Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
Washington State’s 2021 legislative session kicked off on January 11 and it will go for 105 days, until April 25.
Between now and then, State senators and representatives will introduce bills to the legislature, refer them to their applicable committees, and consider the bills multiple times and at various stages before a bill is potentially passed into law. This year’s session is entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes many legislators think that fewer bills will be passed, but important legislation is still in the works.
A weekly round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Emerald Staff
Black and Indigenous People’s Artist Residencies
From the source (Seattle Print Arts and Editions Studio): Seattle Print Arts in partnership with Editions is offering year-long residencies to three artists, which will provide access for Black and Indigenous artists to create artists’ books, broadsides, posters, and other works on paper at Editions in Seattle, WA.
Representing the 37th district position 2, newly elected Kirsten Harris-Talley built her campaign and platform by organizing with her neighbors. In fact, she ran for office because members of the community asked her to. The first out, Black, queer femme to serve in the Washington State Legislature, Harris-Talley has spent the last 20 years building movements for progressive change. She was a founding board member at SURGE Reproductive Justice, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and former program director of Progress Alliance of Washington, as well as being involved in grassroots movements like No New Youth Jail. In 2017, she was the second Black woman ever to serve on the Seattle City Council, where she introduced the first version of JumpStart Seattle, a progressive revenue measure that passed this year to help fund COVID-19 recovery.
Now that she’s on her way to Olympia, Harris-Talley pledges to be transparent about policies and decisions that affect people in the 37th district through a future podcast, accountability council, and other tools. Her work is informed by aunties and elders in the community, as well as youth-led activism in the South End, where she has lived with her husband and family in Hillman City since 2004. “I’m going to be organizing with my neighbors. It’s the only way we can win,” she said. “Because I think politics is an organizing game. I don’t think it’s an ideas game — it’s an organizing game.”
Skyway, an unincorporated community sandwiched between Seattle and Renton, has few representatives. While other areas in King County have “essentially what amounts to lobbyists working for them and their interests,” as King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay puts it, Skyway has no mayor or city council.
2020 is more than halfway over, and in a short amount of time Seattle has seen significant movement on issues such as Black Lives Matter, defunding the police, and progressive tax initiatives — much more so than in recent years. It only took a pandemic and an unemployment rate that rocketed to 15.4% in Washington state in April to raise greater awareness about these issues and other systemic inequities, many of which disproportionately affect the 37th legislative district. Encompassing Beacon Hill, the Central District, Rainier Valley, Columbia City, Rainier Beach, and Renton, the 37th district includes the most diverse parts of Seattle. As demands for racial justice and equity are amplified through almost daily protests, marches, and demonstrations, selecting our district’s two representatives to Olympia requires careful consideration. Continue reading Got Your Ballot? 37th Legislative District Positions 1 and 2 Candidates Speak at Community Forum→
On Monday, June 29, Andrea Caupain, candidate for state representative in Seattle’s 37th legislative district, announced she was suspending her campaign. Of the remaining two candidates, Kirsten Harris-Talley and Chukundi Salisbury, Caupain officially endorsed Salisbury. Caupain led the candidates in funds raised at over $81,000, but said her reason for leaving the race was to better serve locally, especially in light of COVID-19’s disproportionate effects on the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities she serves through the nonprofit Byrd Barr Place.
Kirsten Harris-Tally says her decision to run for the state legislature came down to one thing: It’s where she felt she could make the biggest impact for the community she’s called home for the past 15 years.