Tag Archives: Featured

King County Metro to Resume Collecting Fares Without Enforcement on October 1

by Jack Russillo


After suspending fares in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, King County Metro will resume collecting fares on Thursday, October 1.

All county transit services — including buses, Access paratransit, Vanpool, and Via to Transit — will be requiring full fares. Fare collection is already taking place on Sound Transit Express buses and Link light rail. Like all Metro employees, Metro requires all riders to wear a face covering, as does Sound Transit. Per state public health guidelines, all trips should be for essential reasons only.

Metro has also suspended fare enforcement at least through the end of 2020. Fare enforcement officers will still be a presence around transit stops, but they will be providing a broader range of customer services, like answering transit or safety questions. 

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Durkan Unveils 2021 Budget that Uses JumpStart Tax to Fill Shortfall, Fund $100 Million in Unspecified BIPOC Investments

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Editor’s Note: This is a developing story that will be updated.

In a pre-recorded message complete with background music, multiple backdrops, and B-roll clips from around Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan unveiled a 2021 budget proposal today that relies heavily, as PubliCola was first to report, on revenues from the JumpStart payroll tax passed by the City Council earlier this year. The council expressed its intent to wall off the revenues from the tax for direct COVID-19 relief to Seattle residents in the first two years and to spend the money in 2022 and beyond on affordable housing, non-housing projects outlined in the Equitable Development Initiative, Green New Deal investments, and small business support. Durkan vetoed the spending plan (the council overturned that veto) and allowed the tax to become law without her signature.

Continue reading Durkan Unveils 2021 Budget that Uses JumpStart Tax to Fill Shortfall, Fund $100 Million in Unspecified BIPOC Investments

The Morning Update Show

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Tuesday, September 29

Today on the Morning Update Show:

  • Mayor Durkan unveils budget today
  • Updates in the Breonna Taylor case
  • Historic Town Hall with the Mayor and KCEN
  • NoExcusesJobs.com
  • Ivar’s closes restaurants until spring
  • The Waldron School of Jazz

Forterra’s South Sound Gathering Brings Together BIPOC Leaders to Discuss the Future of Conservation in Our Region


by Jack Russillo

In the battle to confront the effects of climate change, Emily Pinckney, a Black marine biologist working for the Point Defiance Zoo, has compared the process for BIPOC communities to crabs in a barrel. 

First of all, crabs shouldn’t be in a barrel, she says. We should not be trapping ourselves in a scenario that forces us to claw at one another in a competitive struggle for survival and that ends with us getting boiled. There’s no reason for us to need to compete.

“Equality is not a pie, and there’s not just one slice for People of Color,” said Pinckney, a community-appointed member of the state’s Environmental Justice Task Force. “We need to make sure that we actually educate everyone and not necessarily empower people — because we do have power — but recognizing that power that we have and reminding us that we have it … Some people get it and some people just haven’t had the time to understand the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion and why they’re valuable to this [environmentalism] movement.”

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REFLECTIONS: Herded by Police and General Confusion During Labor Day Protest at SPOG

by Maile Anderson


I arrived at the agreed-upon location of the Labor Day March earlier this month with a friend in the Chinatown International District. Another friend met up with us, and we listened to various speakers giving us advice, reminders, and having us mentally prepare for what could happen. An agitator was already there with his microphone and speaker, asking us to repent, turn to God, etc. Some protesters did a good job at keeping him across the street from the rest of the group; protesters would also occasionally swear and yell at him which did not seem to phase him.

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Sistah Scifi Makes Space for Stories Black Geeks, Nerds, and ‘Weirdos’ Will Love

by Beverly Aarons


Witchcraft, futuristic tech, goblins, mermaids, magical spells, dystopian/utopian futures, and other fantastical imaginings are all common themes in science fiction. And every Black nerd knows that there is a sizable number of Black people who love to read the genre. So why is it still so difficult to track down speculative fiction stories written by contemporary Black women authors? There’s certainly no shortage of Black women writing in the genre. And many of those writers are incredibly prolific. The biggest challenge seems to be curatorial. Some of these works remain “undiscovered” by a wide swath of readers because there are not enough people who seek out, read, and vet published science fiction stories written by Black women. 

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Ownership of Three Central District Properties Is Being Transferred From the City of Seattle to Community Organizations

by Jack Russillo


The City of Seattle is finally making some real investments in its communities of color. Last week, the City published plans to transfer ownership of three properties in Seattle’s Central District to Black-led community organizations.

On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to officially transfer ownership of Seattle’s old Fire Station 23 to Byrd Barr Place, an organization that has offered financial, food, and housing assistance in the area since 1964. Byrd Barr Place has been operating out of the building, located on the 700 block of 18th Avenue East, since it started leasing the property in 1967.

The former Fire Station 6, on the corner of 23rd Avenue South and East Yesler Way, is also being transferred to the Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) in the form of a 99-year lease before permanent ownership is made official, a press release from the Mayor’s office announced last week. Since 2012, ACLT has been working to acquire the property to “acquire, develop, and steward land in Greater Seattle to empower and preserve the Black Diaspora community.”

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OPINION: Beware the Bootleg Rolex (A Response to Mayor Durkan’s $100 Million Proposal for BIPOC Communities)

by Sean Goode


When I was 16 years old, I bought a fake Rolex. I remember the evening clearly: the gas station where I was, the man who approached, and the $50 I gave him in exchange for what I thought was a priceless timepiece. I also remember the shame I felt when I brought it to the jeweler, who, much to their credit, held back a smile as they saw the disappointment on my face when they told me it wasn’t real. I desperately wanted to believe that the watch was real and the story that man told me was true. 

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To the Makers of Lovecraft Country Regarding the Murder of a Two-Spirit Arawak Femme Person by a Queer Black Man

by Neve Kamilah Mazique-Ricardi


Since it first premiered in August, Lovecraft Country has incorporated itself into my sacred Sunday routine. From jump, the Black-centered fantasy horror adventure series has hit the ground, or the cosmos, running. Lovecraft Country is fun, sexy, scary, campy, tragic, terrifying, and wonderful, everything I want fantasy horror to be. To its credit, it manages to show some of the horrors faced by an ancestrally magical and nerdy Black family on the South Side of Chicago, and throughout the East Coast, in Jim Crow Era America. Namely, Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), a young veteran returned home from the Korean War to find his father has gone missing and was last seen somewhere around Salem, Massachusetts, and his close friend from high school Leticia “Leti” Lewis (Jurnee Smollett), a light-skinned, adventurous photographer and bohemian, and each of their immediate relatives. Naturally, the types of horror faced by this family are both related to anti-Black racism and racist white magic. 

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50 BLM Protesters Bring Personal Injury And Civil Rights Lawsuit Against City Of Seattle And State Of Washington

by Mark Van Streefkerk

On September 25, two law firms representing protesters who participated in local Black Lives Matter marches and family members of Summer Taylor filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle and state of Washington for wrongful death, personal injuries, and civil rights violations. Cedar Law PLLC and Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore (SKKM) represent Taylor’s family and 10 protesters, as well as an additional 30–40 protesters once the 60–day waiting period for their claims is up. The suit, more than 100 pages long, alleges the City and State used unconstitutional excessive force, wrongful imprisonment, negligence, and discriminated against citizens based on race and political ideology among other violations. 

“It should go without saying, you can’t shoot members of the media in the back,” said SKKM attorney Andrew Ackley. “You cannot choke peaceful protesters. You cannot use blast balls and explosives on people trying to disperse … People who came to protest excessive force were met with excessive force.” 

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