by Erica C. Barnett
About 10 hours after Seattle police officers moved in to remove barriers, tents, artwork, and people from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area Wednesday morning, Mayor Jenny Durkan, police chief Carmen Best, and other department heads called a press conference to explain their actions. Continue reading After Sweeping Protest Zone, Durkan Says City Will “Memorialize” Protests, “Reimagine Policing” In Seattle
by Sarah Stuteville
A few days ago, while walking home from the “CHOP” (also known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest) I stopped to talk to a neighbor, who in turn introduced me to her Boomer-age mom, who was visiting Seattle from a rural area of Washington State.
“You all gardening?” I asked, sucking air through the thick fabric of my face mask. “Actually … we just got back from the … CHOP. My mom wanted to see it,” my neighbor answered with the halting uncertainty many Seattleites use to describe this anarchic organism of a protest that has drawn fire — literally and figuratively — from everywhere.
I turned to the White, gray-haired woman in her plum-colored fleece and Costco sneakers — looking all the world like the star of the next “Karen” video on Twitter. I braced myself for what I assumed would be her pinched disdain for the grime, the chaos — the unfocused, raw wildness of these four blocks that just a few months ago symbolized ground zero for a gentrifying “new Seattle.” A neighborhood where million-dollar condos and cavernous breweries battled it out with the “old Seattle” of non-profit art spaces, low-lit gay bars, and church-basement AA meetings.
I was glad the lower half of my face was covered when I asked her politely, “What did you think of it?”
Continue reading Bless This (Revolutionary) Mess
by Vivian Hua 華婷婷
When one understands the personal history of Val Thomas-Matson, the Executive Producer of Look, Listen and Learn (LL+L), one comes to understand the deeply personal reasons that inspired her to create the playful, educational live-action TV program. Inspired by well-known personalities such as Mr. Rogers, Shari Lewis, and Lamb Chop, LL+L features Thomas-Matson as the show’s main character, Auntie Lena, in conversation with a number of visiting adults, children, and animal puppets, including the recurring character, Possum. The show’s focus is to close the achievement gap for youth of color, while addressing themes that are especially relevant to communities of color.
Continue reading Look, Listen and Learn Offers Insightful, Engaging TV Tales for Children of Color
by Sharon H. Chang
It is a gratefully busy afternoon at Dim Sum King in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (ID). After months of being closed, a steady flow of customers comes in for takeout, following tape arrows on the floor to maintain six feet of distance. Michelle Cai is explaining how she drew reopening plans for her parent’s restaurant, which included directing foot traffic. Cai’s extroverted mother, Amy, is happily serving food and chimes in to emphasize how helpful her children have been during the pandemic. “My son and my daughter is very good!” Amy beams. “They give me a lot of idea. They very smart too.”
Michelle Cai’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Guangzhou, China, over two decades ago. Cai was a 7th grader when they opened Dim Sum King and she would help out after school, filling soy sauce bottles or cleaning floors. After graduating college, Cai moved to Southern California. But this spring Cai flew home when her parents temporarily closed their restaurant so she could be with family and eventually support her parents in reopening.
Continue reading Staying Afloat: How Children of Immigrants Are Helping Family Restaurants Weather the Pandemic
(This article was originally published on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement)
24 days after clearing the building and evacuating the area following weeks of anti-police protests, the Seattle Police Department swept into the area around the East Precinct early Wednesday and cleared the protest zone that has formed in this core neighborhood of Capitol Hill under an executive order from Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The 30-minute operation created a wide perimeter around the 12th and Pine building with streets cleared of campers and protesters and police reported taking some into custody but meeting little resistance. The Seattle Police Department says it arrested 31 people “for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault.”
There were no significant injuries reported. Around 6:30 AM, SPD said that a woman was reported going into labor on the east side of Cal Anderson Park.
Police said officers “enforcing today’s order” were wearing “a higher-level of protective gear.”
“Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated w/the CHOP are known to be armed and dangerous/may be associated with shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults & other violent crimes,” the update read.
SPD was also investigating reports of vehicles circling the area with officers reporting individuals “with firearms/armor” inside. The vehicles also did not have visible license plates, SPD reported.
Continue reading Under Durkan’s Executive Order, Seattle Police Sweep in to Retake East Precinct and Clear Capitol Hill Protest Zone
by Mark Van Streefkerk
On Monday, June 29, Andrea Caupain, candidate for state representative in Seattle’s 37th legislative district, announced she was suspending her campaign. Of the remaining two candidates, Kirsten Harris-Talley and Chukundi Salisbury, Caupain officially endorsed Salisbury. Caupain led the candidates in funds raised at over $81,000, but said her reason for leaving the race was to better serve locally, especially in light of COVID-19’s disproportionate effects on the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities she serves through the nonprofit Byrd Barr Place.
Continue reading Andrea Caupain Suspends Campaign For State Representative, Endorses Chukundi Salisbury
by Ben Adlin
Parents looking for ways to help their kids build healthy reading habits will have another resource this summer: Real Dawgs Read, a program created by the University of Washington to help structure and reward independent reading.
The program asks K–8 students to read 30 minutes per day for 30 days over the summer. Pretty much anything goes — books, magazines, comics, and newspapers all count toward the goal. Students submit written logs of their reading and, in exchange, receive a personalized certificate and a UW-branded goodie, such as a hat, hoodie, or socks.
Continue reading An Unusual UW Merchandising Deal Is Encouraging Thousands of Kids to Read
by Bunthay Cheam
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the economy, the Port of Seattle has unveiled a program to help provide economic relief to communities that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn, especially Black and brown communities.
On Thursday June 26, the Port announced a youth employment program called the “Opportunity Initiative” which seeks to employ 220 youth, with an emphasis on South King County. The program is slated to begin this summer.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Initiative Seeks to Save Youth Jobs
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.
Continue reading Farm Stand in Rainier Beach Provides Free and Low-Cost Produce for the Community
by Sharon H. Chang
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
Speakers call out and loud voices respond, rising behind a sea of black, orange, and white face coverings. “Protect Black women!” “Enough is enough!” “All Black lives matter!” Some of the dark face coverings have white writing that reads Black Lives Matter and Say Their Names. Hands clutch homemade protest signs made of cardboard and paper. It was pouring earlier and the grass is wet with morning rain. But no one seems to care as their shoes and socks slowly soak. Everyone is far too busy listening to unapologetic Black women and youth speak electric truth to power.
Continue reading Black Women and Girls Center Their Voices at #SayHerName March