by Jack Russillo
On Monday May 17, across the road from the mouth of Seattle’s only river, the Duwamish, and at the cultural center of the people who have called themselves by the same name for generations, Governor Jay Inslee signed a far-reaching piece of environmental justice legislation into law.
“The HEAL Act is a major piece of legislation with the ambitious charge of making it so that everyone, especially the most overburdened communities and People of Color, have a healthy environment, clean air and water, and can lead healthy lives,” said Cecile Hansen, the chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribal Council.
Continue reading HEAL Act, Requiring Environmental Justice in State Agencies, Signed at Duwamish Longhouse
by Emerald Staff
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting that took the lives of eight people in the Atlanta area on Tuesday — including six women of Asian descent — local elected leaders and community organizations came together to denounce anti-Asian hatred, show solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and call for solutions that did not de-center the needs of all communities of color. The shooting, the worst mass attack in the U.S. since 2019, has sent shock waves through the local AAPI community, and drawn renewed attention to a spike in anti-Asian hate and violence, especially against women, during the pandemic.
Continue reading Local Reactions, Resources & Events in Response to Atlanta Shootings
by Carolyn Bick
Homebound elders who have no way to access community or mass COVID-19 vaccination sites will be able to get vaccinated in their own homes in the coming weeks.
In a press conference on March 12, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said that plans are in the works to create mobile vaccination teams that will be able to visit homebound elders who live in King County.
Continue reading Homebound Elders Will Be Able to Be Vaccinated in Their Own Homes
by Andrew Engelson
Nearly one year after the first outbreak of COVID-19 in King County and the nation, public health officials and King County Executive Dow Constantine say they are cautiously optimistic about the spread of the virus. Effective prevention measures combined with slow but steadily increasing vaccinations have the potential to “put the pandemic in the rear view mirror,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Duchin in an online press briefing on Friday. But concerns remain, including the discovery of two new SARS-CoV-2 strains in the county, and pressure among those tiring of restrictions to let up on prevention strategies such as masking and limits on gatherings.In addition, inequitable access to vaccines remains a concern.
Continue reading One Year After First COVID-19 Outbreak, County Health Officials Cautiously Optimistic
by Jack Russillo
During the 2019 legislative session, two state senators from South King County sponsored a bill that aimed to improve environmental justice for all of Washington’s residents, but only some of the policy actually became a reality.
This year’s new legislative session, which opened last week, has already seen numerous senators co-sponsor the same policy — including one of the bill’s original champions, the 37th Legislative District’s Rebecca Saldaña — and reintroduce the bill in an attempt to lay the groundwork for achieving a universal standard of environmental health quality across every community in Washington. The Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, Saldaña says, would lay the critical groundwork to effectively implement any environmental legislation that is passed in the State Senate.
Continue reading HEAL Act, “The Cornerstone of Any Environmental Policy,” Makes Its Way Through Legislature