by Takele Gobena
In the weeks since a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd, millions have taken to the streets with a clear rallying cry: Stop propping up the failed systems that hurt Black and Brown communities, and start prioritizing the things that allow us all to live safely, joyously, and free.
This is not a vague demand. It is a direct call to action for lawmakers at every level of government to take a long, hard look at their budgets and to harness the power of their office to begin to make meaningful change.
Continue reading OPINION: It’s Time for a People’s Budget for SeaTac
by Dana Barnett and Silvia Gonzalez
The antiracist roots of Seattle’s Domestic Worker Ordinance, which had its first anniversary on July 1, aren’t immediately obvious nearly a century after most other workers gained basic workplace protections. But there is a deep connection between anti-Black racism, the legacy of slavery, and the long fight for domestic worker protections.
Continue reading OPINION: Domestic Workers Continue to Deserve Better
by Carolyn Bick
Sporting a Seahawks face mask, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee in a July 7 press conference tried to reframe the state’s burgeoning novel coronavirus case rate in a more positive light, but the state’s current numbers still paint a bleak picture. As of this writing, the case rate is even higher than it was in April, at what had previously been the peak of the pandemic in the state.
Joined by Washington State Department of Health State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy, Inslee showed a graph that showed a dramatic spike between June and today. As of the press conference, the state is seeing more than 95 cases per 100,000 Washingtonians in the last two weeks, which is about 20 more cases per 100,000 people than at the previous peak in April.
Continue reading As State’s COVID-19 Case Rate Surges Past April Numbers, King County Sees Increase in Cases Among Young People
by Sally James
For pediatrician Ben Danielson, a doctor at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle’s Central District for 21 years, everything has changed.
The adorable toddlers he sees there in a brightly-painted room, can only see the top of his face — just his eyes and eyebrows. They see him gowned and masked. Danielson is accustomed to winning over most of the wariest kids with his smile, but that’s hidden behind personal protective equipment. The pandemic has made him an alien — more of a stranger than he has ever been — when he needs to connect with his patients the most.
Continue reading Pediatrician Ben Danielson Sees Stress in Children Visiting Odessa Brown Clinic, but He Still Sees Cause for Hope
The financial hardship caused by COVID-19 is making some reconsider stepping back into risky lifestyles in order to make ends meet.
by Ardo Hersi and Paul Kiefer
Allan’s first unemployment check was worth only $94. Though he’s raising three children, his tax refund and stimulus check were taken to cover unpaid child support fees, leaving him struggling to keep his family afloat. In a bind, Allan, who asked that his name be changed in this story, decided to return to a profession he hoped he’d left behind: drug dealing.
Continue reading Finding a Fix in a Pandemic: How COVID-19 is Reshaping the Seattle-Area Drug Trade
by Carolyn Bick
A mask-clad Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a July 2 press conference that beginning on July 7, businesses will be legally required to enforce mask use among their patrons. He also said that all counties’ applications to move forward into a new Safe Start phase will be paused for two weeks starting immediately.
The announcements come as the number of novel coronavirus cases statewide continue to rise. In an earlier press conference, Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Public Health Officer Jeff Duchin revealed that cases in King County have more than doubled in the last two weeks, going from 40 per day to more than 100 per day, and that almost half these cases are in the City of Seattle alone. Most of the increase is among younger people. Duchin said that one-third of these recent increases are among young adults 20-29 years old, and more than half of all new cases are in people 29-39 years old.
Inslee called the surge across the state a “troubling spike,” and pointed to graphs that showed the number of cases in several counties are almost at or have surpassed the number of cases in April, when the virus was at its peak in the state. He also showed a graph that indicates the rate of transmission is once again increasing, and is at just above one in Western Washington and around 1.5 in Eastern Washington. This means in both parts of the state that one person is infecting more than one other person.
Continue reading Inslee Issues Mandate That All Businesses Require Mask Use Among Patrons, But Stops Short of Active Enforcement
by M. Anthony Davis
The Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) has emerged as an amazing community collective that works to support families in Skyway, West Hill, and the Renton Highlands with basic needs, early learning opportunities, and community and family engagement resources.
RIZP started in 2017 when Renton School District Superintendent Dr. Damien Pattenaude began looking for community involvement to help support students living within the Renton Innovation Zone, where 5,023 students currently live.
“He [Dr. Pattenaude], along with a couple other organizations, convened a bunch of providers, nonprofits, and city government, and was like, ‘schools can’t do it alone,’” said Ryan Quigtar, Executive Director of RIZP. Quigtar is excited about the prospective partnership, but acknowledged that partnerships like this have been tried in the past.
Continue reading Community Collective Providing Students And Families in Renton and Skyway With Resources During COVID-19
by Sharon H. Chang
It is a gratefully busy afternoon at Dim Sum King in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (ID). After months of being closed, a steady flow of customers comes in for takeout, following tape arrows on the floor to maintain six feet of distance. Michelle Cai is explaining how she drew reopening plans for her parent’s restaurant, which included directing foot traffic. Cai’s extroverted mother, Amy, is happily serving food and chimes in to emphasize how helpful her children have been during the pandemic. “My son and my daughter is very good!” Amy beams. “They give me a lot of idea. They very smart too.”
Michelle Cai’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Guangzhou, China, over two decades ago. Cai was a 7th grader when they opened Dim Sum King and she would help out after school, filling soy sauce bottles or cleaning floors. After graduating college, Cai moved to Southern California. But this spring Cai flew home when her parents temporarily closed their restaurant so she could be with family and eventually support her parents in reopening.
Continue reading Staying Afloat: How Children of Immigrants Are Helping Family Restaurants Weather the Pandemic
by Ben Adlin
Parents looking for ways to help their kids build healthy reading habits will have another resource this summer: Real Dawgs Read, a program created by the University of Washington to help structure and reward independent reading.
The program asks K–8 students to read 30 minutes per day for 30 days over the summer. Pretty much anything goes — books, magazines, comics, and newspapers all count toward the goal. Students submit written logs of their reading and, in exchange, receive a personalized certificate and a UW-branded goodie, such as a hat, hoodie, or socks.
Continue reading An Unusual UW Merchandising Deal Is Encouraging Thousands of Kids to Read
by Bunthay Cheam
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the economy, the Port of Seattle has unveiled a program to help provide economic relief to communities that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn, especially Black and brown communities.
On Thursday June 26, the Port announced a youth employment program called the “Opportunity Initiative” which seeks to employ 220 youth, with an emphasis on South King County. The program is slated to begin this summer.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Initiative Seeks to Save Youth Jobs