Tag Archives: King County Council

DAJD Could Do More to Prevent Deaths in Jails, Disciplines With Racial Bias, Report Finds

by Carolyn Bick


A new report by the King County Auditor’s Office has revealed that the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) faces serious problems within its adult jails, including deaths that the department “could do more to prevent,” excessive uses of force that go under-reported, and subjecting Black people — particularly Black women — to discipline and distinctly higher levels of security based on faulty risk-assessment systems. At the same time, the report noted that the DAJD’s response appears to suggest that while the department agreed with the report’s findings, it may not change its policies or implement any recommendations made in the report. In some cases, the report said, it does not appear as though the DAJD understands why it needs to change these policies.

Continue reading DAJD Could Do More to Prevent Deaths in Jails, Disciplines With Racial Bias, Report Finds

King County Council Candidate Shukri Olow — Marginalized People, ‘You Belong Here’

by Kelsey Hamlin


Shukri Olow, a first-time candidate deemed a community leader among many in Kent, seeks to unseat incumbent Dave Upthegrove who has served on the King County Council representing District 5 since 2014. She would be the only Black woman on the Council if elected.

Olow is a doctoral candidate in education at Seattle University — one of many indicators of her values. She also volunteers her time on several boards, like Kent Youth & Family Services, the Kent YMCA, and One America Votes. She has worked to undo institutional harms throughout her career, from her faith’s community duties to Seattle Public Schools. So it came as no surprise that both her interview and campaign website honed in on “collective liberation.”

“What that looks like for me is us providing an opportunity for those historically and presently marginalized to feel empowered, shift the systems themselves, and come up with the policies and solutions for the solutions they face to create an environment where everyone is better off,” Olow said. “I believe it’s possible.”

Continue reading King County Council Candidate Shukri Olow — Marginalized People, ‘You Belong Here’

‘A Failed Leader’: Momentum Builds in Demands for Sheriff Johanknecht’s Resignation

by Carolyn Bick


At the 43:22 timestamp in a video of a nearly two-hour King County Council meeting regarding the shooting death of Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gets up and walks out of the room, before any members of the community speak, and before Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens’s mother starts to read the last poem her son wrote before police shot and killed him in 2017.

“I have to get on to the next thing,” Johanknecht says, looking at the watch on her left wrist.

Continue reading ‘A Failed Leader’: Momentum Builds in Demands for Sheriff Johanknecht’s Resignation

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.

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

The Morning Update Show — 3/18/21

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, March 18

LIVE — Bookie Gates | LIVE — Julia Jessie | Update on Shooting in South End | Gun Violence Disruption | Community Voices: Vanishing Seattle Edition | Sarju to run for Seattle School Board

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/18/21

The Morning Update Show — 3/17/21

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 — Wednesday, March 17

LIVE — Andrew “Ace” Houston | LIVE — Willard Jimerson Jr. | 8 Killed in Atlanta Shootings | Local wealth divide grows | Shukri Olow running for King County Council | HSD earmarks $10.4M for Community Safety

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/17/21

Chris Franco, Veteran and County Office of Equity & Social Justice Leader, Is Running for King County Council

by Chetanya Robinson


While he was in Afghanistan as an executive officer during the Obama-era “surge,” Chris Franco’s life gave him a shove that would eventually inspire him to work in public service for the King County government and, in January this year, to run for a seat on the Metropolitan King County Council in Position 9 as a first-time candidate.

“Unfortunately I had a very toxic and self-serving leader that was responsible for helping us out and getting us what we needed during our deployment,” Franco recalled in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. This leader, Franco said, withheld engineering support for barriers to protect people from attacks. “Unfortunately because of that negligence, one of our interpreters was killed.” 

Franco’s disdain for the poor leadership he experienced in Afghanistan grew over the years. “That was a wakeup call to what happens when you have leaders who don’t give a damn, that are vindictive or complacent or just apathetic,” he said.

Continue reading Chris Franco, Veteran and County Office of Equity & Social Justice Leader, Is Running for King County Council

2021 King County Districting Committee Aims for an ‘Inclusive’ and ‘Community-Led’ Boundary Redrawing Process

by Jack Russillo


On Thursday, Jan. 21, the 2021 King County Districting Committee had its first meeting as it begins a yearlong process to redraw the King County Council district lines within King County.

The process will continue through most of 2021, as council district lines are redrawn in the year following a census, which occurred in 2020. On Jan. 12, the County Council appointed four of what will eventually be five members of the 2021 King County Districting Committee. A fifth committee member, who will be chosen by the four individuals who have already been selected, will serve as the chair of the districting committee.

Continue reading 2021 King County Districting Committee Aims for an ‘Inclusive’ and ‘Community-Led’ Boundary Redrawing Process

Kim-Khánh Văn Aims for King County Council

by Melody Ip


Whether Kim-Khánh Văn is serving on the Renton City Council, advocating for clients as an attorney, leading as co-president of the Parent-Teacher Association, volunteering with numerous community organizations — and now running for King County Council — she boils her motivation down to this phrase: “acknowledging privilege, being grateful for opportunities, and paying it forward.”

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King County Council Rejects Redundant Bus Line Funding in North End, Citing Equity Needs

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


On Thursday, the King County Council shelved a proposal by North Seattle Councilmember Rod Dembowski that would have kept 47,000 hours of bus service inside Dembowski’s district after the Northgate light rail station opens next year. The proposal came in the form of a budget proviso, or restriction on spending, that would have withheld $5.4 million in funding for King County Metro unless the bus service went to North King County.

The hours will become available because King County Metro is shutting down its Route 41 bus line, which duplicates the light rail route. Instead of being redistributed throughout North Seattle to feed commuters to the new light rail line, as Dembowski proposed, those hours are likely to go to South King County, where King County Metro’s preliminary report on equity shows the need is greatest.

Continue reading King County Council Rejects Redundant Bus Line Funding in North End, Citing Equity Needs