Tag Archives: Community Passageways

Mayor Durkan Announces Community-Based Programs, Responding to Gun Violence Spike

by Lizz Giordano and Andrew Engelson


As shootings spike in King County, disproportionately impacting Communities of Color, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced last week the City will distribute $12.4 million to organizations working to curb gun violence and improve safety in BIPOC communities. 

The year 2020 was particularly deadly for Seattle, recording the highest number of homicides in more than a quarter century. This past weekend, a series of shootings in Belltown, Pioneer Square, the Chinatown-International District, and Yesler Terrace left five people dead and nine injured according to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). In a press conference on Monday, July 26, Durkan said the violence was part of a surge in homicides across the United States. 

“This weekend delivered a sober reminder that Seattle is not immune from gun violence,” Durkan said during the press conference. “This is a national crisis. Over the past week, from Chicago to Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., there have been over 900 shooting incidents.”

Continue reading Mayor Durkan Announces Community-Based Programs, Responding to Gun Violence Spike

Block Party Lays Groundwork for Proposed Youth Achievement Center

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Last Sunday, the Seahawks cheerleaders, local activists, and graffiti artists gathered along Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Angeline Street in Columbia City for one purpose — to bring a youth achievement center to that block of South Seattle.

The building proposal for the center consists of a north and south site which will provide permanent and emergency housing and amenities for different age groups, in addition to space for commercial businesses. Both sites are located next to each other along Martin Luther King Jr Way South adjacent to the Columbia City light rail station. 

Continue reading Block Party Lays Groundwork for Proposed Youth Achievement Center

Collective Against Gun Violence Launched Amid Record Year of Incidents

by Elizabeth Turnbull


As incidents of gun violence in King County are set to hit a new record so far this year, a group of community members and government leaders gathered on June 4, 2021 — a date that King County declared as Regional Community Safety and Well-being Day — to announce a new collective that will work to prevent more shootings.

Continue reading Collective Against Gun Violence Launched Amid Record Year of Incidents

Community Responses to Youth Gun Violence in the Wake Of Rainier Beach Shootings

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Last Friday night, 16 year-old Earl Estrella was shot several times and killed when he answered a knock at the door of his family’s home. The killing was without apparent reason or motive, leaving Estrella’s family and community grieving the tragic loss of a beloved son, another life cut short in Rainier Beach due to gun violence. The case is still under investigation.

The Rainier Beach neighborhood has weathered at least eight shootings since last May — including six deaths — according to chair of the South Precinct Advisory Council Erin Goodman. As people look to community-based safety organizations for solutions that prevent youth gun violence — ideally without increased policing — the leaders of these groups all echo a similar sentiment: we’ve been out here doing the work before, during, and after these crises, and we will continue.

Continue reading Community Responses to Youth Gun Violence in the Wake Of Rainier Beach Shootings

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

OPINION: When Black Men Are Killed in Seattle’s South End, Why Does Society Shrug?

by Marcus Harrison Green

(This article is co-published with The Seattle Times.) 


Listening to Lynda Wolff, I want to roar at the world to remember her murdered son’s life. Four years ago, Latrel Williams was shot multiple times while returning to his Lakeridge home.

In the aftermath of his death, I spotted no signs at marches acknowledging his life, no public speeches given in his honor, and no politicians furiously spouting his name to earn social justice merits.

But Lynda still lost a son. Latrel Jr. (LJ) lost a father. And I lost a friend.

Continue reading OPINION: When Black Men Are Killed in Seattle’s South End, Why Does Society Shrug?

OPINION: Community Organizations Need Full Funding and City Support to Prevent Violence

by M. Anthony Davis


Last Wednesday, Mar. 17 the community was shocked to hear about a shooting at the Emerald City Bible Fellowship on Rainier Avenue South. There are a lot of rumors and a lot of unknowns. What we do know is that someone lost their life, someone took a life, and a community is left grieving in the aftermath of violence.

On the day of the shooting, Community Passageways was holding an orientation meeting at the church. Harvey Drake, the pastor of Emerald City Bible Fellowship, says the suspected shooter was looking for the victim, since identified as Omari Wallace, and confronted him during the orientation meeting that was attended by about 15 youth. Wallace was in his 20’s. Pastor Drake believes the shooter was as well.

Continue reading OPINION: Community Organizations Need Full Funding and City Support to Prevent Violence

Black Brilliance Project Outlines Ambitious Public Safety Agenda That Includes $1B Land Acquisition Fund

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

Community Leaders Offer Solutions as Gun Violence Escalates in South Seattle

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

“We Want to Live” Rally Draws Thousands in Support of Black Youth 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