If you are like me, you may have passed by a number of homeless people this week and wondered what our local government was doing to get people back to work. Or, you may have been stuck in traffic wondering what our city council is doing to fix the snarls. Well, here’s what they were up to last week.
(An excerpt from Nick Licata’s email newsletter)
THE EXHIBITION OF HUMAN REMAINS
In 2006, Premier Exhibition’s ‘Bodies: The Exhibition’ debuted in Seattle. Motorists were treated to billboards of bodies frozen in space and time, minus their skin. Those sensational billboards caught my attention, and the attention of many others I suspect. But, was it educational, as the exhibitors claimed? In looking at those naked bodies, I wondered where they came from. Who volunteers and says, ‘please display my body playing basketball or engaged in some other sporty activity?’ To learn the answer, one must look to China. Its record on human rights leaves something to be desired (a point made as often by conservatives as liberals.) And there is a connection between human rights and these bodies on display.
After hearing from constituents and discussing the matter with my colleagues, I introduced a bill making it unlawful to publically display in Seattle human remains for commercial purposes without valid authorization from the deceased. My bill, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Burgess, Godden and Harrell, would not ban these exhibits if valid documentation is presented.
Yesterday, Councilmembers Clark, Harrell, Rasmussen and I discussed my bill during a meeting of the Housing, Health, Human Services and Culture Committee, which I chair. The legislation is modeled on San Francisco’s law. Among those at the table to discuss the bill was Ron Chew, former director of the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum and a scholar-in-residence at the University of Washington. Mr. Chew was joined by Bettie Luke, Administrative Director of the Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Seattle. At the conclusion of our discussion, the legislation was approved unanimously. It now goes before the full Council on Monday, July 19th, for a final vote.
I assume they will get to traffic and jobs next week.