Tag Archives: Mutual Aid

OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD

by Luna Reyna


One-quarter of the entire 2020 Seattle city budget was allocated to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). While last summer’s protests over anti-Black police violence and calls to defund the police resulted in an 18% decrease in the 2021 SPD budget, $364 million was still allocated to SPD. This is an affront to community-led organizations like King County Equity Now (KCEN) and so many others who have been providing much-needed community support and succeeding in creating real public safety

KCEN, which started as an informal coalition of over 60 Black-led community organizations like Africatown Community Landtrust, Community Passageways, and Blaq Elephant Party, is now a formal, pro-Black 501(c)(4) dedicated to achieving equity for all Black peoples across all measurable metrics, including, wealth, health, land ownership, safety, college matriculation rates, organizational control, and more. 

In the ’70s, the Central District’s population was 75% Black, but as a result of Seattle’s tech boom and resulting gentrification, the CD is now only 15% Black. 

“My family was gentrified from the Central District in 2003,” said TraeAnna Holiday, an organizer with KCEN. “I remember wondering why my family couldn’t stay in our neighborhood. This was our neighborhood; I knew it in and out.” 

Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Activists’ Continued Fight for Mutual Aid, True Equity, and Defunding SPD

Cleveland High School Mutual Aid Drive Seeks Community Support

by Ronnie Estoque


Sophomores at Cleveland High School in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood have spent the last few weeks gathering donations for a mutual aid drive that they have been planning alongside the Humanities Department, staff, administration, and the school PTSA. The event was made possible due to an identified need to better support families of Cleveland students that may have experienced intensified financial hardship in the past year due to the pandemic. 

The mutual aid event aims to help address a lack of basic household goods for students and their families. “We’ve been supporting families this year in a variety of ways … the reality is that a lot of the resources that we have available aren’t supporting those basic needs,” Cleveland High School social worker Trisa Ibarra said. 

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‘Music With a Message’ Campaign Ends This Weekend, but There Is Still Time to Donate

by Jack Russillo


All 12 of the virtual concerts have been published, but there is still time to donate food and money to the campaign that is helping people access meaningful resources while also creating a platform for local musical artists.

For the last 12 weeks, the Music with a Message campaign featured weekly virtual performances by 12 artists from the Seattle area to raise food and monetary donations for Rainier Valley Food Bank and South King County & Eastside COVID Mutual Aid. To date, more than 1,130 pounds of food has been donated through the campaign and about $2,500 has been raised, which will be split between the two non-profits.

People who want to donate food through the campaign have until the end of the day on Sunday, April 4, to drop food off at any of the partnering businesses, such as The Reef Cannabis, The Bakeréé, and Clutch Cannabis.

Continue reading ‘Music With a Message’ Campaign Ends This Weekend, but There Is Still Time to Donate

Volunteer Group That Removes Trash From Homeless Encampments Draws Criticism

by Ashley Archibald


Mutual aid practitioners who have long worked with homeless individuals have called on the Seattle City Council to disavow We Heart Seattle (WHS), a volunteer group that removes trash from homeless encampments across the city. WHS’s critics insist the group has illegally removed belongings, focused more on cleaning up sites rather than the welfare of unsheltered residents, and used inappropriate tactics to remove people experiencing homelessness from public spaces. 

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Help for the Hungry: Mutual Aid Networks Thrive During Pandemic

 by Alexa Peters


In March of last year, shortly after the city shuttered the first time due to COVID-19, Seattle’s Maria Lamarca Anderson wanted take-out. She called up a BIPOC-owned Filipino restaurant she’d been meaning to try, Beacon Hill’s Musang Seattle.

“I said, ‘Hi, I’d like to order food.’ They said, ‘Oh, well, you can’t, but if you need food come and get it,’” said Lamarca Anderson.

She was confused, but Lamarca Anderson drove to the restaurant anyway. Once there, she learned that upon closing their businesses when the pandemic hit, Musang’s owner, Melissa Miranda, had pivoted from regular restaurant operations to form the Seattle Community Kitchen Collective with a few other local restaurant owners, including Chef Tarik Abdullah from Feed the People. Ever since, the coalition had been donating their kitchens and labor to make meals for anyone who’s hungry, 100% of the time.

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Seedcast: Taholo Kami and Sen. J. Kalani English — a Collective Talanoa

by Romin Lee Johnson

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 now in our third month of Indigenous storytelling with this wonderful mixed-media column of personal essay, podcast, poetry, and imagery. This month we want to underscore, through this reflection on episode two of Seedcast, the voices of two charismatic Pasifika leaders who demonstrate the ability to navigate the western world of politics with a deeply rich and culturally nuanced balance of Indigenous-centered policy. 

In the second episode of Seedcast, Nia Tero’s Jessica Ramirez interviews two well-respected elders at the forefront of Indigenous Pacific Islander issues, Taholo Kami of Fiji and Sen. J. Kalani English of Hawai‘i. In this episode, they each reflect on the Pacific Islander tradition of talk story as an act of resilience, identity and public policy, youthful romanticism for the past, and how these island communities have had to adapt in the age of COVID-19.

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OPINION: Thoughts on RBG’s passing and a New Era of Queer Mutual Aid by a Trans and Jewish Millennial

by Mirit Markowitz Santos


Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Erev Rosh Hashana. For all the non-Jews reading this, that is the evening of the first night of the Jewish New Year, a kick-off holiday to a time of great reflection that ends with another important holiday, Yom Kippur. When I heard that Ruth had passed away, I felt many things, as did the rest of the nation. I felt sad, I felt grief that it happened before the election (although I am not sure that would have mattered, I am sad to admit). But mostly, I felt a sincere hope that she passed peacefully coupled with an anxiety that perhaps she did not. This latter emotion was the most pronounced — to have an elder in my community potentially not die peacefully because we were hanging all our progressive hopes and dreams on her surviving, despite her multiple struggles with various cancers during the era of Trump, well … that’s not good. 

Continue reading OPINION: Thoughts on RBG’s passing and a New Era of Queer Mutual Aid by a Trans and Jewish Millennial

Disaster Progressivism: Having the Guts to Imagine More

by Sarah Stuteville 


I’ve only ever taken one economics course, back in undergrad. I got a D. After 15 years, I found myself ruminating on that class, and an argument I had with the economics professor who taught it, while distress-drinking on a recent Friday.

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