NEWS GLEAMS: The Great Debate, SAAF-T Free Workshop, NewHolly Branch Reopens, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

The Great Debate 2021

On the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 23, attend The Great Debate at the Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., to hear from candidates for Seattle Mayor, City Council Position 9, City Attorney, and King County Executive.

Moderated by Marcus Green, Mike Davis, and Lance Randall, the schedule is as follows:

  • King County Executive — 12–1 p.m., Dow Constantine • Joe Nguyen 
  • Seattle City Attorney — 1:15–2:15 p.m., Ann Davison • Nicole Thomas-Kennedy
  • Seattle Council Position 9 — 2:30–3:30 p.m., Sara Nelson • Nikkita Oliver
  • Seattle Mayor — 3:45–4:45 p.m., Bruce Harrell • Lorena Gonzalez

If you’re interested in attending The Great Debate in person, go to Rainier Arts Center’s Eventbrite page to register. 

COVID-19 protocols for masks and temperature checks will be followed. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID-19 test in the last 48 hours before entering the Rainier Arts Center.

The South Seattle Emerald is an event partner for The Great Debate .

Seattle Public Library Reopens NewHolly Branch

The Seattle Public Library’s (SPL) NewHolly Branch, 7058 32nd Ave. S., reopened on Oct. 13, marking the reopening of all 27 library locations.

The NewHolly Branch is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

“This was an exciting day for The Seattle Public Library and for NewHolly Branch patrons,” said interim Chief Librarian Tom Fay, who was on hand to celebrate the reopening. “Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, and today the library is once again serving every neighborhood in Seattle. The NewHolly Branch is a safe, welcoming space, and a vital resource for kids and families in Southeast Seattle. It is wonderful to welcome the community back inside.”

To comply with Washington State public health COVID-19 regulations, everyone must wear masks while in library buildings, regardless of vaccination status. All reopened locations are open at 100% capacity and currently do not require physical distancing of patrons.

Visit the Library’s Hours and Locations page ( for a complete list of locations and services currently available.

Rainier Beach Boo Bash

Boo Bash at the Beach, which serves thousands of kids and families for a free, safe, and fun Halloween experience, will be held in the parking lot of Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave. S.

Trick-or-treaters will find dozens of booths filled with city and county government agencies, faith-based organizations, community groups, and local merchants. In addition to trunk-or-treating, there will be activities and entertainment. Kids can trick or treat for surprises and sweet treats, hosted by local organizations and businesses. Safeway will be providing flu and COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone interested.

For more information on the event, as well as how to support Boo Bash, visit

George Fleming Place Opens

The Low Income Housing Institute celebrated the opening of George Fleming Place, 7357 43rd Ave. S., on Sunday, Oct. 14.  

The building’s 106 apartments will serve families with children, veterans, and low-wage workers. Ten apartments will also be set aside for families with children fleeing Afghanistan.  

George Fleming Place is named in honor of former state senator and Washington Husky football star George Fleming, Washington’s first African American state senator. He was elected in 1971 and represented the 37th District of Southeast Seattle/Rainier Valley for 22 years.

Gov. Inslee issued a proclamation declaring October 14, 2021, George Fleming Day, for his extraordinary service to the community. “George honed his leadership skills on the football field and took those lessons to help communities all over our state,” Inslee said.  

“It is appropriate that this building is named to honor George Fleming,” Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos said in presenting the proclamation. “His leadership in the State Legislature to create more affordable housing and support for low-income people has resulted in a legacy that impacts current and future generations,”

For leasing information, please visit For information about the Low Income Housing Institute, please visit

Strong African American Families Workshop

Neighborhood House and Inspiring Here and Now are offering a free online workshop for African American parents and teens ages 13–17.

Local African American parent facilitators will be LaTonya Rogers, Mary Williams, and Jennell Hicks. Both kids and parents attend each week.  Multi-Racial/Blended families are welcome. The first group will start Nov.1 and parents will receive a $75 gift card and snack pack.

Want to know more about the program? Check out SAAF’s videos on YouTube.

For more information about the program or to register, please contact Sharon Holmes, MS.Ed., CPC, Inspiring Here & Now, PLLC, at or (702) 608-8350.

City of Seattle Surpasses 94% of Employees Vaccinated

More than 94% of City of Seattle employees are now vaccinated with less than 1% declining to submit verification or an exemption request.  

Of approximately 11,250 executive branch employees, 94.5% City employees are vaccinated, 4.6% have sought exemptions, and 0.9% have not submitted (97 employees).  

More than 25 departments have more than 95% of employees vaccinated and 100% submission. As of the deadline, vaccination rates at the following departments were: 

  • Seattle Fire Department: 93% vaccinated
  • Seattle Police Department: 92% vaccinated
  • Seattle Department of Transportation: 95% vaccinated
  • Seattle Parks: 95% vaccinated
  • Seattle City Light: 93% vaccinated
  • Seattle Public Utilities: 94% vaccinated

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!