Eileen Quiring says she will not honor request for her to resign as county chair


NAACP Vancouver Branch President Bridgette Fahnbulleh sent a letter to Quiring and the other members of the County Council asking for the chair’s resignation

Eileen Quiring said Saturday that she has no intention of resigning her position as chair of the Clark County Council.

Quiring’s comments to Clark County Today were made after NAACP Vancouver Branch President Bridgette Fahnbulleh issued a letter Saturday afternoon asking for Quiring’s resignation. The letter was sent to Quiring and the other four members of the Clark County Council.

When contacted by Clark County Today, Quiring said she was not aware of the letter but that the sentiment was shared with her in what she called “an organized group of emails’’ that she had received in recent days.

Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring is shown here in this file photo. Photo by Mike Schultz

Quiring was criticized for a comment she made during a virtual meeting of the council on Wednesday. During a discussion concerning a letter that Councilor Temple Lentz proposed that the council sign to show support of Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins’ decision to remove all “Thin Blue Line’’ symbols and decals from county vehicles and property, Quiring stated, “I do not agree with this letter. I will not sign it because I do not agree that we have systemic racism in our county, period.’’

The comment led to the emails that Quiring said she has received in recent days and the letter from the NAACP Vancouver Branch asking for her resignation.

“As an organization dedicated to helping ensure equality of rights and eliminate racial hatred and discrimination, we, the NAACP of Vancouver, are deeply concerned by your denial of the systemic racism that exists in Clark County,’’ the letter stated. “Your comments and attitude prove that you lack the knowledge, integrity, and vision to competently lead our county. For the best interest of all Clark County residents, we call upon you to immediately resign as County Chair.’’

When informed of the letter, Quiring quickly said she would not honor the request.

“There’s absolutely no reason for me to resign,’’ Quiring told Clark County Today. “I will absolutely not resign. There is no reason for me to resign. I will continue to work in my role as chair of the County Council.’’

In her letter to Quiring and other members of the County Council, Fahnbulleh offered the following reasons for her contention that systemic racism does exist in Clark County.

“This belief reflects ignorance at best, given facts such as the State Attorney General’s recent finding that children of color are disproportionately disciplined over their white counterparts in Vancouver School District; the county’s infamous history of workplace racial discrimination, lawsuits, substantial settlements, inability to sustain meaningful workplace diversity; and disparities in local policing,’’ Fahnbulleh wrote.

On Saturday, Quiring stood by her statement.

“I maintain that that’s true,’’ Quiring said. “I don’t say there is no racism with individuals, but I do not believe, specifically in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, which a lot of that letter was about, that systemic racism exists. I know our judges, our justice system, many of our sheriff’s deputies, our HR (Human Resources) department here at the county, all of the people I know at the county work very hard to honor diversity and not be discriminatory. That is really where I’m coming from. I just will not admit there is systemic racism. I maintain what I said.’’ 

The full NAACP Vancouver Branch letter can be viewed here:

To read details of Wednesday’s County Council discussion of the letter of support for Sheriff Atkins’ decision to remove the “Thin Blue Line’’ symbols, read Clark County Today’s previous story:

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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