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Teamsters to rally Sept. 12 in support of Pasco’s Irving Brown

The following is from Teamsters Local 839:

PASCO, Wash. — On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Teamsters Local Union No. 839 will be hosting a second community rally in support of Irving Brown, Sr., and his campaign for re-election for Pasco City Council District 3. The rally will be held at Teamsters Local 839’s union hall, 1103 W. Sylvester St. in Pasco, at 5:30 p.m.

Two weeks ago, Brown’s campaign signs were destroyed, and a racial slur was written on a message directed at Brown, a Black man, who has served the community with dignity and professionalism. The community came together to show its support for his candidacy and reject hatred and bigotry.

Local 839 did not believe that this was an isolated incident as Brown has experienced significant discrimination and harassment since his appointment to the City Council.

In order to prove that the harassment was not isolated, Local 839 obtained a letter that was sent to the City of Pasco in January 2023.

The letter stated (in part), “The Republican party of Pasco will not let a “BLACK” serve going forward. We will block the upcoming election, and the current Republicans on the Pasco Council will help ensure that the upcoming election does not allow a ‘BLACK’ to serve any more.” (See the full letter obtained through a FOIA request.)

The letter names the three current Republican members of the City Council, who allegedly oppose a “BLACK” serving on the council. The letter is anonymously signed by “Pasco, Wa (sic) Republicans.”

When the letter was received by the City of Pasco, the leadership chose to keep this letter a secret from the Pasco community and did not make it a part of the public record. Instead, the leadership chose to share the letter during an Executive Session of a city council meeting to see what direction to take.

During that executive session, Brown chose to take the high road and asked not to make a public issue of this hateful letter and will view this as pain, but an isolated incident. As the racial attacks have continued, Brown has now decided to publicly oppose and expose these issues and direct racial attacks. He states that we must rise above this and speak out to create change, expose bigotry on every level, and begin to educate to eradicate ignorance.

The Teamsters and community groups are involved in supporting Brown’s re-election campaign and will use this second rally as a kick-off to promote a community-wide racial equity and social justice campaign to prove that the City of Pasco is an inclusive community that does not support racism.

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