All posts by Editor

Editor in Chief of the South Seattle Emerald

Systemic Fault Lines for Undocumented Community Revealed by the Pandemic, New Report Shows

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


After raising and disbursing more than $62 million during the height of the pandemic for the state’s undocumented community last year, the Washington Dream Coalition (WDC) says there’s still more work to be done. 

A new report published early last week details the impact the organization’s COVID-19 relief fund had on the undocumented immigrant community. The grassroots effort for the relief fund was in response to most undocumented immigrants being left out of the stimulus package last year and ineligible for unemployment benefits. The report consists of qualitative demographic and employment data taken from the application process, which one of the main organizers and writers of the report called an “unprecedented” look at the community. It also highlights the voices of those who were directly impacted by the pandemic and the fund. 

Continue reading Systemic Fault Lines for Undocumented Community Revealed by the Pandemic, New Report Shows

SPS’ ‘Let’s Go’ Program Prepares South End Students to Become Bike Commuters

by Ari Robin McKenna


In early November, a big green trailer pulled up, parked, and disgorged dozens of blue kids’ bikes at Louisa Boren STEM K–8 (LB STEM) in West Seattle, the first of Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) 71 elementary schools that will benefit from the Let’s Go bike program this year.

For the next three weeks, third to fifth graders will learn everything they’ll need to know about how to bike to school by themselves. An SPS press release states, “In addition to the physical fundamentals of helmet safety, balancing, steering, pedaling, and stopping, Let’s Go teaches kids the rules of safe and courteous riding along with skills to cross a street at intersections.”

Continue reading SPS’ ‘Let’s Go’ Program Prepares South End Students to Become Bike Commuters

The Morning Update Show — 12/7

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, Dec. 7

Happy Birthday, Erik Kalligraphy! | Sawant Recall — Today Is the Day | Black Contractors Sue Gov. Inslee and the State of WA | LIVE — Kevin Schofield | Rev. Walden to Reclaim the Street

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/7

Investigating OIG Complaint in City Council’s Court — but SCC Isn’t Acting

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


In August, a former high-ranking staffer from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) resigned from their position as investigations supervisor. At the same time, the whistleblower and now former investigations supervisor filed what was then an ethics complaint against the office, alleging that Inspector General Lisa Judge and Deputy Inspector General Amy Tsai have actively tried to silence any pushback against the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) — the fellow police oversight entity the OIG is supposed to oversee and audit — creating, in effect, a squad of rubber stampers in the OIG itself. The complaint alleged that OIG’s efforts to avoid criticizing the OPA were in part engineered to “appease” OPA Dir. Andrew Myerberg, stating that OIG leadership didn’t want to “anger” Myerberg. The complaint also alleged that the OPA had committed malfeasance of its own.

Continue reading Investigating OIG Complaint in City Council’s Court — but SCC Isn’t Acting

OPINION: The Silence Is Maddening

by Elaine Simons


There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

—Elie Wiesel

My foster son, Jesse Sarey, was killed by Officer Jeff Nelson of the Auburn Police Department on May 31, 2019. Jesse was 26 years old. He was the 19th person in 2019 killed by police use of deadly force in the state of Washington since implementation of Initiative 940 (I-940), which requires de-escalation and mental health training for police and changed the law to remove a legal barrier that prevented prosecutors, as a practical matter, from charging officers who killed someone. Washington’s previous statute required prosecutors to prove “actual malice” — the most restrictive standard in the country. With Jesse’s biological family and supporters by our side, Officer Nelson was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in August 2020. Officer Nelson is only the third officer to be indicted for taking the life of a civilian in Washington State history and the first under I-940. Nelson is the first officer in the state of Washington to be prosecuted for taking the life of a civilian in 30 years. Less than 2% of police officers nationally are held criminally accountable when they kill someone. This is why State v. Nelson needs your attention, and the nation’s. Officer Nelson’s trial begins in June 2022.

Continue reading OPINION: The Silence Is Maddening

FEEST Empowers Students to Action Across Seattle

by Ronnie Estoque


Access to affordable, healthy, culturally relevant foods in schools has always been a focus point for FEEST, an organization led by Youth of Color in South Seattle and south King County. Recently, FEEST has reassessed the curriculum they’ve taught their students in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Highline Public Schools (HPS) to help improve their organizing skills. Both SPS and HPS have guaranteed that their school food will be free to all students for the remainder of the 2021–2022 academic term.

“We want school lunch to be free for everyone K–12, indefinitely,” said Cece Flanagan, a community organizing and training manager at FEEST. “We are also ensuring that youths’ basic needs are being met by offering free groceries and meal deliveries, loaning technology to connect to school/virtual meetings, ensuring youth [organizers] are connected to mental health supports, and paying them a competitive wage.”

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OPINION: Running While Black Forever

by Johnny Fikru


First things first: Rest in Power to Ahmaud Arbery. With news of the verdict that the perpetrators of his murder will be held accountable, I am so grateful that Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, has received Justice for Ahmaud. While I never met the Brother, we shared things in common: both Black men, both in our mid-20s, both runners. 

Continue reading OPINION: Running While Black Forever

The Morning Update Show — 12/6

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 — Monday, Dec. 6

Sawant Recall: One Day Left | Office of Civil Rights Kicks Off Participatory Budgeting RFP | Don’t Block the Box: The Cameras Will Be Watching | Jake Gravbrot and the Submerged Crocodiles | Negro League Legend Buck O’Neil Makes the Baseball Hall of Fame

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 12/6

OPINION: Why We All Need a Chanukah Miracle

by Joy Resmovits 

I’m going to tell you a secret. 

I love Christmas music. When I hear the opening strains of “Silent Night,” I hum along. Play me “White Christmas,” and I’m a goner. It simply can’t be helped. The music is beautiful, and, well, most Chanukah music — with the exception of the satire songs my brother’s a cappella group releases, of course — is not it for me. Perhaps Jewish composers didn’t have much left to give after writing such Christmas hits as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”

Continue reading OPINION: Why We All Need a Chanukah Miracle