by Elizabeth Turnbull
This Tuesday, Aug. 3, residents and neighbors throughout Seattle will participate in National Night Out, an event organized by the Seattle Police Department (SPD), and police departments across the country, to encourage community safety collaboration and communication with law enforcement.
Residents can use the opportunity to meet with neighbors who might collect mail when they’re gone and keep an eye on their home when absent. Law enforcement hopes that these types of connections will also help residents identify, and report, crime trends in their neighborhood.
According to Jennifer Danner, a crime prevention coordinator with SPD, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept this year’s registration to about half of what it was in 2019, when roughly 1,400 parties registered for the event in Seattle. However, the layout of the event will remain largely the same — various neighborhood block parties, barbeques, and social gatherings where residents also have an excuse to combat the Seattle Freeze.
Continue reading As National Night Out Approaches Neighborhoods Prepare to Gather
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
by Tammy Morales
When it comes to addressing gun violence in our community, it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. Organizations like Safe Passage, Boys & Girls Club’s SE Network, Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), and Urban Family invest time in our communities, support our young people, and build community. They have been doing essential work long before Omari Wallace was shot and killed on March 18. In fact, we were supposed to be having a Zoom meeting about the increase of South Seattle shootings when we learned that a young man walked into the Emerald City Bible Fellowship and shot 19-year-old Wallace who was there attending a meeting.
Continue reading OPINION: Gun Violence Is a Symptom of Poverty
by Paul Kiefer
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
PubliCola has obtained a copy of the King County Equity Now (KCEN) work plan for their public safety research project that’s intended to lay the groundwork for a participatory budgeting process next year. About $30 million of the $1.5 billion general fund budget is supposed to be allocated using participatory budgeting — a process that enables the public to vote on which projects and priorities they want to fund — next year.
The Seattle City Council finalized a $3 million contract with Freedom Project Washington, a nonprofit that offers programs inside and outside prisons to help with reentry and prevent re-incarceration, to fiscally sponsor and oversee KCEN’s research last week. With the contract finalized and the work plan submitted, Freedom Project Washington now has access to the first $1,250,000 of that total. Freedom Project Washington is allowed to subcontract with other groups to conduct parallel research. Currently, though, KCEN is the group’s only subcontractor.
Continue reading More Details Emerge About Black Brilliance Project’s Research Plan