Category Archives: Voices

OPINION: Why We Need 15-minute Communities

by Andrew Kidde


Residents all over Seattle live in “deserts”… food deserts, job deserts, open space deserts. In this case a “desert” neighborhood is one where you have to make a long trip to get to grocery stores, job centers, parks, or other essentials. Happily, the City Council just took a step toward fixing our child care desert problem by passing the “Childcare Near You” ordinance. This measure, which Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to sign into law, reduces the barriers to establishing a childcare center in single-family zones. Yet the problem remains, and the city knows it because it also commissioned a study of food deserts, which found that food deserts — places where there are no walkable or nearby grocery stores — were scattered throughout the city. But a significantly large food desert was concentrated in the Delridge-South Park-Georgetown area. 

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‘Black and Center’ September 2020: Moving With Art in Seattle

 by Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud


Outside, an eerie somberness permeates the atmosphere. Burnt air and still, gray haze evoke our proximity to fire, smoke, evacuations, and devastating climate change. Inside, Kiné Camara uplifts the mood. On screen she glides. Camara reiterates a four-beat movement stepping rightwards, center, leftwards, and then center again. With each step, her head is angled, hands flexed, and shoulders structured to punctuate pulsing music. She is teaching us the Azonto, a Ghanaian dance move that compels our bodies to loop into the entrancing beat across this four-step.  

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First Black Woman Makes Washington’s Supreme Court Most Diverse Ever

by Charlene Angeles


“How dark is the color of its skin,
As that will define its struggles within
Is it a boy or is it a girl is asked, as if to define its life’s task
Will it stay or will it go, the answer its parents needs to know
From the day that it was born, its very essence society scorned
From birth society coded its future to do
It hacked the code and redirected its future to zoom
Silent it could never be, because it ladies and gentlemen, is me.”

—Justice Grace Helen Whitener, “Claiming Your Identity by Understanding Your Self-Worth.” TEDxPortofSpain.

In mid-April, with a global pandemic raging, the state of Washington quietly made history. Without much fanfare, Governor Jay Inslee appointed Grace Helen Whitener to the state supreme court — and by doing so, made Washington’s highest court likely the most diverse the United States has ever seen. 

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OPINION: $12 Million Doesn’t Equate to Justice for Breonna Taylor

by M. Anthony Davis


The family of Breonna Taylor will receive $12 million in a settlement with the City of Louisville, and it is important to remind ourselves that this monetary win in court does not mean any significant level of justice has been served. The police who killed Taylor are still free, and even with the family being awarded $12 million, the police officers responsible for her death have not been held accountable. The police department itself has also managed to evade any significant level of accountability. 

But you know who will pay the price for Taylor’s murder? The people of Louisville. The ordinary citizens like you and me. The people who go to work, pay their taxes, and somehow manage to do their jobs without murdering anyone in the process. There are a lot of words that can be used to describe situations like this, but justice is not one of them. 

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Seedcast: There Is No Indigenous Sovereignty Without Black Liberation

 by Chad Charlie

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.


Since the 1940s, Native people have been protesting professional and non-professional sports teams with racist names and mascots. From the Cleveland Indians to the Washington NFL team, Native-appropriated mascots have been portrayed as some sort of “honor” to the Native community. However, naming a team after a racial slur or allowing opposing fans to chant “Kill the Indians” and “Scalp em bro” is not honorable to me or my ancestors.

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OPINION: Will We All Count in the 2020 Census? An Inside View

by Steven Beck


Filling out yet another Notice of Visit after knocking on an apartment door, from the corner of my eye I caught sight of a huge form hurtling toward me.  

My safety training as a Census Enumerator said to beware of dogs, but thankfully this massive husky was wriggling with delight at finding a new person to befriend. 

“I’m with the Census,” I told her apologetic master, also making note of his apartment should I need to interview him as a proxy for a neighbor. Then, after slipping the “NOV” under the door I was off to the next door, building, or street listed on my digital case list.

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OPINION: SPOG Head and the SPD are Waging an Old Propaganda War Against Protestors and the Left to Thwart Accountability

by Alycia Ramirez


Since the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer, there have been continuous protests resulting in the nation finally realizing the racial inequities baked into our justice system — especially in law enforcement. Even here in our own Emerald City, white Seattleites are now beginning to see what Black and Brown communities have been pointing out for decades: police brutalize people of color with impunity, and often without consequence, and we throw hundreds of millions of dollars at “arresting away” crime instead of investing those funds back into communities.

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OPINION: Black Life Disrupted

by Dr. LaShawnDa Pittman, Erin Lee, Gia Nguyen, Briannah Reed, and Tiana Smith


In “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now,” the late poet, writer, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou wrote that “African Americans as slaves could not even claim to have won the names given to them in haste and without a care, but they pridefully possessed a quality which modified the barbarism of their lives.”

Angelou continued, “They employed formally familial terms when addressing each other. … in the slave society, Mariah became Aunt Mariah and Joe became Uncle Joe. Young girls were called Sister, Sis, or Tutta. Boys became Brother, Bubba, Bro and Buddy.” 

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