Brandon Hersey was appointed to the Seattle Public Schools Board to represent District 7 after Betty Patu resigned in 2019. Hersey, who was raised in a home of Black educators, currently lives in Rainier Beach and teaches second grade at Rainier View Elementary in Federal Way. Before becoming a teacher, Hersey’s experience in education policy included working for the Obama Administration as a policy analyst focusing on children and family issues.
The city of Kent has the largest population of Black residents in King County. Many Black residents in Kent moved there after being pushed out of Seattle due to gentrification and rising housing costs. This year, Dawn Bennett, a Black woman who has lived in Kent for the last 23 years, is running for mayor.
Bennett has a long career in community advocacy and activism. She has worked for the Seattle Parks department for over 25 years and has also worked for Seattle Public Schools and multiple nonprofits, one of which she founded, that focus on advocating for youth in communities throughout Washington.
The Emerald had the opportunity to speak with Bennett about her plans for the city of Kent and how she plans to use her expertise to support the city and the 15,000 Black residents who live there.
Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.
We are living through some of the most historic events in the short history of the United States right now, and there’s a question I can’t shake: how does the reaction of law enforcement to the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, compare to the reaction of law enforcement to Indigenous-led protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline or Standing Rock? We’re spending the first part of 2021 deep in planning for our next set of Seedcast episodes, so here is a separate conversation I had with community steward/organizer and father Matt Remle (Hunkpapa Lakota) about his take on last week’s insurgency, his assessment of the inequalities laid bare, and our hopes and responsibilities in the wake of it. We got to know each other while working on the campaign to get Wells Fargo to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Matt is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and was a local Seattle leader in that campaign.
Skye Dior is ready for stardom, and she’s not just waiting around for it to come to her. She’s starting earlier than most: the 8-year-old South Seattle recording artist recently released a video for her pop banger “Clap,” and before the pandemic, was performing with other Seattle greats — such as Rell B. Free — and planning a tour.
Organizer, promoter, entrepreneur, computer scientist, father, and community gardener — Chukundi Salisbury has amassed several titles since moving to Seattle as a 5-year-old boy in 1975. He’s looking to add at least one more come November: state representative for Washington’s 37th Legislative District.
A groundbreaking report was released from the Urban Indian Health Institute revealed that Seattle has the highest number of missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) in the country, and Washington state holds the second highest rates of missing and murdered indigenous women. Native women have been leading the way in responses to the crisis of MMIW through legislative advocacy and community organizing work. In Washington state, two bills were recently passed thanks to the work of native women which increase reporting of missing native women and require law enforcement to improve their response to MMIW through hiring tribal liaisons and improving data collection methods.
The Central and Southeast Seattle Rapid Response Network and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United will be holding a Know Your Rights training for Columbia City business owners and those interested in understanding more about what rights they or their neighbors have, when facing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
A sign reading “standing room only” greeted people entering The Royal Room Aug. 11. That night, The Duffy Bishop Band, a tight-knit rhythm and blues band fronted by the vivacious vocalist, Duffy Bishop, headlined The 6th Annual Columbia City Blues Festival.