Tag Archives: Opinion

OPINION: Gun Violence Is a Symptom of Poverty

by Tammy Morales


When it comes to addressing gun violence in our community, it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. Organizations like Safe Passage, Boys & Girls Club’s SE Network, Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), and Urban Family invest time in our communities, support our young people, and build community. They have been doing essential work long before Omari Wallace was shot and killed on March 18. In fact, we were supposed to be having a Zoom meeting about the increase of South Seattle shootings when we learned that a young man walked into the Emerald City Bible Fellowship and shot 19-year-old Wallace who was there attending a meeting. 

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OPINION: Voting Rights Restoration Bill’s Passage Brings Hope to Our Formerly Incarcerated Communities

by Datyous Mahmoudian


As someone who has experienced incarceration, I see voting rights restoration as a mark of good government. It sent me the message that “I matter” instead of reinforcing the stigma and second-class citizenship that are often experienced when people like me reenter our communities. 

The recent passage of House Bill 1078 by our state legislature has cultivated a strong wave of hope and optimism from current and formerly incarcerated communities and their allies in Washington State. This new law will give new opportunity to thousands of politically disenfranchised people who want to make their voices heard by casting a vote for those who create the laws that govern our lives.

Continue reading OPINION: Voting Rights Restoration Bill’s Passage Brings Hope to Our Formerly Incarcerated Communities

OPINION: Renters Must Get Organized to Win ‘Just Cause’ and Other Protections Against Eviction

by Kshama Sawant


Two years ago, working-class renters at the Bryn Mawr apartments in Skyway were stunned to find notices from their landlord tacked on their doors. The papers told them: Get out.

The landlord gave no reason for the eviction notices, because under King County law, he did not need to.

In danger of becoming homeless, the Bryn Mawr tenants fought back. They reached out to my socialist Seattle City Council office and, together with community groups, we organized a press conference to expose the landlord’s threat. Then we spearheaded a letter from 30 community leaders demanding that the landlord rescind the eviction notices. We made plans to deliver the letter and publicize it in the media.

Continue reading OPINION: Renters Must Get Organized to Win ‘Just Cause’ and Other Protections Against Eviction

OPINION: Let’s Call It What It Is — Pollute and Trade

by Melina Rivera


I live in an industrial area of town. For the last 12 years, my South Seattle neighborhood has experienced the changes of gentrification. The punk rock house with a sign that read “don’t trifle with us” still stands, but its inhabitants and the sign are now gone and townhomes with six to a dozen units per lot have popped up with more on the way. I have new sets of neighbors where I see more young children and young parents walking their dogs and taking their children for an outing down my alleyway. In fact, my alleyway serves more like a sidewalk as folks walk by with strollers and kids on bikes as we exchange pleasantries. My new neighbors are also homeless with different types of RVs and makeshift homes lining our streets and a tiny-home village with folks who care about the community as much as those with a fixed roof over their heads.

What has not changed in my neighborhood are the toxic odors that I wake up to most mornings.

Continue reading OPINION: Let’s Call It What It Is — Pollute and Trade

OPINION: ‘They Play Here.’ OL Reign Player Quinn Is Proof Trans People Do Belong in Sports

by Maggie Mertens, contributing columnist


Maybe you’ve seen the ad campaign for the OL Reign: the caption “She plays here” beside a photo of one of the team’s players. 

On Feb. 9, the Reign tweeted out the ad with a link to buying season ticket packages for the upcoming 2021 season, starting in May. But the wording was slightly different. “They play here,” the caption read, beside a photo of Quinn, a midfielder who was signed by OL Reign in July 2019 and plays for the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team. 

The change is just one word, a pronoun, but it mattered a lot to Quinn, who came out as transgender and nonbinary last September in an Instagram post, started going by just one name, Quinn, and began using they/them pronouns. 

Continue reading OPINION: ‘They Play Here.’ OL Reign Player Quinn Is Proof Trans People Do Belong in Sports

OPINION: Seattle Needs to ‘Start Asian Love’ in the Face of Hate

by Glenn Nelson, contributing columnist


The first major local protest ignited by the murder of George Floyd swelled in downtown Seattle and started exhibiting elements of violence. It seemed almost predictable when the flummoxed police force began funneling the mostly white crowd of vandals south. Already in coronavirus lockdown, Lei Ann Shiramizu watched it all unfold on television.

Reports Shiramizu heard about police tactics indicated the group was being herded straight into the Chinatown-International District (C-ID). The mounting images being beamed to the public, of busted windows and other forms of vandalism, were like zaps to her psyche.

“My baby is out there,” was the urgent thought that crossed her mind.

Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Needs to ‘Start Asian Love’ in the Face of Hate

OPINION: Economic Equity Requires Bold Action From State Legislators

by Marilyn Watkins


Washington’s State Senate has taken a major step toward a more just and lasting recovery from COVID-19 with passage of a new tax on extraordinary profits from the sale of stocks and other assets of the super-rich. Revenue generated from individuals who have continued to rake in wealth during the pandemic will help fuel the urgently needed rescue of families and small businesses and provide a start toward the long-term investments in child care, public health, and other supports our communities need to thrive.

If Senate Bill (SB) 5096 makes it past additional legislative hurdles to final passage, it will generate over $500 million annually from 8,000 or so of Washington’s wealthiest residents. The first $350 million of new public funds will go into the education legacy trust fund to finance childcare and early learning, K–12 education enhancements, and college access. Revenues beyond that will go into the general fund to support other priorities such as public health and housing and into a new taxpayer fairness account where it could finance the Working Families Tax Credit and other relief for lower-income households.

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OPINION: They’re Raising Grandkids With Little Help, and During a Pandemic. Can’t We Lend Them a Hand?

by Marcus Harrison Green

(This article is copublished with The Seattle Times.)


Listen to this article below:


Most days, the massive unfairness of the world cannot crush Ollie Reeves. 

Most days, the 76-year-old calls on her faith in God and family to help her raise her two grandchildren, Montrey, 14, and Destiny, 10, amid a pandemic.

Most days, the retiree plunges into her savings, accumulated as a Boeing shuttle driver, to pay for food, clothes, and medical bills.

But occasionally, there are days when things get too much and Reeves can do nothing but lock herself in her bedroom and cry. 

“My grandkids will say ‘Grandma, why’d you lock the door?’ But they know I need a quiet moment and they just let me be,” she said.

Continue reading OPINION: They’re Raising Grandkids With Little Help, and During a Pandemic. Can’t We Lend Them a Hand?

OPINION: There Was More Police Accountability in Washington State During Jim Crow Than Today

by Jordan Chaney


The other day I was driving a little faster than what the speed limit called for and a motorcycle cop pulled me over. As he approached my driver’s side window, he tapped the middle of his chest to make me aware of his body cam, and he announced that he was recording the traffic stop. In that moment, I thought my life could end. I imagined him blowing my brains out through the passenger side seat and window. So when he asked for my ID, I made sure to go through my “P.O.P.s” (the pull-over-protocol that I taught my son when he got his driver’s license): pray, be polite, move as slowly as possible, keep your hands and wallet visible at all costs because it could cost you your life.

Continue reading OPINION: There Was More Police Accountability in Washington State During Jim Crow Than Today

OPINION: We Must Continue Lifting the Voice of Every Womxn

by Shasti Conrad


In 2020, we saw people across the country make their voices heard with an urgency America hasn’t witnessed in decades. We marched in cities from coast to coast to express the need for social justice in our country. We advocated for change, pushing for more equity and inclusion.

The core of our chorus in protest after protest, “Black Lives Matter,” is a demand for action — an insistent call to finally tend to the overdue work of elevating Black voices and centering Black experiences. 

That call was heeded at the ballot box here in Washington State, with more Black candidates elected than ever before.

Now that we have transitioned into 2021, it is more important than ever to keep building that momentum beyond electoral politics. We must continue to lift our voices and advocate for change throughout our society. 

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