To the editor:
I am so encouraged at the Bainbridge Island City Council’s overwhelming endorsement of the Green New Deal. As important as this is the righting of wrongs we have committed toward the brave immigrants trying to reach their dreams is as important.
Would the Bainbridge Island City Council consider taking the commitment and generosity of Islanders to another level with the unbelievable offer of President Trump to help us by transporting immigrants, at the federal government’s expense, to Bainbridge?
Let’s make Bainbridge a real sanctuary city/island. Let’s accept the offer and stand out as a community stepping up with action not endorsements by receiving all immigrants with open arms and share in making their dreams a reality.
Conspicuously absent from the Green New Deal is the wherewithal to pay for it. Islanders have greater forethought and following are just a few suggestions as to how we can make the dreamers dreams come true:
1. Islanders enjoy an incredible education system that dreamers do not. Let’s re-direct all recent assessments and taxes from improving our school systems until all dreamers are assimilated and can enjoy at least the same level of educational opportunities that our children enjoy today.
2. Let’s use available resources to accommodate the dreamers. We are the beneficiaries of having a resident of Bainbridge as the sitting governor of our state. As a presidential candidate wouldn’t it send a great message if his island property became the destination for dreamers? The property vacated by our governor on Bainbridge while he occupies the mansion in Olympia is the perfect location to begin to accept immigrants. Prominently located on the BI waterfront and visible to ferries coming and going, this would send the message that Islanders are in for more than simply endorsements.
3. Owners of large properties such as farms, ranches, wineries should allocate portions of their property to house dreamers, provide them a livable wage while on their property and transportation to and from schools.
4. An assessment on all sales on Winslow merchants of 1 percent of gross sales should be made to fund the clothing, housing, and educational needs of the dreamers.
5. A fee for all walk-on passengers to Seattle, (currently no charge) should be implemented immediately and all dreamers should not be charged for passage either way; walk-on or vehicles.
6. Current homeless encampments occupied by citizens should be re-allocated as official properties for dreamers and funds accumulated from the suggestions above used to pay for proper housing of dreamers.
There are likely other sources that Islanders supporting the Green New Deal and sanctuary of dreamers have and they should be considered as well. Islanders don’t just endorse, Islanders do. Let’s make the dreamers dreams come true.