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NAACP to investigate recall effort of Lynnwood City Council member

Councilmember Josh Binda was the focus of an ethics investigation and recall effort.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — In 2021, Josh Binda became the youngest African-American ever elected to political office in the state of Washington. 

At 21 years old, he began his first term as a Lynnwood City Council member, promising a fresh, new approach based on love and compassion. But he's not feeling much love these days.

"People are always going to have their opinions," he said. "I just hope this reveals the blockades I've been dealing with since getting elected."

Binda is the focus of a recall effort after spending nearly $2,800 in campaign money on personal expenses, taking an unapproved trip to Washington D.C. as a representative of Lynnwood - asking the public to pay for it - and using the city council chambers to promote a for-profit speaking campaign and posting a photo on social media that some say is inappropriate.

Binda said anything he did wrong was an honest mistake.

"I'm someone who is very accountable for my actions and will move forward in such a way," said Binda. "With this situation the problem is there has been misinformation put out there about certain situations that made things what it's not."

Members of the Snohomish County NAACP believe Binda may have been "targeted" because of his race. The organization is now launching a formal investigation into how Binda has been treated by his fellow council members as well as some media outlets.

When asked to provide specific examples of how he has been targeted, Binda declined, deferring to the NAACP investigation.

"If his voice is being silenced, if he is unable to put his ideas out there and he is being targeted, it becomes an issue," said Snohomish County NAACP President Dr. Janice Greene. "Then it becomes a civil rights issue for us."

In a statement to KING 5, chairman of the effort to recall Binda, Diodato Boucsieguez, said, "This recall movement has nothing to do about race. Councilmember Binda's response to holding him accountable for his unethical and illegal actions is disappointingly sophomoric. We categorically reject Councilmember Binda's racially-charged misinformation campaign."

State Senator John Lovick of Mill Creek called for Binda to resign.

Binda said he has no plans to do so.

In the meantime, instead of being soured on politics, Binda said he has been inspired.

"If I give up, who knows how many young people of color, or people in general who look up to me, will give up?"

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