by Carolyn Bick
Though his office unveiled a $40 million fund for undocumented workers earlier this week, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference on Aug. 13 that the one-time payment fund won’t be available for undocumented workers until the autumn. He also said that the state has made available another $3 million in CARES Act funding for certain food production workers who have to quarantine themselves, due to infection from the novel coronavirus.
Continue reading Relief Fund for Undocumented Workers to Go Live in Autumn, Inslee Says
by Ben Adlin
As more South Seattle small businesses reopen amid the ongoing pandemic, a new program led by a local chamber of commerce wants to ensure that customers and employees feel as safe as possible.
The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce last week announced the launch of the “Southside Promise” campaign, an effort to equip local businesses with information and guidance to safely reopen. The program, a partnership with the City of Tukwila, provides face masks and other personal protective equipment and offers a reopening toolkit — essentially an in-depth slideshow presentation — aimed at helping businesses navigate the sometimes dizzying process of reopening.
Continue reading South Seattle Businesses Have a New Guide on the Road to Reopening
by Ben Adlin
Washington is set to become just the second U.S. state to send coronavirus aid to undocumented residents, who so far have been excluded from federal relief packages. Advocates announced on Monday that the state will soon launch a $40 million worker relief fund to send one-time cash payments directly to undocumented workers.
The funding is less than half of the $100 million relief package requested in recent months by a coalition of more than 230 local organizations. Leaders on Monday described the new fund as a major victory but added that more relief will be necessary to help stabilize Washington’s undocumented population of nearly 230,000 people.
Continue reading Washington Earmarks $40M for Undocumented Workers Excluded From Federal Aid
by Emerald Staff
On Monday, Seattle’s Budget Office released some dire economic forecasts and revenue projections, which showed an additional $26 million reduction to the City’s 2020 General Fund revenue, relative to the June forecast, and is now projecting a total 2020 General Fund revenues of $1.19 billion, down from the adopted 2020 budget of $1.5 billion.
The Budget Office says that when combined with the loss of other revenue streams that support a variety of basic municipal services, it now anticipates $337 million less revenue, when compared to the 2020 Adopted Budget. This represents a revenue shortfall of 19%.
Continue reading Seattle Budget Office’s Economic Forecast Highlights Continued City Revenue Decline in 2020 and 2021
by Aliyah Newman
(This photo series originally appeared on the South End Stories youth blog.)
In March/April, I started a small photography project to capture some friends and mutuals during their own quarantines. I wanted to get an outside-in perspective and started out photographing by standing outside of their windows, looking in. But as you’ll notice, the perspectives change throughout different participants. Some pictures ended up being taken through FaceTime; some were taken on friends’ porches as I sat in their yard to catch up and talk; and some were strictly taken from behind the glass.
Continue reading Quarantine From the Outside: A Photo Series of Young Energy
by Carolyn Bick
South Seattle will see a third free, walk-up novel coronavirus testing site at Rainier Beach High School, starting on Friday, Aug. 7.
Joined by Public Health – Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes and Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins in a press conference on July 31, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the new testing site will replace the one that opened in April at the Atlantic City Boat Ramp.
The test will be free, neither citizenship nor insurance is required. While pre-registration also isn’t required, it is encouraged. The site will be open from 9:30 am. – 5 :30 p.m., and will be accessible for those with disabilities.
Continue reading New COVID-19 Testing Site to Open at Rainier Beach High School
by Roble Musse
Buying a home, being paid on time, getting a business loan. We often don’t think about the ways in which access to a bank account determines the course of our lives. Yet there are businesses, mostly operated by-and-for immigrants and communities of color, that are being shut out of the banking sector in a type of financial redlining.
Continue reading OPINION: The Right to Be Banked — Why Some Black and Immigrant Owned Businesses Are Being Redlined and What We Can Do About It
by Mark Van Streefkerk
On July 20, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) launched the Digital Bridge pilot program, an initiative that connects low-income job seekers with refurbished laptops and broadband internet access. Digital Bridge is sponsored by a public and private partnership with Comcast, Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI), Seattle Information Technology Department (Seattle IT), Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington Information School, and InterConnection. The program was created in response to job losses caused by COVID-19, which particularly impacted POC, immigrants, refugees, and underhoused people. So far, individuals enrolled in workforce development programs through SJI have been provided laptops and internet connection to apply for jobs and complete training programs, which have moved online due to COVID-19.
Continue reading City of Seattle and Comcast Invest $100,000 to Address Digital Equity With Digital Bridge Program
by Jack Russillo
The number of COVID-19 cases has increased recently in South Seattle and South King County, which prompted a visit from the governor and spurred an increase in testing for COVID-19.
Continue reading COVID-19 Testing Available in South Seattle, but Turnaround Times a Concern
by Cindy Domingo
Amid the current worldwide pandemic, two presidents — over 8,000 miles apart — seem to have been trained from the same leadership course. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Union address delivered on July 27 was filled with rants against his critics and personal grudges against the media. There was no roadmap laid out to lead the country out of the health, political, and economic crisis facing the Filipino people. Issues of unemployment, poverty, and illness went unmentioned while Duterte focused on his drug war and the death penalty. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is a painful reminder of President Donald Trump and his lack of leadership in our nation’s time of crisis.
Both Trump and Duterte initially refused to acknowledge the seriousness of COVID-19, allowing the virus to spread unfettered and leaving governors, mayors, and other local officials to handle the pandemic without the appropriate funding or a unified national strategy. Finally, when the international and domestic pressure became too much to bear and the COVID-19 deaths and illnesses continued to mount, both presidents were forced to act.
Continue reading Dictator and Apprentice: Duterte and Trump