EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, we extended an invitation for anyone – organization, business, private citizen, etc. – to submit for publication their pitch for why voters should go their way in the vote on whether Burien should annex most of the rest of North Highline. No negativity about the opposition or why the other view is wrong – just, why you believe your view is right. We have received four essays so far, all from Burien-annexation supporters, nothing from any opponents (as of 4 pm today). On Sunday, we published one from Barbara Dobkin and one from four White Center businesspeople. Today, #3, from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council; and here’s #4. We’re still accepting essays (that follow the rules) through Tuesday afternoon. Please send to email@example.com – thank you!
By Joey Martinez
Special to White Center Now
Since the founding of this great country we, as Americans, have come to learn that by uniting we are stronger. Which is why, as a Burien resident, I have come to support annexation. By re-uniting as a community we can work off of each others strengths and weaknesses to make a more perfect union.
When I originally ran for Burien City Council in 2011 I was opposed to annexation. After many hours of independent research I came to feel that a reunification of our now two communities was in the best interest for me, my family, and my community, as well as you and your family and your community. No one has ever said that annexation will be easy, if it were there would be no opposition. There will be challenges, but by uniting together we can do amazing things.
Our children already attend the same schools, go to the same libraries, play on the same sports teams, and play at the same parks. However, as a volunteer coach for the Burien Bearcats I have come to notice one thing. That though North Highline and Burien kids have much in common, they have much separating them. When setting up communications with the parents I noticed my Burien and SeaTac kids had internet and computer access readily avaible at home. By and large, my North Highline kids did not. This is just a sliver of what I noticed from kids who only live blocks away from each other and goes much deeper than just a computer at home.
For me, annexation became about not denying a fair and equal opportunity for all of our kids in the Highline School district to succeed. Our fates are already tied together. As one community suffers or succeeds, the neighboring community will suffer or succeed.
Burien offers local representation, the ability to direct local policy, and the ability to focus resources in the way North Highline residents have never experienced. Having local control and a voice in how your community is shaped is something not to be taken lightly. Burien has come a long way since 1993. If it weren’t for the worst recession since the Great Depression, where would we be today?
As a part of Burien’s first annexation of Manhattan (1999), I can say that there will be bumps in the road. Change is never easy. It’s like growing up and moving out of your parents house. YOU will have the rights and responsibilities of YOUR future. No longer will YOU be reliant on mom and dad (King County) telling you what’s going to happen in YOUR community. No longer will YOU be powerless. No longer will YOU be voiceless. If YOU don’t like something in YOUR community YOU must do something about it. WIth Burien YOU will have that power and ability.
What do you say, North Highline? Check YES if you like Burien and want control of YOUR future.