by Luna Reyna
As a child, I can recall two groups of strangers coming to our door: census workers and religious groups. My Latinx family of 7 never opened the door for either. The fear and lack of trust in government-affiliated institutions has always been tangible, and rightly so, in many marginalized communities. This fear has contributed to federally-underfunded schools, hospitals, public transportation, and even Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the past. All federal funding is guided and allocated through the findings of the decennial census.
Continue reading “We Did Everything We Could”: Community Organizations Fear A Census Undercount
by Ben Adlin
More Seattle streets will be temporarily closed to thru-traffic and converted into shared community spaces under a new program announced Monday by City officials. It’s the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at rethinking how public roadways are used in a world transformed by the pandemic.
The Stay Healthy Blocks program, unveiled Monday morning by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) officials, will allow community organizations and nonprofits to open “one or more blocks on non-arterial streets to Seattleites to enjoy outdoor space for recreation,” Durkan’s office said in a press release.
Continue reading Pedestrians to Retake More Streets Under New City Program
by Carolyn Bick
Amidst the wildfires and smoke blanketing the state, Washington State reached 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Sept. 15.
Continue reading Washingtonians’ Indoor Behavior Will Dictate COVID-19 Case Levels and Death Rates This Autumn, Inslee Says
by Carolyn Bick
Though the City will be opening a new smoke shelter in SoDo, Mayor Jenny Durkan in a Sept. 11 press conference did not commit to opening any more government buildings or to working on leasing the mostly empty hotels and motels in downtown Seattle to serve as emergency smoke shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
Continue reading City to Open New SoDo Smoke Shelter, but Durkan Does Not Commit to Opening Any More Buildings, Leasing Hotels to Serve as Smoke Shelters
by Dr. LaShawnDa Pittman, Erin Lee, Gia Nguyen, Briannah Reed, and Tiana Smith
In “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now,” the late poet, writer, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou wrote that “African Americans as slaves could not even claim to have won the names given to them in haste and without a care, but they pridefully possessed a quality which modified the barbarism of their lives.”
Angelou continued, “They employed formally familial terms when addressing each other. … in the slave society, Mariah became Aunt Mariah and Joe became Uncle Joe. Young girls were called Sister, Sis, or Tutta. Boys became Brother, Bubba, Bro and Buddy.”
Continue reading OPINION: Black Life Disrupted
by Sally James
An immigrant who came to the United States in 1969, Teresita Batayola remembers some of the confusion she felt arriving in Seattle at age 16. She’s now a president and CEO in charge of 11 health service sites that provide care to an estimated 32,000 people every year, many of whom don’t speak English and can’t afford health insurance. International Community Health Services (ICHS) has deep roots in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, where businesses have been hard hit by both the shut-down of retail and anti-Asian bias.
The Emerald caught up with Batayola and asked her to reflect on the pandemic and how both racism and the virus are hurting patients who come to ICHS. She shared some of her own history and experience with racism over many decades.
Continue reading International Community Health Services CEO Teresita Batayola Talks About Immigrant Health and Social Justice During COVID
by Mark Van Streefkerk
On September 2, King County Metro announced the “Ready When You Are” campaign, which features innovations for transit, including automated plexiglass partitions and mask dispensers to keep operators and riders safer during COVID-19. County leaders, including Executive Dow Constantine and representatives from Metro and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 587, presented the improvements at the Metro Component Supply Center in Tukwila. The transit additions coincide with new and improved bus routes coming September 19, and are in preparation for restoring fares on October 1, although that date is not set in stone.
“I am here to announce that King County Metro is ready to serve,” Constantine said. “Ready to get you where you need to be. Ready when you are, which happens to be the name of our new campaign as we turn the corner and fully adapt to the new normal.”
Continue reading “Ready When You Are” Campaign Unveils Automated Plexiglass Partitions and Mask Dispensers on King County Metro Transit
by Mark Van Streefkerk
The Ark Lodge Cinemas’ recent marquee message “SAVE THE ARK LODGE!” is a rallying call for help: the building recently went up for sale at the price of $2.5 million. Columbia City’s independent movie theater has been closed for almost six months due to COVID-19. Unable to pay rent without revenue from ticket sales, the Ark is protected by the state’s no-eviction moratorium. All that could change if the building, owned by the Washington State Elks Association, is sold. Calling on support from the community via T-shirt sales and an upcoming GoFundMe campaign, owner David McRae isn’t giving up the fight to keep the Ark afloat.
Continue reading “Save The Ark Lodge!” Columbia City’s Independent Movie Theater Calls on Community for Support
by Melody Ip
When schools throughout King County announced plans in late summer to start the 2020–2021 school year with distance learning, many families began scrambling to find tables, chairs, and other items to create a conducive learning environment. Parents cleared out garages, shifted furniture, and bought whiteboards, preparing for the long haul. But with school starting this week, it is clear the greatest stress points are the uncertainty of the school year ahead and the reality of parents’ increased involvement in their children’s schooling — regardless of their own work schedules, education levels, or other responsibilities.
Continue reading Challenges of Returning to School In the Midst of COVID
by Carolyn Bick
Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) will be opening two new, free, drive-up novel coronavirus testing sites in Auburn and Renton, Public Health Director Patty Hayes announced at a briefing on Aug. 31. The new sites will bring the county’s overall testing capacity up by about 1,500 tests per day, Hayes said.
Continue reading Two New, Free COVID-19 Testing Sites to Open in Auburn and Renton