Tag Archives: Girmay Zahilay

Local Leaders, Activists React to What They Need in New King County Sheriff

by Elizabeth Turnbull

Without the Emerald, the true narrative of our community would rarely be told. For too long, and for too often, most media has painted our community in a negative light. When I say community, I include everyone who our mainstream media often ignores, diminishes, and casts aside. The Emerald has been here to remind our community of its worth, and that like all emeralds, karat for karat, the people of our community are worth more than gold. Join me in supporting the Emerald as a recurring donor during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker today by choosing the “recurring donor” option!

—Phillip “Papa” Green, The Publisher’s Dad (and Longtime Community Curmudgeon)

As the process of appointing a new King County sheriff progresses, local activists and leaders are looking to make sure that past issues do not repeat themselves. 

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OPINION: Racist Deeds Without Adequate Consequences

by Glenn Nelson


I’m going to skip right to the punchline here: The King County Council failed last week when it asked Kathy Lambert to apologize for what six of them termed her “racist piece of political mail.” It also acted insufficiently on Tuesday when it voted to strip Lambert of her committee leadership positions. Nothing short of her resignation or removal is enough of a reckoning for what even in today’s divisive climate were absurdly blatant, public, and undeniably racist actions.

With a super-majority endorsing her opponent, Sarah Perry, the Council has only partly done a deed that they should have finished.

That is, unless they all can rationalize that, by following the research and advice of her political consultant, Lambert simply was representing her constituency. Even that is more problematic than it sounds.

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The Morning Update Show — 8/19/21

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 — Thursday, August 19

LIVE — Councilmember Girmay Zahilay | LIVE — James Salisbury Jr. | WSAJ Awards | New COVID Restrictions | Skyway Update

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Chino Y Chicano Podcast: Girmay Zahilay

by Enrique Cerna and Matt Chan

A couple of retired guys that spent their careers making television dish on the good, bad, and ridiculousness of life for People of Color in America. They tear apart the news of the week, explore the complexities of race, and talk to people far more interesting than they will ever be.


Girmay Zahilay joins the Chino Y Chicano to talk about his first year and a half on the King County Council. It has been a rollercoaster of crises from COVID-19 to police violence and racial justice protests, a growing homelessness and gun violence problem, and now a reopening of the state as vaccination efforts continue. Zahilay reflects on a council experience that so far has been full of emotion, and unpredictability.

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Tiny House Village to Open in Skyway

by Elizabeth Turnbull


In roughly three weeks, community organizers transformed a bare lot in Skyway into a new village filled with tiny homes and amenities for people living without houses — creating a path for residents to ultimately transition to permanent housing.

“We are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, so this is what it’s about,” said Min. Kathy L. Taylor at a press event for the village, held Tuesday, June 9. “All of us at some time need some help, so this is a transition for folks that may have had a setback so that they can come here and have a strong comeback as they transition into permanent housing.” 

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Q&A: Nikkita Oliver Focuses on Mutual Aid, Community in Campaign for City Council

by Chamidae Ford


Nikkita Oliver has made a name for themselves in Seattle and beyond. The lawyer, artist, professor, and abolitionist is bringing their many skills to the race for Position 9, one of two at-large seats on the Seattle City Council.

On Mar. 10, Oliver announced their candidacy, a grassroots campaign centered around mutual aid that prioritizes providing community members with basic needs. This is not Oliver’s first attempt at a bid for public office — in 2017 they began their political career with a run for mayor, narrowly missing out on the general election.

Oliver is currently the executive director of Creative Justice, an organization that focuses on providing art therapy as an alternative to incarceration. They are also deeply involved in Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement and have worked closely with organizations to serve marginalized communities.

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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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Black History Today: Girmay Zahilay, a Dream Manifested

by Marcus Harden

(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)


“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”

—Barack Obama 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more and more fascinated by the African Diaspora and the connection to the African American experience. I’ve especially been fascinated with learning more about the countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, as it stands as one of the only countries to not be colonized by European “settlers.” It’s begged the question: What lay in the culture of those people? What portions of that culture permeate from generation to generation and how do they show up today?

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Skyway Community Rallies to Help Families Left Without Homes After Greentree Apartment Fire

by Andrew Engelson


In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Dec. 23, a fire broke out in the Greentree Apartments in Skyway. Though firefighters from King County Fire District 20 (KCFD20), as well as units from Renton Regional Fire Authority, Tukwila Fire Department, and other units from across the region fought the three-alarm fire, the massive blaze left most of the apartment building damaged. Thankfully there were no fatalities, though KCFD20 reported that one resident was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

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Next Month, King County Voters Will Decide On the Future of the Sheriff’s Office. Here’s What’s at Stake

by Paul Kiefer

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


A pair of amendments to the King County charter on the ballot next month open a door for significant reshaping of the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO). The measures have sparked two opposition campaigns — one closely tied to the King County Police Officers’ Guild (KCPOG), which represents sheriff’s officers — that have cast the amendments as radical attacks on law enforcement, while the measures have received limited vocal support from the most prominent local police accountability advocates.

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