“Who Keeps Us Safe?” is a podcast by Asian Americans living in Seattle that explores safety, policing, and abolition in our communities and beyond. Join us monthly as we speak with organizers in the Seattle area, and reflect on their work and learnings. We hope that our listeners will use this podcast to begin and/or supplement their own conversations about safety and policing in their own communities. This is a project of PARISOL: Pacific Rim Solidarity Network, a grassroots anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, Hong Konger, Taiwanese, and Chinese* diaspora group based in Seattle. PARISOL is dedicated to local & international solidarity, community building, cultural & politicized learning, abolition, and anti-racist work.
This episode was produced for the podcast Who Keeps Us Safe? (WKUS) and was previously released in September 2021. The production crew is a small volunteer team of community organizers: Andy Allen, Alex Chuang, Jenn Shaffer, and Ryan Fang. Together, they record their conversations with other Seattle organizers and explore the idea of community safety. For their second episode, they caught word of a demonstration sponsored by the CID Coalition, where they were protesting the opening of a building which houses high-value, luxury condominiums in the Chinatown-International District (CID). The demonstration took place on June 25, 2021. Later, the WKUS team sat down with some members of the CID Coalition to talk more about gentrification and how this connects with ideas of safety.
This Saturday, May 14, Inscape Arts will host a Spring Open House highlighting some of the impressive artists and studios in residence at the former Immigration and Naturalization Services building at 815 Seattle Blvd. S. The event was organized by Friends of Inscape, a group dedicated to preserving the historic building after it was listed for sale in 2021 and put at risk of redevelopment. The Spring Open House is another way that Friends of Inscape hopes to showcase the history of the space and its current use as an artist enclave with strong roots in the Seattle community and deep personal and historical resonance for many. Inscape has been closed to the public for the past two years, and the Spring Open House will mark the first time since the start of the pandemic that the building has opened its doors to the public.
On Tuesday morning, local leaders and community members celebrated the completion of an affordable housing development in the Central District that specifically aims to make owning a home financially viable for residents.
After a concerted effort to acquire the building and to stave off any potential displacement of families, the Brighton Development Group (BDG) is in the process of purchasing The Arches Apartments building in South Seattle.
Despite higher offers from other bidders, BDG now has the purchase of the building under contract after they promised to keep all of the families who are currently living there in place and not raise rents, according to Curtis Brown, who has been advocating for the purchase and is the executive director of SouthEast Seattle Senior Foundation.
Before she could begin negotiations with Curtis Brown to sell The Arches Apartments, longtime South Seattle matriarch Barbara Chamberlain passed away. Now, three months later, the property is up for sale for a whopping $6.35 million, putting 25 families at risk of displacement.
The former Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) Building in the CID has lived many lives: It was built in 1932 to detain and deport Chinese immigrants during the Chinese Exclusion Act era. It held Japanese American men before they were sent to local incarceration camps during World War II. It deported thousands of immigrants and refugees throughout the 20th century, and naturalized others. And after it was vacated as an INS building in 2004, it lived again as the home of Inscape Arts. With over 125 tenants, Inscape offers the largest working arts and creative space in Seattle.
Blinding sunlight streamed through my curtains as I opened up my computer and logged onto Zoom. Expecting a casual planning meeting for a racial justice club I run with a couple of friends, I got comfortable at my desk and made sure my cup of tea was within reach. Conversations about future plans quickly morphed into something deeper concerning current events in Seattle. The news in early 2021 was filled with stories of hate crimes, but my friends and I knew that anti-Asian oppression is more than just violence. As the now-setting sun cast shadows across my room, we discussed historic redlining, housing discrimination, language discrimination, and more. I drained my tea and my best friend mentioned connecting to mutual aid and local organizers for an upcoming meeting.
As Sound Transit plans the next Seattle light rail line, a group of leaders in the Chinatown-International District (CID) say the project could force out more business, further uprooting the community and threatening historic buildings.
San Fernando’s Roasted Peruvian Chicken restaurant on Rainier Avenue South was known for its pollo a la brasa and crispy-skinned roast chicken, as well as for hosting joyous parties and live music. The walls were adorned with posters of Peru and art that owners Walter Diaz and Nancy Bautista had collected over the years. But after occupying the space for a decade, their restaurant has been forced to relocate to SeaTac. Soon their building will be demolished and replaced by an 8-story apartment building with retail space.
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 — Tuesday, Feb. 8
Guest Host Jake Gravbrot | LIVE — Juan Cotto of Rainier Avenue Radio | Black History Events This Week | Turning the Tide on Gentrification