Tag Archives: Feature

Inslee Issues Mandate That All Businesses Require Mask Use Among Patrons, But Stops Short of Active Enforcement

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

Farm Stand in Rainier Beach Provides Free and Low-Cost Produce for the Community

by Carolyn Bick


The farm stand hadn’t even opened for business yet, but the socially distant line for Tilth Alliance’s new farm stand was already starting to stretch down the organization’s driveway on the sunny afternoon of June 25.

The nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization is located at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in partnership with Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. Tucked away in a leafy residential area on South Cloverdale Street, this is the city’s largest urban farm. Tilth Alliance officially launched the new farm stand in this outdoor space on June 18. The farm stand is open every Thursday from 2–7 p.m. and is yet another one of Tilth Alliance’s efforts to support South King County residents.

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Skyway Residents Gather to Highlight Black-Led, Community-Driven Solutions

by Carolyn Bick


When Elijah L. Lewis was born in Skyway Park two decades ago, he carried his mother’s grief over his father’s death inside himself.

“My father had been walking my little sister down the stairs when he had collapsed. At the time, we did not have a phone, because of the inequities we were suffering because of the poverty mindset … and the reality that we have to face,” Lewis said, describing how difficult it was for his family to summon medical aid. “My six-year-old [sibling], my nine-year-old sister, and my 10-year-old brother and mother, witnessed my father, who was a Black man, turn purple and die in front of their face. … We did not have any financial stability left when he passed, so we had to struggle.”

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Pride Celebrates and Supports Justice for Black Community

compiled by Emerald Staff


There’s reason for thousands of LGBTQIA and ally communities dancing in the street, but everything is different in the age of COVID-19, and protests in support of Black Lives Matter and an end to police brutality. Like elsewhere, Seattle Pride activities this month are largely virtual. This is a community that understands only too well how the ravages of a disease can destroy it. 

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Mount Baker’s Gardner House and Allen Family Center Offer Permanent Housing and Resources For Underhoused Families

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The Gardner House and Allen Family Center, a one-stop service hub and permanent housing solution for families leaving homelessness, kicked off their three-day Virtual Grand Opening on June 24. Community members are invited to virtual tours, a Q & A with muralist Kenji Hamai Stoll, and a Meet the Families segment, culminating in a virtual block party on Facebook at noon on Friday, June 26, featuring Seattle Seahawks DJ Supa Sam. 

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King County Council Passes $86 Million in Emergency Funding, Looks to Future Legislation To Make Juneteenth a Holiday For County Employees

by Carolyn Bick


Following a unanimous vote at a meeting on June 23, King County Council has approved a third round of emergency funding to the tune of $86 million. Council Chair Claudia Balducci also said that legislation to make Juneteenth a holiday for King County employees will be introduced at a future meeting.

The emergency funding money, which will come from the county’s general fund, will provide support for several programs throughout the county meant to combat both the novel coronavirus and racism, which the council formally recognized as a public health crisis on June 18.

Continue reading King County Council Passes $86 Million in Emergency Funding, Looks to Future Legislation To Make Juneteenth a Holiday For County Employees

In Press Conference, Durkan, Best Focus on Just Two of Three Shootings That Happened Over the Weekend

by Carolyn Bick


Joined by several community leaders, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best addressed two weekend shootings that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Black teen and wounded two others in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).

In the June 22 press conference, Durkan and Best committed to working with different Black-led community organizations, including Community Passageways and Not This Time. Durkan said that she will be introducing a 2020 budget rebalancing plan that will make a point to invest in the Black community, in order to enhance public safety. In the name of both equity and public safety, Durkan also committed $5 million for mentoring and summer learning for Black youth.

She also said that police officers responded to almost 17,000 emergency calls within the last nine months, and that her budget process will examine the police budget. She said that police only respond “because the other systems in society have failed,” and that what the city needs is for certain services, like mental health workers or community-based workers, to be available to respond to some emergency calls.

Continue reading In Press Conference, Durkan, Best Focus on Just Two of Three Shootings That Happened Over the Weekend

“We’ve Had Lots of Reports of People Not Wearing Face Masks”: On the Eve of King County’s Move Into Phase Two, Coronavirus Cases On the Rise

by Carolyn Bick


King County has moved into Phase Two of Washington State’s Safe Start reopening plan, even as the number of novel coronavirus cases have increased.

In a briefing on June 19, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health — Seattle & King County shared that the evening before the briefing, the office had learned that cases had increased 47 percent. He said the department learned of this after Duchin had approved the county’s application to move into Phase Two. 

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MLK Labor Council Votes to Expel Seattle Police Officers Guild From Ranks

by Carolyn Bick


The Martin Luther King Labor Council voted at its virtual meeting on June 17 to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from its ranks.

The more than 150-member coalition of unions voted 153 in favor to 77 against, with a delegate roll-call vote that garnered more than 45,000 delegates in favor of SPOG’s expulsion. 

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Inslee Prepared to Move Counties Back to Earlier Safe Start Phases, Mandate Mask Use

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee did not rule out moving counties back to earlier phases of the state’s Safe Start plan and the possibility of instituting a mask-wearing mandate, if novel coronavirus cases across the state continue to rise.

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