Mayor Murray Joins Calls to Address the Somali Remittance Crisis

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Three Slog posts and two weeks after the 30,000 Somali-Americans in the greater Seattle area found out they would no longer be able to send desperately needed funds to their families, I received a copy of this letter from Mayor Ed Murray to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for assistance in finding a solution. In the letter, Mayor Murray expresses support for the efforts of Representative Adam Smith of the 9th Congressional District, who more than two weeks ago sent his own letter to Kerry asking for a meeting to address the issue.

Murray’s letter came to me the same day that Oxfam International sent me a new report detailing many of the catastrophic effects that an end to remittances may bring, especially for women and their children, as an estimated 50 percent of women in Somalia depend on these remittances for survival.

There is no date on Murray’s letter, which I received this past Friday, and we have not yet heard back from the mayor’s office as to when it was actually sent to Secretary Kerry. But the letter’s reference to the “last two weeks” leads one to believe that it was sent out within the last few days. I hope that this is the beginning of many efforts by the mayor to keep pressure on the federal government to find a solution to this issue that affects so many of his constituents.

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