intended to inform various programs, policies, and practices across the City organization, not just those identified in R-5434. 

Next steps: This work is anticipated to begin in early January 2021 and conclude sometime in late 2021.  

Contracting and Procurement Updates 

The City Manager’s Office (CMO) met with local community experts Ms. Ollie Garrett, President and CEO of PMT Solutions, and Mr. Luis Navarro, Director of Workforce Development in the Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion for the Port of Seattle. Based on those conversations, CMO staff met with the Financial Operations Manager and the City Attorney to develop options that would align the City’s contracting and procurement policies and processes with the goals and intentions of Resolution R-5434's section 3(c).

Next steps: From those meetings, staff have drafted revisions to the City’s procurement process that will be discussed in further detail at the second Council meeting in February 2021.  

Proposed changes to the City of Kirkland Public Art Policy Guidelines 
Staff have drafted updates the Kirkland Public Art Policy Guidelines to incorporate the themes and priorities of R-5434. The Kirkland Public Art Policy Guidelines is used by the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) in the acquisition of public art in Kirkland. The updated policy guidelines include updated goals and criteria for selecting art, as well as including a new racial equity statement. The draft racial equity statement reads:  

Racial Equity Statement (draft) 

The KCAC, in alignment with the City Council, seeks to dismantle structural racism in Kirkland. The KCAC affirms that all people, their cultures, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our shared humanity and should be honored and celebrated. The KCAC strives to proactively solicit and curate art that reflects the diversity of the Kirkland community, encourages a sense of belonging for all people, and supports the expression of historically marginalized communities. The art created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color performs a unique role in our community and helps provide inspiration to resolve societal inequity and injustice. This important work of bringing equity to art is pivotal to the KCAC’s efforts to confront injustices of the past and reveal inequities of the present in order to build a more diverse, inclusive collection of public art, now and in the future. 

Next steps: The draft policy guidelines has been endorsed by the KCAC and will be brought to Council for consideration and adoption at a subsequent meeting.  

Transparency Strategies

Developing Use of Force Dashboard 

Last month the Attorney General’s Office drafted legislation that outlined the collection and display of data for a use of force dashboard(PDF, 105KB). The Attorney General’s draft legislation would require the City to report quarterly to Washington State University on a number of different use of force metrics. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) is also looking to standardize reporting on deadly use of force(PDF, 1MB) across agencies. Staff will monitor the legislation in the upcoming session, beginning in January. If the Attorney General’s draft legislation, WASPC’s recommendations, or something similar were to be adopted in the upcoming session, State requirements would likely require the City to start with these metrics as a baseline to its use of force dashboard. As part of the process to evaluate enhancements to the city’s existing police dashboard, staff will reference this draft legislation, not advocate for, in focus groups for feedback.  


Attorney General Use of Force Dashboard Metric

Does Kirkland Currently Collect This Data?

By January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 annually, each general authority Washington law enforcement agency and each limited authority Washington law enforcement agency shall report to Washington State University or its successor, in a manner developed by Washington State University, information under subsection (2) of this section of all incidents that occurred in the preceding three months:

In which a fatality to a person occurs connected to use of force by a law enforcement officer;

Yes

In which there is great bodily harm to a person connected to use of force by a law enforcement officer;

Yes

In which there is substantial bodily harm to a person connected to use of force by a law enforcement officer; and

Yes

In the absence of either death, great bodily harm, or substantial bodily harm, when a law enforcement officer:

i. Discharges a fire arm at or in the direction of a person;

Yes

ii. Points a firearm at a person;

Yes

iii. Uses a choke hold or vascular neck restraint;

Yes

iv. Uses an electronic control weapon (ECW), including, but not limited to a taser, against a person;

Yes

Uses oleoresin capsicum(pepper)spray against a person;

Yes

vi. Discharges a less-lethal shotgun or other impact munitions at or in the direction of a person;

Yes

vii. Strikes a person using an impact weapon or instrument, including, but not limited to, a club, baton, or flashlight;

Yes

viii. Punches or kicks a person using closed fists or feet;

Yes

ix. Uses a vehicle to intentionally strike a person or vehicle; and

Yes

x. Deploys a canine that bites a person.

Yes

When reporting an incident as required under subsection (1) of this section, the agency employing the officer that used force shall provide the following:

The date and time of the incident;

Yes

The location of the incident;

Yes

The agency or agencies employing the law enforcement officers;

Yes

The type of force used by the law enforcement officer;

Yes

The type of injury to the person against whom force was used, if any;

Yes

The type of injury to the law enforcement officer, if any;

Yes

Whether the person against whom force was used was armed or unarmed;

Yes

The type of weapon the person against whom force was used was armed with, if any;

Yes

The age, gender, race, ethnicity, of the person against whom force was used;

Yes, if known.

The tribal affiliation of the person against whom force was used, if applicable;

No

Whether the person against whom force was used exhibited any signs associated with a mental health or a substance use disorder based on the observation of the law enforcement officer;

Yes

The age, gender, race, ethnicity, of the law enforcement officer;

Yes for age, gender and race; No for ethnicity

The law enforcement officer's years of service;

Yes

The reason for the initial contact between the person against whom force was used and the law enforcement officer;

Yes.

Whether any minors were present at the scene of the incident; and

No.

If captured this would be in the narrative. Not currently capture in a searchable field

The entity conducting the independent investigation of the incident, if applicable.

Yes


Developing a School Resource Officer public dashboard 

In December City representatives from the Police Department and City Manager’s Office met with the Lake Washington School District’s Director of Risk and Safety Services to begin collaborating on a School Resource Officer (SRO) public dashboard.

Currently, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.320.124 requires the collection and reporting of certain data, as well as an annual review process of the program that involves parents, students, and community members. The community engagement process for R-5434 is intended to gain additional insight into what information the community would want in a dashboard. We are also referencing the recommendations articulated in the final report of the SRO Task Force that met throughout 2019 for insight. 

Next steps: We anticipate having a draft SRO dashboard for Council at the second Council meeting in February 2021.

Developing Human Services and Human Resources public dashboards  

As a result of national best practice research, we have identified various dashboards to inspire both the Human Services and Human Resources public dashboards. We have evaluated and identified three model examples for the City’s new Human Services Dashboard:

And three model examples for the City’s new Human Resources Dashboard:


Next steps: Using these as a basis, we are beginning assessment to:

  1. Test what City data sources already exist to populate dashboards such as these, and
  2. Evaluate which option (or combination of options) will serve the needs of the City and our community the best.


Community Engagement Strategies

Meetings with the Right to Breathe Committee  

The City Manager, Police Chief, and Assistant City Manager continue to meet bi-weekly with the Right to Breathe Committee for on-going policy discussions. To date, this group has met 19 times since June 2020. These meetings continue to be helpful dialogues centered around the key policy priorities of the Right to Breathe Committee, and we anticipate continuing to meet with the Committee throughout the R-5434 process.

Next steps: The Right to Breathe Committee has indicated it intends to issue scorecards for the various Eastside cities with whom it is engaging in discussions. Each City’s scorecard will give an overview of the Right to Breathe Committee’s assessment of how safe that City is for Black people, organized around various policy areas. The scorecards are expected to be published on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 18, 2021.  

Co-Hosting City Hall for All presents East King County Race and Equity Summit on September 26, 2020 

City of Kirkland staff joined staff from the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, and Sammamish and the organizations Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition, Eastside For All, and Eastside Race and Leadership Coalition to collaborate on a regional Welcoming Week event. This year’s regional Welcoming Week event’s theme was the history of racism on the Eastside and connecting attendees with concrete action steps for those that wanted to get involved in this work. 

Featured in the event were several formal and informal Black-led and/or Black-centered groups on the Eastside who focus on racial equity, including keynote speaker Mr. Delbert Richardson, a Community Scholar, Ethnomuseumologist, Second Generation Storyteller, and Creator of the National Awarding Winning American History Traveling Museum: The "Unspoken" Truths. City staff reached out to those featured groups as the basis for organizing the “first loop” focus groups in support of the community engagement process for R-5434.  

Focus Group Meetings 

City staff have conducted four focus groups as part of the “first loop” process of the community engagement called for in R-5434. Staff have met with the following groups: 

  • Eastside Race and Leadership Coalition 
  • Movement of Advocacy for Youth 
  • Black Policy Advisory Committee 
  • Eastside Change Coalition 

This first loop is intended to garner insight not only on the specific policies, programs, and practices outlined in R-5434, but also on the community engagement process itself.

Next steps: We are in active conversation with two additional groups and anticipate engaging more groups to conclude first loop focus groups in January with between six and ten total meetings. A full report of findings, include a detailed breakdown of focus group demographics, will be provided to Council as part of the second Council meeting in February 2021.  

Extension of Management Analyst Position through 2021 

The City Manager’s Office (CMO) has extended the temporary Management Analyst position through December 31, 2021. This position has taken lead on national best practice review for several topics, has provided internal coordination of consultant contract scopes of work for select vendors, and has supported focus group facilitation. Additionally, this position is anticipated to work closely with the City’s equity consultant and CMO’s temporary Special Projects Coordinator on the organizational equity assessment and equity strategic plan. 

Hired Special Projects Coordinator 

The City Manager’s Office has hired a temporary Special Projects Coordinator to support all elements of the community engagement process for R-5434. The Special Projects Coordinator started on November 23 and has taken lead on coordinating with community groups for additional focus groups, has supported some best practice review and research, and is anticipated to work closely with the City’s equity consultant and CMO’s Management Analyst for the organizational equity assessment and equity strategic plan. 

Establishment of a Community Advisory Steering Committee 

Building on the feedback that we received from the first loop focus groups, City staff have begun exploring contracting with local leaders to create a Community Advisory Steering Committee that will receive compensation for their services. Creating a committee that centers the lived experiences of Black people and also represents diversity in age, gender, and intersectionality will be a key priority.

Comprised of people who have extensive experience with Black led community organizing, this committee will give recommendations on progress and outcomes related to R-5434 and the community engagement process, as well as the development of the forthcoming Equity Strategic Plan. Although the formation of this committee is prompted by the community engagement process of R-5434, it is staff’s intention to continue the relationships formed with the participants in this process for ongoing engagement beyond R-5434. 

Kirkland Public Safety Survey  

Since 2015, the City of Seattle has partnered with Seattle University (Seattle U) to implement a public safety survey as part of a larger effort known as a Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP). Annually, Seattle U conducts an independent public safety survey of each neighborhood capturing the concerns of each neighborhood and then providing the Seattle Police Department (SPD) clear areas of focus. The survey is used in conjunction with focus groups and police-community engagement to inform and revise SPD’s priorities and strategies. To see previous years’ surveys, please visit the City of Seattle’s website

Staff has engaged representatives from Seattle U to adapt this survey for the City of Kirkland. The survey and focus group process is very similar to the City’s Community Policing engagement trek completed in 2019, and conducting such an annual survey was identified as Possible Strategy 1.1 “Annual online survey and focus groups” in the trek final report. This strategy reinforces Recommendation 23.a from the Kirkland Police Strategic Plan “Conduct annual Community Satisfaction Surveys in addition to the bi-annual city-wide Citizen Satisfaction Survey”.  

Kirkland Talks Series in 2021  

The City has begun the contracting process with Eastside for All to facilitate various virtual dialogue events throughout 2021 using the Kirkland Talks model to bring the community together for courageous conversations about race. This builds on the dialogue events conducted during early 2020 as part of the Welcoming Kirkland Initiative.

Recognizing the intra- and interpersonal facets of structural racism, these dialogues will provide community members the opportunity to dive into the complex and challenging topic of race and racism while also providing a safe practice space for participants around a set of skills that they can take into their lives, workplaces, and schools.

Next steps: Staff will provide an update to Council on this program as the logistics are further refined. 

Other Strategies Related to the Themes of R-5434

Review and Monitoring of Relevant Draft State Legislation 

The City Council approved its state legislative priorities for the 2021 session at its November 4, 2020 meeting and it added a new segment to the City’s legislative agenda called the priority coalition advocacy agenda(PDF, 125KB). The priority coalition advocacy agenda highlights a limited number of key legislative priorities that are critical to Kirkland but that are championed by other organizations. For these items, the City may provide support as part of a coalition but would not take the lead. Council identified three items for this segment going into the 2021 session, one of which includes advocating for the Association of Washington Cities’ (AWC) Statewide Policing Reforms priority.   

Shortly after Council adopted the City’s 2021 priorities and priority coalition advocacy items, the Attorney General circulated for review and comment its request draft legislation related to collecting and publishing information regarding law enforcement use of force. The draft was distributed to subject-matter experts in several city departments including the City Manager’s Office (CMO), where staff were encouraged by its model dashboard as well as the proposed legislation’s potential to support the city’s efforts in implementing Resolution R-5434 if it were passed by the legislature.  

According to the AWC, several other proposals in the area of police reforms have been offered for review as well, including an ACLU draft bill relating to enhancing public trust and confidence in law enforcement and strengthening law enforcement accountability. The ACLU bill focusing strongly on preventing collective bargaining agreements from limiting police accountability.   

Police Reform Bill Drafts Identified (as of December 22 per the AWC)* 

  • Decertification – Sen. Pedersen / Rep. Goodman 
  • Duty to intervene – Sen. Dhingra 
  • Brady / Impeachment – Sen. Dhingra  
  • Deadly Use of Force Audits – Sen. Dhingra(PDF, 54KB)  
  • Law enforcement use of force data – Rep. Lovick (Attorney General Request) 
  • Tactics (ban) – Rep. Johnson 
  • Use of Force Standard – Rep. Johnson  
  • Civil claim / 1983 – Rep. Thai 
  • Community accountability boards – Rep. Johnson 
  • Beltran – Serrano (standard of care) – Rep. Johnson 
  • Felony bar removal (LE) – Rep. Lekanoff / Sen. Frockt 
  • Hiring / Civil service/ diversity – Sen. Kuderer  
  • Law enforcement accountability(PDF, 133KB) (ACLU version) – Sen. Salomon 
  • CBA / WASPC version** 
  • Independent Investigation / prosecutions – Rep. Entenman (Governor Request) 

* Aside from the AG’s bill, the ACLU’s bill and Sen. Dhingra’s Deadly Use of Force Audit bill, staff has not seen any other bill drafts, but we have flagged the above list for review when these bills are brought forward. 

** Anticipate WASPC will rerun their data bill and they have an agenda as well. So far Rep. Maycumber has picked up their suicide prevention bill.   

The AWC reports that police reform bills will likely be heard the first week of the 2021 session, which officially opens January 11, 2021. In the interim, the City’s Government Relations staff will continue to work with the AWC and the City’s contract lobbyist to track bill drafts being circulated on this and other topics that could impact the City. The process of tracking and monitoring will become systematic as bill drafts are formally dropped in the hopper and assigned bill numbers. The City’s robust bill review process will include reviewing bill drafts for potential impact to the work the City is doing for Resolution R-5434.   

Welcoming Kirkland Initiative

The Welcoming Kirkland Initiative (WKI) completed its work and published a report titled Reflections and Lessons Learned to the public in early December 2020. WKI was developed to address issues that were identified in a 2018 incident at Menchie’s in Totem Lake which highlighted concerns that People of Color in general, and Black people, in particular, have lived experiences of an unwelcoming and inequitable community in contrast to the City’s stated goal to be safe, inclusive and welcoming for all. The WKI planning and working groups included more than 20 diverse leaders, representing a variety of public needs. Community talks included topics such as Preparing to be Color Conscious and Color Brave, which brought nearly 100 attendees. As noted by City staff in the Reflections report, the City hopes to engage the WKI group as a key point of community feedback and insight throughout the R-5434 civic engagement process. 

Welcoming Cities Collaborative 

The City signed on as a welcoming city through the Welcoming America network in 2017. Since then, we have continued to explore ways to support the City’s safe, inclusive, and welcoming work as directed in the 2017 Resolution R-5240. One such strategy has been meeting for over a year with representatives from neighboring Eastside cities and from Eastside for All to explore the idea of a regional partnership called the Welcoming Cities Collaborative. This effort is envisioned to further the work of equity, inclusion, and racial justice in Kirkland and on the Eastside, while also achieving the requirements of the Welcoming America Standard and Certification. As this work has been directly in line with R-5240 and is further supported by R-5434, the City Manager’s Office has committed two years of funding for the City’s full participation in this effort, funded from 2019-2020 community engagement funds. 

Preliminary Work on Reimagining Kirkland’s Neighborhood U Informed by the Bellevue Essentials Program 

CMO staff met with a representative from the City of Bellevue’s Neighborhood Outreach group to discuss the Bellevue Essentials Program, a nine-week, 35-40 student civic engagement program that combines a curriculum on the structure of city government with hands-on activities which allow participants to simulate day-to-day challenges of city government. Having just completed their eighth year of running the program, a record 73 community members applied to participate, and all 40 who were accepted successfully completed the program

A key component of Bellevue Essentials is to encourage graduates to stay engaged with the city and their neighborhoods, and the program has an alumni group with more than 250 members. Another highlight of the program is the diversity of participants in the program, which aligns with the intent of R-5434 as well as several “Civic Engagement” actions articulated in the recently adopted Sustainability Master Plan.

Neighborhood Services staff will incorporate the insight and resources provided by Bellevue staff into other national best practice research as staff continue to develop the 2021 “Kirkland Essentials” program (final name to be determined).  

National Day of Racial Healing Proclamation 
Based on the first loop focus groups and other research, we have identified proclaiming January 19, 2021 as the “National Day of Racial Healing in Kirkland” as one potential immediate action the City could do in support of the intentions of R-5434. The National Day of Racial Healing was created in 2016 through a collaboration of hundreds of leaders and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and is part of WKKF’s “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT)” framework. Here(PDF, 148KB) is an example proclamation, which would be adapted to the specificity of Kirkland’s efforts related to racial equity as articulated in R-5434. 

Kirkland Indigenous History Compilation  
The CMO Volunteer Services Coordinator is compiling from available written resources the hyper-local indigenous history of present-day Kirkland and the shores of Lake Washington. The result of this project will be a 12-page report that includes an equity affirmation, local land acknowledgment, native place name map, and a summary history narrative. This work will include contracting with local Native key informants for their review of the draft report, as well as additional review by leaders of hyper-local tribal governments, federally recognized or otherwise.

Next steps: We will bring the final report to Council for review and adoption. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan and Equity Impact Assessment 
The City contracted MacDonald Boyd and Associates to support the City’s broader outreach related to its ADA Transition Plan conducted throughout 2019. As part of this process, the consultant developed an equity impact assessment (EIA)(PDF, 962KB)  for the City’s use. This tool can enhance equity and inclusion in the development of policies, programs, services, and initiatives.

The consultant hosted one training session in late February of 2020, just before the pandemic emerged, which was attended by 39 staff from various departments and job classifications. In the training, participants had the opportunity to reflect on tangible ways to advance the broader City-wide goals of being a safe, inclusive and welcoming community by practicing using the EIA on existing or forthcoming policies, programs, or services.

Next steps: Additional staff trainings are forthcoming. This tool is intended to be broadly used across the departments and can be used to support Action SG-4.2 in the Sustainability Master Plan: “Develop a process to identify and dismantle unintended barriers to public participation by considering and responding to the diversity of our community, including the various cultural, ethnic, and historical experiences of community members.” 

Equity and Inclusion Dashboard 

The Equity and Inclusion dashboard is a geospatial map project initiated by the Planning & Building Department that will provide various City departments the tools to review demographics for the City – or for smaller geographic units within the City – as they relate to City projects and programs.

The goal is for these projects and programs to efficiently conduct an equity impact assessment to determine whether any groups might be negatively impacted by the project, whether there are issues of access for some groups, and how a project might positively impact equity and inclusion. The dashboard would utilize existing data from sources such as the US Census, American Fact Finder, Washington State Office of Financial Management, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and Puget Sound Regional Council, in addition to Kirkland data sets to enable internal users to quickly run queries for user-defined geographic areas.

Next steps: The project team is anticipated to begin focused work on this dashboard in early 2021. 

Development Services/Welcoming Hall  
The City Manager provided a presentation on an initial concept for a development services / welcoming hall to Council on November 4, 2020. The capital budget includes the adaptation of the pending expansion of City Hall for development services staff into a more open customer service space designed to provide virtual service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The structure of this facility will also create a welcoming space and exhibition hall where multicultural heritage can be celebrated. This new hall would be funded by development services fees and not general-purpose tax dollars. 

Next steps: As directed by Council, staff will return with schematic designs, which will include architectural/engineering consulting, preliminary construction cost estimates, and an overall forecasted project budget. 

Right to Breathe Committee Update

The Right to Breathe Committee has issued City Progress Reports for the various Eastside cities with whom it is engaging in discussions. The status reports give an overview of the Right to Breathe Committee’s assessment of how safe that City is for Black people, organized around various policy areas. View Kirkland's Progress Report here.