Local Groups Battle To Represent Mercer Island’s Concerned Citizens

A recent letter sent to Islanders by "Concerned Citizens of Mercer Island" broke open a dispute about which local organization best represents Mercer Island's concerned citizens.

Recriminations flew last week as local concerned citizens organizations clashed on social media to determine which group is most concerned about Mercer Island. The heated discussions were spurred by a recent letter mailed to Mercer Island residents by an anonymous group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Mercer Island.”

“How dare these upstarts represent themselves as concerned citizens,” said Loren Axelrod, spokesperson for Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks. “They’re only concerned about their own wallets. We’re the real concerned citizens on Mercer Island.”

“Now just hold it there a minute… nobody is more concerned about Mercer Island than we are,” said C. Ken Little, president of Concerned Citizens on Mercer Island. “I’m very concerned that other people are just pretending to be concerned about Mercer Island.”

“We were concerned before any of you interlopers were concerned,” said Bea Quiet of Concerned Citizens for the Mercer Island Library. “You have some nerve purporting to be more concerned than we are.”

Mercer Island resident Subheer Ben-Blyde, a professor at the University of Washington and author of Closing the Concern Gap, says that such disputes among residents of affluent communities are common. “Our hypercompetitive urge not to be outdone by others’ concerns drives a continual escalation in expression, resulting in what we scholars of citizen activity refer to as the ‘concern vortex’. Also, Mercer Island is home to an unusually large number of passive-aggressive people.”

City officials are pleased by the energy that local citizens are spending on competitive concern-raising. Said one unnamed city council member: “The more they argue amongst themselves, the less they blame us for everything.”