Tag Archives: Councilmember Girmay Zahilay

The Morning Update Show — 2/3

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Feb. 3

LIVE — Jimmy Brown of Build 2 Lead | LIVE — Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright of Art, Beats + Lyrics | Councilmember Zahilay Speaks on Gun Violence | The Rewind with Besa Gordon | #TBT — Black History Edition

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 2/3

Skyway Community Leader Awarded MLK Jr. Medal for Service

by Amanda Ong


For Cherryl Jackson-Williams, becoming involved in community advocacy was second nature. “We call my mother and father the Malcolm X and Martin Luther King combo,” Cherryl said in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. “My mother is very flower-child … my dad, is like ‘Burn it down if we can’t make it work.’” 

So it could not be more fitting that this year on Nov. 2, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay awarded Cherryl the Martin Luther King  Medal of Distinguished Service

Continue reading Skyway Community Leader Awarded MLK Jr. Medal for Service

King County Conservatives Discredit Progressive POC Candidates as ‘Defund’ Extremists

by Nathalie Graham


Earlier this month, King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert faced repercussions for a racist campaign ad she funded. The ad depicted her colleague, Councilmember Girmay Zahilay as a socialist puppeteer pulling the strings of Sarah Perry. Perry, Lambert’s opponent, is bringing Lambert the first real fight for a seat she’s held comfortably for 20 years. 

Lambert’s ad also associated Zahilay, who is not a socialist, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. After public outcry, Lambert resigned from the King County Council committees she chaired.

In the age of Trump and social media-fueled polarization, “conflict and sensationalism” sells, says Zahilay. Politicians have pivoted to “divisiveness and scare tactics” to “rile up their base.” Zahilay sees this trend emerging across all levels of politics, local King County elections included. 

Continue reading King County Conservatives Discredit Progressive POC Candidates as ‘Defund’ Extremists

The Morning Update Show — 8/19/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, August 19

LIVE — Councilmember Girmay Zahilay | LIVE — James Salisbury Jr. | WSAJ Awards | New COVID Restrictions | Skyway Update

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 8/19/21

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

What Would Ranked Choice Voting Look Like in King County?

by Ashley Archibald


The King County Council curtailed an effort July 12 to put a new form of voting before the electorate in November, citing a desire for more time to work through the details before presenting the option to voters.

The original legislation — sponsored by Councilmember Girmay Zahilay — would have given voters the option to approve ranked-choice voting (RCV) for certain nonpartisan County positions including the executive, assessor, director of elections, prosecuting attorney, and County Council.

Had the legislation gone forward and been approved by voters, the new system wouldn’t have taken effect until the Council hammered out the details and voted on a series of protocols, staff said at the July 7 Committee of the Whole. But after initially advancing the matter to its July 13 Council meeting, the Council decided to put the legislation on hold. 

Continue reading What Would Ranked Choice Voting Look Like in King County?

Chino Y Chicano Podcast: Girmay Zahilay

by Enrique Cerna and Matt Chan

A couple of retired guys that spent their careers making television dish on the good, bad, and ridiculousness of life for People of Color in America. They tear apart the news of the week, explore the complexities of race, and talk to people far more interesting than they will ever be.


Girmay Zahilay joins the Chino Y Chicano to talk about his first year and a half on the King County Council. It has been a rollercoaster of crises from COVID-19 to police violence and racial justice protests, a growing homelessness and gun violence problem, and now a reopening of the state as vaccination efforts continue. Zahilay reflects on a council experience that so far has been full of emotion, and unpredictability.

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Fireworks in Skyway Are Allowed for the Fourth — at Least This Year

by Elizabeth Turnbull


In years past, Skyway has been a place for residents of Renton and Seattle to skirt firework bans and to set off fireworks for July 4. To combat this, King County officials are implementing a three-year plan to crack down on fireworks in the area and in other unincorporated places.

“What was happening in Skyway is that because all of the neighboring cities have already banned fireworks, it was creating a funneling effect where everybody was coming to this city or this neighborhood to blow off their fireworks,” King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay told the Emerald. “They believed all fireworks are legal even though that’s not the case.”

Explosives such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, and missiles are banned for consumer use in Washington State as a whole, except in tribal lands. Display fireworks are also illegal for consumer use countywide.

Continue reading Fireworks in Skyway Are Allowed for the Fourth — at Least This Year

Thirty-Nine Percent: The Uphill Battle for Oversight in King County

by Carolyn Bick


This is the fifth and final article in a series of articles examining the pushback and internal pressure former Office of Law Enforcement (OLEO) director Deborah Jacobs appears to have faced during her tenure at OLEO. This pushback appears to have mainly stemmed from within the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), the very law enforcement entity OLEO is tasked with overseeing, as well as the King County Police Officer’s Guild (KCPOG), some of whose members belong to the KCSO. Multiple sources have alleged that certain members of the KCSO and the KCPOG mounted an internal campaign against Jacobs and said that the main goal of the campaign was Jacobs’ ouster. The King County Council decided not to renew Jacobs’ contract, after an independent investigation found that Jacobs had violated King County discrimination codes. Jacobs has since filed a tort claim against King County. You can read part one of this series here, part two of this series here, part three of this series here, and part four of this series here.

Not The First

Former King County Office of Labor Relations senior labor negotiator David Topaz didn’t mince words, when, in the second article in this series, he described to the Emerald how he believed the King County Council (KCC) had never given former Office of Law Enforcement Dir. Deborah Jacobs or the office itself the support needed. But he told the Emerald in a March 22, 2021, interview that it still surprised him “to some degree,” when he learned that the KCC had decided not to renew her contract in September 2020, a decision the Emerald covered in the most recent article in this series.

“I would think, if I were somebody on the Council who wanted someone who was going to — no matter what kind of crap she got from anybody — was going to continue to push the envelope, why wouldn’t you want to keep her?” Topaz rhetorically asked. 

Topaz also continues to hold the belief that the King County Police Officer’s Guild (KCPOG) was at least partly responsible for Jacobs’ downfall, particularly given all the issues and allegations as outlined in the previous three stories in this series. 

“She doesn’t back down. You’d think that’s what [the KCC would] want in that role,” Topaz said. “But, certainly, the police guild had decided that that was not in their best interests, probably for the exact same reasons.”

KCPOG President Mike “Manny” Mansanarez has denied there was ever any bad blood between himself, personally, and Jacobs but has also admitted that Jacobs and former KCPOG President Steve Eggert had “problems” and that the Guild board saw Jacobs as an activist, rather than a neutral party. Under Eggert, the Guild also filed a grievance against Jacobs, as detailed in the first article in this series.

But while Jacobs is not the first OLEO director to face serious workplace accusations, a 2014 Crosscut article appears to confirm that she is the first to receive public punishment.

Continue reading Thirty-Nine Percent: The Uphill Battle for Oversight in King County

Community Safety Requires All Of Us: Rainier Beach Safeway Update

by Mark Van Streefkerk


In January, the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot saw several shootings — including one incident in which two people sustained non-life threatening injuries. In response, the community organized a series of Town Hall meetings, parking lot improvements, and an organically-driven “Action Team” that included Safeway employees, Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Southeast Network Safe Passage at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, and Urban Family. Since then, business owners say the area is safer, with no reported incidents of violence to date. 

Continue reading Community Safety Requires All Of Us: Rainier Beach Safeway Update