by Senator Patty Murray
Every day for the past year, I’ve heard from families across Washington State about just how hard this year has been. Single moms who were struggling to find quality affordable child care for their kids because the pandemic has closed down so many child care centers. Hardworking parents who were laid off because of COVID-19 and are unable to make ends meet. Kids who struggled to adapt to online learning. Grandparents raising their grandchildren who were afraid to send them to school for fear of bringing home the virus. When I hear from communities of color, I hear about how long-standing inequities made the effects of the pandemic even more dire.
Every day for the past year, I’ve heard these stories, and I’ve taken them with me back to the other Washington to fight for all our state’s families and make sure no community gets left behind. After a year of Republicans saying “no” to the kind of bold relief families in Washington State have been demanding for months — and after voters in Washington State and across the country made their voices heard in November and January — Democrats have finally passed a bill that begins to acknowledge the scope and scale of the crisis Washington State families have been facing.
Continue reading OPINION: Help Is Here for Washington State Families With the American Rescue Plan
by Sakara Remmu
“We provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.” —Seattle Children’s Hospital mission statement
Every hospital, including Seattle Children’s, has one: a policy against obstruction of patient care.
Seventeen years ago, Children’s policy was a single page, with bullet points outlining violent and intimidating behavior against hospital employees by patients’ family members or friends.
The policy is a warning: our institution has the power to remove and ban you from this hospital if we feel your behavior interferes with our care. The document requires a signature of acknowledgement, which the hospital can use to invoke internal security or external police, child welfare, and the court system. The message was clear: you are here receiving life-saving — or not — care. On their terms.
Continue reading OPINION: The Legacy of Seattle Children’s: Khabir Rasaan
by Mark Van Streefkerk
At a time when social and racial inequities require urgent action, many are asking the question — how can we make a more just world? For the last 20 years, Rainier Scholars has offered answers to that question through education, providing academic access and leadership development to BIPOC and underserved youth. Now with newly-selected Executive Director Rafael del Castillo, Rainier Scholars looks to expand their impact with a greater emphasis on racial justice.
Continue reading Rainier Scholars Welcomes New Executive Director Rafael del Castillo
by Dr. Stephan Blanford and Misha Werschkul
Since the pandemic’s onset, Washington families have experienced a rolling crisis in jobs, hunger, health, and education. The prospect of eviction hangs over far too many. Food insecurity has skyrocketed. Child care facilities have closed, many of them permanently. And a rocky transition to remote learning is now impeding students’ educational progress. The acute stress on children and families may harm kids’ health, their education, and their ability to earn a living.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington’s Children Shouldn’t Have to Relive Our Past Mistakes
by Sally James
For pediatrician Ben Danielson, a doctor at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle’s Central District for 21 years, everything has changed.
The adorable toddlers he sees there in a brightly-painted room, can only see the top of his face — just his eyes and eyebrows. They see him gowned and masked. Danielson is accustomed to winning over most of the wariest kids with his smile, but that’s hidden behind personal protective equipment. The pandemic has made him an alien — more of a stranger than he has ever been — when he needs to connect with his patients the most.
Continue reading Pediatrician Ben Danielson Sees Stress in Children Visiting Odessa Brown Clinic, but He Still Sees Cause for Hope
by Brett Hamil
Last night my wife tucked the toddler into bed as she normally does then headed out for a meeting. I sat in the studio downstairs and listened to him scream for his mommy for about 15 or 20 minutes, a feral, throat-shredding yowl that didn’t let up. I tried to go in and comfort him several times but he wasn’t having it. “I want Mommy! I need mommy!” he wailed, kicking his legs and flailing his arms and clawing at his face.
Continue reading Parenting in the Shadow of American Concentration Camps
by Susan Fried
Dozens of children and their families gathered together on Sunday, October 28, at the Centilia Cultural Center to hear from young people about how the government’s immigration policies affect them, their families, and their friends. The Families for Families Rally and March/Familias por Familias featured the voices of children who know very well how immigration policy can impact their lives.
Continue reading PHOTOS: Youth and Children Lead Familias Por Familias Rally
by Erica Barnett
African Americans, especially children, are far more likely to be kicked out of Seattle libraries than patrons of other races, according to data the South Seattle Emerald obtained from the Seattle Public Library (SPL) through a public disclosure request.
Continue reading People of Color, Especially Children, Most Likely to be Asked to Leave Seattle Libraries