Category Archives: News

New Maritime High School Offers Project-Based Learning for Ninth Graders

by Chamidae Ford


On Sept. 2, Maritime High School opened its doors to its first class of ninth graders. The new project-based-learning high school is located in the Highline school district and is a recent addition to the five other career-focused high schools in the district. 

At Maritime High School, “Student learning will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers working on or near the water,” as stated in the school’s mission

Although the high school is just now opening its doors, it has been in discussion and development for nearly two years, having been slowed down by the pandemic. Maritime High School is a partnership between The Port of Seattle, Northwest Maritime Center, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and Highline Public Schools.

Stephanie Burns, the program director at Maritime High School, mentioned in an interview with the Emerald that the school was a long time coming, given our region’s vibrant maritime community. 

“There’ve been conversations in this region for a long time about the need for a maritime high school. And a couple of years ago, one of the commissioners for the Port of Seattle, Ryan Calkins, started driving the idea of creating a maritime high school,” Burns said. “It would be committed to supporting workforce development for the maritime industry. It would be committed to equity and access to the maritime industry because historically it hasn’t been very representative. Then also really addressing some of our big challenges and problems around climate change and environment and those sort of aspects of our communities.”

Continue reading New Maritime High School Offers Project-Based Learning for Ninth Graders

King County Will Require Proof of Vaccination at Outdoor Events, Indoor Restaurants

by Alex Garland


In late August, King County began reaching out to “cities, small businesses, chambers of commerce, labor unions, trade associations, sports teams, venues, community groups, and faith-based leaders throughout the county” to attempt an equitable arrangement on a vaccine verification policy for businesses and residents. 

Continue reading King County Will Require Proof of Vaccination at Outdoor Events, Indoor Restaurants

Seattle’s Newest Department Aims to Change the City’s Response to Crisis Calls

by Paul Kiefer


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

The last time the City of Seattle launched a new department — Seattle Information Technology, which brought IT staff from across the city under one roof — the consolidation took years. “In contrast, we had about eight months,” said Chris Lombard, who leads the City’s newest department: the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), which began work at the beginning of June.

In some ways, creating the CSCC involved fewer moving parts than the infamously messy set-up of the massive citywide IT department. When plans to move the parking enforcement unit to the CSCC fell through this spring, Lombard was left overseeing a single, crucial service: Seattle’s 911 call center. The center, historically a civilian unit inside the Seattle Police Department, will play a key role in the City’s efforts to shift away from a police-centric approach to public safety, and the City’s decision to house the 911 call center in the new department was one of the first concrete steps in that effort.

Continue reading Seattle’s Newest Department Aims to Change the City’s Response to Crisis Calls

NEWS GLEAMS: Local Sightings Film Festival, New Grants, Jobs at KC Elections, & 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!


A youth volunteer helps hand out free food donated from local restaurants.
A youth volunteer helps hand out free food donated from local restaurants at a summer mutual aid pop-up led by Emerald Youth Organizing Collective (EYOC) and Youth Voices for Justice (YVJ). (Photo: Chloe Collyer)

DEEL’s New Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant Applications Open!

From the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL): “This week, DEEL opened applications for a new Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant that will invest up to $100,000 toward youth-led social justice projects to address hate and bias toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI); Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Grants of $500–$8,000 per applicant will be awarded through a non-competitive process.

“The Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant was first announced in March 2021 by Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council in response to increased hate crimes and bias that continue to harm Seattle’s AAPI community. This grant will invest in and amplify the voices of passionate youth leaders in Seattle advocating for anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and positive change.

“DEEL worked closely with the Seattle Youth Commission and other Seattle youth to advise on the application’s design and outreach strategy to ensure the grant is accessible, transparent, and inclusive.

“All Seattle youth ages 12–24 are eligible to apply. Applications are open to individuals, youth-led groups such as school clubs or community-based groups, as well as community-based organizations who can demonstrate that projects will be led by youth. Applicants can choose to submit their application in either a written or video format.”

Deadline to apply is Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and the application timeline, and to apply for this mini-grant, visit DEEL’s Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant webpage.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Local Sightings Film Festival, New Grants, Jobs at KC Elections, & More!

Colleen Echohawk Joins YouthCare as Interim CEO

by Ben Adlin


Youth housing and services provider YouthCare, which operates an emergency shelter for young adults in Rainier Beach, announced Wednesday, Sept. 15, that longtime affordable housing advocate and former Seattle mayoral candidate Colleen Echohawk has joined the organization as interim CEO. 

Echohawk, who last May stepped down from a seven-year stint as executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, a Native-led housing nonprofit based in Pioneer Square, said she’s “honored” to step into the leadership role at YouthCare.

“To me this seems like a very natural fit, to jump in alongside the staff and the executive team and the board at YouthCare to support their work [and] to provide some leadership, especially around the areas of diversity and inclusion and racial justice,” she told the Emerald. “That is the heart of the work that I get to do, and I’m excited to join a team that has been providing some of the most essential care for youth here in Seattle.”

Continue reading Colleen Echohawk Joins YouthCare as Interim CEO

Last-Minute Push for SPD Hiring Incentives Fails

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


The Seattle City Council voted on Monday, Sept. 13, to shore up several of its own priorities for rethinking public safety using $15 million in savings from salaries left unspent by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) after another year of abnormally high attrition.

The council left almost two-thirds of the $15 million in the department’s budget, allowing SPD to cover the costs of downsizing — updates to timekeeping software to help deploy a smaller number of officers more efficiently, for example. Additionally, the council lifted a trio of provisos on the department’s budget, releasing roughly $8 million for the department to use as it wants.

Of the $5.2 million the council shifted out of SPD’s budget, $3 million will go to the Human Services Department (HSD) to fund grants to nonprofits specializing in alternatives to policing. The council set aside another $700,000 to stand up a new civilian crisis-response unit tentatively called Triage One.

Continue reading Last-Minute Push for SPD Hiring Incentives Fails

37th District Dems Endorse Thomas-Kennedy for City Attorney, No Mayoral Endorsement

by Emerald staff


In a marathon session, more than 100 37th District Democrats met for nearly five hours on Zoom on the evening of Monday, Sept. 13, to make the organization’s general election endorsements. Endorsements require a 60% majority and included:

Continue reading 37th District Dems Endorse Thomas-Kennedy for City Attorney, No Mayoral Endorsement

Community Shows Support as Local Activist Petitions for Pardon to Avoid Deportation

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Close to three decades after Oloth Insyxiengmay was incarcerated as a teenager, he has established himself as a youth advocate, while also fighting against the threat of his own deportation. 

On Friday, Sept. 10, Insyxiengmay went in front of the Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board to petition for a pardon of his criminal convictions in order to diminish the risk of an order of deportation. Ultimately, the board voted against recommending that Gov. Jay Inslee pardon Insyxiengmay.

Prior to Friday’s hearing, over 60 individuals wrote letters in support of Insyxiengmay and over 350 people, including members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, joined a Zoom call on Thursday, Sept. 9, to advocate for his pardon.

Continue reading Community Shows Support as Local Activist Petitions for Pardon to Avoid Deportation

One Month On, Washington Police Reforms Get Mixed Reviews at Local Forum

by Ashley Archibald

Content Warning: This article contains brief mention of suicide.


On July 25, a series of laws banning police departments from using chokeholds, neck restraints, and no-knock warrants, and restricting the use of tear gas and military equipment went into effect in Washington State. 

The laws were part of a wave of legislation reacting to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin and the months of subsequent nationwide protest that followed. 

Locally, Seattle City Council talked about, but ultimately did not follow through on, significant monetary cuts to the police budget.

Continue reading One Month On, Washington Police Reforms Get Mixed Reviews at Local Forum

Underinvestment Leaves Child Care Providers Struggling

Since January 2021, 95 preschools in King County have permanently shut their doors. In-home and institutional child care providers struggle to receive equitable support from the State but remain determined to prioritize and educate children.

by Samira George

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


Long before the global pandemic, the United States had woefully underinvested in the child care industry. The government directs only a small percent of funding toward child care compared with the whole U.S. education system, according to Ryan Pricco, the director of Policy & Advocacy at Tacoma-based nonprofit Child Care Aware Washington.

“Child care educators themselves make less money than parking lot attendants and pet groomers. They rank in the third percentile of all occupational wages in Washington,” Pricco said.

Continue reading Underinvestment Leaves Child Care Providers Struggling