TO: Forks City Council and Mayor, Forks Chamber of Commerce, and Forks Police Department
RE: Incident on June 3, 2020
We are writing regarding the appalling incident that took place on June 3rd, concerning the family from Spokane, that were harassed and terrorized by members of our small community. As proud graduates of Forks High School, and Spartans for life, we are extremely disappointed and dismayed by the actions of the people responsible and know this is not what our city is about.
As a rural city that relies on tourism, the actions of those individuals must and should be addressed. Their actions call into question the safety of residents and visitors alike and have already had a detrimental effect on the reputation of our beloved town. As a community, we can and must make a genuine commitment to do better in the future. There needs to be meaningful and tangible change within the Forks community culture, and it starts with city leadership. Therefore, we propose the following:
Upon reviewing several city websites (Chamber of Commerce, City of Forks, Forks Police Department, and the City Council), it is evident that only the Chamber and FPD have a mission statement for the community of Forks and its visitors. We encourage Forks City Council and Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, and the Forks Police department to reevaluate your best practices, develop commitments and goals, and declare a mission statement addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion to assure Forks residents and visitors know they are valued within the community. Additionally, in order to regain and maintain the safety of our citizens and visitors alike, we need a compelling dedication from city leadership to denounce prejudiced intimidation and violence.
While we appreciate the FPD’s values of Integrity, Dignity, Commitment, and Pride, we urge them to include more inclusive language in their overall mission statement that specifically addresses evidenced issues in our community (e.g. inequity and harassment/intimidation). We want the community of Forks, residents in surrounding areas, and visitors to truly feel like city leadership is dedicated to excellence in a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. There are an overwhelming number of wonderful attributes about the City of Forks, but the actions and behaviors of a few on June 3rd have damaged that reputation for both community members and visitors. We can do better and must do better in order to regain the broader public’s trust so they will continue to patronize the area.
Examples of a…
Potential mission statement:
“The community of Forks envisions-and strives to create an environment where every citizen and visitor has the opportunity and support to safely pursue their passions, achieve their fullest potential, and explore the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.”
Potential commitment statement:
“In Forks, we promote and take action towards ability, age, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, nationality, racial, and religious equity for both community members and visitors. We embrace and reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our community and surrounding areas. With integrity and fierce optimism, we work to positively impact the inclusiveness and safety necessary for the prosperous future of our city.”
“The goal of the Forks community is to empower every person and organization to embrace their differences while pursuing a more equitable future.”
We look forward to witnessing the positive changes and growth that are sure to come from this incident. We hope you will do everything in your power and influence to make absolutely positive this remains an isolated incident. Please take this opportunity to condemn the reprehensible actions of all parties responsible in the June 3rd incident. As a community, we must make a genuine commitment to do better in the future and truly embody what it means to be #FORKSSTRONG.
Julia (Johnson) Erickson, Former Senior Class Vice-President and Yearbook Editor
Nina Lau, Former ASB President & School Board Liaison
S P A R T A N S
Special People Always Responding To Adversity. Never Satisfied.