by Mike Davis
This week, Stephan Thomas, a former King County prosecutor, announced he will run for King County prosecuting attorney. Thomas, who served as the office’s director of community justice initiatives until 2019, joins an expansive pool of candidates that includes current King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg’s chief of staff, Leesa Manion; King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski; and Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell.
Satterberg, who served for 14 years, recently announced he will not seek reelection. The growing field of high-profile candidates likely indicates a competitive race.
Continue reading A New Public Safety Narrative Fuels Stephan Thomas’s Run for King County Prosecutor
by Phil Manzano
For the most part, the detailed inner workings of the King County Elections facility aren’t big news. But continuing challenges to the outcome of the Nov. 2020 presidential election begs the question: Is King County’s election ballot counting process accurate and secure?
I headed to King County Elections, a nondescript building off Southwest Grady Way near the I-405 and SR67 interchange to get a close look. I met with Jerelyn Hampton, ballot processing manager, essentially the point person for King County’s ballot integrity, and Halei Watkins, communications officer for King County elections.
“Interest in the security of our elections has definitely grown over the last year and a half,” Watkins said. “It has sustained itself well since the 2020 presidential election, and we continue to hear from folks who have questions about how our system works. But that also feels natural, it’s not a bad thing for people to ask questions about how it all works.”
Continue reading Is the Vote Accurate and Secure? A Walk Through the King County Elections
by Ben Adlin
Weeks after gunshots broke out during a youth football game at Judkins Park on Sept. 25, sending families fleeing for cover, a coalition of organizers and trained intervention professionals met amid football practice at Garfield Playfield on Tuesday, Oct. 12, to call on government officials to invest $10 million annually in community-led efforts to prevent gun violence.
“Violence is the result of failed systems our politicians and local officials created,” said Dyneeca Adams, a community and safety specialist with YMCA’s Alive and Free program, who helps youth and young adults access essential services. “In fact, they nurtured violence by exacerbating the very thing that drives it, including poverty, underfunded schools, gentrification, and failing to provide adequate funding to community-based organizations.”
Continue reading As Shootings Increase, Local Coalition Calls for $10M to Curb Gun Violence
by Ben Adlin
In an effort to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions, King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing rules that would sharply limit the use of natural gas in new multifamily homes and commercial developments as well as encourage wider adoption of solar power.
“These updates will save money, they’ll create jobs, and they’ll have an impact on climate change,” Constantine said at a media event Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Yesler Terrace Park.
Constantine declined to provide a timeline for the proposal other than to call it “wildly urgent.” The changes would need approval from the King County Council to take effect.
Continue reading King County Proposal Would Ban Natural Gas in New Multifamily and Commercial Buildings
by Ashley Archibald
The first six months of 2021 saw an increase in reports of gun violence in King County compared to recent years — violence that was highly concentrated in BIPOC communities and has prompted calls for additional investments to alleviate the conditions that contribute to the shootings.
Continue reading Community Groups Urge Focus on Disease, Not Just Symptoms of Gun Violence
by Shasti Conrad
As we prepare for the upcoming Aug. 3, 2021, King County primary election, I find myself doing what I can from raising voter awareness to relentless canvassing, textbanking, and candidate support to channel that energy that we all had for the 2020 presidential election. On that day about 331 million Americans saw their hard work pay off in the successful transfer of power from one leader to the next (Although a small portion of those folks still question the legitimacy of that election, every court in America has found it to be true). On that day we, the American people, said “no” to the bigotry that many across the world thought was irreparably permuting our nation.
While presidential elections may have been my start in politics, from presidential campaigns to the Obama Administration, I hope more than anything to leave a legacy as a strong advocate of local elections. In times like these where forests are burning, where many in our cities are unhoused, and where white supremacy continues to linger under the surface, local elections are the forefront of our democracy. It is incumbent on all of us to vote in every single cycle.
Continue reading OPINION: The Importance of Voting in Local Elections
by Andrew Engelson
With the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 causing a rise in case counts and hospitalizations in both King County and Washington State among those who have not been vaccinated, local health authorities have revised masking guidelines.
On Monday, July 26, health officials from eight Puget Sound counties issued a joint statement recommending that all residents in those counties (including King, Pierce, and Snohomish) should wear masks in indoor public spaces.
“We recommend all residents wear facial coverings when in indoor public settings where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown,” the statement reads. “This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state, and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.”
Continue reading As Cases of Delta Variant Rise in King County and State, Mask Guidelines Revised
by Paul Kiefer
(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement)
The Washington State Supreme Court sided with the families of people killed by police officers in a unanimous decision Thursday, restoring reforms to King County’s inquest process that have stalled since 2018 under pressure from law enforcement agencies.
Continue reading In Victory for Families of People Killed by Police, Court Allows Inquest Reforms
by Elizabeth Turnbull
In years past, Skyway has been a place for residents of Renton and Seattle to skirt firework bans and to set off fireworks for July 4. To combat this, King County officials are implementing a three-year plan to crack down on fireworks in the area and in other unincorporated places.
“What was happening in Skyway is that because all of the neighboring cities have already banned fireworks, it was creating a funneling effect where everybody was coming to this city or this neighborhood to blow off their fireworks,” King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay told the Emerald. “They believed all fireworks are legal even though that’s not the case.”
Explosives such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, and missiles are banned for consumer use in Washington State as a whole, except in tribal lands. Display fireworks are also illegal for consumer use countywide.
Continue reading Fireworks in Skyway Are Allowed for the Fourth — at Least This Year
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, June 30
LIVE — Besa Gordon | King County Limits Evictions and Fees | Can Marc Dones Find Homeless Solutions in King County? | Seattle’s Democracy Project | Seattle Housing Market Is Red Hot | #BlackGirlMagic
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 6/30/21