Category Archives: Voices

OPINION: Mariners — Rotten in the Front Office, Rotten on the Field

by Glenn Nelson, contributing columnist


Major League Baseball (MLB) has a race problem. Its least accomplished member, the Seattle Mariners, has an even worse one. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most woeful franchise in all of professional sports also has a longstanding awkwardness — to put it kindly — with race.

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OPINION: A Mother’s Call to Action for State Lawmakers

by Scarlett To


As the Washington State Legislature responds to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Washington families continue to struggle with multiple crises, and we need action from our leaders now. As a local mother and advocate, I am urging lawmakers to take bold and swift action to get immediate relief to communities and families.

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OPINION: Mather’s Racist Comments Are Only Further Proof of Baseball’s Failures

by Maggie Mertens, contributing columnist


Kevin Mather said he was “tired” of paying an interpreter for Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who wanted to return to the Seattle Mariners as a coach. Iwakuma’s English, Mather said, is “terrible.” And prospective outfielder Julio Rodriguez? 

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OPINION: I Got Vaccinated to Support My Community

by Roy Fisher


When I first thought about getting vaccinated, it wasn’t about whether I would or not, it was about when. I did not want to be part of the initial rollout, figuring some kinks would need to be worked out. I likened it to getting the newest cell phone when they’re released. The first edition consistently seems to have something not quite right but then they get it figured out over subsequent releases. I thought the vaccine would follow a similar course. Let’s get the first year under our belts and see what kind of outcomes there are. No way did I think there would be an effective vaccine available in 2020. 

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OPINION: More Will Die From Covid Without Meaningful Change to Health Care

by Asqual Getaneh, MD


In February 2020, International Community Health Services (ICHS) was the first of the nation’s nearly 1,400 federally qualified health centers — serving 30 million people, most of them low-income immigrants and refugees — with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Our staff have seen the tragic costs of a pandemic that has infected more than 100 million people worldwide and claimed more than 2 million deaths. So, when the first doses of the Moderna vaccine rolled through our doors on Dec. 23, we felt ready.

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Reflection: Home Is a Place Called Kubota Garden

by Marcus Harrison Green


(The following is adapted from a presentation given as part of Town Hall Seattle’s Spirited Stone event. The event, which featured Shin Yu Pai, Charles Johnson, and Nathan Wirth, can be viewed here.)

As a lifelong Seattleite (a lifelong South Seattleite, actually), I was asked to share what Kubota Garden means to me. Now that’s a pretty simple question — with a very hefty answer, given my relationship with the garden that has ranged from when I was a teenager to today.

Throughout that time, Kubota Garden has epitomized the most powerful one-syllable word in the English language. 

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Day of Remembrance 2021: Another Time, Another Place

by Stanley N Shikuma


Executive orders have been in the news a lot lately. Did you know there have been over 15,000 executive orders signed by 46 presidents in the history of the United States? More than 3,700 were signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) alone. Yet how many of those executive orders do you remember by number? 

The only one I can think of is Executive Order (EO) 9066. 

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OPINION: Experts in Our Own Care — Our Community Dictates How Millions Are Invested

by Shaun Glaze and Jasmine M. Pulido


Our community has fought hard for this moment.

Tens of thousands of people protested for the vision of a world without police murders, one where Black death would no longer be funded by public dollars. The rallying cries to divest money from policing were clear. Community members and hundreds of community organizations pushed city leaders to reinvest those funds back into our communities most harmed by police brutality. Those closest to the issues are closest to the solutions. With that in mind, Black and Brown community members presented a vision where we the people decide how that money is spent — not elected officials. This isn’t a new process. Seattle has been doing Participatory Budgeting (PB) — a process that allows people in a city, rather than elected officials, to decide how money is spent — for nearly four years now. But now is the time for Black and Brown community members to design the process and lead the investment priorities for the budget. Over 100 community members became researchers to help design that roadmap based on feedback from thousands of community members.

Now is when we decide.

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OPINION: ‘Building Back Better’ Requires Big New Investments in Women and Caregiving

by Marilyn Watkins


COVID-19 has hit the hardest smack at the intersection of racial, gender, and economic disparities, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable amongst us. Black and Brown communities have been much more likely than whites to suffer illness and financial hardship due to COVID-19. The closure of schools and childcare facilities has put a whole generation of kids at risk while throwing a double whammy at women of all races, who provided the bulk of unpaid family care pre-COVID-19, and are now struggling to juggle work with full-time childcare plus supervision of schooling.

We need both our state and federal governments to commit to investments and policies that build health, economic security, and educational opportunity for women and children, with special emphasis on families of Color.

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