Tag Archives: Featured

Community Groups Oppose Slated Change to Duwamish River Cleanup

by Christy Carley

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


In late January, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change to the cleanup plan for the Lower Duwamish River, one of the nation’s most polluted waterways, which was declared a Superfund site in 2001. The proposal — which would allow for higher levels of certain pollutants to remain in the river sediment — generated frustration amongst community groups in South Seattle, who called for an extension of a public comment period on the change. Public comment now lasts until April 21.

At the center of the EPA’s proposal is a pollutant called benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH) that comes from burning coal and oil and is present in the sediment of the Duwamish River.

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The Morning Update Show — 4/19/21

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 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 — Monday, April 19

Closing arguments in Chauvin Trail | Protests nationally in response to police shootings | Kids head back to school | Racist Zoom Bombings on the rise | Black Health & Wealth

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Black-Owned Dog Training Collaborative Aims to Bring People (and Dogs) Together

by Allison Fine


In 2021, it is so easy to find issues that divide us as humans. Religion, politics, and race are topics that often have us “pick sides” and spend time focusing our energy on how we are different. Conversely, there are many things that bring us together — some would call them universal truths. Wanting healthy and happy families, loving to eat good food, and the way pets make us feel are all places where we find commonality despite our differences. In fact, nearly 70% of all American households have a pet, and 53% of us have dogs

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Lived Experience Coalition Says No One Asked Them About Homelessness Initiative

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an  agreement.)


Proponents of a proposed amendment to the Seattle City Charter that would mandate (but not fund) spending on shelter and enshrine encampment sweeps in the city’s constitution have argued repeatedly that the proposal isn’t about sweeps.

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OPINION: Loss in Bessemer Was the Beginning, Not the End, of Organizing Inside Amazon

by Alex Gallo-Brown


Last week, votes from the largest union election in recent American history — both in terms of the number of eligible workers and the media hype surrounding the campaign — were counted, and the results weren’t pretty if you’re a fan of workplace democracy, economic justice, or collective action. Only about 55% of the 5,800 eligible workers at the Amazon distribution center in Bessemer, Alabama, cast votes in an election that dragged on over the course of seven weeks. Of the 3,215 workers who did vote, only 738 chose to certify the union; 1,798 elected not to. Hundreds of additional ballots weren’t even counted, since they belonged to workers whose eligibility was contested and whose votes would not have changed the outcome, anyway.

It was a devastating outcome for organized labor, according to the national press, after weeks and months of optimism that the pro-union workers might succeed. For many who were on the outside, stories of insufficient bathroom breaks, erratic scheduling, low wages (relative to other warehouses in the area), and general job insecurity made the case for the union a slam dunk. That about 85% of the workers at Bessemer are Black and a majority women in an area of the country with a long history of civil rights struggle only added to the excitement. The workers would win in Bessemer and create a spark throughout the country, galvanizing low-wage workers everywhere to rise up and demand liberation from the conditions that have oppressed them. After decades of decline, labor unions in the U.S. would finally be reborn.

Continue reading OPINION: Loss in Bessemer Was the Beginning, Not the End, of Organizing Inside Amazon

PONGO POETRY: Strength and Hope

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are youth of color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. For an opportunity to learn Pongo’s trauma-informed techniques for facilitating personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space, join their training on May 22.


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Seattle Black Film Festival Showcases Expansive Voices From the African Diaspora

by Vivian Hua 華婷婷


Now in its second year rebranded as Seattle Black Film Festival (SBFF), LANGSTON’s 18th annual event returns from April 16–26, 2021. Once again held in virtual space, SBFF will showcase 70 short and feature films — more than double last year — that demonstrate the diversity of stories from across the African diaspora.

“I feel the depth and breadth of storytelling that found us, that was submitted to the festival this year is extraordinary,” explains SBFF Director Andrea Stuart-Lehalle, who hints that both COVID-19 and recent racial reckonings have played a key role in shaping those narratives. “I feel like filmmakers are in this very raw and visceral space where their stories and experiences were close to the surface and for many, flowed directly into some powerful storytelling they put on-screen.”

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Lawsuit Challenges State and Counties to Refund Financial Penalties for Drug Charges

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


A nonprofit representing formerly incarcerated Washington residents is suing the state and its 39 counties in an attempt to address one of the loose ends left by the state Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in February ruling all simple drug possession charges unconstitutional.

The Seattle-based Civil Survival Project filed the class action lawsuit on Thursday, April 15, in an effort to stop the state, county superior courts, and private contractors from collecting Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) tied to simple drug possession convictions. An LFO is a financial penalty that a court imposes when convicting a person of a crime; the penalty is broken into components, including a fee to cover the costs of filing the criminal case and a fee to cover the collection of a DNA sample.

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Weekend Long Reads: Why the CDC ‘Paused’ the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine

by Kevin Schofield


Earlier this week Carolyn Bick wrote an excellent article on the CDC’s decision to “pause” use of the COVID vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson after reports of a handful of cases of blood clots in the several days following vaccination. This week’s Long Reads dives into the science of why the CDC made that controversial move, and what happens next.

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