Redmond City Council Meeting Overflowing With Public Speaking Out About The Silver Cloud Inn
The City Council in Redmond heard the voices of people's frustration at not being included in the "dark" plans to keep The Silver Cloud Inn which is slated to house the homeless, under a shroud of secrecy.
The room was packed with the sign-waving, hooting and clapping attendee's who came out to be heard. There were so many speaker's wanting their four minutes of fame that the public speaking portion of the meeting was moved up to the beginning of the meeting in front of other Council business so that the public would not be kept waiting. At least that was nice, but the audience members had so much to say that they were still talking after an hour and forty-five minutes after the meeting began.
This was after the protesters in attendance had been holding signs in the front of the building for about a half-hour before the meeting started, talking to reporters or mingling amongst themselves waiting to go in.
A few who belonged to the Safe Eastside protest group were in animated debates with a few people who were brave enough to stand their ground in the face of the Safe Eastside members who showed their strength in numbers. The turnout of Safe Eastside appeared to be about 60 people at first count - until they totally filled the seats in the Council's Chambers.
The few brave souls who spoke to Safe Eastside supporters let it be known that they did not agree with the group's assertions and bravely voiced their opinions, not allowing themselves to be dominated by anyone there. They were continuing to individually stand their ground even in the face of the protesters attending en-masse.
Protesters were there to make a loud statement. And they had something very definitely to say to City Council.
During the meeting, speakers who came to the podium complained of various things to the council and Mayor. Things such as they were not notified about this City Council meeting that would hear about the hotel until very recently. There was no public notice of this discussion being available published by City Council and people were left in the dark about the plans for the hotel.
People were afraid of what the effect of the hotel would have on their neighborhood with drugs being used near the schools in the area. One man said that the hotel would bring the homeless over from Seattle to move into the hotel, which got applause.
With little information given to the public, the public has been left with many questions about the drug use at the hotel. Safe Eastside organizer, Kan Qiu, told me that he had made several attempts to get answers from the City Council but to no avail - they never replied to his attempts. It hasn't been clear whether drug usage in the hotel would be allowed.
Only one person, before the meeting, seemed to have information about the drug question and stated that there will not be an injection site there. This person, who wished to remain anonymous said, "those people are lying" about points they were making.
City Council has made no discernable attempt to clear any questions up.
During one man's turn speaking at the podium, Mayor Angela Birney was taken to task. He said that when she ran for Mayor in 2019 that, "you said in your campaign speech that you wanted Redmond to be a collaborative city, a place where people, communities work together to be a place where we all thrive.”
He went on to state that after three years Mayor Birney’s "promises proved to be false". With that, he got the biggest, longest applause of the night in that full house up until that point.
It seems that due to the lack of transparency in plans for the hotel that many people expressed being unfairly excluded from this major change in their community and that they had had no voice in what should have been a collaborative effort.
We will see what the Council members thought about hearing their community speak up; and so loudly.