UPDATE: Latino Civic Alliance asks Kennewick City Councilman to - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Latino Civic Alliance asks Kennewick City Councilman to step down

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UPDATE-

KENNEWICK, WA- The Latino Civic Alliance sent out a statement on Saturday asking Councilman Parks to resign from his position.


"The Latino Civic Alliance condemns the public Anti-Latino comments posted on social media by Kennewick City Councilman Bob Parks who holds an at-large seat. It is evident from his continuous public statements, Mr. Parks fails to acknowledge his callous and hateful rhetoric to the Latino Community. His comments are divisive and toxic to all that want the City of Kennewick to be inclusive and respect all ethnicities.

LCA believes that individuals that serve public office should embody the values of our great nation and Councilman Parks does not have the integrity to serve his constituency. We encourage and call for the people of Kennewick to speak out against Councilman Parks' hateful statements and demand that he step down from serving public office. Councilmember Parks has failed to represent the community by dividing the constituency.  

We encourage for public representatives and the community to have an open dialogue that will bring communities together working toward common goals and viable solutions. LCA believes Councilman Parks is an obstacle for people who want to improve the livelihood of the community. His racially polarized public statements lack the decency people expect from an elected official.  

 "Councilman Parks personal agenda to constantly attack hard working Latinos that financially contribute to the Kennewick economy has reached its end. We will no longer tolerate public officials abusing their position to bully or ridicule our communities."  - Nina Martinez, LCA Chair LCA stands firmly for our constitutional core values.

A nation that exemplifies the values of our Declaration of Independence where all are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  In conclusion, we are asking Councilman Parks to resign from his Kennewick council seat.  We also request that the City of Kennewick remove him from serving on any city public affiliated committees such as: City of Kennewick Parks and Recreation Commission liaison, City of Kennewick Tri Cities Regional Public Facilities District, Infrastructure and Operations Committee and Planning and Economic Development Committee, City of Kennewick Animal Control Facilities Committee serves as alternate and Lodging Tax Advisory Board.  

The Latino Civic Alliance is united in its message that whenever we witness hate, we won't remain silent.  

Latino Civic Alliance Board of Directors Nina Martínez- Chair, Claudia D'Allegri- Vice Chair,Anahi Macchiavelli- Secretary, Mateo Arteaga-Treasurer, Gilberto Mendoza, Gabriel Portugal, Chris Paredes, Enrique López, Gustavo Ramos, Nick Marquez, Sergio Castaneda, Jimmy Matta, Ruvine Jimenez."

A citizen group has also started a public petition to remove Councilman Parks from his position, you can find it by clicking here.

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KENNEWICK, WA. -- Controversy surrounds 14-year Kennewick City Council Member Bob Parks and an online post. He shared a picture of Bernie Sanders with the quote, "I went to Yakima today, now I know why Trump wants to build a wall." 

Parks added the comment, "Wait until he sees Pasco!" The post caught the attention of Pasco's Mayor Matt Watkins who said "You managed to trash Yakima, Pasco, and Latinos all at once. That's lame Bob."

To which Parks responded, "You let it happen as the mayor, your problem, I try not to go the either city's, at least without rocks."

We went to downtown Pasco to hear what people think.

"I could see how other people would see offense to it," Erik Mendoza said. "I mean me as a Hispanic, yeah, I do see it as offensive. But I mean I don't really let things like that get to me."

"Do you think anything should happen to him?" we asked Alicia Merkle.

"He should lose his position," she responded. "That's uncalled for."

"Everybody's opinion is different," Marco Lombero said. "My person opinion is, I respect the guy but I also back up my people and that's how I look at it. It is what it is."

Rick Rios who represents the Hispanic civil rights groups Latino Civic Alliance and the Latino Coalition is not happy. 

"What he said about Yakima is a slap in the face is a slap in the face to every Hispanic family that lives in that area because he's calling them all illegals," Rios said. "He's saying Yakima and Pasco is the reason we need a fence. That's racism."

Others like Jeff Payne and Adam Brault are vowing to help unseat Parks when his bid for re-election comes up next year. But they're teaming up for different reasons. 

"It's obvious that what he did was offensive and totally racist but I think it's important that people who are on the conservative side or on the right of center political spectrum stand up against this sort of thing too because it perpetuates the myth that we're all racists," Payne said. 

"You know he has an absolute right to speak his mind as a private citizen and I think that's just what he ought to be, is a private citizen," Brault said. 

Parks defended himself on the phone Friday afternoon.

"I've had people ask me to remove my post and i wont do it," Parks said. "It's out there. And I'm a man of principle and I stand behind what I say. I guess people need to grow up a little bit and not be so sensitive is the big thing. You know some people got butt hurt over this and it's time to grow up."

Parks claimed his posts were meant to be a joke. 

"I'm not going anywhere," Parks said. "I'm not apologizing and I'm not stepping down. My term is up in a year in a half and if they don't like it they can vote somebody else in. I wasn't planning on running again, but the way people are, I might just do it just to mess with them."

It's unclear if Parks faces any official punishment if any at all for his post. The City of Kennewick says they have a social media policy but it doesn't apply to person accounts.

Parks says this post is his own personal opinion and something he has a right to. Now he claims he's receiving threatening messages from people who disagree with his post. 

Meanwhile, an official from the City of Kennewick said they don't agree with Parks' post and the city believes in the core values of inclusiveness, stewardship, and integrity, something they say that post doesn't share. 
 

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