As the issues of eliminating special certificates for subminimum wage for those with disabilities heats up more and more this legislative session we need to have an understanding and clarification of what civil rights and civil liberties are.
Below ( at the bottom of this post) are some quotes from the findlaw website which may help a little bit in understanding what we’re talking about with regards to civil rights and civil liberties. Libel and defamation are not protected under civil rights and the continued practice of these violations by the Arc of King County’s “advocacy expert”, Shaun Bickley, needs to be addressed. The Arc of King County is aware of some of these abuses but their statement has generally been that Shaun is not speaking in the capacity of an Arc representative so they have no comment.
Shaun Bickley is an autistic activist who led the legislation in Seattle regarding elimination of special certificates. It was during this time that I came into contact with him regarding some concerns with information being shared by the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities regarding “facts” with the numbers of people affected and the choices of those people affected by this change. Bickley’s immediate response was to attack me many times online via the commission Facebook page and then he violated the First Amendment by censorship and then blocking me from having any interaction with the official Seattle City Commission Facebook page (he was the admin of the page).
Many issues have transpired since the time the law passed in Seattle without listening to the overwhelming number of people who sent letters in to the Office of Labor Standards ( Public Comments to OLS regarding special certificates ). Bickley continued to oppress information shared by those who had concerns. There were multiple complaints to various Seattle City Council members, the director of the Office of Civil Rights and the Mayor with regards to Bickley’s abuse and oppressive censorship to anyone who had concerns about this issue or seemed to question anything on Bickley’s agenda.
It appeared to many of us that these complaints and violations were not heard. But in August 2018 Mayor Durkan we did remove Bickley from the mayor’s appointed seat on the commission . This appointment had expired in April 2018 but Bickley was continuing to serve as co-chair of the commission even though the appointment had expired.
Bickley was upset by this action and took to social media to voice his complaints regarding his sense of victimization. The next commission meeting he self nominated himself to be the commission appointed seat on the commission to which he was narrowly voted in and again appointed to the co-chair position on the commission. This was all temporary until Bickley could be appointed by the Seattle City Council. The first step in this process was a vote by the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee. Shaun Bickley – Appointed as Commissioner to Seattle Disabilities Commission
Typically once a person is appointed by the commission and voted through by the committee the person is then appointed by the full Seattle City Council at the following full Council meeting. There were clearly some problems with this appointment of Bickley to the commission and there were some additional complaints of harassment filed by other commissioners to the Office of Civil Rights shortly after the September 21, 2018 Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee meeting. (start the recording at 13.56 – 26.25 to hear not only my testimony but that of several others who had concerns regarding Bickley’s appointment.) Bickley’s appointment was never addressed before the full city Council so it appeared this appointment was in limbo
In November 2018 Bickley published another online essay about his victimization for Autistic Speaking Out Day. The 4-part essay is published on this site – Radical Neurodivergence Speaking Blog
The issues that Bickley writes about in his essay are either totally false and fabricated or the truth is twisted so much that there’s really no truth left so it needs to be taken with a grain of salt because the whole essay is really a statement of Bickley’s inability to be in touch with reality or to engage with others in a civil manner
After I read this essay by Bickley and saw another reference to it and other social media I decided to file a police report which recounted the abuse that I have entered from Bickley over the past year or so in addition to violations of the First Amendment which he practiced while co-chair of the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities. I thought that the issues would just die out since I had no interaction with Bickley since the September Seattle Council Committee meeting.
I did attend a few commission meetings during this time and Bickley was absent from these meetings. I and others were informed by a commissioner that Bickley was no longer a member of the commission in December 2018.
This is why I was a little taken aback in January 2019 since I had not had any interaction with Bickley for about four months. My employer informed me that the president of the company had received a letter from Bickley in which he identified himself as co-chair of the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities and as a board member of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. He did not identify himself as the Advocacy specialist from The Arc of King County but he was working in that position and continues to work in a position. The director of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights and the chair of the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities stated that they had no idea about this letter that Bickley had written to my employer and did not support his opinion. . I was then informed that Bickley was no longer a member of that commission that in fact he had commit fraud by writing that he was co-chair of the Commission and implying that the letter was written and agreed-upon by that commission.
I also contacted the Washington Alliance for Low Income Housing since Bickley had signed a letter as a board member of that organization. The executive director of the Washington Alliance for Low Income Housing wrote Bickley’s letter did not come from that board and they had no knowledge of the issues addressed. According to them Bickley was writing solely for himself and not from the board or their organization
In addition to the letter referenced above the president of my employer also received a letter from Jennifer White CEO of Able Opportunities supporting Bickley in his accusations against me and wondering what my company was going to do about this. Jennifer White did state that she had not met me but that the details of Mr. Bickley’s account were alarming. I do agree that what Bickley wrote were alarming but what Bickley wrote was a figment of his imagination not what actually occurred
A couple weeks after these letters were received by my employer I then received a letter from the Washington State Department of Health, Nursing care quality assurance commission regarding a complaint against me about allegations of unprofessional conduct. The letter stated there would be no investigation due to the fact the allegations were unsubstantiated and there had been no violation of nursing law. I have requested a copy of the letter that was sent with the complaint but I can only assume it was sent by Bickley given the timing of it and that in my over 35 years of being a registered nurse I have never had a complaint sent to the nursing board. I am anxious to read the complaint and see if there are any new issues he has accused me of.
Given that I had had no interaction at all with Bickley for months I had no idea why he had suddenly decided to send these libelous comments. I now assume they were his attempts at attacking me so that I would not voice my opinion and concerns regarding HB 1706 this legislative session.
These tactics have not worked if that was the tactics of his libelous letters and attempts and other attempts at defamation they have not worked. I will continue to speak out about injustices that I see and against civil rights violations that are happening right before our eyes.
Interesting addendum to the stalking accusations – I attended a public event sponsored by The Arc of King County on March 8 entitled “Community Strategic Listening Session” Bickley has now accused me of continued stalking him by showing up at his job (something he has accused me of doing many times to demand he be fired – none of which are true)
I had no personal interaction at all with Bickley except for one commission meeting which was recorded and which he is heard yelling at me and the Office of Civil Rights Commission liaison stepped to address Shaun to stand back. This recording took place in May 2018. Bickley took me to court in June 2018 to claim I had been stalking and harassing him. The judge denied this petition stating that I was practicing free speech and it had nothing to do with stocking or harassment or personal attacks
The only issue I have with Bickley is the continued violations of civil rights and liberties that he practices while in the actions of a true hypocrite, accuses others of doing the exact same things he is actually doing.
If it was possible to actually have a discussion and voice concerns, work collaboratively to solutions that work the best fort the most people, it would be a truly welcoming experience.
There are reasons that I oppose HB1706 – and my hope is that concerns of mine and the concerns of others will be heard and we will all be at the same table to come up with better and more inclusive legislation that will actually be a better solution for all. It is possible but we need to listen to each other and hear our concerns.
Protecting civil rights is an essential part of the democratic values of the United States. Everyone realizes that interfering with another’s civil rights is a violation that creates an action for injury, but before you can protect your civil rights, you must recognize and know what they are. However, articulating an exact definition of civil rights can be difficult to pinpoint because it is a very broad set of laws. Civil rights are an expansive and significant set of rights that are designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment; they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination) in a number of settings — including education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and more — and based on certain legally-protected characteristics.
Civil liberties concern basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed — either explicitly identified in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, or interpreted or inferred through the years by legislatures or the courts.
Civil liberties include:
- The right to free speech
- The right to privacy
- The right to remain silent in a police interrogation
- The right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home
- The right to a fair court trial
- The right to marry
- The right to vote
Interesting comments from The Arc of King County regarding their advocacy specialist