Weekend Long Reads: What Drives the Cost of Housing?

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s “long read” is a discussion of what happens to rental prices when developers build new market-rate housing.

There has been a raging debate the past several years among economists and housing experts on what happens when new market-rate housing is built in a neighborhood: Do rents in neighboring buildings go up, or do they go down? There are two schools of thought on this.

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Collective Against Gun Violence Launched Amid Record Year of Incidents

by Elizabeth Turnbull


As incidents of gun violence in King County are set to hit a new record so far this year, a group of community members and government leaders gathered on June 4, 2021 — a date that King County declared as Regional Community Safety and Well-being Day — to announce a new collective that will work to prevent more shootings.

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‘Look, Listen, and Learn’: A Long Journey to Award-Winning Television

by Beverly Aarons


Look, Listen, and Learn TV (LL+L), Seattle’s first and only early learning TV show created by a Black producer for BIPOC kids and families, brought home three Telly Awards. “I was stunned,” LL+L executive producer Val Thomas-Matson said during a telephone interview with the Emerald. She recounted the moment she received the award notice. “I was grateful. I was excited and just felt so validated in that moment.” But that moment almost never happened. For the better part of her youth, Thomas-Matson, who describes herself as a “recipient of [the] educational gap,” was wracked by shame, guilt, and low self-esteem. 

“I didn’t do very well in school,” said Thomas-Matson, who proudly announced during the interview that she’s “61 years young” and Seattle born and bred. “It takes a toll on you as a young person when you don’t meet with school success.” Thomas-Matson grew up in the Central District when it was an all Black neighborhood and attended “one of the least performing Seattle public schools.” That young girl could not have imagined she would go on to produce LL+L TV and win one Gold Telly Award for her first season, one Gold Telly Award for episode 7 “Don’t Touch My Fur” and one Silver Telly Award for the mini-episode “What Does ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mean?” 

Those kinds of dreams didn’t seem feasible for a young Thomas-Matson who had to grow up fast. She was the eldest and thrust into the role of parenting two siblings who had sickle cell anemia even though she was still a kid herself. “I had a lot of responsibility,” Thomas-Matson said, “and I just kind of had to grin and bear it, if you will, and do the best I could.” But it was a lot for a kid. Influenced by a logic only a child could make sense of, Thomas-Matson felt like the odd man out because she was the only person in her family who didn’t have sickle cell anemia. Meanwhile, her self-esteem was low because she wasn’t performing well in school. By the time she reached her teen years, Thomas-Matson’s self-worth had bottomed out. 

But then the words of a stranger touched her. 

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OPA Finds That SPD Officers Violated Policy by Using Precincts as Voting Addresses

by Carolyn Bick


The Office of Police Accountability has determined in a two-part investigative summary that at least eight Seattle police officers violated Seattle Police Department policy when they registered to vote using the addresses of different Seattle Police Department precincts. One of those officers was current Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan.

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Delridge Farmers Market Starts This Weekend, Featuring Local, BIPOC Farmers

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Getting fresh, local produce in the hands of South Delridge’s East African, immigrant, and refugee communities has historically been a challenge. The USDA-designated food desert doesn’t have sufficient grocery options close by to meet the needs of the community, and last year’s closure of the West Seattle bridge only isolated the area even more. After securing important funding from the King Conservation District’s local food program about nine months ago, African Community Housing & Development (ACHD) decided to launch their own farmers market. 

Featuring BIPOC farmers and vendors, the Delridge Farmers Market brings locally-grown, culturally appropriate options for fresh produce and food to the community. The market kicks off this Saturday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of Hope Academy at 9421 18th Avenue Southwest. Masks are required, as well as social distancing protocols.

The Delridge Farmers Market pilot program will take place on the second Saturday of each month from June to November 2021.

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OPINION: Communities Forgotten — Latinos During the Pandemic

by Jonathan Mulenga and Fatima Zavala


The coronavirus pandemic has exposed racial health disparities, specifically impacting African American and Latino communities. Coronavirus hit at disproportionate rates for communities of color. On May 9, 2021 the rate of cases for COVID-19, for instance, in white communities was 2,754 per 100,000, while Latino communities had a rate of 9,992 per 100,000 people. In King County, 62% of white communities are vaccinated while only 46% of the Latino population have been vaccinated. Latino Americans are four times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. Though jarring, this is not surprising.

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Black and Tan Hall Hosts Virtual Party to Support Local Businesses and Artists

by Chamidae Ford


This Saturday, June 12, the local cultural hub, Black and Tan Hall (B & T Hall), will be hosting their Hall-i-Day party. Originally created as an event that promotes community businesses and supports local artists during the winter holiday season, B & T Hall is transitioning it to a seasonal event.

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City Denies Permit for Event Commemorating the Art of CHOP

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, the ACLU of Washington and Public Defender Association sent a letter to the city attorney’s office, along with several City department leaders, calling the decision to deny CHOP Art’s permit “unconstitutional” and saying “we may need to take emergency legal action” if the city doesn’t act. They say the denial was clearly based on the content of the event itself rather than any legitimate “safety” concerns.

The City, as we reported this morning, has claimed that community members have said that any event commemorating CHOP, including an event celebrating the art of the protest, “would be disturbing or even traumatic” and that they applied a higher-than-usual safety standard because of violence that occurred during last year’s protests.

Original story follows . . .

Mark Anthony doesn’t know why the City declined his permit for an event in Cal Anderson Park after working with his group, CHOP Art, for the last eight months, but he has a theory: “I think that it got up to the mayor’s office, and I think they’re trying to say that CHOP itself is something that’s violent or negative, which isn’t true,” he said.

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Abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy Announces Last-Minute Run for City Attorney

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


Attorney Nicole Thomas-Kennedy decided to run for Seattle City Attorney literally overnight. She’d heard that current City Attorney Pete Holmes was about to run for a fourth term unchallenged. She took a night to think about it and the next day, filed for candidacy. It just happened to be the last day to file. Though Holmes has been touted as a progressive City Attorney, Thomas-Kennedy thinks it’s about time the people had an abolitionist option. 

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Rainier Scholars Announces New Partnership With Tacoma Public Schools

by Ronnie Estoque


For the last 20 years, Rainier Scholars has partnered with various organizations, school districts, individual schools, and businesses to academically support underrepresented students in the greater Seattle area. Earlier this month, Rainier Scholars announced that they would be partnering with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) to further the district’s mission of supporting more students, especially those from multigenerational African American families. Their first Tacoma cohort will be recruited in the beginning of fall of 2021, with programming launching in the summer of 2022.

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle