Tag Archives: Accountability

OPINION: In the Aftermath of the Shootings at Urban League Village, How Do We Navigate the Complex Layers of Accountability?

by M. Anthony Davis


On Tuesday, February 9, Anais N. Valencia was murdered. She was 23 years old. Valencia, along with her best friend, sat in her car in the parking lot of the Urban League Village waiting for another friend who lived there when Gregory Taylor fired multiple gunshots into her vehicle. Valencia’s best friend, who can be heard in a chilling 911 call begging police to come to the scene where both young women had been shot multiple times, was left in critical condition. The friend they were waiting for came out of his apartment to find his friends in the car had been shot. Gregory Taylor, who worked for Coast Property Management, the private property management company hired by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to manage the apartments in the Urban League Village, was then shot and killed by officers from the Seattle Police Department (SPD). 

There is no way to view this other than tragedy, a senseless act of violence that will forever impact three young people and their families and the whole community caught in its wake. 

Originally, I thought I was going to write about community healing. After an event like this, how does the community move forward? How do we take care of the youth that were impacted? How do we address the tactics of Seattle police, who shot dozens of bullets into a park that sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood? There are so many layers to this story. It was hard for me to piece together where to begin. But early posts on Twitter answered that question for me. 

Continue reading OPINION: In the Aftermath of the Shootings at Urban League Village, How Do We Navigate the Complex Layers of Accountability?

Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Version of Accountability Fails to Prioritize Healing of Odessa Brown Families

by Adana Protonentis and Jasmine M. Pulido


In the weeks since Dr. Ben Danielson’s resignation from the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) was made public, there has been an outpouring of shock, grief, anger, and loss from the community he served. Running consistently through these messages have been calls for accountability. But what does that mean?

“True accountability is not only apologizing, understanding the impact your actions have caused on yourself and others, making amends or reparations to the harmed parties; but most importantly, true accountability is changing your behavior so that the harm, violence, abuse does not happen again.” — Mia Mingus

In the United States, accountability is often transactional. Our criminal legal system is an example: Someone commits a criminalized act, they are assigned a punishment (jail or prison time, restitution, community service), they complete the punishment, and the case is closed. There are collateral consequences that continue to punish the “offender” for years afterward, and those who were harmed rarely find closure. The wound cannot heal. In this version of accountability, the community is not centered. There is a transaction between a system and an individual. The individual is punished, but no one is made whole.

Continue reading Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Version of Accountability Fails to Prioritize Healing of Odessa Brown Families

Proposed Legislation Attempts to Clarify OPA’s, OIG’s Power to Subpoena in Police Misconduct Cases

by Carolyn Bick


The Office of the Mayor and Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold have announced new legislation that is meant to clarify the Office of Police Accountability’s and the Office of Inspector General’s power to subpoena those involved in or who are witness to possible officer misconduct — including officers themselves. 

The proposal clarifies legislation that was previously unclear due to language in both the City’s 2017 Accountability Ordinance and the 2018 Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract that appear to counter one another. 

Continue reading Proposed Legislation Attempts to Clarify OPA’s, OIG’s Power to Subpoena in Police Misconduct Cases

OPINION: Freedom of Press in the Age of Social Media and Authoritarian Presidents

by Cindy Domingo


As we close out Filipino American History Month this October, we realize through the many virtual educational events we have watched that there is more that binds us than divides us as a transnational Filipino community. In fact, the Philippine Congress and Constitutions were patterned after the U.S. — enshrining the same freedoms of speech, expression, the press, the right to peacefully assemble, and the right to petition the government for redress. 

Unfortunately, 2016 marked a year when both the Philippines and the U.S. elected strongarm presidents who have threatened these freedoms and moved our countries away from the democratic principles found in our respective constitutions. Both Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and President Donald Trump have gone full force to try to silence their opposition and, more particularly, have gone after the press and eroded the role that the media plays in defending democracy. 

Continue reading OPINION: Freedom of Press in the Age of Social Media and Authoritarian Presidents

OPINION: The Importance of Nuance in Confronting Racism

We asked two community members to weigh in on Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announcing her retirement from SPD. Their two viewpoints follow.


by George Griffin III

Carmen Best is a friend. Good people. Classy, strong. She deserved better. 

After everyone gets through scapegoating the Seattle City Council and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests for her resignation, maybe we should take a good hard look at Seattle’s years of inactivity when People of Color and other people said the department needed some serious reform and restructuring. This lack of attention to the concerns of People of Color and allies contributed to the Seattle Police Department ultimately being placed under the current consent decree after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012. Do we need to be reminded how, when Best was interim chief in 2018, she was disrespected and passed over by the current mayor in the initial interview process and how she only got the job after communities of color and allies spoke up? Many prominent people were quiet at that time because they didn’t want to criticize their friend, the new mayor.

Continue reading OPINION: The Importance of Nuance in Confronting Racism

OPINION: Vote for Kids August 4

by Erin Okuno


With COVID-19 surging, a recession, unemployment in King County at 14%, and the renewed call for justice and equity for BIPOC lives, it’s an important year to pay attention to local as well as national elections. While the country is focused on the November presidential election, Washingtonians would do well to focus on some very consequential local elections coming much sooner. 

Washington State’s 2020 primary election is on August 4. Citizens should focus their efforts on exercising the power of the ballot locally and vote in the primary. Those who are not able to vote can still participate in voter education, support candidates, and help get out the vote. 

Continue reading OPINION: Vote for Kids August 4

Artist Distrust: Open Letter to Artist Trust Demands Accountability for Sudden Dismissal of Majority POC Jury

by Mark Van Streefkerk


On July 6, a POC-led group of over 50 community members published An Open Letter to Artist Trust, a nonprofit arts organization that provides funding and resources for artists in Washington. Each year, Artist Trust offers annual Fellowship Awards of $10,000 to eight artists, and two $25,000 Artist Innovator Awards, but this year the longstanding organization abruptly cancelled the Fellowship Awards without any community consultation. The cancellation included a unilateral dismissal of a majority Women of Color jury panel and rejection of that panel’s selected award nominees. The open letter demands accountability for these actions and calls to center Black and Indigenous leaders and artists within the mostly white Artist Trust leadership. Those in agreement with the letter’s demands are able to endorse it by electronically signing their name or the name of the organization they represent. Since the open letter was published, half a dozen women have also come forward calling out the sexism, vulgarity, and rape culture perpetuated by Program Director Brian McGuigan, behavior they say is ignored and protected at Artist Trust. 

Continue reading Artist Distrust: Open Letter to Artist Trust Demands Accountability for Sudden Dismissal of Majority POC Jury