by Luna Reyna
In May, Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) acknowledged the impact on youth mental health of social isolation due to remote learning and gun violence and responded to Seattle students’ demands for mental health services with the creation of the Student Mental Health Supports Pilot. In collaboration with schools, students, community organizations, Seattle Public Schools (SPS), and Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), DEEL selected five pilot schools to receive $125,000 each to implement services through August 2023. Now, up to four additional schools can apply for funding for the fall 2023 school year.
Continue reading Student Demands for Mental Health Services Are Being Met With New Investments
by Phil Manzano
The blue pop-up awnings, bluer than Friday’s sunny skies, were back at the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot — people gathered, music was playing, and food was on the way.
And under the tents were members of Safe Passage, anti-gun-violence group Moms Demand Action, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and others who have been safely “keeping space” on Friday nights for three years until gunfire erupted on July 28, injuring five people.
Continue reading Community Resilience: Safe Passage Returns to Rainier Beach Safeway After Shooting
by Phil Manzano
More than 4,000 — that’s how many shell casings Seattle police have recovered from shooting incidents this year, as well as a record number of guns recovered, 869, even as the number of reported shootings have gone down.
Those numbers are the backdrop behind Sunday’s early morning shooting that left three dead and six wounded when gunfire broke out at the Rainier Hookah Lounge, according to Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz.
Continue reading 3 Dead, 6 Wounded in Weekend Shooting at South End Hookah Lounge
The team behind the Safe Passage program responds with the same love and leadership that drives their community service.
by Luna Reyna
Music, laughter, the aroma of good food, and a generally cheerful and familial lightheartedness usually emanate from the parking lot when Marty Jackson, executive director of SE Network SafetyNet Program, and her team at Boys & Girls Clubs of King County are in the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot. “We want people to come in, we want people to come here and be able to decompress. We want you to feel loved in this space,” Jackson said.
Continue reading SE Network SafetyNet Responds to the Recent Shooting at Rainier Beach Safeway
by Ken Gillgren
Way back in 1970, when I was a senior in high school, I attended an elective class on mass media and learned you can’t assume something is true just because it showed up in The New York Times. The entire class was about the ways in which logical fallacies, appeals to emotion, and other tools for influencing public thought and opinion have long lurked in the channels of mass media — including those we have come to see as authoritative, and the presumptive “guardians” of public integrity and truth.
Yet even though I’ve long been aware of this troubling pattern, I was still enraged to read the insensitive, fear-mongering “hit piece” in The Seattle Times entitled, “Lawsuits say Rainier Beach parking lot where 5 were shot a magnet for violence.”
Continue reading OPINION | Demanding Media Accountability in a Time of Broken Trust
by Marcus Harrison Green
(This article is copublished with The Seattle Times.)
One violent incident can’t negate the impact of ongoing work to curb gun violence in the Rainier Beach community.
Continue reading OPINION | Keeping Perspective When Trauma Strikes a Sacred Place
by Phil Manzano
The blue awnings with tables and chairs stood in sharp contrast to the yellow police tape and the flashing red and blue lights of a multitude of police vehicles at the western corner of the Rainier Beach Safeway’s parking lot Friday night.
Continue reading 5 People Wounded When Gunfire Erupts at Rainier Beach Safeway Friday Night
by Ronnie Estoque
Tascha Johnson was a graduate student at the University of Washington in 2018 when she was first introduced to CHOOSE 180, an organization focused on keeping youth out of the juvenile criminal legal system and breaking the school-to-prison pipeline. Sean Goode, executive director of CHOOSE 180 at the time, was a guest speaker in one of Johnson’s social work classes.
“When I heard him talking about the juvenile diversion program that they offer, and, you know, the impact on the community and working with systems to make changes within those systems, that really resonated with me, because I have family that has also been impacted by the juvenile legal system that then followed them into the legal system as they got older,” Johnson explained.
Continue reading Local Community Efforts Aim to Deter Gun Violence
by Mark Epstein
Cornel West, speaking in the Rainier Valley last month, used the analogy of a musical ensemble for the expression of the beauty and the sorrow and blues of the human experience. Yet throughout the Valley, our city, and the country as a whole, the song has been punctuated in the last month by the discordant sound of gunfire. West decried the insufficiency of identity politics, declaring that pharaoh comes in all colors, and called for meaningful, substantive discussion and social and political change. His presidential candidacy is intended to spark that discussion.
The gunshots provide a strong exclamation point to the socioeconomic, political, and moral crisis which confronts our society at this time. Like the COVID pandemic, the omnipresence of gun violence is affecting all of us, whether we realize it or not. I myself was witness to one of the episodes, ducking for cover for 40 seconds while bullets soared overhead and on both sides.
Continue reading OPINION | A Reflection on Gun Violence and Some Questions for the Shooters