Echoes of the history of Seattle’s relationship with homelessness 80 years on
by Caedmon Magboo Cahill
My Great-Uncle Agaton settled into Seattle’s Hooverville when he immigrated from the Philippines sometime in the 1930s. The City and census records I can find indicate he lived very close to a current SODO shelter that has been in the news.
Named for President Hoover and his disastrous economic relief strategy after the Great Depression, Hooverville was a collective of shacks built with discarded scraps of metal, tar paper, cardboard, and whatever could be salvaged to create shelter. While Hoovervilles cropped up across the country, Seattle’s might have been the largest and longest running. City records also show that by 1941, the City acted upon the recommendation of the “Shack Elimination Committee” and destroyed my great-uncle’s home along with all the others that comprised Hooverville.
Continue reading OPINION | Hooverville Then and Now: Who Is Worthy of Space?
by Agueda Pacheco Flores
In 2006, Medard Ngueita left the Republic of Chad, a country in Africa that was experiencing political turmoil at the time and thousands were displaced. Alongside his family, Ngueita found himself in the U.S. with asylum but little knowledge of his new home. That’s when he connected with World Relief Seattle.
The organization has helped refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants resettle in Western Washington since 1979. The organization is a branch of World Relief, a global organization that partners with churches all over the world to support people impacted by mass displacement, poverty, disasters, and all kinds of oppression. The local branch has offices in Kent and recently opened a new office in Bellingham, with another office planned for the future in Olympia.
Continue reading From Refugee to Advocate: Medard Ngueita, World Relief Seattle’s New Executive Director
by Bunthay Cheam
Seattle University Law School students are calling on their school to cut ties with data companies Thomson Reuters and RELX PLC, the parent companies of legal research tools Westlaw and LexisNexis, respectively, because of their relationship with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).
On Oct. 4, 2021, the law students who are part of the national group, End the Contract Coalition (ECC), took part in a week of action that included a virtual panel facilitated by Mijente, a Latinx and Chicanx political activism group, and on campus direct action. Students unfurled a massive sign to inform students and faculty of their campaign and laid out sleeping bags covered in foil blankets inside the Law School building to represent people in custody at immigration holding facilities.
In April, Seattle University Law School students Sam Sueoka and Peyton Jacobsen discovered the relationship between LexisNexis and ICE through an Intercept article.
According to the ECC website: “LexisNexis signed a $16.8 million contract with ICE, further consolidating the relationship between legal research companies and law enforcement agencies. The contract states that LexisNexis will provide Homeland Security investigators with access to billions of records containing personal data from an array of public and private sources, including credit history, bankruptcy records, license plate images, and cellular subscriber information. Both Thomson Reuters and RELX have a history of supplying ICE with person-specific data which allows the agency to conduct rapid searches for personal information.”
Continue reading Law Students Demand Seattle University Cut Ties With Data Companies Working With ICE
by Chamidae Ford
OneAmerica, an immigrant advocacy agency founded by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal in 2001, recently announced Roxana Norouzi as their new executive director.
Norouzi has been a part of OneAmerica for nearly 12 years, beginning as an intern and working her way up the organizational ladder. During an interview with the Emerald, she spoke frankly about her inspiration and hopes for OneAmerica’s future.
Continue reading OneAmerica Announces New Executive Director, Roxana Norouzi
by Andy Panda
This comic is a story of common miscommunication between my grandmother, who didn’t speak much English, and young me, who didn’t (doesn’t) speak much Chinese. The dialogue is in both Chinese and English to emphasize the miscommunication, but includes enough of each so you, the reader, can understand what is going on. In the end, food becomes the ultimate communicator. Growing up with an immigrant grandmother, when neither of you spoke the same language, was sometimes difficult. My grandmother and I shared a room (that’s a whole other comic) and she babysat me often, yet we could barely communicate. Like many immigrant families, we had to just make it work. This is a story about one of the times we just made it work. Thanks to PARISOL for translation help and to Bill Cheung for the pun idea.
Continue reading Hungry
by M. Anthony Davis
Stephanie Gallardo, an educator, activist, and labor organizer, announced today she will challenge incumbent Adam Smith, a Democrat from Bellevue who has held the 9th Congressional District seat since 1997.
Continue reading Organizer Stephanie Gallardo Announces Congressional Run Against Adam Smith
by Chamidae Ford
On March 5 the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) opened its new Jacob Lawrence exhibit, “The American Struggle,” to the public.
“The American Struggle” takes us on a journey through American history, reframing the narratives we have heard for centuries.
During the creation of this series in 1954, Lawrence was spending countless days at what was then called the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library. He spent his time learning about not only the American history taught in schools but history told through other perspectives, which inspired this series.
Continue reading Seattle Art Museum Debuts New Jacob Lawrence Exhibit: The American Struggle
by Elizabeth Turnbull
With the end of Donald Trump’s administration and quick action by the Biden administration to issue executive orders on immigration, city officials from across the U.S., including Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, are pushing for a path to citizenship status and greater rights for immigrants.
On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Cities for Action, a coalition of roughly 200 mayors and county executives, including Durkan, released a letter urging the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to ensure a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants and to change detention practices to keep families together, among many other reforms.
Continue reading With Trump Out of White House, Seattle and other Cities Push for New Immigration Policies
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Over a week after Dolal Idd was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, roughly 150 people gathered in front of the Tukwila Library on Sunday, Jan. 10, to honor the Somali American man’s life and to call for systemic change.
Many speakers mourned the loss of another Black life and spoke to the need for nationwide action on policing. Shukri Olow, a candidate for King County Council District 5, which encompasses some of South Seattle, spoke as a member of the Somali-Muslim community and as a mother herself.
“When I heard about what happened to Dolal, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of his mother, who ran away from the civil war to find a safe environment for her children,” Olow said. “I want you to think about fleeing a conflict … coming to safe shores only to have your child killed by a system that you do not understand, a system that does not see our humanity.”
Continue reading Vigil for Dolal Idd in Tukwila Shows Solidarity for Somali-Muslim Community and Demands Change
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Friday, Dec. 4, a federal judge ordered the government to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to continue to live and work here.
Created by the Obama administration in 2012, the program has been under attack since then by both Republicans and the Trump administration. This past summer, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf issued a memorandum that prevented new applicants from enrolling in the program and reduced the length of work permits from two years to one. But on Dec. 4, that memo was reversed, restoring all of DACA’s original protections.
Continue reading A Federal Judge Ruled to Fully Reinstate DACA, but the Fight Continues