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 theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Wednesday, July 21
LIVE — Jaye Ware | Sawant Unveils Affordable Housing Plan | #FollowTheMoney — Where Is the $10M HSD Going? | Arrest Made in I-90 Rock-Throwing Incident | Activists, Actors, or Actorvist? | Diggable Planets!
The Seattle City Council unanimously approved legislation on Monday, July 12, pushed by Mayor Jenny Durkan to purchase two parcels of land for affordable housing to address the growing pressure of housing displacement in the South Park neighborhood .
The lots at the intersection of 14th Avenue South and South Henderson Street will be purchased for $3.65 million and eventually developed into between 70 and 120 units of housing, according to Stephanie Velasco, a spokesperson for the Seattle Office of Housing. Responding to input from the neighborhood (including a sizable Latino community), the project will include many three-bedroom units appropriate for multigenerational families.
“Now we can start building the dream of housing that will go there,” said Maria Ramirez, chair of the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC). “It’s a big move forward to bring in a bunch of units of new housing — quality housing that’s affordable at different levels of [area median income]. And family housing. It’s going to be community-led. We’re going to design something that the community wants and has been asking for.”
A coalition of community groups protested the grand opening of KODA Condominiums in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) yesterday. The demonstration, organized by the CID Coalition (aka Humbows Not Hotels) and supported by Parisol (Pacific Rim Solidarity Network) and MPOP (Massage Parlor Outreach Project), was the latest of many actions over the years protesting the development including a protest at the groundbreaking in 2019.
“KODA was the first luxury high-rise approved in the CID after City Council’s controversial Mandatory Housing Affordability legislation, so it has serious implications for the future of the neighborhood,” wrote CID Coalition member Nina Wallace in an email.
(This article was previously published at PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)
The Burien City Council voted narrowly last week to delay a Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) development that would provide 95 units of permanent supportive housing, including at least 25 units for disabled veterans.
The proposal is part of Burien’s 2019 Affordable Housing Demonstration Program, which grants zoning variances to projects that serve people at various income levels; DESC applied to build housing for people between 0% and 30% of area median income, the lowest income level included in the pilot.
The Burien Planning Commission approved the project unanimously in April, but councilmembers raised objections after some residents complained that the project would harm downtown businesses and bring homeless people from other areas (like Seattle) into Burien.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccination Locations/Info & Pop-Ups
Appointments No Longer Required at Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle Vaccination Sites — Those who live or work in King County can now walk up or drive to three City of Seattle COVID-19 vaccination sites without an appointment. People who have not yet received a dose can now receive their first or second dose at three locations: Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle. At the time of vaccination, if required, patients will be signed up for an appointment for their second dose.
According to the Mayor’s Office the locations and times of the centers are:
Lumen Field Event Center: 330 S Royal Brougham Way, Seattle, WA 98134; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Rainier Beach Vaccination Hub: 8702 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
West Seattle Vaccination Hub: 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. On Wednesday, May 5, this hub will be open until 7:30 p.m.
On a small sliver of land in South Park along the Duwamish River, there once sat eight affordable houses. Now only five remain. Over the past few months, the new owners of these properties, National Products Inc. (commonly known as Ram Mounts or NPI), have begun demolishing these cottage-style houses.
Ram Mounts purchased the lots — known as the South Park triangle — through a shell company in 2019 for $2.5 million. The company is a plastics manufacturer that owns multiple warehouses and facilities on the block across the street to the south of the triangle. It hopes to replace the houses with a “park-like setting, with a noise abatement wall” to serve as a buffer between its facilities and the rest of the neighborhood. The company also plans on using the adjacent right-of-way for more parking.
However, some residents fear that Ram Mounts is simply using this new purchase to continue to expand their footprint in the area. Jennifer Scarlett, a neighbor who lives one block away from the triangle, sees the recent purchase and demolitions as part of a larger pattern of industrial expansion. “Yeah, they’ve already expanded twice … they’re an industrial company, they’re not on industrial zoning, and they keep expanding,” said Scarlett.
The love that the Seattle community had for legendary civil-rights activist Robert “Uncle Bob” Santos was in full bloom Thursday evening for the virtual groundbreaking of a new affordable housing development named after him. An additional Zoom overflow room had to be created to accommodate all the many community members in attendance. The CID-based InterIm Community Development Association (CDA) in charge of the development produced a video shown during the event that discussed Uncle Bob’s contributions to the neighborhood and details about the building, which is set to begin its construction in the second week of March.
Over 150 people gathered this Saturday, Feb. 20, to protest in solidarity with Amazon warehouse workers and against the crisis of housing affordability in King County. The protestors gathered outside the Renton offices of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA), a landlord lobby group, before marching to the Amazon Flex warehouse, also known as DSE5.
The demonstration was organized by a coalition of local activist and labor groups, including the Seattle Democratic Socialists of America (SDSA) and MLK Labor (also known as the King County Labor Council). Organizers coordinated the action in coordination with a national day of solidarity in support of workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, who are trying to unionize. Workers at the Bessemer warehouse are currently voting on whether to form a union, and if they prove successful, the facility would become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States.
An affordable housing developer got a reprieve as the minutes ticked down toward its deadline to move forward with plans for a mixed-use building as part of an ambitious four-building complex near the Othello Link light rail station in South Seattle.
HomeSight leaders are expected to send a new proposal for Building A of the Othello Square campus project — which includes the Opportunity Center with more than 200 units of affordable housing above it — for a vote at its board meeting this week. If approved, the developer will receive a 90-day extension to purchase the Building A property for the development from the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). The original deadline to buy the parcel was Jan. 15, but SHA granted an extension, and HomeSight’s board is expected to consider the proposal on Thursday, Feb. 11.
When Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda reflects on her past four years in office, she celebrates hard-fought wins for healthier families, worker protections, and small businesses. Yet COVID-19 hit and reversed the progression, significantly impacting many of the people Mosqueda has worked so hard to protect. For this reason, Mosqueda is running for a second term on the City Council, believing her work is not yet done.
“I don’t want us to recover to what we were before,” Mosqueda said. “I want to recover to a more equitable Seattle, and that drives me to stay in the legislative branch and fight for those longer-term policies that, once we [pass them] into law, will make dramatic improvements for people’s lives over the long haul.”