NEWS GLEAMS: Police Stops, New Shelters, the Emerald’s Authors, & Much 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!

✨Gleaming This Week✨

SPD Will Not Initiate Traffic Stops Based on Some Minor Violations

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) will no longer initiate a traffic stop based on minor traffic violations such as expired vehicle registration tags or not wearing a bicycle helmet.

Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said in a letter to the Office of Inspector General that the changes do not impact public safety, but data shows that those violations have a disproportionate impact on BIPOC and low-income individuals.

“These violations do not have a direct connection to the safety of other individuals on the roads, paths, or sidewalks,” Diaz wrote. “We know there are also reasons for concern that these violations may disproportionately fall on those who are unable to meet the financial requirements set forth by law. We also know there are ordinances behind each of these for a reason, which is why they can still be enforced, if there was another primary violation.”

Violations outlined include expired or missing vehicle registration, not displaying a front license plate, bicycle helmet laws, technical and equipment violations, such as items hanging from the rearview mirror, cracked windshields, and window tinting, as well as taillight violations.

The new policy stems from recommendations crafted by a workgroup convened by the OIG “to review issues and current interventions around SPD traffic stops from multiple perspectives, e.g., concern for public safety, reduction of community harm, disparate impacts to BIPOC individuals, and changes implemented or needed by SPD to improve data collection.”

To read Diaz’s full letter, go here.

Photo depicting the exterior of Hobson Place under construction.
Hobson Place. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Grand Opening of Second Phase of Hobson Place

A virtual celebration, hosted by the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), marking the grand opening of the second phase of Hobson Place and the Clinic at Hobson Place will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The event is free but you must register to watch it on Zoom.

According to the DESC press release, “[t]his pre-recorded event will also highlight SAGE, one of DESC’s programs that will work out of the new building. Gov. Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, and other elected officials will help us mark this DESC milestone — the opening of a unique and environmentally sustainable supportive housing facility for 92 people atop a new behavioral health and primary care clinic operated in partnership with Harborview Medical Center.”

For more information about Hobson Place and these projects, check out the following DESC blog posts:

Flyer advertising Black-Owned Business Excellence’s (BOBE) Third Annual Symposium for Black-owned businesses.

Symposium on Black-Owned Businesses

Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) is holding its third annual symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 1, to inspire Washington’s Black business owners and kick off Black History Month.

According to the event website, “[t]his event is being planned by Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE), which is a collaboration of different organizations and individuals coming together to support, educate, inspire and elevate businesses that are owned by underserved business owners in Washington State.” For more details about BOBE and past events, visit BOBE’s website.

The symposium will include panels on the topic of “Recovery and Thriving Together.” There will also be breakout sessions on a variety of topics including financing, business credit, marketing, sustainability, the creative economy, and more.

For more information and to register, go to the following Zoom registration page.

Headshots depicting Marcus Harrison Green (left) and Ijeoma Oluo (right).
From left to right: Marcus Harrison Green (Photo: Chloe Collyer) and Ijeoma Oluo (Photo courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo).

Emeraldites in Literary News

This past week, South Seattle Emerald’s founder and publisher Marcus Harrison Green was named the inaugural inductee to the Northwest African American Museum’s (NAAM) James Baldwin Circle.

From the NAAM website:  “The James Baldwin Circle is NAAM’s opportunity to be in conversation with and honor an African American writer who uses the power of the pen to make America more equitable and writes in truth-telling ways akin to James Baldwin.”

Green was deeply honored to be named the first Baldwin fellow:

“[James Baldwin’s] words, his wisdom, his trenchant observations about our society beat a blazing pathway towards a difficult and necessary confrontation with the truth. His work revealed the truth about ourselves, our history, and even more about the lives we choose to live and condemn others to.

“His truth-telling made me want to become a writer and helped me discover my own voice, and the courage to use it.”

NAAM will holding a virtual evening with Marcus Green to discuss his writing and new book Readying to Rise on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 6–7:30 pm. Visit NAAM’s  Upcoming Events page for more information and to register.

This past week also saw the work of Seattle writer and Emerald board member Ijeoma Oluo cited by the Seattle Public Library (SPL) as among its most popular nonfiction titles in 2021.

Along with Nomadland, Caste, and former President Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, Oluo’s new book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, was among the top 10 most checked-out nonfiction books at the SPL.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, by Ijeoma Oluo: This history of American white male identity by the author of So You Want to Talk About Race exposes the costs of successes defined by racial and sexual dominance, while imagining a merit-based, non-discriminating model.”

To see the complete list, as well as links to the top 10 most requested fiction titles, check out SPL’s Shelf Talk Blog post.

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