curated by Emerald Staff
Here, you’ll find community announcements, events, and other stuff we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Have an event or announcement you want to share? Hit us up!
August 4 Primary and Special Election for Washington, King County
compiled by Emerald Staff
By now, voters should have received official ballots and King County voters’ pamphlets. A primary election in the middle of summer — and during a health pandemic — may feel like a low priority to many, but this election is important and your vote matters. You might be wondering what’s on the ballot or maybe you just need more info in order to complete yours. We’re here to help!
Continue reading Announcements & Events
by Jack Russillo
The Port of Seattle owns six public parks and shoreline access areas along the Duwamish River, but the current names of the green spaces don’t quite reflect the cultural and ecological history of the region.
To replace names based on former industrial sites, the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Parks Foundation are holding a nomination process to collect suggestions for new potential names for the parks and to decide on their new identities.
“Renaming parks is not sufficient in and of itself,” said Ryan Calkins, one of five elected Port of Seattle Commissioners. “This is the culmination of the effort to reconnect those communities to the water that runs right through them. These efforts will hopefully provide the means to really reconnect with the green spaces themselves, in terms of access, identity, and the actual content of the parks themselves.”
Continue reading Name Nomination Window Opens to Rename Six Parks Along the Duwamish River
by Susan Fried
Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade is one of the summer highlights of Seattle’s Central District. The festival, formerly known as the East Madison Mardi Gras and the Pacific Northwest Community Festival, has been an annual tradition uplifting Black Americans in the region for over six decades. Continue reading Photo Essay: Abridged 2020 Umoja Fest Celebrates Black Life
by M. Anthony Davis
About 200 people gathered in the Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza Friday afternoon for the Black Education Now Rally. Coordinated by Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian and local activist and parent Emijah Smith, in collaboration with King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle, the rally partnered with local youth to demand funding for community-based schooling with an anti-racist approach to education. Continue reading Rally Demands Funding for Anti-Racist Community Based Schooling
by Carolyn Bick
South Seattle will see a third free, walk-up novel coronavirus testing site at Rainier Beach High School, starting on Friday, Aug. 7.
Joined by Public Health – Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins in a press conference on July 31, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the new testing site will replace the one that opened in April at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp.
The test will be free, neither citizenship nor insurance is required. While pre-registration also isn’t required, it is encouraged. The site will be open from 9:30 am. – 5 :30 p.m., and will be accessible for those with disabilities.
Continue reading New COVID-19 Testing Site to Open at Rainier Beach High School
By Chetanya Robinson
Seattle City Council members outlined specific plans for slashing the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget in 2020 and reimagining how the city provides public safety, weeks after a veto-proof majority first committed to defunding the police by 50%.
The new proposals do not cut the department’s budget by 50% in 2020, falling short of demands from prominent community organizations after the the murder of George Floyd and city-wide demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality.
Continue reading City Council Members Discuss Defunding Police in 2020 Budget — but Not by 50 Percent
by Beverly Aarons
What happens when two totally-not-into-politics middle-aged sisters become President and Vice President of the United States of America? Sister President explores just that in this hilarious and timely episodic comedy on YouTube. Produced by veteran Hollywood actress and She Shed Cheryl viral sensation Nicole J. Butler, Sister President follows the adventures and hijinks Shona Washington (Nicole J. Butler) and Kitara Washington (Michelle N. Carter), as they take the helm of the U.S. and try to run the country their way while keeping everything from falling apart.
Continue reading New Comedic Web Series Asks: What Happens When a Black Woman Becomes President?
by Roble Musse
Buying a home, being paid on time, getting a business loan. We often don’t think about the ways in which access to a bank account determines the course of our lives. Yet there are businesses, mostly operated by-and-for immigrants and communities of color, that are being shut out of the banking sector in a type of financial redlining.
Continue reading OPINION: The Right to Be Banked — Why Some Black and Immigrant Owned Businesses Are Being Redlined and What We Can Do About It
by Mark Van Streefkerk
On July 20, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) launched the Digital Bridge pilot program, an initiative that connects low-income job seekers with refurbished laptops and broadband internet access. Digital Bridge is sponsored by a public and private partnership with Comcast, Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI), Seattle Information Technology Department (Seattle IT), Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School, and InterConnection. The program was created in response to job losses caused by COVID-19, which particularly impacted POC, immigrants, refugees, and underhoused people. So far, individuals enrolled in workforce development programs through SJI have been provided laptops and internet connection to apply for jobs and complete training programs, which have moved online due to COVID-19.
Continue reading City of Seattle and Comcast Invest $100,000 to Address Digital Equity With Digital Bridge Program
by Carolyn Bick
Face-down in the gravel, hands cuffed behind her back, Ash could hear herself screaming. She had just been arrested by a group of Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers, who had come speeding across the grass towards a group of protestors at Cal Anderson Park during a Black Lives Matter protest on July 25.
Continue reading “I Was Just Laying on the Ground Screaming”: Protestors Recount Alleged Abuse While In Custody