City Council Clarifies “Welcoming” City Declarations

The city council clarified that earlier statements regarding inclusion and tolerance apply only to people who live and work on Mercer Island.

Facing a backlash from local concerned citizens, the Mercer Island City Council yesterday clarified its recent statements endorsing an inclusive and tolerant community.

Our letter of 5 September, reaffirming our proclamation of last 21 November describing Mercer Island as a welcoming city that condemns hate speech, appears to have been misinterpreted,” said the unsigned statement from the city council. “We want to clarify that these sentiments apply only to people who live and work on Mercer Island.”

The statement continued: “It does not, for example, include drivers from Bellevue and Issaquah who park at the Mercer Island Park & Ride. And especially not cyclists from Seattle who ride in pelotons on Mercer Way.”

The revised statement failed to placate all Islanders. “As usual, the city council is a day late and a dollar short,” said C. Ken Little of the Concerned Citizens Alliance. “If the city council is serious about defending Mercer Island from hate groups, it should condemn the most nefarious one of all: Builders of luxury homes.”