Council Sept. 26 set to discuss claims against Councilmember Jim Smith


Councilmember Jim Smith

The Lynnwood City Council at its Monday, Sept. 26, business meeting is set to discuss the external investigation that was launched into allegations of racial and sexual discrimination by Councilmember Jim Smith in May of this year.

The investigation, conducted by Haggard & Ganson LLP, substantiated one claim of racial discrimination and one claim of sexual discrimination. The city council released a formal statement regarding the findings of the investigation, but will discuss the matter in person for the first time Monday night.

In other business, a public hearing will be held regarding the city’s 2023-24 budget and a presentation is scheduled on the city’s IT department. 

An executive session closed to the public will also be held regarding city labor negotiations, with the council scheduled to take action afterward.

The meeting will be in City Hall Council Chambers, 19100 44th Ave. W., Lynnwood, and it may also be accessed remotely. Visit for information on streaming or joining the meeting live. You can see the complete agenda here.

  1. I am not an expert in diagnosing a person who suffers with racist neurosis. However, I am very familiar with people who display the characteristics of a racist. As a Black man who grew up in the bayous of South Alabama, where racism was codified in laws, such as Jim Crow, and institutionalized segregation, government, education, and in life and death situations. Sheer survival meant recognizing implicit and explicit racist characteristics from a distance.

    As mentioned, I don’t have the credentials to say that Lynnwood City Councilman Jim Smith is a racist; however, I do have indelible experiences to recognize his racist behaviors and demeanors. Jim Smith demonstrates racist behaviors, such as privilege mannerisms, and demeaning, debasing, and condescending tones in his interactions. He tries to get his way through intimidation. The use of these characteristics can be threatening, especially by an individual who is an elected official, and one who is second in command of that governing body.

    The Lynnwood City Council acted appropriately by authorizing an external, independent investigation of the allegations. The investigator’s report, written by a highly reputable legal expert, documents and confirms the alleged racial and sexual harassment claim is valid. Now is the time for the City Council to take appropriate “actions that fit the crime”. The Council must be decisive and deliberate in demonstrating its intolerance for racial discrimination and sexual harassment at any level in City government and the city as whole.

    The Council’s participation in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training is an admirable second step. The first step should be holding councilmember Smith fully accountable for his verified racial and sexual harassment behaviors.

    The entire City of Lynnwood’s reputation of being a “Welcoming City”, and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hang in the balance.

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