NEWS GLEAMS: Majority of 2021 Fatal Crashes in South End, Taste of White Center, & More

curated by Emerald Editors

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

It’s a week for hearings, local and national. These include the first inquest hearing into the 2017 death of Charleena Lyles, which is a judicial inquiry that lays out and ascertains the facts of the case. Nationally, the fourth of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings has also just passed; the fifth takes place Thursday morning, June 23. Recent flickers of white nationalist groups making hyperlocal plays and targeting LGBTQ+ communities can’t help but feel like echoes of insurrection.

But there is still some levity to be found. Pride events continue this weekend — see our guide — including Lavender Rights Project’s Black Trans Comedy Showcase tonight!

—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Photo depicting the freshly painted RapidRide H Line bus lanes at Southwest Oregon Street.
Photo is attributed to SDOT Photos (under a Creative Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0 license).

Vision Zero Report Shows Majority of Fatal Crashes in 2021 Occured in South End Communities

On Tuesday, June 21, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) shared their “Vision Zero” Report, showcasing their plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on the streets by 2030. Since 2015, nearly 1,200 people have been seriously injured and 175 people have been killed in a traffic crash.

The report shows that while people walking, rolling, and biking are involved in 7% of total crashes, they comprise 61% of fatalities. Black people are also disproportionately affected by fatal crashes, as are people experiencing homelessness. In 2021 alone, 56% of fatal crashes occurred in District 2 — much higher than other districts, which averaged closer to 10%. 

Some changes — including the creation of a Safety Corridor on on Rainier Avenue South, between Columbia City and Hillman City — have resulted in a decrease of injury collisions by 30%, collisions with people biking and walking by 40%, and top-end speeding by 75%. It will soon be entering its third phase of improvements.

As District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales noted following the presentation, “Here’s your data: Last year, 56% of people who died on Seattle streets, died in my district. That number represents human lives lost. Mothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, uncles — gone. They will never again laugh, or share a family dinner, or hug their kids. That number represents countless shattered families, and all that loss was and is preventable. That’s devastating. The department should know this. Now, what actions will SDOT take to change that? Until the City values the lives of people in the South End at the same level as those in wealthier, whiter areas of the city, they aren’t doing enough.”

Councilmember Alex Pedersen of District 4, who is the Transportation Committee Chair, also stated, “While I’m hopeful the City Council’s additional investments for pedestrian safety in South Seattle will reduce injuries once SDOT finishes those projects, today’s initial 2022 data sounds the alarm that the mayor’s upcoming budget proposal must continue to increase our investments in South Seattle and other underinvested areas, so that our transportation infrastructure is quickly made safer.”

More information about the City’s plan for Vision Zero can be found on SDOT’s website. An interactive map details each neighborhood and how it’s been impacted by transit, filterable by race and social equity, socioeconomic disadvantage, and health disadvantage indexes.

Image depicting art of Latino individuals holding out various food items. Text above the individuals reads, "White Center Food Bank: Taste of White Center."
Taste of White Center. Art by by Jake Prendez of Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, image courtesy of White Center Food Bank.

First-Ever Taste of White Center Benefits White Center Food Banks

The first-ever Taste of White Center featuring nearly 30 restaurants will take place Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown White Center.

The event, held by the White Center Food Bank, has been a “dream of our organization for many years,” said Jefferson Rose, development and communications director. It’s a fundraiser for the food bank, but it’s also a way to create community and support White Center and other local businesses which have supported the food bank, he said.

Purchase $5 meal tickets at any of three donation stations located at Patrick’s Cafe and Bakery, Mac’s Triangle Pub, and at the corner of Southwest 98th Street and 16th Avenue Southwest. Each ticket may be redeemed at participating restaurants for signature menu items.

Find all the participating restaurants and information on their website.

Sound Theatre Company Launches Residency for Intersectional Plays

Sound Theatre Company’s Making Waves William S. Yellow Robe Jr. Playwright Residency Program will kick off in September 2022, running on a hybrid in-person and virtual model.

The new residency is named after the late award-winning playwright William S. Yellow Robe Jr. (Assiniboine), whose body of work often integrated his mixed Black and Native ancestry and, late in his career, a disability lens. With its unique focus on developing new plays from an intersectional lens, Sound Theatre’s residency is based upon an understanding of intersectionality as described in Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People, scholarly text written by Sins Invalid, a disability justice performing arts organization: 

“This principle says that we are many things, and they all impact us. We are not one identity; we are each coming from a specific experience of race, disability, class, sexuality, age, religious background, geographical location, immigration status, and more […] we all have areas where we experience privilege, as well as areas of oppression. The term ‘intersectionality’ was first introduced by feminist theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989.” 

“Our intention is to invite playwrights to create narratives that draw from their own authentic lived experiences, while deepening their understanding of those of others,” said Teresa Thuman, Sound Theatre founding artistic director. “We expect this to be unique to each individual; thus we ask you to share your personal understanding of intersectionality and how it informs your work.”

Applications are now open and due July 6. The selected playwright resident will receive a $10,000 stipend, separate from paid mentorship and training, as well as in-house support in developing and presenting a project. If non-local, the resident will receive reimbursement for travel and up to two weeks of housing in Seattle. View their FAQ here.

Our content is funded in part by advertisements. To inquire about advertising with the Emerald, check out our media kit and fill out our application for more info.

The South Seattle Emerald website contains information and content supplied by third parties and community members. Information contained herein regarding any specific person, commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the South Seattle Emerald, its directors, editors, or staff members.

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!