Community Group Demands Govenor Inslee End Cooperation With ICE

by Bunthay Cheam


On Wednesday, June 16, Gov. Inslee received a demand letter, signed by over 60 community organizations, calling for an end to Washington State’s ongoing collaboration with ICE. In tandem with the letter was a press conference, “A Call to Gov. Inslee to End the DOC to Deportation Pipeline.”

The letter and press conference were organized by the Liberation Not Deportation Coalition which consists of over 60 grassroots groups and individuals that organize on behalf of and by community members impacted by the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) and its partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of the Department of Homeland Security through a prison to deportation pipeline.

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Seattle Eviction Moratorium Extended as Council Passes More Renter Protections

by Jack Russillo


While Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June, Seattle’s eviction ban was extended last week through the end of September. This follows passage of other City Council legislation designed to help residents cope with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, June 18, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city’s eviction moratorium, which applies to both residential and commercial properties, would continue until Sept. 30. Earlier in the month, the Seattle City Council adopted other bills that give certain renters more protections, such as implementing a ban on school-year evictions for school workers and families with children and prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent due to financial hardship during the pandemic.

According to the most recent census survey data, about one in seven renters in Washington State feel that they are currently behind on paying rent, with Black (21.9%) and Hispanic (21%) populations disproportionately feeling financial difficulty staying caught up on rent. Only 9.8% of white renters throughout the state, however, feel that they are not caught up on paying for their housing. Additionally, 19.8% of households in the state with children under the age of 18 in the home responded to the survey that they felt they were behind on rental payments, while only 7.1% of households without children present felt they were behind on paying their rent. 

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Ask a Therapist: Singing the Body Electric — Dismantling Pandemic Body Shame at the End of Covid

by Liz Covey, LMHC


If you have found yourself wondering if the “19” in COVID-19 stands for the number of pounds you’ve gained during the pandemic, you aren’t alone.

Alongside the mental health toll that this 15-month crisis has taken, our physical bodies have also been greatly impacted. The gyms were shuttered. The schools were closed, so caregivers of younger children were effectively tethered to the home. Sports and social activities that motivate movement were cancelled. Even the city parks had shame-inducing signs up until very recently warning that “crowded parks lead to closed parks,” encouraging the public-thirsty citizens back into their increasingly oppressive homes.

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The Morning Update Show — 6/22/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Tuesday, June 22

Black Love Returns to the Central District | TAKING B(L)ACK PRIDE | Black Girl Magic | Seattle Rescue Plan | News and Headlines

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Resentencing Continues Under Law Correcting Harsh ‘Three-Strikes’ Convictions

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


On the afternoon of Friday, June 18, 63-year-old Raymond Ben became the fifth person from King County to be resentenced under a new state law intended to correct decades of harsh mandatory sentences by retroactively removing second-degree robbery from the list of offenses targeted by the state’s “three-strikes” statute, which imposes a life sentence without parole for so-called “persistent offenders.”

The law requires prosecutors to request resentencing hearings by July 25 for anyone currently serving a life sentence for a “three-strikes” case involving a second-degree robbery — which, unlike other three-strikes offenses like rape and manslaughter, typically doesn’t involve a weapon or injury to another person. The law made at least 114 people across Washington eligible for resentencing, including 29 people from King County — many of whom, like Ben, have spent a decade or more in prison.

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Native Soul Cuisine Puts Native Food on the Map in Seattle Food Scene

by Kayla Blau


Seattle is known for its plethora of culinary options, but there is one glaring hole in the Seattle food scene: Native American cuisine. Given that we are squatting on Duwamish land, Jeremy Thunderbird (Ohlone, Chumash, Squamish) is working to change that.

“I always hear people saying, ‛Oh, I know this bomb Mexican spot or phở spot in Seattle,’ but no one ever says ‛I know this bomb Native American restaurant,’ so I wanted to change that,” Thunderbird shares.

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Black Fathers Matter March: Honoring and Uplifting Black Fathers in Our Community

by Chamidae Ford


On the clear and warm Juneteenth afternoon, dozens of people gathered at Tukwila Village to march for Black fathers. The second annual Black Fathers Matter March is an event dedicated to honoring Black fathers with a goal to emphasize the fact that despite the stereotypes forced on Black men around fatherhood, many are present and supportive of their children. 

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Free Lunches for Youth All Summer Long at Schools and Community Centers

by Ben Adlin


At locations across South Seattle and much of the rest of the state this summer, schools and community groups will provide free lunches for young people regardless of their ability to pay. Some sites will offer lunches on all weekdays, while others will have seven-day meal packs available for pickup on a weekly basis.

Lunches will be available to anyone 18 and under, whether or not they’re enrolled at that school. Parents and guardians may also pick up meals on behalf of their children.

The service is part of an expanded federal program that typically provides lunches only in areas where more than half of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. During the pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened eligibility to all areas.

“USDA has said anybody can operate a summer site. You don’t have to qualify with this 50% or more needy children,” said Leanne Eko, director of child nutrition services at the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which oversees the program in the state. 

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PHOTO ESSAY: South End Marks First Federal Juneteenth With Celebration and Joy

by Susan Fried, Ronnie Estoque, and Maile Anderson


From marching, dance, and roller skating, to meditation, music, and a restaurant homecoming, South Seattle marked the first federally recognized Juneteenth 2021 with beautiful spirit and joy. Emerald photographers hit the streets this Saturday to capture some of the many happenings around the South End. Among them: In the morning, “No Healing, No Peace!” A Walking Meditation for Black Liberation was held at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and Jackson’s Catfish Corner celebrated their grand opening and return to the Central District. In the afternoon, It Takes a Village Juneteenth Festival took place in Othello Park while KCEN’s annual Juneteenth Freedom Celebration marched from 22nd Avenue and Madison Street to Jimi Hendrix Park. Black Girls Roller Skate hosted a Juneteenth roller skating party at Judkins Park and, in the evening, Wa Na Wari wrapped up the day at their Juneteenth Outdoor Celebration with live music.

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Joe Nguyen Pushes Free Transit, Police Accountability in Run for County Executive

by M. Anthony Davis


The last time the Emerald spoke with State Sen. Joe Nguyen, we profiled him soon after he announced his candidacy for King County executive. Now that it is well-known that the incumbent, Dow Constantine, will face a significant challenge from Sen. Nguyen, we caught up with him again to dive deeper into some of the key issues facing King County.

In this interview, we cover how Sen. Nguyen plans to use minimal cuts from the law enforcement budget to fund much-needed services like free transit, his three-tier approach to addressing homelessness, his views on the youth jail and police accountability, and the significance of the King County executive choosing the county sheriff and how this position can be leveraged for culture shifts in law enforcement and building trust in the community.

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle