Tag Archives: Featured

Councilmember Zahilay’s Workshop Encourages BIPOC Youth to Run for Office

by Chamidae Ford


On Feb. 20, Girmay Zahilay, the King County Councilmember for District 2, hosted the first installment of his new online series: Build the Bench. The monthly workshop is focused on providing a space for marginalized and underrepresented students and supporting them in eventually running for political office. 

“We will show you the roadmap for getting from where you are today to pursuing a career in policy or politics,” Zahilay said. 

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26th Annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival Brings Audiences ‘Virtually Together Again’

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) kicked off Thursday, March 4, featuring 19 films from around the world that celebrate Jewish and Israeli culture. Streaming online March 4 through March 18, the 26th SJFF focuses on themes of levity, laughter, and intercultural sharing, as well as complex topics that are sure to spark conversation. Including at least seven Zoom conversations with filmmakers and guests, as well as several culinary partnerships, this year’s festival is curated to inspire togetherness, even though it’s through a screen.

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Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic: A Glimpse Back May Offer a Path Forward

by Beverly Aarons


The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the United States 37th in overall quality of healthcare, right behind Dominica, Denmark, and Chile, but way behind our northern neighbor Canada, which ranked 27th, and our European ally, France, which ranked number 1. More babies per capita die (5.9 per 1000 births) within days (or weeks) of being born in the United States than in Iceland, Finland, and Japan combined. In Seattle, there are persistent racial disparities in healthcare – 6.9 Black babies die per 1,000 births compared to 4.3 deaths per 1,000 white babies born, and gaining access to quality healthcare informed by facts, not racist controlling narratives, is almost impossible. In a recent survey of medical students, 50% believed that Blacks experienced less pain than whites because of biological differences.

Black physicians are less likely to hold these kinds of biases, but there are only 45,534 active physicians identified as Black in the United States compared to 516,304 white physicians, 157,025 Asian physicians, and 53,526 Hispanic physicians, so finding a Black physician or medical institution operating with an anti-racist lens might be impossible for most of the 46 million Blacks in America. This is why Dr. Ben Danielson’s resignation as the medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic is so significant to Seattle’s Black community. 

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Hamdi Mohamed Seeks to Be First Woman of Color Elected to Port of Seattle Commission

by Jack Russillo


Hamdi Mohamed has had a connection to the Port of Seattle in one way or another for the majority of her life. 

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), which is owned by the Port, was one of her first points of entry into the United States when she emigrated from Somalia at the age of three. Since then, she’s lived and worked in various parts of south King County, where many families work in jobs connected to nearby Port-related industries. Mohamed’s father was a truck driver, her mother worked at Sea-Tac airport, and Hamdi herself has worked with frontline workers in south King County for more than 15 years. She currently lives in the city of SeaTac with her husband.

When Mohamed announced her candidacy for the Port of Seattle Commission on February 17, she wanted to improve the regional representation of the Port’s decision-makers, among other things. If elected, she would be the only Port Commissioner to currently live in the airport community. Mohamed would also be the first Woman of Color and the first East African person ever to be elected to the governing body that heads North America’s fourth-largest container gateway.

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Weekend Long Reads: What Impact Did COVID-19 Have on Crime?

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s long read poses the question, “What was the effect of COVID-19 and social unrest on crime in U.S. cities last year?”

The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice commissioned a report by the Council on Criminal Justice and two University of Missouri researchers to look at crime rates in 2020 and try to find explanations. In particular, the researchers focused on the widely reported increase in homicides. The research team collected crime data, where available, from 34 U.S. cities including Seattle as the basis for their analysis.

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Friendly Hmong Farms: Supporting Puget Sound Hmong Farmers With a New CSA

by Kamna Shastri


There are four main ingredients in Friendly Vang-Johnson’s upcoming CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program: family, Hmong farmers, youth, and giving back to the community. Rooted in goodwill and mutual aid, Friendly Hmong Farms’ CSA is intergenerational and empowers youth and centers food justice while providing the Northwest’s Hmong farmers with a steady source of income. The boxes will be full to the brim with local staples as well as culturally relevant produce grown by Hmong farmers of the Puget Sound region. Signups began March 4 and boxes will be available throughout the greater Seattle area beginning the first week of April.

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County Not Out of Woods Yet, As Case Rates Plateau and Variant Gains Traction

by Carolyn Bick


Though cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are down significantly from where they were before the third wave of virus activity in autumn 2020, King County isn’t out of the woods yet. In a virtual press conference on March 5, Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said that the case rate and hospitalization rate have plateaued, and that at least one viral variant, B.1.1.7, remains poised to become the predominant variant in the state and throughout the country, based on expert projections.

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FICTION: From the Final Field Notes of a Future Cultural Worker

by Julie-C


The plan is working. Or maybe it’s backfiring. In either case, I have solidified a seat on the newest Citizen Participation Requisite Group (CPRG) of post-Secession Seattle.

This particular CPRG is being convened by a joint effort through the Post-Secession Office of Aesthetic Curation (PSOAC), aided by the Cultural Commodities Bureau (CCB) that operates under the Office of Economic Dominance (OED). Civic bureaucracy, am I right? Shit, I’m practically a walking glossary of municipal acronyms these days, so the systemic matrices aren’t new to me. This recent shift of my own positioning inside it, though, is interesting.

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The Morning Update Show — 3/5/21

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 — Friday, March 5

#FeelGoodFriday | Councilmember Strauss | LIVE — Paula Sardinas | LIVE — Draze | LIVE — DJ Topspin | LIVE

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With Washington’s Drug Possession Law Gone, Lawmakers at Odds Over Next Steps

by Ben Adlin


On Wednesday of last week, it was a felony in Washington to possess illegal drugs — even if you didn’t know you had them. A day later, it wasn’t. After a sweeping Washington Supreme Court ruling declared the state’s felony drug possession law unconstitutional, there’s currently no penalty on the books in Washington State for drug possession.

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