Wednesday, July 26, 2017

LETTER: Election Fallout: NAMI Eastside facing smear campaign

Image result for letter to editor imagesAs a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, NAMI Eastside does not endorse any political candidate.

Currently in the 45th district election, Mental Health advocate and long-time Board Member, former Co-President, President and current Vice President of NAMI Eastside, Manka Dhingra is running for the open Senate seat.  It was recently brought to our attention that political ads being sponsored by Working Families PAC and the Washington State Senate Republican PAC listed as the Leadership Council have been calling into question NAMI Eastside’s financial stability.

These claims are unfounded.

NAMI Eastside staff, Board of Directors and members take the stewardship of our organization very seriously.  The negative ads suggesting that NAMI Eastside “ran up large deficits and filed questionable financial reports” for three years, that is both completely false and very damaging to our reputation.  All of the crucial and essential services that we provide are free and fulfill a need that is sorely lacking in our State.

Our programs and staff have been growing in the last five years and we have been providing support and education to more people than ever before.  We are dependent upon our reputation to raise the necessary funds to provide these essential services and it is extremely unconscionable for a political action committee to disparage any non-profit providing these services. Mental Health is one of the few subjects where we do find bi-partisan agreement in the Washington State Legislature.

Manka Dhingra has found time to support NAMI Eastside in a leadership role these last several years. Her experience in the early formation of the King County Mental Health court sparked her interest in our cause.  
Throughout her years, we have had strong and well-planned annual financial budgets and on time, accurate tax filings. She is credited with originating our very successful Annual Fundraising Breakfast. She has helped expand attendance and availability of consumer and family programs. Manka also, has been a key establishing member of the important Public Policy Committee. In order to keep Mental Health top-of-mind, Manka originated our very well attended, Candidates Forum events.  Under her tenure at NAMI Eastside, the Children’s Conference has grown in attendance each year and the successful NAMI Washington Walk has remained in Kirkland.

We call for the Working Families PAC and the Leadership PAC to remove all the disparaging advertising that references the nonprofits that Manka has lead.

Megan Bishop
NAMI Eastside Director

Editor's Note:,_2017

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