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.
Continue reading Q&A: Nikkita Oliver Focuses on Mutual Aid, Community in Campaign for City Council
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.
Continue reading Councilmember Zahilay’s Workshop Encourages BIPOC Youth to Run for Office
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?
Continue reading Black History Today: Girmay Zahilay, a Dream Manifested
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.
Continue reading Skyway Community Rallies to Help Families Left Without Homes After Greentree Apartment Fire
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.
Continue reading Next Month, King County Voters Will Decide On the Future of the Sheriff’s Office. Here’s What’s at Stake
by Chetanya Robinson
The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a “coordinated attack” from hackers that disrupted an online town hall for Skyway hosted by the King County Local Services Department on October 6, according to a statement from the King County Executive’s Office. Hackers broke into the meeting and used Zoom’s annotations feature to post “offensive, anti-Black, anti-Semitic, and sexually explicit images and words,” according to King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay on Twitter, who was part of the meeting.
Continue reading Virtual Skyway Town Hall Hijacked by Anti-Black, Anti-Semitic Hackers
by Chetanya Robinson
Skyway, an unincorporated community sandwiched between Seattle and Renton, has few representatives. While other areas in King County have “essentially what amounts to lobbyists working for them and their interests,” as King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay puts it, Skyway has no mayor or city council.
Continue reading Skyway Wins Funding in County Budget as Candidates for 37th District Pledge to Invest in the Community
by Elizabeth Turnbull
A free, multi-service resource center hosted by Renton Innovation Zone Partnership will be stationed at 12643 Renton Ave. S.on Sept. 4, Sept. 18, and three dates in October, to provide Skyway residents with housing assistance, school supplies, and food resources, among other things.
Continue reading Food and Housing Resource Pop-Up Opens In Skyway
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Following a shooting Tuesday, August 18 at the 3000 block of Rainier Avenue South, a man in his 20s was treated for life-threatening injuries and rushed to Harborview Medical Center. “We’ve always had gun violence in our community. We’ve been facing gun violence for a very long time,” said Dom Davis, CEO and Founder of Community Passageways, a Seattle-based nonprofit felony diversion and prevention program. But the incident August 18 was one of a potentially record-setting number of shootings this summer in Seattle. The case is ongoing.
Continue reading Community Leaders Offer Solutions as Gun Violence Escalates in South Seattle
by Girmay Zahilay, King County Councilmember
March 15 was one of the hardest days of my professional life. That was the day Governor Jay Inslee announced expanded limitations on large gatherings and closures of certain small businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Immediately after his order came down, my email inbox and social media channels were flooded with messages from terrified King County residents. I heard from restaurant owners saying the restaurants they had operated for generations were in jeopardy; barber shop and beauty salon owners wondering how they could continue paying their commercial rent; Uber drivers facing imminent financial demise.
Continue reading OPINION: Keeping People Housed; Keeping Small Businesses Alive