by Paul Kiefer
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
As the Seattle City Council wrapped up their 2021 budget deliberations, representatives from King County Equity Now’s (KCEN) Black Brilliance research project held a press conference on Monday afternoon to announce an ambitious slate of potential City investments and social programming aimed at replacing police and improving community safety in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
The Black Brilliance Project, which KCEN announced in September, encompasses the preliminary research for next year’s proposed public safety-oriented participatory budgeting process. The project will be funded through a $3 million grant to The Freedom Project, which will subcontract with KCEN; the City has not yet finalized and published the contract.
Continue reading Black Brilliance Project Outlines Ambitious Public Safety Agenda That Includes $1B Land Acquisition Fund
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Following a shooting Tuesday, August 18 at the 3000 block of Rainier Avenue South, a man in his 20s was treated for life-threatening injuries and rushed to Harborview Medical Center. “We’ve always had gun violence in our community. We’ve been facing gun violence for a very long time,” said Dom Davis, CEO and Founder of Community Passageways, a Seattle-based nonprofit felony diversion and prevention program. But the incident August 18 was one of a potentially record-setting number of shootings this summer in Seattle. The case is ongoing.
Continue reading Community Leaders Offer Solutions as Gun Violence Escalates in South Seattle
by Ronnie Estoque
No one within a mile of Othello Park Sunday afternoon could avoid the message. The crowd was too massive, the signs too numerous and the uniform chant, Black Lives Matter, was too loud. Continue reading “We Want to Live” Rally Draws Thousands in Support of Black Youth in South Seattle
This is a letter Budget for Justice sent to the city of Seattle. It is reprinted with permission.
For years, Budget for Justice (BfJ) organizations have been doing the restorative and transformative justice work our communities need. Despite repeated acknowledgement and talk, the City of Seattle has, also for years, allowed this work to remain unfunded or underfunded. We have been doing the work longer than the recommendations of many city work groups have existed. It is time for the City of Seattle to fund our work and to stop funding the harmful systems that make our work necessary. The criminal justice system causes disproportionate and irreparable harm.
Continue reading Budget for Justice Calls for ‘Ongoing, Real and Progressive Policy and System Change’
by Miguel Jimenez
There were ten shots fired. Or at least that’s what I think we counted while sitting at a large table near the front window of Rainier Beach’s Jude’s Old Town last Tuesday.
Darting to the back of the bar, all of us crouched to survey the scene from the large front windows. The disparate conversations broke apart as the whole bar began asking questions and assembling facts. There was a palpable sense of caution bordering on fear, but certainly not panic. Continue reading A Bulletproof Community Spirit