Tag Archives: Africatown Community Land Trust

OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD

by Luna Reyna


One-quarter of the entire 2020 Seattle city budget was allocated to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). While last summer’s protests over anti-Black police violence and calls to defund the police resulted in an 18% decrease in the 2021 SPD budget, $364 million was still allocated to SPD. This is an affront to community-led organizations like King County Equity Now (KCEN) and so many others who have been providing much-needed community support and succeeding in creating real public safety

KCEN, which started as an informal coalition of over 60 Black-led community organizations like Africatown Community Landtrust, Community Passageways, and Blaq Elephant Party, is now a formal, pro-Black 501(c)(4) dedicated to achieving equity for all Black peoples across all measurable metrics, including, wealth, health, land ownership, safety, college matriculation rates, organizational control, and more. 

In the ’70s, the Central District’s population was 75% Black, but as a result of Seattle’s tech boom and resulting gentrification, the CD is now only 15% Black. 

“My family was gentrified from the Central District in 2003,” said TraeAnna Holiday, an organizer with KCEN. “I remember wondering why my family couldn’t stay in our neighborhood. This was our neighborhood; I knew it in and out.” 

Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD

NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Updates, Calls for Artists, Earth Day Zoom Rally, and More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


Vaccines: Here’s the Latest — UPDATED 4/7 @ 11:30 a.m.

This Week, the City Will Vaccinate a Record 30K People — The City of Seattle will administer approximately 30,000 vaccines across multiple sites this week including Lumen Field Event Center, the Rainier Beach and West Seattle Community Vaccination Hubs, and via Seattle Fire Department Mobile Vaccination Teams (MVTs), which will visit locations where formerly homeless adults live in permanent supportive housing. The MVTs will also administer second-dose shots to older adults living in affordable housing.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Updates, Calls for Artists, Earth Day Zoom Rally, and More!

Housing Finance Commission Biased Against Black-Led Projects, Say Community Groups

by Ashley Archibald


A state commission that doles out debt financing for affordable housing projects is working with community members on reform after criticism that its method for allocating needed money leaves out communities of color.

The current point system used by the Washington State Housing Finance Committee (WSHFC) to assign bonds that help finance affordable housing projects has no allowance for Black- or POC-led projects and promotes less expensive studio and one-bedroom units that don’t work for larger families, critics said in a Feb. 25 meeting in which roughly 80 community members, organized by King County Equity Now, called in to express their anger and frustration.

The process ultimately excludes Black communities from access to appropriate affordable housing and homeownership and also Black developers and construction managers from participating in the government-backed program, said K. Wyking Garrett, president of the Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT). ACLT had applied for financing for its Africatown Plaza project in the January round but did not receive funding.

Continue reading Housing Finance Commission Biased Against Black-Led Projects, Say Community Groups

City Grant Will Boost Development of Affordable Commercial Space in Planned Africatown Plaza Project

by CHS

(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Mayor Jenny Durkan announced this year’s Equitable Development Initiative grants Tuesday including a new wave of funding for Central District organizations.

She also signed legislation finalizing the transfer of city properties to community organizations including the Central Area Senior Center on 30th Avenue South and Fire Station 6 at 23rd Avenue and East Yesler Way.

Africatown Community Land Trust and Byrd Barr Place were key organizations on the day. CHS reported here on Africatown’s plans to transform the unused fire station into a new technology center development as Byrd Barr Place is also taking ownership of the former fire station on 18th Avenue that it calls home. Both organizations also received a new round of EDI grants, according to Tuesday’s announcement.

Continue reading City Grant Will Boost Development of Affordable Commercial Space in Planned Africatown Plaza Project

The Morning Update Show — 10/28/20

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’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 — Wednesday, Oct. 28

Today on the Morning Update Show:

**Brian Callanan — Live; “Heinous” hate crime in Federal Way; Protesters Hit by a Car Outside West Precinct; Councilmember Kshama Sawant; and K. Wyking Garrett of Africatown Community Land Trust.

Ownership of Three Central District Properties Is Being Transferred From the City of Seattle to Community Organizations

by Jack Russillo


The City of Seattle is finally making some real investments in its communities of color. Last week, the City published plans to transfer ownership of three properties in Seattle’s Central District to Black-led community organizations.

On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to officially transfer ownership of Seattle’s old Fire Station 23 to Byrd Barr Place, an organization that has offered financial, food, and housing assistance in the area since 1964. Byrd Barr Place has been operating out of the building, located on the 700 block of 18th Avenue East, since it started leasing the property in 1967.

The former Fire Station 6, on the corner of 23rd Avenue South and East Yesler Way, is also being transferred to the Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) in the form of a 99-year lease before permanent ownership is made official, a press release from the Mayor’s office announced last week. Since 2012, ACLT has been working to acquire the property to “acquire, develop, and steward land in Greater Seattle to empower and preserve the Black Diaspora community.”

Continue reading Ownership of Three Central District Properties Is Being Transferred From the City of Seattle to Community Organizations