Rumor Has It
Chicken and egg:
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
For me, I’m not sure which came first: My love of music or my interest in politics, but I do know that for many years there was not a lot of overlap in that particular Venn diagram.
However, that all changed Mon., Jan. 13 when Hollie Huthman was officially sworn in as a member of Bellingham City Council (after being officially sworn in back on Dec. 2 due to some singular and not-likely-to-be-repeated circumstances that aren’t very interesting unless unusual procedural situations are what get your motor running)—and now she bears the distinction of living at the nexus of my interests.
So far, how that’s played out is my being endlessly entertained by the idea of going to the What’s Up! Awards this weekend and watching a member of city council play bass for Dryland. Back when I was paying $100 a month to share an overcrowded apartment and living off of burritos, Kool-Aid and drags of other people’s cigarettes (sorry, mom), I knew in the back of my mind that one day we’d all grow up and go legit—but I never dreamed we’d be this legit. Like, I thought some of us might start to eat vegetables and pay our bills on time, not sign on to help run the whole damn show.
But Hollie’s swearing in wasn’t just a moment to be noted in my personal history, it represents a milestone for the City of Bellingham as well. She’s joined by Pinky Vargas, Hannah Stone, and Lisa Anderson, marking the first time in history that women have constituted a majority of the city council. As they are individuals with varied interests and concerns, the majority is symbolic rather than in the form of a voting bloc. Nevertheless, the symbolism itself is powerful, and along with the good work the four history-makers will no doubt do, it is my fervent hope that what they represent is a shift toward greater diversity in a city that pays a lot of lip service to that concept.
We shall see what unfolds. In the meantime, be sure and talk to Hollie about incredibly involved and important matters of public policy right as she’s about to step onstage with her Dryland bandmates.
I’m just kidding. Don’t do that. Save your two cents for the public comment period during city council meetings like the rest of the adults do. Speaking of, the meetings happen every Monday night at City Hall. Even better: There’s no cover charge, no one will scrutinize your ID at the door and depending on what’s on the agenda, it has the potential to be the best show in town.