Organizer Stephanie Gallardo Announces Congressional Run Against Adam Smith

by M. Anthony Davis


Stephanie Gallardo, an educator, activist, and labor organizer, announced today she will challenge incumbent Adam Smith, a Democrat from Bellevue who has held the 9th Congressional District seat since 1997.

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Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Centers Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses

by Elizabeth Turnbull


As of last week, the Port of Seattle is encouraging business owners, particularly women and entrepreneurs of color and business owners in South King County, to apply to the PortGen Accelerator, a business development program aimed at helping small businesses work toward future contracting opportunities.

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With Mochaculture, Converge Media Highlights Local Musicians

by Chamidae Ford


On April 2, Converge Media launched its new series: Mochaculture. Hosted by Shaina Shepherd — also the executive producer — the show explores the history of Black musicians while highlighting local Seattle talent along the way.

Mochaculture initially began as a live event pre-COVID-19, but it has since adapted to the current state of the world. 

“I was a musician two years ago, just kind of starting to make my way into bigger clubs. I had just got to know some of the artists that I used to just listen to and be a big fan of, and we would be in our little Columbia City bubble, and I just got the idea of ‘Let’s make a show,’” Shepherd said. “There’s no reason why a venue or a booker can book these people and I can’t, you know — so why not just try it out?” 

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For Two Women Small Business Owners, Ramadan Is a Moment to Remember Home

by Bunthay Cheam


“Freshly brewed green tea with cardamom that was poured in everyone’s cups while waiting for the call to prayer or the call to break fast — smelling cardamom is always soothing to me,” said Nasrin Noori, the founder and owner of Jazze’s, which serves organic and locally sourced Afghani cuisine, when asked what reminded her of Ramadan back home.

Noori, originally from Kabul, arrived in the Seattle area in the 1990s after having lived in Pakistan for six years. She has stayed ever since, raising her family in Kent where she now lives.

“Fresh seafood … fried fish and a porridge, there are certain items that you break fast with, something heating your tummy … you have it to open [you] up,” said Adama Jammeh, co-founder of Afella Jollof Catering. Jammeh grew up in Bakau, The Gambia, which sits near the confluence of the River Gambie and the Atlantic Ocean on the West African coast.

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The Morning Update Show — 4/15/21

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, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We 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 — Thursday, April 15

LIVE — Jazmyn Scott | Derrick Chauvin Trail Update | Seattle Black Film Festival | The Soul Pole | #TBT​ — KYAC Radio

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Councilmember Morales Unveils Legislation to Stop “Discriminatory” Loophole and Prevent No-Cause Evictions

by Jack Russillo


On Wednesday, Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales proposed legislation to close a legal loophole that allows landlords to evict tenants without providing a justification. 

The legislation, which Morales is calling the first in a series of “Tenants’ Bill of Rights” legislation, would bar landlords from evicting tenants without giving a reason and would automatically convert all fixed-term leases (those that last for a specific period, such as six months or a year) into month-to-month leases once they expire.

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Vaccination Path Forward Temporarily Unclear for Thousands of King County Residents

by Carolyn Bick


Because of Washington State’s decision to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to indefinitely pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the novel coronavirus, following incidents of serious blood clots in a handful people in the United States who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, thousands of King County residents now do not know when they will be able to get vaccinated.

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SPS Educators Confront Issues of Race and Disability as Students Return to Schools

by Ari Robin McKenna


As many students receiving special education services in what Seattle Public Schools (SPS) calls “intensive pathways” returned to in-person learning in early April, some local educators find themselves questioning whether their students will have improved opportunities for inclusion, or if the opposite is true. Supported by a federal law, which states that all students should learn in the “least restrictive environment,” inclusion requires that students with disabilities spend as much time as possible learning with their peers who do not receive special education services. While much attention has been focused on the myriad needs of students returning to hybrid, in-person learning, these teachers are concerned that inclusion of students with disabilities will be overlooked, and their need to be included will be unmet. 

During the pandemic, one terrible example of exclusion was discovered in SPS at View Ridge Elementary School. According to a story by KUOW, the principal, assistant principal, and other staff members seem to have thought the least restrictive environment for an 8-year-old Black boy named Jaleel was to lock him in a caged play area for hours at a time where he sometimes ate while sitting on the floor. Though state law requires any instance of “restraint and isolation” to be reported, there was no paper trail, and while Jaleel’s case may or may not be an isolated event, it brought to the fore existing questions about whether there was a tendency to exclude BIPOC students — and particularly Black students —  receiving special education services in SPS.

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How to Celebrate Khmer New Year in 2021

by Bunthay Cheam


April is Khmer New Year Month! 

While the holiday traditionally takes place April 13–16, the local Khmer diaspora celebrates every weekend of the month. Khmer enclaves dot the I-5 corridor, from Snohomish County all the way down to Vancouver. Many in the community are blue-collar workers who can only celebrate on weekends as Khmer New Year is not an officially recognized holiday and therefore cannot be taken off from work.

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle