"And the last shall be first." (The speech I wish I'd given)
I wish I'd said more, differently, at my first council meeting last night. I was running on too little sleep, and my immune system was working overtime. Like a lot of people I know. I'm gonna have to get better at this. I'm gonna need your help, your goodwill and your prayers.
I wish I'd said how a year ago I was out where you are, out in the audience, waiting to speak during public comment, scared for the wellbeing of my friends and neighbors, and angry at the system that has created such injustice over broad spans of time and space.
Like many of you in the audience tonight, last fall and winter I reached out to the representatives of my local government, the Olympia City Council--the nearest level of government we have--not because I thought they could "solve" homelessness. But because I had a deep conviction that we need to understand and live community in a different way.
Today, I'm still scared, and yes, I'm still angry. But I have a new faith in this Beloved Community. And I know more than ever this truth: that the wellbeing of our community depends on the wellbeing of everyone. If one person is suffering, we are all suffering.
That is a fairly universally acknowledged (if not universally lived) truth. The sibling truth, though, is that in order to reduce suffering for all, we must start with the needs of those most suffering, most marginalized, most on the outside. We must start with the needs of the least and the lowest.
We start with the needs of the least and the lowest, not because they are better or more important people -- although famous mystics and philosophers, including Jesus Christ, might say so. We start with the needs of the least and the lowest, because we insist -- against all evidence to the contrary -- that ALL are equal.
We start with the needs of the least and the lowest, because our charge is not to build something that trickles down. Our charge is to build something that lifts up.
In 2018, in Olympia, we are building something that lifts up. We are building another community, another reality, another world. We are building a community with room for all, a world where many worlds fit.
The single biggest step we can take toward more affordable housing in Olympia is to make sure the Home Fund passes when it goes to voters in February. My partner Walker and I will be doorbelling Saturday Jan. 27th to encourage people to vote Yes!
Lots of us became well-versed in doorbelling from the local campaigns this year, so I'm trying to get 8-10 others to volunteer with us. Let me know if you can make it by commenting below!
There is no single solution to more affordable housing in our community, but there are many "Yes Ands." This is a HUGE "Yes And" coming before us. I hope you can help.
*The Home Fund creates a fund for permanent, supported, subsidized housing for 350 of our most vulnerable community members over the first 10 years, through a 1/10th of 1% local sales tax increase. Based off successful models in Bellingham and Vancouver WA. More info: www.olyhomefund.org/about...
Why is everyone pushing "supported" housing? Do you think we lose our rights to live independently if we become too poor? Too disabled? This is troubling because it creates unnecessary barriers to affordable housing and continues you to prop up paternalistic systems that result in harm. Let's stop "managing" people and focus in managing resources properly instead.
Yes, i believe in this and have read the studies and this concept is successful and i would love to help.
Friends, this is the official/ legal swearing in ceremony by the County Auditor, for everyone elected to office in Thurston County in November, from fire district commissioners to city councillors to port commissioners. The City of Olympia will also host a short swearing in ceremony Tuesday January 9th at 7pm - and my first council meeting! Come to either/ both please! There should be cake. 🍰🎉🙃 #WhereCanWeGo
Thurston County Swearing-In CeremonyDecember 28, 2017, 2:00pmMinneart Center for the ArtsAuditor Mary Hall will swear in recently elected officials in Thurston County, including the positions of Thurston County Treasurer, Port of Olympia commissioners, city and town council members, mayors, school board directors, fire commissioners, park and recreation commissioners, and cemetery commissioners....
The results of Olympia's 2017 elections are nearly final, with the #RenataForCouncil campaign sitting at 54%-46%. The election will be certified by County Auditor Mary Hall on November 28.
I want to thank Jeannine Roe, the incumbent in position 6, for her eight years of service on Olympia City Council. Serving on council is going to be harder than I (and most people) can imagine -- truly, no one who hasn't done it can understand what it's like. Thank you, Jeannine.
Olympia, I look forward to serving as your council member beginning in January 2018. Thank you for your kind support, your wise ideas and your hard questions. No matter who you voted for, I hope to earn your trust in the coming years doing the people's work, so we can grow together in the community we all love. <3
Thank you, Renata, for having the courage to serve us. Jeannine did good by not running a negative campaign, and of course she seems like a very nice lady, but like many wealthy neoliberals, she viewed gentrification as an attractive option for business, without understanding the consequences of inequality, or the fact that the Olympia community is all about the "outcast underclass." I respect you as an agent of change. Congratulations on a well-deserved victory.
Thank you from one of those people in the next town over. 😉
Congratulations! You ran a great campaign that was positive and focused.
A council member who knows their constituents!
I am so happy for you, Renata Rollins.
And, I'm happy for Oly!
Happy happy happy for you and all of us in Olympia! <3
Hooray! Congrats to you and to the people! 👏🏽👊🏾✊🏾🙌🏾🌻