Category Archives: Opinion

OPINION: State Lawmakers Seek the Wrong Answer by Demanding More Mental Health Beds

by Laura Van Tosh and Janine Bertram

State lawmakers in Olympia are debating House Bill 1394 (and its companion bill, Senate Bill 5431), an expensive proposal to build more hospitals with inpatient beds for people suffering from mental health or substance use challenges. This bill has gained wide appeal, and yet it takes a very awkward and giant step backward in terms of reforming what has been called, “a broken system.” We don’t believe our system is “broken” but we do believe Washington State policy makers are on the wrong path, thinking that more inpatient beds are the answer.

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OPINION: I Grew Up Witnessing How Washington’s Tax Code Hurts Families — Let’s Fix It

by Rep. Debra Entenman

I remember growing up in a housing project in Seattle and my mother having to make choices. Choices like which of my siblings got to go on the field trip or which store to shop at to get the cheapest groceries to stretch her teacher’s paycheck just a little bit further.

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OPINION: So-Called Affordable Housing is Still Out of Reach for Many Seattleites

by Tyler Adamson

Considering the Seattle City Council’s recent conversations on zoning laws, it’s particularly pertinent to dig a little deeper into the topic, especially as it applies to accessibility and the racist and segregatory intent which these laws were originally designed. However, the notion that zoning laws are at the root cause of our disparate housing system is simply short-sighted.

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OPINION: Which Seattle Will You Choose?

by Zachary DeWolf and Dylan Cate

As we examine our own stories and feelings about growth across our city, a particular quote from Dr. Maya Angelou keeps coming to the surface: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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OPINION: Punitive WorkFirst Policies Disproportionately Harm Families of Color

Program cuts have stark racist impacts

(This article originally appeared on budgetandpolicy.org and has been republished with permission.)

by Liz Olson

As the Washington State Budget & Policy Center has previously written, Washington has made deep cuts to its WorkFirst program, our state version of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), in the last decade. New data reveal that these cuts have disproportionately harmed Black and American Indian families, who — under the harsh, inflexible time limit policy — are more likely to be cut off WorkFirst/TANF than their white counterparts. So although the WorkFirst program is intended to provide critical support to families who are excluded from opportunity, punitive policy decisions have instead further marginalized people of color from basic resources — threatening to deepen racial income and wealth disparity.

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OPINION — Snowy Winters & Smokey Summers: Preparing for the Future

OpEds by Got Green appear in the South Seattle Emerald every month.

by Hodan Hassan and Tanika Thompson-Bird

The climate is changing. We know that, but the past few weeks brought it to the forefront of our minds. Remember the snow? The snow that fell from the sky and trapped us in our homes for days? That was a sign of how the changing climate is impacting our weather patterns — snow storm in Seattle, a rainstorm in Southern California and 60-degree weather in DC. Seattle is not prepared for snow in any capacity. The streets weren’t cleaned, public transit was a disaster, and people couldn’t get out of their homes.

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OPINION: Voodoo and the Black Spirituality of Resistance

by Villainus (formerly Bypolar)

Voodoo, also known by many names, such as Vodou or Voudon, which vary depending on the region — is a lost part of our past and present as black folks. It’s been shrouded in mystery and fear mongering for most of our lifetimes. I want to talk about why, and about how Vodou played and still plays a major role in our continued journey to liberation.

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