Tag Archives: Lauryn Bray

Councilmember Girmay Zahilay Launches Reelection Campaign

by Lauryn Bray


On Jan. 21, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay announced the launch of his reelection campaign at Washington Hall. Joined by other County and City elected officials, community members and organizers, as well as news and media outlets, Zahilay recounted some of his successes over the past few years and tearfully explained there is still more work to be done.

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Health Through Housing Initiative and Chief Seattle Club to Provide Housing With Culturally Competent Social Services

by Lauryn Bray


In December 2022, King County and Chief Seattle Club announced that the Salmonberry Lofts in Pioneer Square became the fifth Health Through Housing building to begin moving tenants in. The Health Through Housing initiative is a “regional approach to address chronic homelessness at a countywide scale.” Introduced by King County Executive Dow Constantine in his 2020 budget speech, the Health Through Housing initiative dedicates one-tenth of a cent of sales tax revenue to the purchase and renovation of motels, hotels, and other buildings to be converted to emergency and permanent housing. 

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At 99%, KCHA Reports Highest Lease-Up Rate of Biden’s 2021 Emergency Housing Vouchers

by Lauryn Bray


Last year, President Joe Biden passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which included the release of 70,000 housing vouchers to U.S. cities experiencing high rates of homelessness. Through the Act, King County Housing Authority (KCHA) was granted 762 emergency housing vouchers and nearly $18.4 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2021. As of Nov. 14, KCHA has reported that 756 of the 762 emergency housing vouchers, or 99%, have been leased. 

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OPINION | How My Black and Indigenous Ancestry Guides My Perception of Generational Wealth

by Lauryn Bray


When I was 18, my grandfather told me that in 1936, the U.S. government cut a check to my great-grandmother for $2,000 and took her land in Oklahoma. She had inherited a farmhouse that sat on several acres. This property had been in my family for decades, and from what I understand, it did not go willingly. $2,000 in 1936 — when my great-grandmother would have had custody of this property — is worth about $42,879 now. Needless to say, she was ripped off.

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Seattle City Council Finalizes Amendments for a Balanced 2023–2024 Budget

by Lauryn Bray


On Monday, Nov. 21, after weeks of public hearings and public meetings, the City Council finalized amendments to the 2023–2024 budget, following Mayor Bruce Harrell’s initial proposal at the end of September. The council’s budget amendments allocate funding for projects focused on affordable housing, homelessness, equitable development, economic reliance, the Green New Deal, as well as transportation and safe streets. The new budget also carves out money for programs related to health, youth, education, arts, and culture, including $4 million for mental health services in schools in response to the demand for more mental health providers in schools by students impacted by gun violence.

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Rainier Beach Action Coalition Looks Towards a New Future of Fundraising

by Lauryn Bray


Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), a Black-led grassroots organization devoted to locally driven development in the Rainier Beach area, has adopted a new approach to fundraising. With the hire of their first-ever development manager, Kanwal Yousuf, RBAC is no longer relying on City and State funding alone to follow through with plans to address the needs of the Rainier Beach area. 

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Community Groups Say ShotSpotter in Proposed Mayoral Budget May Harm South End

by Lauryn Bray


On Sept. 27, 2022, Mayor Bruce Harrell delivered his budget proposal for 2023, which included a $10 million increase in funding for the Regional Homelessness Authority, a $1 million increase to the $6 million budget for projects designed to reduce traffic collisions in the Rainier Valley, and pay increases for homelessness service providers. The budget also outlines increased spending for police, using the JumpStart payroll tax for non-JumpStart programs, moving the City’s parking enforcement back to the Seattle Police Department, and installing ShotSpotters in Rainier Beach. As Bruce Harrell attempts to follow through with his campaign promise to address public safety concerns, he seeks to undo the abolition efforts of the 2020–2022 state of civil unrest.

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Africatown Celebrates the Opening of the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation

by Lauryn Bray


The Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 16 marked the end of a week of events celebrating the opening of the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation. Under the legacy of William Grose, ACLT transforms the decommissioned Fire Station 6 into a technology center dedicated to helping mold Seattle’s next generation of tech developers, creative professionals, and future entrepreneurs.

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BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Communities Share Reservations on 988 Hotline

by Lauryn Bray


988 has been touted as a way to help reduce harmful police interventions in mental health emergencies, but emergency medical services and law enforcement will be called if someone indicates that they are a danger to themselves and/or others. While some people argue that this is necessary to prevent a potential crime from occurring, others argue that it adds fuel to the fire, as EMS and police are not trained in properly addressing mental health crises. Instead, mental health advocates are encouraging the use of task forces and peer support models for suicide prevention and intervention as alternatives to the hotline. 

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50th Annual ROOTS: A Multigenerational Celebration of Seattle Family Legacies

by Lauryn Bray, photos by Susan Fried


On Sept. 4, the ROOTS Family Celebration held its 50th annual event at Jimi Hendrix Park. A day full of music, performances, and food, Black people of all ages gathered together on a Sunday to celebrate heritage and family. 

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