Announcements & Events

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!

Federal Elections

Congress — Seattle-area representative seat elections 2020

District 7: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is challenged by four political newcomers to represent the vast majority of Seattle.

District 9: Congressman Adam Smith represents the South End from Chinatown International District through Renton, Kent, and into north Pierce County and is being challenged by three newcomers. 

Find your congressional district.

Washington State Elections


One needs only to see that governors are left to create their own COVID-19 responses to realize that the governor affects daily life for Seattleites. Challenging Gov. Jay Inslee — who is running for his third term — are 35 people, from perennial candidates to those with criminal records that include breaking a mayor’s nose, numerous previous campaign violations, and walking away without paying for a chair. In this top-two process, someone will surface as Gov. Inslee’s opponent. Let the games begin!

Lieutenant Governor

When Cyrus Habib announced he would not run for reelection, a free-for-all ensued. Voters will choose from four Democrats, two Libertarians, and five Republicans including State Senator Marko Liias and U.S. Representative and former State Representative Denny Heck.

Secretary of State 

Responsibility for ensuring that elections are fair and credible is perhaps the most important aspect of the job and therefore of real interest this year in the age of voter suppression and allegations of voter fraud. Incumbent Republican Kim Wyman is challenged by three others — most actively by Washington State Representative and Democrat Gael Tarleton. 

*Washington State Legislature

This year, Washington State voters will elect representatives, who serve two-year terms, to the Washington State House. There is also a Washington State Senate seat open in a Seattle-area district, but current State Senator Bob Hasegawa is running unopposed for that seat.

The legislative districts that include parts of the South End and South King County include districts 11, 33, 34, 37, and 43. (Two representatives and one senator represent each district.) 

Find your legislative district.

*If you find the whole “United States House and Senate” (AKA Congress) and “Washington State House and Senate” (AKA the Washington State Legislature) super confusing — here’s some info we hope will help with that.

Other Statewide Offices on the Ballot

Attorney General, Commissioner of Public Lands, Insurance Commissioner, State Auditor,  State Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Also on the Ballot

South King County residents also have a vote on Proposition 1: to fund operations and maintenance of Fire & Rescue.


We need to inform ourselves to vote all up and down the ballot. 

The Emerald’s coverage of specific campaign issues and candidates includes the following:

Vote For Kids August 4, by Erin Okuno

37th Legislative District  Candidates Forum, by Mark Van Streefkerk


In this election year of social distancing, candidate forums and endorsements are important sources of information. Here are three endorsement lists; check with your favorite 502c4 (nonprofit social welfare) organization or publications for more: 

Martin Luther King County Labor Council

OneAmerica Votes

Progressive Voters Guide, produced by Seattle-based nonprofit, FUSE: (seattle) (areas beyond Seattle) 

Virtual Candidate Forums

There are a number of virtual candidate forums sponsored by community organizations and political parties; you can contact local political and social welfare organizations, political parties, and candidates to find time and access information (you can also search YouTube for videos of past forums). 

Image: Poster art for “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (all rights reserved, Magnolia Pictures, John Lewis: Good Trouble movie)

Daily through September 30 —  John Lewis: Good Trouble

All the tributes to the late Congressman and civil rights leader, John Lewis, leave us wanting more as new nuggets about his life and film footage of his speeches inspire us over and over again. Here’s a documentary film, recommended as appropriate for middle schoolers and older, available for the family to watch it together via virtual cinema through Ark Lodge.

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” inspires us to get into trouble — good trouble. Using interviews and rare archival footage, the film “chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform, and immigration.”

Ark Lodge Cinema: screening from a computer near you!                   
Tickets available here.

Image sourced from King County Mobile Medical Program informational materials available at

Free Dental Services in South King County

HealthierHere, MultiCare, and Medical Teams International are partnering to offer free dental services via mobile clinic to those in need in Seattle and South King County. The services are available from July 31–November 30.

People on Medicaid, those experiencing homelessness, and/or those who are uninsured are eligible for free dental services. No insurance, ID, or fees are required. The following COVID precautions will be in place: a screening questionnaire for patients, temperature checks, and only one patient in the van at a time to allow for social distancing (no guests or family members will be permitted in the mobile clinic).

For schedule, locations, and further details, visit

Photo: To commemorate the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, From Hiroshima to Hope is posting an online commemoration this year. They’re also encouraging people to create and display peace candles in the windows of their homes. Photo courtesy of From Hiroshima to Hope.

From Hiroshima to Hope: Virtual Lantern “Floating” August 6-9

Every year since 1984, local peace, faith, and community organizations have gathered at Green Lake to remember the August 6, 1945, U.S. bombing of Hiroshima — and the destruction of Nagasaki, Japan three days later. The Hiroshima to Hope Planning Committee creates a cultural program each year and invites participants to float paper lanterns in memory of loved ones and as symbols of friendship, love, and hope for a peaceful world. 

Like many annual events and community celebrations, there will be no program or lantern floating on Green Lake this year. But the 2020 From Hiroshima to Hope program invites everyone to participate.

A film will be posted on the From Hiroshima to Hope Facebook page on August 6 this year featuring past event performances and readings by Troy Osaki, Seattle Kokon Taiko, Nikki Nojima Louis, and Carletta Carrington Wilson. The film also includes interviews with hibakusha — atomic bomb survivors — as well as traditional koto music by Marcia Takamura and shakuhachi flute by James Jennings. The online experience will also include a range of beautiful images of candle-lit lanterns floating on Green Lake. 

In addition, everyone can make a lantern from a jar or a drinking cup to place in their windows at home from August 6–9. From Hiroshima to Hope’s website has lovely examples of how to make your own lanterns, including characters in Japanese and Punjabi.

August 8: Celebrate Art & Artists from the African Diaspora

In the best and worst of times, celebrate a spirit-filled evening of arts rooted in African heritage. Actors, bands, comics, drummers, poets, musicians, storytellers and even quilters will share their cultural and artistic accomplishments from a virtual main stage. In addition, participations can interact in small groups led by artist facilitators in a Readers’ Theater or Drumming space. There are also registrations for Interactive Quilting and a Children’s Virtual Stage.

Find sliding-scale tickets here. Learn more about the event on Valley and Mountain community’s Facebook page. You can also contact Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney for event information.

Image source: Habitat for Humanity website.

Habitat for Humanity South Seattle Home Preservation Day

Habitat for Humanity is holding a “Home Preservation Day” in the Rainier Valley/South Seattle area in August. In their words, Habitat for Humanity’s Home Preservation events help qualified homeowners in various neighborhoods with minor home repair projects in order to help them preserve their homes and improve the community as a whole.
Interested parties must apply by August 10 for consideration to be included in the event. The repairs will take place on August 22. Find more info and guidelines for income eligibility and apply to participate in the event here.

More About Washington/King County Elections…


The United States Congress is made up of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Every two years, members of the United States House have to run for re-election (while senators serve six-year terms). Each member of the House represents a congressional district in part of their state. 

Washington State Legislature (House of Representatives & State Senate)

With the Washington State Legislature and the legislative branch of the United States both using the titles “senator” and “representative,” it’s easy to confuse the two, so we’re going to break this one down in detail starting at the top. 

The United States Congress is made up of two legislative bodies — the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The legislators that make up the United States House and the United States Senate write and pass laws for the whole country. 

The Washington State Legislature is also made up of two similar legislative bodies — the Washington State House of Representatives and the Washington State Senate. The legislators that make up the Washington State Legislature write and pass laws for the state of Washington.

So the Washington State Legislature is like the United States Congress — but for the state of Washington. Representatives of the state House are elected for two-year terms and all seats are up for reelection every two years. State senators serve four-year terms and elections are staggered so that one-third of the state Senate is up for reelection every two years. Each member of the state House and Senate represents a legislative district in part of their state.

Thank you for coming to our TED Talk.