Yakima Mayor Deccio calls 911: “Far right wingers” are collecting signatures

According to public records requests, Mayor Janice Deccio called 9-1-1 on Sunday, September 3rd with a complaint about signature gatherers at the Yakima Walmart located at 6600 West Nob Hill Boulevard.

Mayor Janice Deccio opens up her non-emergency 9-1-1 call by admitting how she knew 9-1-1 was probably not the appropriate avenue for this communication.

After her opening, Mayor Deccio goes on to explain the “issue” she is seeing at the Walmart. Her initial description describes individuals (“far-right wingers”) and their actions (gathering signatures). Mayor Deccio has been e-mailed to determine whether she spoke to these individuals gathering signatures personally.

“Hi, this is Mayor Deccio.
I know this isn’t an emergency call but I need to uh, talk to someone. I’ve emailed the Chief but..
There’s some far right wing petitioners at Walmart and they’re not leaving after Walmart has asked them if they could leave
And the police have not uh taken them off the premises”

Transcript from September 3rd, 2023 9-1-1 call about signature gatherers at Walmart

If not, she stereotyped and labeled individuals she’s never met or talked to as ‘far right wingers.’ And that is not even the most egregious section of her erroneous, irresponsible 9-1-1 call.

In addition to Mayor Deccio, failed Congressional Candidate Doug White created a Facebook post on the same day, approximately 45 minutes after Mayor Deccio’s 9-1-1 call. In his post, he actually names a Yakima Police Department member and asks “Do you agree?” More concerning is he also asked, “What will you do about it?” What was Doug alluding to here? Physically removing someone for exercising their First Amendment right?

The biggest issue here isn’t Mr. White making a Facebook post. The biggest issue is that the Mayor of Yakima, Janice Deccio (D), does not understand the First Amendment. In her call, which can be listened to in its entirety below, she incredulously asks if anything can be done. Additionally, she cannot understand WHY something cannot be done despite being given a legal explanation.

According to the Washington Secretary of State’s website, signature gathering is a constitutionally protected right. The SOS also answers the question as to whether restrictions on signature gathering are granted in the state of Washington:

Can the property owner restrict where, when, or how petitions can be circulated?
Yes, within limits. Washington courts have explained that when initiative or referendum supporters collect signatures on private property, there might be limits so that the activity does not interfere with what other people are doing on the property.

It would behoove Mayor Deccio and Council member Lund to educate themselves on the First Amendment, the Constitution, and basic human rights. Instead, they have clouded themselves with partisan politics. Nothing in the picture shown above of the signature gatherer warrants a 9-1-1 call. In a city that is dealing with numerous budget issues, domestic violence issues and homelessness issues, tying up a 9-1-1 line to have basic questions answered is NOT a special privilege granted to the Mayor of Yakima nor any other elected official.

Conversely, if Walmart wanted an individual trespassed they can make that request. No such request was made on September 3rd and subsequently, no such requests have been found as of this writing. Which begs the question; what was the motivation behind this uproar? It was much to do about nothing. We know the answer though and Mayor Deccio said it herself. She believed this was the ‘far-right wing’ gathering signatures and thus, she had to find anyway she could to shut it down. That meant enlisting the help of her friend, Mr. White, to utilize his reach with a Facebook post. It also meant enlisting the help of fellow Council member and Democrat, Soneya Lund.

According to Council member Lund, it is unfortunate that individuals are protected by the Constitution.

Why are the Mayor of Yakima, a council member and a failed Congressional candidate complaining about Constitutional rights? If I were you, I would ask them. In the mean time, vote them out.

Have any tips on stories around the Yakima Valley? Contact us at info@perspectivecast.com

Opinions expressed on Accurate Perspective Blog are the views of it’s individual authors, approved by Senior Editor Dave Mullen. These opinions do not reflect any official stances, including those of City Councilman Matt Brown, in his official capacity. We value diverse viewpoints and encourage constructive discussions.

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  1. Roy Dove says:

    Great job Dave, I can’t believe these Communist/ Marxist AW’s(asswagons). It ceases to amaze me how far these people will go with their hate and lack of knowledge about our God given liberties.

  2. R says:

    thank you for this article

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