At the June meeting of San Juan Island Grange we endorsed Initiative 2017-07, a San Juan County ballot measure that strengthens protections for immigrants in our county.
The San Juan Island Grange Hall is well-known as a great place to dance or attend a public program. Less well known is the role of the Grange in local grassroots democracy. Local Granges are encouraged in our founding documents to promote civic engagement in their communities, provided they stick to issues and avoid stands on candidates or parties.
Initiative 2017-07 restricts the authority of county officials in inquiring after a person’s immigration status. According to the resolution presented to the Grange, “a resilient community requires a level of self-governance based on relationships of trust, respect, and open communication between County employees, elected officials and residents”, and we agreed that the initiative protects those relationships. According to Lecturer Glenn Hendrick, “The Grange stands for community, and an important part of San Juan Island is the immigrant population. We support Initiative 2017-07 because it supports our friends and neighbors, no matter their immigration status, because it promotes trust in our community.”
The petition, which needs 1635 signatures to pass, will be available to sign at the grange booth at the farmers market in Friday Harbor through June.