NEWS GLEAMS: Retired Black Firefighters Protest, Vandals Strike FCS Van, & 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✨

Photo depicting the Retired Seattle Black Firefighters protesting in front of their house, holding signs that read "STOP the Sale! Seattle Black Fire Fighter's House."
Retired Seattle Black Firefighter’s House Protest on Feb. 9, 2022. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Retired Black Firefighters Hope to Preserve Iconic Building

Reporting by Susan Fried

Retired Seattle Black Firefighters Association — joined by Seattle’s first Black fire chief, Claude Harris, 88 — held a press conference last Wednesday, Feb. 9, announcing the group’s disappointment in the pending sale of the Seattle Black Firefighters building, a house they helped purchase some 40 years ago.

Clarence Williams, president of the North West Association of Retired Black Firefighters Association, an affiliate of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, told the gathering he wants the pending sale of the Seattle Black Firefighters building at 23rd Avenue and East Pike Street to be halted. The group says they weren’t consulted and want the sale to be halted and the retired firefighters to be put in charge of managing the property.

Community activist Eddie Rye spoke in support of the retired Black firefighters’ efforts to stop the sale of the building, which gave the organization a presence in what once was the center of Seattle’s Black community.

  • Photo depicting Clarence Williams speaking into a red megaphone.
  • Photo depicting a group of Seattle Black Firefighters protesting the sale of the organizations former house.
  • Photo depicting Claude Harris, wearing a white face mask, standing among posters displaying the history of the Seattle Black Firefighter's House.
  • Photo depicting Eddie Rye standing among the group of Seattle Black Firefighters protesting. Rye is speaking into a red megaphone.
  • Photo depicting a Seattle Black Firefighter holding up a sign that reads "DO NOT SELL! 40 plus years of Seattle Black History."

Photo depicting the Filipino Community of Seattle 24-seater van parked in its parking lot.
The Filipino Community of Seattle van was vandalized last week. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Vandals Hit Filipino Community of Seattle Van Again

On Feb. 9, around 10 p.m., local nonprofit Filipino Community of Seattle’s (FCS) van was damaged by unidentified people. A vehicle had driven into the FCS parking lot that night, and two people emerged to cause damage to the van by creating a hole in its gas tank, resulting in a leak. According to the FCS, several damages caused to the van over the past few months have been costly to their organization.

“These damages have caused us thousands in clean up and our van has already been previously targeted and damaged by being gutted of working parts,” the FCS said in a statement shared across their social media platforms.

The motive behind the crime is unclear, but last year on Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., the van was also targeted and damaged by being stripped of its working battery. The 24-seater van was purchased last August with a $65,000 grant from King County and additional contributions from the community. It is primarily utilized by the FCS to provide its seniors’ extracurricular programming.

“Any information would be greatly appreciated as we would really like to find out who and why this was done,” the FCS added.

The FCS was founded in 1935 and focuses on providing social services to the community by providing affordable housing through their Filipino Community Village development, senior services, as well as youth development, STEM, arts and cultural, and basic needs (in the form of food bags and warm Filipino meals) programming.

Community members with tips on the incident can send them over to or call 206-722-9372.

Left: Protestor with a sign made from a Citizen’s Indefinite Leave card issued by the U.S. War Relocation Authority that reads “Child Abuse”; Right: Protestor with a sign that reads “Nunca Más Es Ahora,” which translates to “Never Again Is Now”; Day of Remembrance 2020 Protest Signs (Photo: Sharon Ho Chang)

Day of Remembrance Memorabilia and Testimonial Unveiling

The Lakeshore, a South End retirement community at 11448 Rainier Ave. S, will be commemorating the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 on Monday, Feb. 21. EO 9066 was signed on Feb. 19, 1942, by President Franklin Roosevelt, allowing for the forced relocation of Japanese in the U.S. to incarceration camps during WWII.

Over 30 artifacts from all over country have been collected from residents at The Lakeshore: personal photographs, artwork from the camps, pieces of jewelry made from shells people found in the camps, and memorabilia. One resident had a copy of the notice directing people to report for removal from their homes.

“It is a great honor to host on this day the stories of our Japanese American residents who lived through or have family, friends, colleagues, and fellow residents who were a part of this unforgettable time in history. We are grateful for our residents and our partnership with Densho, who continue to teach us and help us to never forget,” said Lindsey Pelland, executive director of The Lakeshore.

The community partnered with a volunteer and daughter of resident Homer Yasui, Barbara Yasui. She has been presenting on the Japanese American Day of Remembrance for years and this year she partnered with The Lakeshore to collect items and display them in remembrance of the signing.

Yasui “is a volunteer of Densho, and will be sharing these artifacts with them. For 26 years, Densho, a Seattle nonprofit, has been documenting the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. They offer firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote justice for all,” a Lakeshore press release said.

Two programs will be held Monday, one for the general public at noon and a second program for residents at 2 p.m. RSVP for the noon ceremony at 206-772-1200. Space is limited.

Collage of BIPOC-presenting individuals in various settings. Over the collage is black text that reads "ZERO YOUTH DETENTION,"
Photo courtesy of Zero Youth Detention.

Survey to Reduce Gun Violence

The Community Safety Workgroup, one of five workgroups working with the Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) and Zero Youth Detention Program (ZYD), is seeking input from young people, community members, and others throughout King County in order to inform their recommendations to develop a tailored, unique approach to reduce and eliminate gun violence across the region.

Stakeholders and partners are working collaboratively, across sectors, to effectively improve the lived experiences and outcomes of Black and Brown youth and young adult males, ages 12–25. Research shows this demographic is disproportionately impacted by unjust conditions, overexposure to violence, and the legal system. If you would like to provide comments about your experiences related to safety and wellbeing in King County, you can access the survey through the following Regional Community Led Safety Questions on Google Forms. Please feel free to distribute the survey, especially to young people across the county. You can read more about the ZYD Regional Community Safety and Well-Being Plan at

With questions, please feel free to reach out to cofacilitators Katoya Palmer ( or Tiarra Dearbone (

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