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Letter from the Thurston County Commissioners,
“Together, We Can Rise to This Moment”

Credit: Thurston County
  • Editor’s note: This letter to the county was published Friday, June 12, 2020, by Thurston County commissioners John Hutchings, Tye Menser and Gary Edwards.

“Together, We Can Rise to This Moment”

Like many people around the world, we are shocked and horrified by the senseless death of George Floyd while in police custody. We join in mourning and send our deep and heartfelt condolences to those who are left to mourn his loss for a lifetime.

This tragedy has brought to the surface systemic inequalities existing in our society, specifically among people of color, from which we cannot walk away. To be comfortably numb to these issues is completely unacceptable.

Now is the time for us to unite and work together to create a more equitable and just community.

We all bear this responsibility.

We know we are not immune to inequality, racial or otherwise, in Thurston County. If any good will come out of this moment, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our ideals as a people, listen to one another and forge a new path forward for ourselves and future generations.

As your Board of County Commissioners, we commit to working with our employees and other elected leaders to develop local policies building up support systems to foster understanding and inclusion.

Over the coming months, we will explore how we, as a legislative body, can institutionalize equality across our county government.

Some concepts we are exploring include:

• Conducting a comprehensive re-assessment of our organizational mindset, policies, and procedures.

• Re-establishing a council on equality and human rights comprised of a cross section of individuals from diverse backgrounds in our community.

• Supporting increased training opportunities for our law enforcement personnel. We expect so much from our law enforcement. We ask them to be mental health experts, substance abuse experts and a myriad of other professions — all while continuing to protect and serve our community. They also need our support.

Together, we can rise to this moment.

The improvements we make will be felt throughout our community.

There are policy changes we will advocate for at the state and federal level.

We are committed to the vision of a Thurston County ensuring the health, safety, and well being of everyone.

John Hutchings

Tye Menser

Gary Edwards

Board of Thurston County Commissioners

Posted by Steve on June 13, 2020 at 12:10 am | Permalink

Post a comment


  1. Real change needs to happen. New policies and procedures, not just talk.

    Comment by Debra Johnson on June 13, 2020 at 6:43 am

  2. Racism is an ugly business for the left in America. The one well racists never tire drinking from. HBCUs are racist. Selective Service Office is systemic misandry. Y’all can’t judge with an objective lens RAF

    Comment by Steve Miller on June 13, 2020 at 10:25 am

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