More Than Undocumented: “Modern Day Freedom Fighter” Maru Mora Villalpando

by Joseph C. Denton

Maru Mora Villalpando, 45, is a modern day freedom fighter.

Fearing the violence associated with the insecure political climate in Mexico City, Mexico, Villalpando fled to the U.S. in 1992. Today, the Washington-based leader is a single mother, community organizer, published journalist, and social activist. But there is more to her than meets the eye  – her immigration status. Continue reading More Than Undocumented: “Modern Day Freedom Fighter” Maru Mora Villalpando

Transit Fare Victory Highlights Power of Student Led Organizing

by James Akbar Williams

Power of Organizing

On Monday, November 23rd Seattle City Council approved a budget that included one million dollars to pay for free ORCA passes to students at Seattle Public Schools. The struggle for those cards was led by a dedicated group of teenagers who are also students at Rainier Beach High School. On Wed, November 25th there was a celebration to honor those young leaders. Continue reading Transit Fare Victory Highlights Power of Student Led Organizing

Preserve What’s Been Observed: Seattle’s First Youth Poet Laureate Guides Change in the South End and Beyond

by Brie Ripley (featured photo by Libby Lewis)

Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, Leija Farr, has the whole world in her hands. (Photo by Brie Ripley)
Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, Leija Farr, has the whole world in her hands. (Photo by Brie Ripley)

In this audio story of South Seattle’s Leija Farr, the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate talks to South Seattle Emerald reporter Brie Ripley about writing, life, and growing through heartache.  Continue reading Preserve What’s Been Observed: Seattle’s First Youth Poet Laureate Guides Change in the South End and Beyond

Op-Ed: Tenants Must Know Their Rights, Then Fight For Them

by José Camacho and Hana Alicic

There are well over 300,000 renters in the City of Seattle, but there are very few citizens who fully understand tenants’ rights. This is not for lack of trying. The Tenants Union of Washington provides empowerment-based tenant education services, and so far this year we have spoken with roughly 1,800 renters on our hotline and have worked with over 1,000 in our workshops. Unfortunately, we’re only able to speak with 1/3 of the people who attempt to reach out to us for help, and there are countless others who are unaware of the services that we provide. Because of the need, we were heartened by Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s 2016 budget amendment to increase funding for tenant education and organizing. This amendment was accepted as part of the budget in a vote earlier this week. This decision was inline with the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, which suggested that $750,000 be budgeted for landlord-tenant education and outreach as well as legal aid for low-income residents. Continue reading Op-Ed: Tenants Must Know Their Rights, Then Fight For Them

Health Services Desert: West Hill’s Public Health Crisis

Words by Anne Althauser (Photos by Matt Mills McKnight)

It’s 7:15am on a Monday morning and I need to get downtown by 8am for a meeting at Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC). I’m weighing my transportation options as I check the weather: 35 minutes walking, 15 minutes by bike, or 25 minutes by bus. Overcast with a low chance of rain, I opt for a nice brisk walk on this Seattle fall morning. As I leave my apartment on Capitol Hill, within 2 blocks of my front door I pass the bus stop, a QFC grocery store, a Walgreen’s pharmacy, yoga and dance studies, and a handful of cafes and coffee shops. Just 5 blocks away I walk past Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, where if I needed, I could visit an emergency room, family doctor, pharmacy, or any one of the 30 or so specialists on campus. I continue walking. Continue reading Health Services Desert: West Hill’s Public Health Crisis

News Gleams: SDOT Seeking Applications for Parklets Program and Thanksgiving in the South End

collected by Antonio Foster (featured image by Alex Garland)

SDOT Accepting  New Applications for Parklets and Streateries Program

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is currently promoting new improvements to its parklet and streatery programs in attempts to make it easier for businesses and community groups to apply for and fund these installations. Parklets and streateries are small-scale open spaces built within a few on-street parking spaces and are an effective way to provide community-oriented gathering places while supporting economic vitality in Seattle’s commercial districts. SDOT recently expanded the idea of parklets by developing the Streatery Pilot Program, allowing restaurants and bars to build parklets that provide extra café seating space during business hours and public open space when businesses are closed. Last weekend, Hillman City’s Tin Umbrella Coffee became Seattle’s latest business to operate a parklet. SDOT is now accepting applications on a rolling basis, and can be found on their website. Continue reading News Gleams: SDOT Seeking Applications for Parklets Program and Thanksgiving in the South End

Seattle Sweeties: Cupcakes, Women, Hip Hop, and the Fight Against Domestic Violence

by Reagan Jackson

If you haven’t gotten your sugar fix yet, you have a few more days to purchase a “Seattle Sweeties” cupcake from Cupcake Royale. With your purchase of any of the six new flavors, Choco-latte, Vanilla Dream, Chai Cinnamon, Caramel Delight, Lemon Cherry Blosson, and Banana Cream, a portion of the proceeds will go to Runway to Freedom. Continue reading Seattle Sweeties: Cupcakes, Women, Hip Hop, and the Fight Against Domestic Violence

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