News Gleams: Thanksgiving Day Community Potluck, Planet Fitness Coming Mid-December, Durkan Visiting Rainier Beach on First Day

collected by Antonio Foster 

Thanksgiving Day Potluck in Hillman

Without Turkey Day plans? The Hillman City Collaboratory (5623 Rainier Avenue South) will be hosting its 4th annual Thanksgiving Day Potluck from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Thursday. The potluck is free to attend, but donations of canned goods are highly encouraged. For additional information contact Annette Jones (email) or  (phone)206.602.8215.


Rainier Beach Planet Fitness Opening in Mid-December

South Seattle’s first Planet Fitness finally has a target opening date of Dec 17. The fitness center will operate in the former SAARs Marketplace complex (9000 Rainier Ave South) and will feature Planet Fitness’s customarily low monthly basic membership starting at $10. The Rainier Beach location will join more than 1400 franchises nationwide.

Town Hall Seattle looking for South End Scholar-in-Residence

Town Hall Seattle is looking for local artists, scholars, activists, and organizers from South Seattle to apply for their scholar-in-residence program. The scholar will be responsible for co-producing relevant, hyper-local events at The Rainier Arts Center in Columbia City.

Town Hall says it is looking for applicants with deep local ties and an interest in broad civic and cultural conversations. They especially hope to support people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and others who feel underrepresented in Seattle. Residents will receive a $5,000 stipend supported by a grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Applications close December 8, and can be filled out here.


Durkan to Visit Rainier Beach on First Day in Office

On Tuesday, November 28, Mayor-elect Jenny Durkan will criss-cross Seattle to take City Hall directly into communities across Seattle. Durkan will take her oath of office and share her vision for the City at events in Rainier Beach, West Seattle, the Chinatown-International District, Phinney Ridge, and Lake City.

The Rainier Beach event will take place at 3:00 pm, November 28 at the Ethiopian Community Center (8323 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98118)


Going Away Celebration For Kirsten Harris-Talley

The wider community is invited to “SEA You Later”, a community celebration, with Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley.  She’ll be celebrating her time on the Seattle City Council.
There will be refreshments, dancing and a chance to leave comments on what you want your Councilmember to know.  This event is FREE and FAMILY friendly. 
There will be a DJ set by Gabriel Teodros…so dancing shoes are encouraged. 
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2017
Time: 6:00-10:00pm
Where: Southside Commons (3518 S. Edmunds St.)

SPU Seeking Career Counselor

Seattle Pacific University is hiring a career counselor for SPU students and alumni including self-assessment, major decision-making, career exploration, internships, and job search coaching. The University has several alumni residing in the South Seattle area, and is encouraging them to apply. The full job description and application can be found here.


Glenn Harris to Keynote Budget Matters 2017

Washington State Budget & Policy Center is inviting community members to join them for a conversation about how to advocate for an inclusive economy that creates shared prosperity.

Their Budget Matters 2017 Seattle Policy Summit on December 6, will feature a talk by Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib, and keynote speaker Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward, an organization that works to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes.

The day will also include a plenary panel, “Lifting Up All Washingtonians to Advance Shared Prosperity,” moderated by Michael Brown, vice president of community programs at the Seattle Foundation. The panelists include local leaders Sheila Capestany, strategic advisor of children and youth at King County’s Best Starts for Kids; Jay Fathi, president and CEO of Coordinated Care; and Sejal Parikh, executive director of Working Washington.

At the summit, the Budget & Policy Center will also release “Building an Inclusive Economy,” the first brief in our new Progress in Washington 2018 series – a series of research and policy briefs that seek to advance policies that create an equitable economy in which everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

From the event description: 

Strong communities, healthy families, opportunities to thrive: these are the kinds of things we all want for every Washingtonian. A person’s opportunity to thrive should not be determined by their race, ethnicity, or zip code. Yet statewide data make it clear that economic prosperity is not being shared equitably by everyone, in part because of policies that continue to advance structural racism. This has to change.

 About the Keynote Speaker

Glenn Harris is the president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines. Race Forward is a new union of two leading racial justice nonprofits: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion, where Glenn served as president starting in 2014. Glenn has over 25 years of experience working with community groups, foundations, and government agencies on issues of race and social justice. He previously worked with the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative, and he has supported the start of similar initiatives in jurisdictions across the country. 

Logistics and Cost:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Washington State Convention Center

Tickets are $70 at the standard rate. We have discounted scholarship tickets for $30 and group rates to make attendance more affordable. There are also opportunities available to volunteer and get free tickets.

Visit the Washington State Budget & Policy Center’s event page for more details and to sign up.


Burgess Calling for Renewal of Seattle Preschool Levy

On Tuesday, the City of Seattle released an evaluation of the Seattle Preschool Program’s second year. This annual report, conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the University of Washington, found improved classroom quality and teacher interactions. It also found positive gains for children in vocabulary, literacy, and math.

“Thanks to the work of our team at the Department of Education and Early Learning, there is a lot to be proud of in these findings,” Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said. “We also know that there is more work to be done as we prepare for more growth in the Seattle Preschool Program. I encourage the Seattle City Council to help us continue to support children’s access to preschool by placing a pre-k levy renewal on the ballot next year.”

The analysis released Tuesday shows that when compared to the early years of other successful preschool programs across the country, the Seattle Preschool Program achieved similar or higher average scores in emotional support and classroom organization than Boston (assessed in 2009), New Jersey (2013), and Tulsa (2009).

The evaluation further found that the majority of Seattle Preschool Program participants are from low- and middle-income families, reinforcing the City’s commitment to providing affordable early education options for all children.

Low income children, children of color, and dual language learners made the biggest gains in the Seattle Preschool Program, according to the study—specifically in vocabulary, literacy, and math.

The Seattle Preschool Program also achieved year over year gains in assessments that measure classroom quality and adult-child interactions, while doubling the size of the program and adding 18 new SPP classrooms, bringing the total to 32.

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Preschool Program is a pilot program currently serving more than 1,000 children. Seattle Preschool Program providers receive funding from the City, intensive coaching and training for their teachers, and access to teacher education and facility improvement funds to offer high-quality early learning opportunities for Seattle’s four-year-olds and eligible three-year-olds.

The Seattle Preschool Program entered the third year of its four-year pilot phase this fall, and will use the Impact Evaluation report to continue improving the program for 2018 and future years. The full report can be found here.

Featured image is a cc licensed photo attributed to Dianne Rosete