MYNORTHWEST NEWS

NAACP investigating alleged misinformation against Lynnwood councilmember

May 4, 2023, 11:30 AM | Updated: 1:45 pm

Lynnwood councilmember NAACP misinformation campaign...

The Lynnwood City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a settlement agreement with councilmember Joshua Binda. (Photo from Josh Binda for Lynnwood City Council)

(Photo from Josh Binda for Lynnwood City Council)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Snohomish County announced Thursday that they are investigating what they call an “alleged misinformation campaign surrounding young black City Councilmember Josh Binda.”

They stated Binda is being targeted by the media and fellow Lynnwood City Councilmembers to justify a recall campaign against the young representative. Binda has faced criticism over the past year for a shirtless photo posted to Instagram, trying to expense an unapproved conference trip, using public grounds for personal gain, and misusing campaign funds.

“Given the current climate in the country, we are deeply concerned that young Black voices are being targeted and suppressed,” NAACP Snohomish County President Dr. Janice R. Greene wrote in the investigation’s announcement. “Having recently witnessed the attempt to silence Representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones in Tennessee, we realize this may be endemic nationwide. Discriminatory behavior has no place in our county, and we plan to expose it if it exists.”

Lynnwood council member under fire for posting shirtless photo

Binda posted a photo March 19 as part of a promotion for his speaking tour at local middle and high schools. The post featured Binda posing shirtless, highlighting a tattoo on his arm that reads “Love Conquers All” — the name of his tour. A recall campaign against Binda has said that the post was “sexual” and was targeted toward minors.

Some have criticized the movement against Binda, claiming the outrage about the Instagram post was racist and that the over-sexualization of the image was never meant to be provocative.

Most recently, Lynnwood City Council President Shannon Sessions claimed Binda made a last-minute request to attend a leadership conference in Washington, D.C.

Binda was previously fined $1,000 in January for using campaign funds for personal use. The Public Disclosure Commission opened a formal investigation and found Binda spent $2,742.49 of campaign funds on designer items, dental work, hair, airfare, and entertainment tickets.

He also received a citation for filing a post-election report 280 days late. He is currently under investigation by the City of Lynnwood for filming a promotional video for his speaking tour inside city council chambers.

Greene said that the investigation comes after several incidents across the country of Black representatives being silenced or expelled, including one where two Black representatives were expelled from the Tennessee House for protesting gun violence while their white colleague was not.

Recall campaign: Lynnwood a ‘regional embarrassment’ due to shirtless councilmember

“The NAACP of Snohomish County recognizes that young Black voices are often maliciously silenced, and this investigation aims to shed light on any injustices Councilmember Binda may have faced,” Greene said.

The NAACP said that they will update the community about the progress of the investigation as they receive more information.

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