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Dear friends and neighbors,

These recent weeks have been heart wrenching. I am at a loss for what to write or where to begin, except with the words – Black Lives Matter.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – and so many others who have been lost to racist violence – mattered.

My parents live near Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed in police custody, and I’ve watched as the protests and demonstrations unfurled across the country and appeared at Mercer Island’s busiest intersection on Island Crest Way and in Mercerdale Park.  

Students have been leaders in responding to this human rights crisis, and I’m thankful for their efforts and for other community members who are courageously showing up and speaking out against racism and for justice, peace, change, and equality.

Leaders from the Mercer Island School District, Mercer Island PTA Council, City of Mercer Island, Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce, Mercer Island Community Fund, and Youth Theatre Northwest have also issued statements of support – condemning racism and discrimination and committing to supporting diversity and inclusion in our community.  

Some of our community members have long been doing and continue to be doing the hard work in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on Mercer Island – including PTA advocacy representatives and DEI committees in Mercer Island schools, and community groups have also formed, such as One MI – Equity for Mercer Island. 

I believe Mercer Island is an exceptional place in many ways, but when I hear stories of racial profiling and about a disparity in retention of students of color in our district, I know there are ways in which we are failing and there have been times in which we have hurt our fellow community members and children. When I hear that some people of color feel unwelcome on Mercer Island – that they feel "tolerated but not accepted … allowed but not included," I feel angry, and I feel ashamed.

I recently listened to an interview with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be An Antiracist. These words struck me:

"The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgement, is the willingness to be vulnerable, is the willingness to identify the times in which we are being racist, is to be willing to diagnose ourselves and our country and our ideas and our policies. The reason that is the heartbeat is because – like with anything else – the first step is acknowledging the problem."

It’s just the first step. My Mercer Island is Our Mercer Island, and all are welcome here.  

Sincerely,



Erin Sirianni
Editor, My Mercer Island

On behalf of Charlie and Erin Sirianni
The Sirianni Group with Windermere Real Estate - Mercer Island
Publishers of My Mercer Island

Here are the latest updates and community links from around the island:
  • Doing the work: Mercer Island Anti-Racism Resources & Support – a list of resources, advocacy efforts, and statements of support that have been shared so far in the community in support of diversity and inclusion and against racism – My Mercer Island
     
  • Happy Graduation, Mercer High School Class of 2020! Graduation Day is tomorrow, June 9th. Tune in to 88.9 The Bridge to hear the Drive-Thru Graduation broadcast. (Mercer Island High School)
     
  • Here's an update on what's open on Mercer Island, as King County enters Phase 1.5 of Governor Jay Inslee's Safe Start reopening plan in response to COVID-19. (My Mercer Island)
     
  • The Mercer Island Farmers Market has returned! Find out the new social distancing protocols that will make this season's market safe and enjoyable. (My Mercer Island)
     
  • Ryan Companies to Breathe New Life into Former Farmers Insurance Site – My Mercer Island
     
  • Have gardening questions? Ask a Master Gardener via online plant clinics, offered by the WSU Extension of the Master Gardeners of King County. (My Mercer Island)
     
  • SZ Gallery hosted a virtual First Friday art event featuring artist Warren Dykeman and exhibit All Together, All Different. (SZ Gallery)
     
  • "Mercer Island woman’s centennial celebrated with surprise procession" – Mercer Island Reporter
     
  • "Seattle-area teen who built website to track coronavirus launches new effort on U.S. protests" – Geekwire
     
  • "Legendary Mercer Island coach celebrated on sports podcast" – Mercer Island Reporter
     
  • "Mercer Island Rotary Club shares update on COVID-19 relief contributions" – Mercer Island Reporter
     
  • Sound Transit is hosting an open house in regard to the design of the bus/rail interchange planned near the future Mercer Island Light Rail Station (scheduled to open in 2023).  Here are the latest updates on the Mercer Island Transit Interchange from the City of Mercer Island.  (Sound Transit / Let's Talk Mercer Island)
     
  • A special thank you to Steven John Lewter, who granted to permission to publish the above photo of the Mercer Island vigil in honor of George Floyd, which took place in Mercerdale Park on June 3rd.
Did someone forward this newsletter issue to you? Click here so you can subscribe or email me at erin@mymercerisland.com, and I would be happy to add you to our list.
My Mercer Island (My MI) is your guide to life on Mercer Island, WA.

My MI is brought to you by Erin and Charlie Sirianni, co-founders of The Sirianni Group, with Windermere Real Estate.
Copyright © 2020 My Mercer Island / The Sirianni Group, All rights reserved.



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