City and Union Hold Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Site For Home Health Care Workers, Officials Confirm U.K. COVID-19 Strain In WASHINGTON State

The effort to target key workers to vulnerable populations was held at Rainier Beach Community Center as the state confirms presence of highly infectious U.K. COVID-19 strain in Snohomish County.

by Alex Garland


Home health care worker Brittany Williams made sure she was going to be at the Rainier Beach Community Center on a bright, crisp Saturday morning.

“We work face-to-face with our clients, unable to social distance,” Williams said. “That’s why today, I, like so many others have come to receive my vaccine.

 “I want to reassure you guys, that we have an opportunity to change the tide of COVID,” Williams added. “Caregivers have been fighting and continue to fight to be seen as the essential workers that we are. After winning PPE and hazardous pay and being prioritized today as essential workers by the City of Seattle, it’s a big deal to us.”

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Family Exploration Kits Encourage Science Learning and Outdoor Activities at the Arboretum, Kubota Garden, and Your Own Backyard

by Mark Van Streefkerk


For kids and their caregivers experiencing Zoom learning fatigue, a new Family Exploration Kit might be a welcome opportunity to get outside and explore the Washington Park Arboretum, Kubota Garden, or their own backyard. The self-guided exploration kits are designed for kids ages four to 12 and their caregivers, offered through a partnership between the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and Kubota Garden Foundation (KGF). With scavenger hunts, treasure maps, discovery games, hand lenses, and a comic, the kits provide hands-on science education activities, as well as sharing the story of Kubota Garden and pointing to the larger history of the Japanese-American community in South Seattle.

Kits can easily serve four kids at a time and cost $7 but are available to all regardless of ability to pay. To ensure COVID-19 safety, those who sign up for the kits can choose a time slot and location (Othello Commons, the Arboretum, or the Kubota Garden Foundation’s office) for pick up. 

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Port of Seattle Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign Results in Higher Call Volumes to National Human Trafficking Hotline

by Ronnie Estoque

On Thursday, the Port of Seattle hosted a virtual media briefing to update the community about their efforts in support of a regional public awareness campaign around human trafficking prevention. The event was timely as Human Trafficking Prevention Month is in January, and the campaign has led to higher call volumes to the National Trafficking Hotline from Washington State.

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Weekend Long Reads: Our National Strategy for Combating COVID-19

by Kevin Schofield 


It only took a year and a changeover in administrations, but the United States finally has a national strategy for combating COVID-19. On his second day in office, President Joe Biden unveiled the 117-page plan and seven accompanying executive orders to begin to move the plan forward.

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Public Health Officials Warn of Serious New Wave of COVID-19 Cases

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Roughly one year after COVID-19 was identified for the first time in Washington State, health officials are warning of an overwhelming new wave of infection due to the arrival of potential variant strains, while areas in South King County remain hard-hit by the virus in general.

After highlighting a recent two-week reduction in COVID-19 cases in King County, in a press briefing on Friday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer at Public Health — Seattle King County, gave a stark address, urging the public to prepare for the arrival of highly contagious variant strains that have already emerged in other states and areas in the world.

“We are used to living with real volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest and right now we’re also living in the shadow of a COVID-19 volcano,” Duchin said. “We need to expect the coronavirus equivalent of a Mount Saint Helens-like eruption at some time in the next few months.” 

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The Morning Update Show — 1/22/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, Jan. 22

Guest Host Mike Davis of South Seattle Emerald | Biden’s Executive Orders | COVID impacts on the restaurant industry | Vaccine “Pop-Up” locations | Wellspring: Hospitality Workers Grant | Food Fri-Yay! Frelard Tamales

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Q&A: Mayoral Candidate Andrew Grant Houston Shares His Vision for Seattle, Starting With Housing and Climate Justice

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Andrew Grant Houston, AIA, Founder and Design Head of House Cosmopolitan and Board Member of Futurewise, officially announced his run for Mayor on Jan. 12, and he is clear about the cornerstone of his campaign: housing. The queer, Black, and Latino architect and small business owner has a vision for meeting the demand for affordable housing in Seattle, and is eager to share just how housing is directly linked to climate justice and defunding the police by 50%. Houston serves as Interim Policy Manager for Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, and is a member of AIA Seattle, Share The Cities, The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, The Sunrise Movement, and the 43rd Democrats. He plans on contributing a portion of the campaign funds he receives to mutual aid groups he has worked with over the last year. 

Houston, also known as “Ace,” recently spoke with the  Emerald, telling us about his background, and the immediate actions Seattle needs to take in the next eight years to curb climate change. Check out his website at agh4sea.com.

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A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic

by Ashley Archibald


In a video posted to YouTube, a woman in a blue surgical mask stands in the corner of a walled-off yard, a puffy, slate gray jacket zipped against the cold. To her right is a table draped with a white cloth holding 19 votive candle holders. Slowly, deliberately, the woman reads a list of names.

“Azhane Mitchell.”

“Charles Lingenfelter.”

“Christopher Mann.”

In the silence following each name, a man lights a candle.

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Seattle Set to Vaccinate Older, Vulnerable Adults in Supportive Housing in Next Round of Mobile Vaccination Effort

by Carolyn Bick


Seattle’s older adults living in supportive housing will be the next in line for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus offered by the City’s mobile vaccine clinics, the Office of the Mayor announced in a press release on Jan. 22. This newest mobile vaccination effort began on Jan. 21 and includes older adults who had formerly experienced homelessness and who now receive wraparound case management services, as well as older, low-income adults living in affordable housing.

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GardnerGlobal Serves Up a Plan for Generational Black Wealth

by Beverly Aarons


Global pandemic, year one: Many businesses are shuttered or providing restricted service, but Seattle’s real estate market is still booming. We even have the most cranes in the sky — again. Despite the strained economy, Seattle housing prices continue an upward trend. 

When thinking about Seattle’s construction boom, most people think of overpriced housing, gentrification, and the displacement of People of Color, especially Black and Indigenous. They most likely wouldn’t imagine a Black person as an emerging power player in that realm. But GardnerGlobal, Inc., a Black-run, privately held holding company that’s been around since 2009 is consistently challenging assumptions about who has the right and the power to take a slice of Seattle’s real estate pie. Its subsidiary, Onpoint — a real estate services company providing brokerage, HOA management, and development services — recently purchased Mount Calvary Christian Church and has a plan to develop over 200 units of multi-family, mixed-use housing. Forty percent of the units will be affordable, earmarked for renters earning 50–80% Area Median Income (AMI). 

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle