by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña
The Fourth of July was my least favorite holiday as a child. While it usually meant good weather and barbecue, inevitably some argument about who got to light the fireworks would erupt. With increasing awareness of the history of the United States’ independence, and the many ways we have yet to deliver on the promise of liberty and justice for all, the celebration of our Independence Day has begun to feel a bit hollow. In my social media community, it seems I’m not alone in experiencing a whole mix of emotions and questions about how to mark this Fourth of July. Continue reading OPINION: A Good Time to Rethink Our Holiday Celebrations
by Susan Fried (words and photos)
Family and friends gathered at Jimi Hendrix Park on Thursday, July 2 to celebrate the life of Horace Lorenzo Anderson. Many of those gathered wore t-shirts with favorite photos of the young man who was killed on the edge of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone on June 20. While there were no speeches, the event was a chance for friends and family to enjoy a delicious repast and remember the 19-year-old who had recently graduated from the Youth Education Program (YEP) alternative high school, and had a bright future in front of him. As a DJ played music in the background, some people danced and talked about their memories of the young man whose life was taken too soon. Continue reading Family and Friends Remember Horace Lorenzo Anderson at Memorial Gathering in Jimi Hendrix Park
by Maggie Block
At the beginning of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald teamed up to offer digital book recommendations to help readers get through the pandemic shutdown. While there may be more opportunities to get out and about now, many of us continue to spend time at home and could still use some great reading material to consume during the reopening process. Continue reading Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home With KCLS: Black Lives Matter
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 Erica C. Barnett
Last year, when King County’s “point-in-time count” of the homeless population indicated a slight dip in the number of people counted in the shelters and on the streets, Mayor Jenny Durkan celebrated the news, crediting the city’s work adding shelter and expanding the Navigation Team, among other actions, for the apparent five percent decline in unsheltered homelessness. Three-quarters of that decline was attributed in the report itself to the redefinition of “shelter” to include tiny house village encampments, which moved a number of people from the “unsheltered” to the “sheltered” column even though their living situation stayed the same.
This year’s one-night count showed a slight increase in both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness throughout King County, with the biggest increases in Seattle and Southwest King County. The new total estimate of 11,751 people experiencing homelessness represents a five percent increase over last year. A separate survey, which had fewer participants than in previous years, provided demographic data and information about why people became homeless, information that the county’s “Count Us In” report extrapolates across the entire homeless population.
Continue reading New Report on Homelessness Highlights Inequities, Growth in Chronic Homelessness in King County
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 Seattle Black Collective Voice
A man had been murdered by the police. A heartbreaking video of the killing had made it to the internet. Thousands watched as a policeman kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, while Mr. Floyd begged for his life in vain.
Like protesters across the country, Seattle took a stand against police brutality only to experience more police brutality firsthand. Even non-protesters were harmed by the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) negligence. On Capitol Hill, tear gas entered people’s homes and businesses, and the police did not care.
SPD voluntarily abandoned Capitol Hill’s East Precinct, and the neighborhood tone changed to one of collaboration. In a city physically divided by wealth and class, people came together around a common goal: ending police violence against the Black community.
Continue reading OPINION: CHOP Not the Beginning, and it’s Not the End
by Chetanya Robinson
A tax on big businesses that would raise over $200 million dollars per year and pay for COVID-19 relief and affordable housing is on the City Council’s agenda after sailing through the budget committee with a 7-2 vote. Continue reading Seattle Council Big Business Tax Will Move Forward After Passing Budget Committee
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Following the early morning sweep of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) on July 1 by the Seattle Police Department, protesters say their movement will not dissolve along with the space. Continue reading “CHOP Is Not Disbanded. CHOP Was Not the Building.” — Protests Set to Continue