The Buzz on the Streets

The 47th District: Issues, Insight & Interaction

HOW QUICKLY THEY FORGET

January 29th, 2011 at 8:01 pm by lesliehamada
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A few years ago we all were glued to our televisions when we watched in horror the Columbine shootings at a high school in Colorado. It was one place that we thought was safe for people  and our kids. It was, as if, there was the death of innocence to our children. This could not be the country we knew and loved so much. There was a crying of outrage and news coverage that was day and night.  Yet, the amazing thing is the same week leading up to the week-end that Gabrielle Gifford was shot (which was a horrible act in itself) this event really had little coverage in the papers or major networks: Gunman Dead After 2 Shot Inside Omaha High School. The downsizing of our budget in King County has forced KC County Sheriff Sue Rahr to lay off the police officers(SRO) in schools covered in their area that were really stopping or helping incidences that were potentials for serious problems before they erupted. The work they were doing in schools was making a major difference in the schools yet…we did not heed the lessons of the past. Sheriff Rahr had no choice, the King County budget had forced her to make tough choices. What really amazed me was that this incident in Omaha did not seem to be so out of the ordinary to the press to cover it like Columbine. I only learned about it from someone who follows this very closely in the schools. Have we as a society become accustomed to violence of this nature happening in the schools that now we do not send out every reporter to cover it like Columbine? If so, we need to wake up.

When Gabrielle Gifford was gunned down in Arizona doing exactly what she was elected to do-meet with her constituents at a corner coffee hour and hear from them on their views we again watched in horror at the senseless violence that occurred.It rocked our sense of what America is all about: voicing our opinions, diversity, free speech, and right of assembly. Everyone again was tuned into their TV to watch the indepth coverage. It brought to light the need for more civility in our political views, and advocates were vowing to tone down their references to any type of violence and vowing to do things differently. Leaders from different segments of society said we need to have respect for one another and be sensitive to the way we express ourselves. Ten days later the President of China Hu Jinto is here on a National visit. He speaks at a press conference and his entire speech is given in his native language and the entire interpretation is saved until the end. Rush Limbaugh on his show is discussing the visit and issues and talks about the speech saying he was upset about the way they saved the translation to all at once at the end. He said that when the Chinese and Japanese  talk no one really understands what they are saying anyway as it all sounds alike and who knows if the translation was even correct. He took it a step further and began a comic routine that he thought was quite good and funny–mimicking the Chinese President in his made up language. This was just ten days after many were understanding why we needed to return to civility and respect for one another and focus on our difference in philosophy but do it in a respectful manner. Just from an educational point of view 1.5 billion people speak different dialects of Chinese —breaking it down that is 1 in 4 in our world. To have the microphone to many viewers and broadcast to the world that no one understands Chinese is to showcase your need for more education at the least. To carry on your show with hurting many people of the Asian culture and many others who respect diversity with a routine comedy act goes far beyond civility. Many of the Asian culture had to endure being made fun of in their past in the same method he choose to demonstrate on his show. Many endured much more—racial discrimination in their employment or lack thereof, in schools, in neighborhoods that they were allowed to reside, even told they could not purchase property or marry certain races, and forced into camps as the enemy. Those actions showed how quickly some people forget.

When Democrats and Republicans choose to sit side by side in the President’s State of the Union address to show the new US order of civility and respect going forth. Is it not time we all begin to walk the walk and not just talk the talk? And in Rush Limbaugh’s case—the talk was the disturbing act which was broadcast in many homes. Do we not all just need to stop and think about what we are saying and doing to each other each day. In the case of a person who commands the microphone or a large viewing audience or fans there should be even more of a thoughtful process of how you conduct yourself.

I, for one, think we can do better but we can not forget in 10 days or say it is up to someone else to begin—change begins within each of us. We also can never stop being shocked when violence occurs in our schools. This can never become the norm or accepted. Our children our this Nation’s most precious resource. It is our job everyday to protect them, nuture them, and make them prosper.

JANUARY 8, 2011 UNSHAKABLE MENS MINISTRY

December 27th, 2010 at 6:22 am by lesliehamada
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EBO ELDER
 World Ranked Pro Boxing Champion Ebo Elder from Atlanta, Georgia will be speaking at the Unshakable Men Breakfast Ministry on Saturday January 8, 2011 at the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent, Washington. Just two years ago at the age of thirty years old God called this boxing champion into a life and ministry of Bible teaching. Prior to this calling Ebo was known as the “Xtreme Machine”. His career began at the age of two, and spanned over twenty-five years.  He won four consecutive Georgia State Golden Gloves titles and several national championships.  He was the only fighter to fight without a loss on the Holyfield Team and he won a silver medal in the 1998 Goodwill Games World Championships on HBO at Madison Square Gardens.  After nearly 150 amateur fights Ebo missed out on the 2000 Olympic Games due to a motorcycle accident and broken wrist.

 After turning pro, Ebo fought to 22 wins, 3 defeats and 16 knockout victories.  He won the WBO Intercontinental, IBA and NABO Championships while winning a fight nominated for “Fight of the Year” and “Knockout of the Year” on Showtime in 2004.  This fight earned him a #5 world ranking by the WBA.  He also competed on the ESPN reality show, The Contender.

Outside of the ring Ebo has faced many tough battles as well. Seemingly his toughest fight has been with his wife of almost ten years, Amy.  They were childhood friends, high school sweethearts and married three weeks after graduation.  An unwillingness to accept the call of Christ in their lives led them to a divorce only two years later.  In their divorce Ebo turned towards drugs, alcohol and sex to find fulfillment, purpose and peace.  After failing to fill the void in his life, Ebo decided to end his life.  With a gun to his head God spoke to him and gave hope to a hopeless man.  Ebo and Amy’s story of reconciliation, remarriage, second chances and new beginnings is the heart of the message that Christ brings to all of us which is hope. They have been remarried for ten years and have four daughters.

Ebo became a Pastor in November 2009 and travels across the country fighting to see people of all ages come to live a life of power and purpose. He leads a weekly youth program called BrickHouse and Assistant Pastor of Calvary Chapel Heartland.

Unshakable Men Breakfast Ministry will host Pastor Ebo Elder speaking on the topic of “I Am Not”.  This monthly men’s breakfast ministry founded by John Glasser takes place on the second Saturday of every month offering a hearty style breakfast, a Pastor or special speaker bringing topics that relate to men and group discussion time afterwards. Unshakable Men Ministry is a parallel ministry to the local churches that connects men and Pastors together to grow in their faith and friendships. Unshakable Men Ministry is open to all men and teenage boys.  To sign up to attend the January’s breakfast go to

www.UnshakableMen.com.

WE HAVE A COMMUNITY THAT EMBRACES THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT BY GIVING

December 24th, 2010 at 9:11 am by lesliehamada
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SANTA ARRIVES KENT TOY DISTRIBTUION

Wednesday morning at 8am at the Kent Food Bank the volunteers were ready to help and the community gathered to help distribute toys donated by many other community members who were not there that morning. Collections were made at firestations, shopping areas, churches, and all the community stepped up to give kids those needed surprises on Christmas morning. This is the heart of the holidays to watch Scouts, Project (U)th, Church youth groups, the Firefighters of Kent, and neighbors coming together to help their fellow neighbors. The Firetruck arrrives with Santa to greet the children waiting in lines that stretched all around the Multi-Servie Center. Hot coffee was being provided by the Food Bank to some of the adults in line as it was a chilly but dry morning. More trucks arrive with new Bikes in the back. A semi-truck pulls up loaded with gifts to the top of the ceiling–volunteers begin to carry the gifts in the rooms already filled with gifts that had poured in during the week. They are distributed by age of child and sex of child. There are people at child age stations and others at the stocking stuffers stations. Everyone pulling together to make it happen for the children of our area. All giving of their time to help others—the real Holiday spirit.

 Pat and Bill Gray getting stuffers ready

Last Saturday at Covington Walmart you saw this same spirit of Community. The Maple Valley Rotary raised the funds for all the toys. The Community Center gathered the names of all the kids that needed special surprises and Sgt. Reid Johnson who heads up the KC “Shop with a Cop” had all the police there to interact with the youth and kids of the Community. They talked to police officers, had pictures with them, got to look at their police vehicles inside and out. It was a day of shopping with a Cop and having a real good memory of being with a police officer.

Sgt. Reid Johnson and his Shop with Cops

These two events and many more that have happened all around our community show we still are communities that can get things done and work for all our members of the community for the common good. It offers those special gifts of the season of Hope, and Caring, and Love.

It has been my pleasure to share events throughout the year on my Community Blog. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season for all those special days you celebrate now and into the New Year.

CHIEF BRAD DOERFLINGER ONE OF THOSE SECRET SANTA GIFTS

December 19th, 2010 at 6:29 am by lesliehamada
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Yesterday when I woke to no power or cable, I realized the inconvenience of having to do without such a gift.  A couple weeks ago when the snow and ice made some of our roads rather treacherous to travel and it was unclear if the garbage trucks would roll that day, I realized what a gift it is to have my garbage picked up at curbside and taken care of and the problem it can create if it isn’t. Today as I head for church to hear wonderful Christmas music and enjoy great fellowship and practice my Faith in a warm heated sanctuary. I realize what a privilege and gift it is to live in a country and have freedoms and choices to do as I want to do without persecution.

This morning I would also like to share with you perhaps one of those secret Santa gifts that has gone on all year long and even before that. People and people’s actions can be the greatest of gifts. We just passed an election period and the ads that were flying on TV and in print and the political exchanges were enough to make one consider cancelling your cable. We pick up the paper and turn on the TV and see political figures doing acts that certainly do not meet —best practices. I want to share with you quite the opposite. It has been my privilege in the last year to get to know up, close. and personal in a professional manner—Chief Brad Doerflinger. What a breath of fresh air. How wonderful to learn that a person working in our government services is doing such a great job and really putting his job and the people he serves and their tax dollars and well being  through maintaining level of service above his own getting ahead or financial well being. Yes….that is why we put these individuals in positions of authority and power but how many value and maintain that once they are there. I watched and learned that Brad waited until his division was secure and could handle financially himself being placed as Chief. He accepted the lower salary as Interim to maintain the budget level. I watched as he investigated the potential to merge the Maple Valley Fire District into a potential regional fire authority to save the tax payers money by the merger. This investigation did not come to a merit position to do so but he looked into this thoroughly. This merger would have made sure he did not become Chief and his salary again would have been impacted on it. But….he did the right thing for the taxpayers of this Fire District. I’d also like to share with you in 2009 some cost cutting implications that he implemented:

*Wage and Benefit savings since 2009

  • Training Captains (vacancy provided by joining the Kent/Sea Tac/MV training consortium)
  • Facilities Manager(responsibilities redistributed)
  • Deputy Chief of Operations (responsibilities redistributed)
  • Two Firefighters positions (two shifts have a firefighter vacancy and running short

- Annual savings—approximately $648,544

*Program cuts beginning in 2009

  • Health and wellness Physicals–$35,000
  • Deputy Chief Program–$20,000
  • Volunteer Program restructure-$98,750
  • Special Operation overtime-$17,000
  • Removal of Administrative raises-$22,000
  • Union concessions-$124,000
  • Operational Overtime-$70,000

-Total Reductions-$386,750

 The long and the short of the point to my article is often times gifts all around us go unnoticed. It was such a special gift to find an Interim Fire Chief doing exactly what he is paid to do but doing it in such a highly professional and unselfish manner and doing it for the people he represents and works for and most important putting Service above Self. I for one want to thank this man for those secret Santa gifts and know if I reach for the phone at my home in trouble I want this department and its head on the other end of the phone.

Take a moment and let this Chief know and wish him a :”Merry Christmas!”

“SIMPLY THE BEST” TRIBUTE TO OUR VETERANS

November 8th, 2010 at 7:45 am by lesliehamada
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When we stop and recognize Veterans Day it is what lies at the foundation of what built the opportunity for generations to come to even experience the new philosophy. November 11 is a holiday for schools, government buildings, and banks. Many will let it slip by unrecognized and have a day to do things all about me which has become a dominate factor of newer generations—all about me. I will be traveling to the Yakima Valley to honor my father’s name on a plague in a new memorial placed there by the Veterans organization of that city. I have encouraged my children and grandchildren to stop their busy lives and go along. They honor my request. My dad like most Vets probably wasn’t very excited about leaving all his familiar surroundings and going off to foreign countries to do the work of war. He was born and raised in a small town less than 500 population in Montana. He enlisted because he wanted to go off with all his other friends from Montana and they all knew it was just a matter of time until they all would be drafted—single, young men –ripe for the pickings. I do not remember him talking much about his service time. But, of course, being a baby boomer and a kid—I really wasn’t very interested in listening to any of it anyway. I remember during Vietnam talking about R and R—and my dad said—when he went oversees —he did not come back for 5 and a half years. I remember him talking about his long boat ride to the African Shores and saying that was one of the worst experiences of his life—everyone was sick by the time they reached their destination. I remember him telling me it was a chance for him to see all parts of the world—Africa, Italy…France. I remember from time to time small recurrences of the after affects of Malaria—but it is only until today that I understand the full impact of what that did to him. He never made a big deal about it. I use to marvel how he could fall asleep in a room full of noise and recall he once said to me –“in the war if you did not learn to sleep with lots of noise and bombs falling and shots around you—you never slept!!!” As a kid I just did not get it. What I did get was that when I was old enough to vote—I registered. I voted in every election since and not just on the major elections but the little local issues and the school bonds issues and on and on. I took that issue very seriously—and it came from my parents. What I did get was when it was popular to protest the War in Vietnam—I honored the troops. What I did get was that when I was in my early thirties and traveled to Puerto Rico and looked over the village of hundreds of people living in card board boxes—I was blessed to be an American citizen!!! What I did get was that when you pledge your allegiance to the United States of America at Basketball games—school assemblies—etc.. it means something!!! That takes me full circle to my trip to the Valley this week. It is important for me and my children and their children to stop for a few moments of our day and recognize the importance of the tremendous sacrifice that men and women in uniform have done in the past and do today to continue our basic freedoms that each of us to some degree take for granted. We can never afford to do that. Regardless of how we stand about our beliefs on war. Patrick Henry once said: “ The price of Liberty is constant vigilance.” He was right years ago and he is right today. Each of us can serve each day by participating in this great country of ours. Take voting seriously. Participate in our communities. Value the educational opportunities for all young people. Volunteer!

As to my dad—he is just symbolic of all Veterans throughout time doing what he thought he should do at a particular time in history. And because of these average men and women who came from all walks of life who did extraordinary things and simply did not make a big deal about it—I enjoy the beautiful free life of being an American!!!!! My dad’s generation has been labeled as the “Greatest Generation”. For me this private man was: “Simply the BEST!!”

Creating the Political Will to End Homelessness

September 10th, 2010 at 7:17 am by lesliehamada
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The new face of homelessness is all around us with the challenges our country has faced with the economy and loss of jobs. Recent articles have appeared on how people are resorting to finding their new front door is the door to their car–one of their last possessions they have been able to hold onto because it takes them to a job if they are lucky enough to hold on to it but it also delivers them to that parking lot to spend the night as the job they were forced to take does not pay the rent and each day presents new challenges just to get through it. A recent book that is selling off the shelves addresses a very successful man who loses his job, and through a series of events finds himself Homeless. Pick up a copy of this and it will touch your heart as it shows up, close and personal how it could happen to you or I. The book is called Breakfast at Sally’s and the author is Richard Le Mieux.

This coming Wednesday, September 15, 2010 from 9:30am -3:30PM there will he a wonderful conference on: Creating the Political Will to End Homelessness in Ten Years. This is the 10th Political Will Annual Conference and the keynote speakers will be Rev. David Bloom, ITFH Founding Director and Richard LeMieux.  The Conference title: 5 Years,…..Are We On Track? The sponsor is the InterFaithTask Force on Homelessness. There will be great workshops all throughout the day and a wonderful lunch which comes with the registration fee. Many of ITFH partners will be at the table: Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Lutheran Public Policy, Washington Association of Churches, South King County Homeless Forum, Shared Bread-Kent United Methodist emergency assistance program, and the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Online registration: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/118573

—-or—register at the door  scholarships are available—-

If as a society we do not thrive to reach out with compassion to our neighbors we will lose what made this such a great Nation. People reaching out to their fellow neighbors to give them a hand and in these times like harder economic times of the past that means a hand up. In any Nation or Country that still has the means as the United States does people should be given the basics of survival: the access to -shelter, food, and safety. The smile you can give to people who may seem so rude to you could change their lives. The simple kindness we show to our fellow man is given back to us in a multitude of ways. Take this opportunity to get more educated on these issues and you, too can be the instrument to make a difference.

The Power of a Few Good Women

August 24th, 2010 at 10:15 am by lesliehamada
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KUMC Mission Trip to San Francisco Aug 2010

Early on August 16ththe women of the Kent United Methodist Church were up putting the last supplies into their suitcases for the intense week of Mission work in San Francisco. They were scheduled to help Monday and Tuesday evening with the dinner feeding at Glide Memorial Methodist Church in the tenderloin District of San Francisco where everyday they feed people in need of a good meal with no questions asked—they just feed them. Glide Memorial faced a major change in its direction of the church when Cecil Williams entered in the 60′s to lead this church into social outreach and justice. Quite recently, Will Smith starred in a movie which was based on a true story filmed at Glide Memorial. After 4 intense hours of working the assembly line and wiping tables, picking up trays, filling coffee, and interacting with the patrons at this feeding kitchen each night these seven women knew that they had put their Faith into action by providing a meal to over 1,000 people in need that night. Overwhelming when you think about it. One might think just participating in this act of kindness would be enough but not for this dynamic group. They were out to also accomplish much more.

Gum Moon Community Center is also sponsored by the United Methodist Women. It is a Community Center that helps Asian Chinese immigrants in many capacities and women facing serious problems in society. Some are victims of domestic violence, many rescued from serious bad situations and now have transitional housing where they will find help getting English skills, job skills, budgeting, counseling, and life skills. It is truly a place for them to find a new life and opportunities for success. They also house pre-school children and teach them and many other after school programs for youths.  So Tuesday morning before doing the feeding at Glide this same group of women were up again early and split the group in half. Half worked with the children sharing with them how to bake cookies, reading to them, and just playing and interacting.

 

 Norma King and Lora Lee Brown cooking with the children

Leslie Hamada reading to children

The other half taught the women housed there and others that came in how to make unique clever purses with fabric for themselves or to sell for profit and also how to make beautiful jewelry with beads. They produced earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Quality items they could also sell and make a home business venture successful.

 

Mercedes Hanlon working with purses

Jenni Yeoh teaching beads

Linda Roser and Joan Roberts helping ladies

The last part of the week was directed toward helping withGum Moon’s big Fund Raiser 10 course Dinner on Friday night. The women made 36 dried lavender center pieces for tables, eight fresh flower arrangements with small EifeelTowers lit with battery operated candles for the sponsor tables that contributed 10 thousand a table. Four large fresh flower sprays for special guests and 40 fresh flower corsages. The final contribution was appetizers and deserts for 500. Their contributions and talents helped make this Fund Raiser a huge success.

It is said: “the hand the rocks the cradle rules the world.” Whether true or not this dynamic group accomplished great things for the City of San Francisco in one short week and will continue in all their individual projects to make SKC a more beautiful, kind, and giving place. Watch out for the Power of a few Good Women.

IF WE ARE UNHAPPY WITH OUR GOVERNMENT WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT OURSELVES

July 23rd, 2010 at 7:23 am by lesliehamada
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We do not want to hear it but….often times we get the government or the representatives of that government that we deserve. Thomas Jefferson summed it up in 1789: “the price of Liberty is constant vigilance.”  If we are not willing to become advocates or People Advocating for our own Democracy it can be lost or gone. So many of us take our freedom and rights for granted. We simply can not envision ourselves being under a Dictatorship or having everything we have worked so hard for so long taken from us. We do not realize that safety nets that are now in place in this country came because things that were bad happened. Because things happened people worked hard to put in place safeguards like better working condition laws, civil rights, social security, medicare, Title IX, and the list goes on. The part that made all this possible is people getting involved. People caring about what is happening. People banning together. People working to bring about change that was needed.

“Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature….if the next centennial does not find us a great nation…..it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” This is part of an address that President James Garfield gave in his Centennial Address to Congress in 1876. You can easily substitute the national part of it for state and local.

Now, more than ever each one of us needs to take a portion of our day and turn off the cell phones, the e-mails, the social networks, the twitter, the TV, and the DVDs and work in our own government programs and entities to become informed and involved in our Country, State, and local representation. How many of us do not vote in our elections? How many of us take the time if we do vote to really know the candidates or the issues? When was the last time you attended a local school board meeting and learned what is going on in our schools or City Council Meeting?  How many of us read several news sources? How many of us take the time to question the news that is reported?

Each day we are getting wake up calls. The latest fiasco of Shirley Sherrod should teach us that we need (all of us) media–government agencies, and even the White House needs to study what is going on, educate ourselves, and quit thinking we can do it in a 90 second sound bite or be informed in the characters limited in a twitter. I have to admit that I am old enough to remember sitting in my car with 2 young children–another on the way—in a long line waiting for gas when it was my day according to last name alphabet to get Gas. It was difficult to sit in a car and entertain little ones for sometimes over an hour until my place in line to gas came up. I accepted this policy years ago and started to reduce my trips to the store or wherever because I realized Gas was a privilege and needed to be used only when needed. Well….as soon as I accepted the policy and changed my habits that policy was thrown out the window. If we had maintained just a small portion of the policy of realizing we have to ration our usage and prepare alternative fuels as we began in the 70′s today I can only imagine what progress we might have made. Progress has an element of sacrifice to it always. I am not sure we are teaching this to our next generations. Involvement has to have at its core commitment and time.

Yes…I hear the same answers that times have changed. We are so much busier now. The world has become more complex. All those things may be true. But now more than ever we need to become involved. We need to tune in not tune out. We need to communicate with our neighbors in person not just via the Internet. We need to advocate for our beliefs.

The choice of course is yours. But if you do not…. it is a very real possibility that we could lose everything this Nation, this country, and our people have worked for so many years to have.

What ever happened to leaders who made the tough Choices?

June 16th, 2010 at 6:37 am by lesliehamada
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It has been my privilege for 7 years to work as the emergency assistance director for Kent United Methodist Church. The church in part of it’s outreach to the Community has helped members of our community that reside within the Kent School District with utility shut-offs and rent eviction. The primary source of the funding comes from the wonderful people that attend the church with a few matching grants. The program receives no government funding so the program can establish it’s own rules and regulations of giving.

As the Immigration Issue has heated up and there has been a crackdown in business for workers to produce social security cards or documentation to work legally in this country we have seen more people applying for financial assistance for rent or utilities in undocumented workers. In the past, they were working and paying their housing and bills but now with the increased pressures they have lost any means to support themselves and find their lives in crisis. I am not writing to push for a policy on this issue one way or the other. Believe me, I do have my own personal thoughts on this issue. But what I wish to express in this article is the huge disappointment I have that our representatives and government officials have swept this issue under the rug for so long and not dealt with this issue and now it is a crisis. Why are we Citizens and voters allowing our elected officials to get a Pass on not really doing their job? Where is the outrage? We did not vote for these individuals to collect a pay check and attend ribbon cutting ceremonies and each year vote to have an increase in their pay. We voted for them to carry on the tradition of working hard for this country and making decisions that were not popular but for the common good. It appears before common sense can prevail in voting or tackling these major issues politicans are quick to run their polls or focus groups to see what the popular thing is to do. What ever happened to knowing what the right thing is to do and doing it regardless if it brings you votes or money to your next campaign. In my belief system politics is not just a job, it is a higher calling. Ask yourself why so many of our brightest and most talented would never consider running in an elected position? Ask yourself why it has become popular for the rich to spend millions on state races? Where is the outrage?

This past week again I have witnessed up close and personal the pain of not dealing with the immigration issue. Before me was a young girl who excelled in school and was being rewarded with a scholarship to college. She should be on top of the world right? Think again. Her father was arrested and is facing deportation back to Mexico. Her mother faces everyday the issue of when will she be next and then what will happen to the younger children who were born in the United States. How will they exist without their parents? How can the young girl even think about starting college in the fall when one source of her support financially is now deported and her mother does not make enough to cover the rent? Is this an isolated incident…no. Each week in the interviews for assistance more often than not, I look into the faces of the babies held by their mothers who are fussing because they know they sense tension  in their parents that need help. They are too young to understand what the problem is but they feel the problem when their parents are holding them. Their basic needs of shelter, heat, and food are being threatened. These needs in the past had been met and now because policies have changed their lives have changed. When the country financially advanced because of cheap labor it was ok to not follow the law, but now when budgets are broke from an overload of services being drained the following of the law is now what is expected. If you are a parent or you have worked as a teacher or person working with kids that have set boundaries and rules for those kids to follow and live by what does it tell you when suddenly you change the rules. Are those kids now in complete confusion as to what to do? How to act? What really is or was—right or wrong? Where is the good guidance? Where are the leaders blazing the trails and showing society the way to get back on track and direction?

What ever happened to leaders who made the tough choices? Would set the policies and follow the law in good or bad times? How can we expect our communities and our societies to function in a normal path when no one is implementing what the rule of law is and following it. How can we expect to have a blueprint for success when no one is drawing up the plans? Do we not owe our children and all people a future that has a directed path of what will be.  I, for one, am outraged and writing my representatives to address this issue. After all, good government demands the Citizens take an active part and be vigilant in voting and making our representative accountable. Each of us has the power within ourselves to make our leaders make the tough choices.

Senator Patty Murray Supports PAL Fundraiser

June 9th, 2010 at 10:32 am by lesliehamada
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Senator speaks to luncheon

 On June 1, at Newcastle Golf and Country Club community and government leaders rallied to support the programs of the Greater King County Activities-Athletic League—PAL. The ballroom was filled with supporters from King County and the State. The Keynote speaker was Senator Patty Murray who was instrumental in getting to this organization money for mentoring in the schools for this organization. She spoke of the great need to help our kids through after school programming and mentoring-tutoring. United States Congressman Dave Reichert who has worked hard to implement this program in King County was not able to attend. Sheriff Sue Rahr spoke and also addressed the need for police officers to have their first initial meeting with kids in positive programs instead of when they get in trouble. Attorney General Rob McKenna is also a great supporter and spoke next.

Attorney General Rob McKenna addresses the luncheon

  The National President of PAL spoke next and stated how being in PAL programs as a youth made him want to become a police officer and for young African Americans when he grew up it was not a profession they were readily signing up to join. The next speaker was Tina Hendrix of the Hendrix Music Academy and she spoke of the reason why she was forced to move out of the neighbor she lived in because of the violence and how she is reaching out to help kids through various music programs and partnering with PAL do that.

Sgt. Reid Johnson and the White Center Boxing Club

Sgt. Reid Johnson was praised throughout the event for his great efforts to manage and lead all the various PAL Programs. They range from bonding with Pets—to Boxing for Kids—to shopping with a Cop in Covington. This is a part of Sgt. Johnson’s job in addition to many other responsibilities.

Representative Pat Sullivan joins Kent East Hill Kids Club Table which is just starting off as a new PAL Program

Dr. Vargas, KSD Superintendent, Dennis Higgins, Kent City Council Member, Sharon Cornish, Cascade Promise, Rich Wagoner & Virginia Haugen, City of Auburn City Council Members all joining the Kent East Hill Kids Boxing table to support our kids

 May 27, Kent East Hill Kids (PAL) Boxing Club held their first meeting at Phoenix Academy to discuss the after school program they will be starting in that area. They signed up 17 kids and there is room for many more. They also sponsored a table at the PAL luncheon fundraiser which is a new program which PAL will act a s a fiscal agent for support. If you have questions regarding this new program direct them to Executive Director Leslie Hamada @ leslie.hamada@yahoo.comor 253-631-3895. The program will run 4 days after school and is going to emphasize the following: conditioning, exercise, nutrition, positive confllict resolution, mentoring, tutoring, and high academic achievement. It will be housed in the East Hill area.

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About lesliehamada

Leslie is a wife, mother, & grandmother. She has worked in marketing, communications, & writing professionally. For the past 17 years she has resided in the Covington area and doing volunteer work in the King County Area. While her children attended University Place Schools she was actively involved in youth activities and PTA. She was in executive leadership in the organization as President in school PTA on all levels. In addition she held a District PTA leadership position. Currently her youngest child Lisa is a teacher and last year was recognized as NASPE 2009 High School Physical Education Teacher of the Nation. Her two sons are employed in Computer and engineer firms. She has two beautiful grandchildren. Leslie's pride & joy is Pee Wee Hamada her stay at home Cocker spaniel and her inspiration for her first Children's Book: "Pee Wee's Adventure In the Woods" which addresses boundaries for young children and safety issues through an exciting animal book. Leslie has been actively involved in her Community volunteering for over 40 years. She has mentored in high risk elementary schools since college. Presently she is Director for emergency services for her church Kent United Methodist. She is Chair of the Kent Ecumenical Network Board. It is her sixth year on Catholic Community Advocacy Board. She received an award last year from Governor Gregoire for work with felons. This past year she was recognized for work in social justice and poverty by the South King County Human Service Commission. Last year she received an award from the Southern Sudanese Organization in Seattle. In 2005 she received the SKC Award for the Spirit of Caring. In 2005 she traveled to San Francisco to work at the Soup Kitchen of Glide Memorial and help with immigrant Chinese pre-school students at Gum Moon Community. Her passion is working with kids and social justice issues. Presently she is working to start a Kids Boxing Program in the Kent East Hill area to give the kids a great after school program.

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