All posts by Editor

Editor in Chief of the South Seattle Emerald

PHOTO ESSAY: Punk Rock Flea Market Returns After Pandemic Hiatus

by Susan Fried


A huge mural with the words “Punk Rock Flea Market” — painted in vibrant colors on the exterior wall of the future location of the Unicorn Bar in White Center — greeted the hundreds of people who came to shop at the flea market over the weekend of Sept. 18–19. The event, which has been held twice yearly since its inception 16 years ago, was forced to cancel in 2020 because of COVID-19. This year’s event was held outside in a parking lot, and attendees were required to wear masks.

That didn’t stop hundreds of people from enjoying a weekend wandering through stalls containing original art, vintage clothing, fun tchotchkes, collectables, records, and handmade goods. The event also featured the Bottoms Up Bar and rotating DJs spinning records throughout the weekend.

A brief rain storm on Saturday dampened the enthusiasm a little, but a beautiful sunny Sunday brought out the shoppers. Artist Mason Heckett said the rain on Saturday had been a little disruptive but that overall business had been good. This was his first time participating in the Punk Rock Flea Market, but he said he participates regularly in the South Park Swap Meet (aka SPASM), which happens the second Saturday of every month in South Park and is also run by Punk Rock Flea Market Seattle. He said he was grateful to the organization for giving artists like himself an opportunity to sell their creations.

Punk Rock Flea Market Seattle started in 2005 as a fundraiser for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and they continue to contribute to LIHI after every market.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Punk Rock Flea Market Returns After Pandemic Hiatus

Essential Southeast Seattle Collective Fights for Small Businesses in the South End

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Even before the pandemic, small BIPOC-owned businesses and restaurants in the South End faced systemic barriers to success, including lack of access or resources as well as the ever-looming threat of gentrification and displacement. The pandemic only magnified these barriers. The processes of applying for vital loans and grants and pivoting to a greater online presence, all while somehow trying to maintain business as usual, were overwhelming without help. That’s where the Essential Southeast Seattle collective (ESES) comes in.

Continue reading Essential Southeast Seattle Collective Fights for Small Businesses in the South End

OPINION: Bill Gates — Do Better, and Listen to African Civil Society

by Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch


Earlier this year, multiple news outlets ran alarming headlines about Bill Gates’ status as the single largest private owner of farmland in the U.S. What has still remained fairly underreported is Gates’ outsized influence on agriculture globally — especially in Africa through his foundation’s support for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). African civil society organizations have spoken out against AGRA’s industrial agricultural model for over a decade, and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the largest civil society network on the continent, recently asked wealthy donors to “stop telling Africans what kind of agriculture Africans need.” So how does the Gates Foundation’s agricultural development still seem positive to so many in the U.S.? 

First, Gates has spent millions of dollars financing media outlets. A 2019 analysis, along with our own examinations, suggest that AllAfrica.com, Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Le Monde, National Public Radio, and Public Radio International are among the outlets that have received large grants from the Gates Foundation to expand their coverage of development and public health issues. Some journalists at Gates-funded outlets have suggested that this “philanthro-journalism” stymies public criticism of the Foundation, encouraging reporters to cover development aid “success stories” rather than failures.

Second, the Gates Foundation claims that its interventions are backed by “science.” By extension, critics of their work are cast as “anti-science” — a serious charge in this era of “alternative truths” and disinformation campaigns. The Foundation only supports certain forms of science — namely, genetically modified seeds, increased use of chemical fertilizers, and other inputs that farmers have to purchase from large agribusiness corporations and their African subsidiaries. They have also funded programs, like the Cornell Alliance for Science, that train communications professionals to write convincing pro-biotech and anti-agroecology propaganda. 

Continue reading OPINION: Bill Gates — Do Better, and Listen to African Civil Society

The Morning Update Show — 9/22/21

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 — Wednesday, Sept. 22

Eviction Moratorium | Missing White Woman Syndrome | #SupportBlackBusiness | In Her Threads | Community Activism or Performance Art?

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 9/22/21

Seedcast: Storytelling Is Guardianship

by Tracy Rector

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


Many of us have known for quite a while that climate change, accelerated by human decisions and behaviors, is not only real but a direct threat to life as we know it. While the findings of the IPCC report released in August of 2021 might not have been a surprise, that didn’t make them less alarming. The report inspired urgent conversations not only at planet-focused nonprofits like the one I work at, Nia Tero, but on a global scale and in individual homes: What can we do to heal the planet? What role can we play? Where are the solutions?

The good news is that human decisions and behaviors can also heal the planet, as evidenced by the land guardianship carried out by Indigenous peoples around the world in the form of tending to the land with fire, seed saving, or not taking more than you need. Indigenous land stewardship shows us not only the ways of the past and present but also the ways of the future. As an extension of that work, Indigenous storytelling links a millennium of knowledge with current day action. This is why Indigenous storytelling is an integral part of climate justice today.

Nia Tero Storytelling Fellow Jonathan Luna (Huila) connects Indigenous land sovereignty and narrative sovereignty in this way: “As part of creating the world, a place with more justice and liberation for all, historically oppressed and marginalized people, which include Indigenous peoples, need to create our own narratives regarding our lived experiences, be it historical or contemporary. The role of storytelling in these struggles, in all of its multiple forms and media, is fundamental and necessary; there are no imitations, fast-forwards, or shortcuts. The narratives of the people who dedicate their lives on the frontlines of defending the most biodiverse, water-rich yet fragile ecosystems that contribute to help sustain the world’s climate are the stories that policymakers need to be seeing and hearing.” 

Continue reading Seedcast: Storytelling Is Guardianship

As COVID Cases at Shelters Rise, Many Are Reluctant to Enter County Quarantine Sites

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


An alarming increase in COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness has been exacerbated in recent weeks, homeless service providers say, by rumors that if people enter a County-run isolation and quarantine site, they won’t be allowed to leave.

And even before these rumors began circulating widely, many unhoused people who tested positive for COVID-19 were reluctant to enter isolation and quarantine, for reasons that ranged from active substance use to the fear that if they left an encampment, they would lose everything they had — a not unreasonable assumption, given the recent uptick in encampment sweeps.

“The resistance, in my experience, has been across the board,” Dr. Cyn Kotarski, medical director for the Public Defender Association (PDA), said. “I haven’t met anyone so far who doesn’t have some fear and some resistance to go, and that’s mostly just because it’s overwhelming. It can feel pretty scary to think that you don’t know where you’re going or why, especially when you’re taking someone out of their own environment and their own community,” Kotarski said. The PDA is a partner on several efforts, including Co-LEAD and JustCAREare, to move unsheltered people into hotels during the pandemic.

Continue reading As COVID Cases at Shelters Rise, Many Are Reluctant to Enter County Quarantine Sites

PHOTO ESSAY: Central District’s ‘The Liink Project’ Features Local Black Businesses and Artists

by Ronnie Estoque


On Saturday, Sept. 18, The Liink Project, a co-op retail space in the Central District, hosted a pop-up market featuring local Black entrepreneurs and artists. The event featured lively music, Black art, and goods for purchase. 

The venue, on Union Street and 20th Avenue, opened this past summer and features retail space Mondays through Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The space will continue to be used for markets, gallery shows, and other events at other times. Stephanie Morales, one of the co-founders of The Liink Project, hopes the space will be a place where local Black businesses can grow and find community in a neighborhood that has rapidly gentrified. Formed by community grassroot efforts, The Liink Project is continuing to accept donations.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Central District’s ‘The Liink Project’ Features Local Black Businesses and Artists

The Morning Update Show — 9/21/21

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, Sept. 21

LIVE — Dallas Richardson of UNCF | Degale Cooper of YouthCare | Addressing Young Adult Homelessness| Update on Haitians at the Texas Border | #SupportBlackBusiness | Seeds & Steeze

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 9/21/21

Skyway Coalition Celebrates Cynthia A. Green Day

by M. Anthony Davis


Cynthia A. Green has been a pillar in the Skyway community for decades. Her work and dedication to serving her community while working at the Renton Area Youth Services family center led to the center being renamed the Cynthia A. Green Family Center in her honor in 2014. In that same year, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett proclaimed Sept. 6 to be Cynthia A. Green Day across the county. 

This year, in celebration of Cynthia A. Green Day, the Skyway Coalition created a series of social media posters with tributes from community leaders, colleagues, and friends of Green. 

“We are very conscious of our history,” Rebecca Berry, manager of the Skyway Coalition says. “We’ve gone through decades of advocacy and work to try to get the support and resources that our community needs.”

Continue reading Skyway Coalition Celebrates Cynthia A. Green Day

OPINION: Every Native Child Matters in Seattle Too

by Caro Johnson and Millie Kennedy


On Saturday, July 17, participants in Seattle’s “Every Child Matters — Seattle Rally and March” gathered at Cal Anderson Park. The crowd stood, sat, drummed, and mourned in solidarity with the First Nations tribes who found 160 children on July 12, buried at Penelakut Island Residential School in British Columbia and in remembrance of the nine children’s remains, recovered from the Carlisle Boarding School in Pennsylvania, returning to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. 

The assimilative policy in Canada and the United States of removing children from their parents is an ongoing form of genocide. From the 1860s until the late 20th century, over 300 American Indian residential schools were a government-funded and church-run national program to “civilize” Native children by coercing them into schools and, once there, forbidding them to speak their languages or learn their traditions. Both Catholic and Protestant churches forced the children to assimilate to Anglo-American culture through brutal means, leaving many maimed for life physically and psychologically. Sexual abuse was common, and manual labor was compulsory for even the youngest children. Thousands of Native children died by suicide, hunger, and abuse at these boarding schools. 

Prior to the residential and boarding school policies, hundreds of thousands of Native Americans died by germ warfare through the intentional infection of smallpox. This experience of genocide is so universal for Turtle Island’s Native people that individual members of various American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nation tribes from near and far were in attendance at the July march in Seattle as well as many non-Native allies seeking justice and solidarity. 

At the Seattle Every Child Matters Rally, marchers carefully placed babies’ and children’s shoes outside at St. James Cathedral, directly across from the regional Catholic headquarters Archdiocese of Seattle, to symbolize the dead. 

Continue reading OPINION: Every Native Child Matters in Seattle Too