At the close of 2021, the mayors of Auburn, Renton, and Kent met privately to discuss community safety and violence affecting south King County. Unfortunately, of all the initiatives and meetings that have since come from this coalition, none has publicly addressed the personal and systemic violence coming from their very own police departments.
The term “Gay Pride,” coined by gay rights activist Thom Higgins in Minnesota, has become the most common way to articulate the many celebrations held during this month every year. In the U.S., Prides and festivals are usually held in the month of June to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, a series of demonstrations by the New York City Queer community protesting a violent raid of the Stonewall Inn and the ongoing brutality they were experiencing at the hands of the New York Police Department. Today, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the increased visibility of and continued desire for equality and self-affirmation for the LGBTQ+ community.
(This article was previously published at The Urbanist and has been reprinted with permission.)
A new Metro RapidRide line is coming to Auburn, Kent, and Renton in 2023 to provide more than just more frequent and faster bus service. King County Metro also is planning new station standards at stops and making lasting improvements to streets. In the latest project update, Metro unveiled four types of station standards depending upon expected ridership and station access needs, which will dictate which improvements will be rolled out.
King County’s newest community court opened in Auburn on May 27, offering an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system for people charged with low-level misdemeanors.
People convicted of nonviolent crimes, such as graffiti or criminal trespass, have the option to go through Auburn Community Court. Judge Matthew York will hear cases for two hours on Thursday between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. People who have had violent felony convictions in the past five years are not eligible.
(This article originally appeared at KNKX and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Auburn City Council voted Monday, April 19, to criminalize camping on public property, a change with consequences that will largely fall on people experiencing homelessness.
Those cited under the new law face a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The measure departs from an ordinance passed in September 2020 that made the offense a civil infraction that could come with a fine of $250. In a report, city staff wrote that six months of experience and the impending launch of the Auburn Community Court made this the right time to revisit the city’s approach.
A report launched Tuesday, Dec. 8, outlines how to scale up multilingual education to meet the dire need for it in South King County. Called Our Rising Voices: A Call to Action to Support Our Multilingual Students, the study was the result of a year-long collaboration between the Road Map Project, the Community Center for Education Results, and One America.
Looking at data from public schools within the so-called “Road Map Project region” of South Seattle, Tukwila, Renton, Highline, Kent, Federal Way, and Auburn, the report concludes that 42% of students are English learners at some point during their K-12 education. Yet, only 8% of teachers in that region are endorsed in English Language Learning (ELL), and a mere 0.4% of teachers are endorsed in Bilingual Education. This systemic failure to adequately serve almost half the students in this region is especially troubling given how many English learners there are in this state. At the Zoom launch of this report, Veronica Gallardo, the state’s assistant superintendent of Schools and Systems Improvements — and a long time member of Road Map Project’s English Language Learners Work Group — cited the fact that Washington has the nation’s seventh largest English learner (EL) population and the second largest migrant population in the nation. Gallardo said, “The data makes the need for this work undeniable.”
For the third time in as many months, the case involving the police officer who shot and killed Jesse Sarey was delayed.
On Nov. 13, the third Order for Continuance in The State of Washington vs Jeffrey Nelson case was filed from the defense, pushing back the next hearing until Jan. 20, 2021.
After the case’s arraignment on Aug. 24 — in which Nelson was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault — Nelson made bail the same day and has been on electronic home monitoring since. In September, Nelson’s defense filed a motion to change judges from one other than King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Galván. That motion was tabled and Galván will remain the judge on the case until the case moves to trial.
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)
Several cities in South King County, including Renton, Tukwila, Auburn, and Kent, are poised to adopt a local 0.1-cent sales tax for affordable housing, using authority the state legislature granted to city and county councils earlier this year. If the taxes pass, they would effectively supplant those cities’ contribution to a countywide sales tax proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine, which would pay for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people in all parts of the county. Renton and Tukwila will consider their local taxes on Monday; the other cities are reportedly deciding whether and when to propose local taxes of their own.
Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) will be opening two new, free, drive-up novel coronavirus testing sites in Auburn and Renton, Public Health Director Patty Hayes announced at a briefing on Aug. 31. The new sites will bring the county’s overall testing capacity up by about 1,500 tests per day, Hayes said.