Category Archives: Voices

OPINION: The Toilet Paper Hoarder

by Matt Chan


When I was asked to write an article on hoarding toilet paper because I was the creator and producer of the TV show HOARDERS, I didn’t know if I should be flattered or horrified.  Like everyone else who dares to venture into stores these days I was unnerved by the site of shelves stripped bare of an item that is essential to our personal hygiene and well-being.  So, knowing a thing or two about hoarding I came up with these thoughts. Continue reading OPINION: The Toilet Paper Hoarder

Opinion: The Pandemic Wasn’t the First Crisis for Washington’s Poor

by Naomi Finkelstein and James Petersen


Long before the crisis of a pandemic, we were living with the crisis of poverty. Both Naomi and James were homeless starting when they were teenagers, and now they’re still struggling to survive.

Naomi, 56, of Seattle, grew up in the Bronx. They were thrown out of their house when their family learned they were queer. They lived on the streets for two years in squats and shelters. It’s the type of trauma that stays in a person’s body, they say.

Continue reading Opinion: The Pandemic Wasn’t the First Crisis for Washington’s Poor

Superintendent of Public Instruction Shares Insights on School Closures

by Erin Okuno, columnist


Schools across Washington are currently closed until  April 27 to help curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order to close schools statewide came from Governor Jay Inslee on March 13. The previous day Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau made an announcement closing schools for two-weeks. Schools were given about a day’s notice about the closure. Seattle Public Schools and many other districts across the state scrambled to ramp up nutrition services and tackle childcare knowing thousands of children would now be without the safety net of schools. Continue reading Superintendent of Public Instruction Shares Insights on School Closures

Washington State’s Other Epidemic: Mass Incarceration

When it comes to life without parole sentences, the state is a global outlier.

(This article is published under an agreement with Crosscut.)

by Marcus Harrison Green


In all, the decades long epidemic has devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands and counting. The diagnosis was handed down in a report released last month by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and researchers at the University of Washington.

Detailing the disease of mass incarceration ravaging our state, the 122-page report reveals a prison population that has mushroomed by 337% since 1980. Only seven countries in the world have higher incarceration rates than Washington’s, with Turkey, not exactly a paragon of democratic liberty, nipping at our heels.

Continue reading Washington State’s Other Epidemic: Mass Incarceration

OPINION: Rainier Beach Doctor Urges Economic Relief

by Valentina Warner, MD


Last week, a nationwide poll found that nearly 1 in 5 US workers have either lost their jobs or reduced work hours as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States.   This impact was even greater in respondents earning less than $50,000 per year (1 in 4). I imagine these rates can only be higher in the Seattle area as the pandemic has been affecting our area longer. Continue reading OPINION: Rainier Beach Doctor Urges Economic Relief

Opinion: Racializing the Coronavirus

Why Trump’s description of it as the “China” virus validates racial hatred.

by Sam Louie, LMHC, S-PSB

(This article was originally published in Psychology Today and has been reprinted with permission)


This past week, President Trump doubled down on his description of the coronavirus by calling it the “Chinese” virus for two days at the White House coronavirus task force’s daily news briefing. Trump defended the term by saying, “It’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”

As an Asian-American psychotherapist and workshop facilitator on multicultural issues, what Trump may not understand is that his terminology is indirectly blaming the virus on the Chinese by targeting its geographic and cultural origin. It puts a face, a culture, and a country as the ones to blame for this pandemic. Continue reading Opinion: Racializing the Coronavirus

Perspective: Caring for Your Beloved Pet Amid Uncertain Times

by Susan Fried


Like many people who live alone, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my elderly cat, Nikki lately. We’ve been together since she was seven-and-a-half weeks old. I named her after one of my favorite poets, Nikki Giovanni. Needless to say we have a very special relationship.

In an odd way, staying home is perfect timing for me. Nikki’s health is declining and I don’t know how much longer she’ll be around. She’s on two different medications and I’m not sure if she’ll make it to April 7, her 18th birthday. As a result, I’m in frequent contact with her veterinarian. The other day I received an email from their office outlining their Covid-19 protocols.  Continue reading Perspective: Caring for Your Beloved Pet Amid Uncertain Times

Op-Ed: Open Letter to King County Council

by the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network (Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group, Creative Justice, No New Youth Jail, Pacific Rim Solidarity Network)


We are a coalition of community members, non-profit organizations, criminal legal systems reform advocates, and abolitionists. We are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the continued confinement of the 2000 adults and 40 youth community members in the King County Jail (KJC), the Kent Regional Justice Center (RJC) and the King County Juvenile Detention. Continue reading Op-Ed: Open Letter to King County Council

Op-Ed: Open Letter to Mayor Durkan During the Covid-19 Crisis

by the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network (Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group, Creative Justice, No New Youth Jail, Pacific Rim Solidarity Network)


The city is entering a pandemic and a state of emergency with COVID 19. In light of this urgent public health emergency, we are recommending that the city does the following:

1) Repurposing of the city’s budget dedicated to law enforcement toward other public health efforts 

The city’s efforts to maintain public safety is most adequately addressed in this time by diverting resources and money previously allocated to law enforcement into crucial needs such as housing, hiring of cleaning and maintenance crews, provision of food and basic resources for our most vulnerable communities and aggressive community health education. Continue reading Op-Ed: Open Letter to Mayor Durkan During the Covid-19 Crisis