by Ronnie Estoque
Cars honked and community members chanted while crossing the South Park Bridge on Friday, Sept. 24. They were voicing concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed changes to the cleanup of the Duwamish River. In 2001, the Duwamish River was listed as a federal Superfund site, one of the country’s most toxic hazardous-waste sites.
“We’re asking for this river to get cleaned up the way we agreed to in 2014 … to change things now makes no sense at all,” James Rasmussen, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) Superfund manager and member of the Duwamish Tribe, said. “That’s why we’re here today. We want to clean this river the best possible way we can.”
Continue reading Duwamish River Cleanup Rally Challenges EPA Proposed Changes
by Hannah Krieg
Paige Robertson is a young climate justice advocate who lives under the flight path of Sea-Tac International Airport. This means an aircraft could be over her head as often as every 45 seconds, said another concerned resident of the SeaTac area.
According to a 96-page report by Public Health – Seattle & King County, more than 50% of the people in King County who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic, Latino, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander live within 10 miles of the Sea-Tac airport. This same radius also has the highest rating for negative health outcomes such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, premature birth, and cancer.
Continue reading Incumbents Face Off With Social Justice-Minded Challengers for Port Commission
curated by Emerald Staff
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up in Pioneer Square Offers Live Music, Kent and Auburn Clinics Move to New Locations
This Saturday, King County is sponsoring a free pop-up COVID-19 vaccine site accompanied by art activities and live musical performances in Occidental Square in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Sites Moving (and Grooving!), Pandemic Aid for Foster Care Alumni, and More!
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As of last week, the Port of Seattle is encouraging business owners, particularly women and entrepreneurs of color and business owners in South King County, to apply to the PortGen Accelerator, a business development program aimed at helping small businesses work toward future contracting opportunities.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Centers Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses
by Jack Russillo
Hamdi Mohamed has had a connection to the Port of Seattle in one way or another for the majority of her life.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), which is owned by the Port, was one of her first points of entry into the United States when she emigrated from Somalia at the age of three. Since then, she’s lived and worked in various parts of south King County, where many families work in jobs connected to nearby Port-related industries. Mohamed’s father was a truck driver, her mother worked at Sea-Tac airport, and Hamdi herself has worked with frontline workers in south King County for more than 15 years. She currently lives in the city of SeaTac with her husband.
When Mohamed announced her candidacy for the Port of Seattle Commission on February 17, she wanted to improve the regional representation of the Port’s decision-makers, among other things. If elected, she would be the only Port Commissioner to currently live in the airport community. Mohamed would also be the first Woman of Color and the first East African person ever to be elected to the governing body that heads North America’s fourth-largest container gateway.
Continue reading Hamdi Mohamed Seeks to Be First Woman of Color Elected to Port of Seattle Commission
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Earlier this month, the Port of Seattle Commission approved funding of more than $1 million in grants to cities and 14 organizations in South King County. The Economic Development Partnership Program allocated $930,000 to South King County cities to help boost economic recovery for communities most impacted by COVID-19, including small businesses. Through the Port of Seattle environmental grants, 14 organizations will receive up to $20,000 for almost $218,000 in total.
The recent funding is part of the Port of Seattle’s larger commitment to invest $10 million over five years through the South King County Support Program, partly to help offset environmental impacts on near-airport communities and now to aid in COVID-19 recovery. Port programs are supported through 1.2% of tax paid by King County property owners.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Grants $1 Million to South King County Cities and Organizations
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Oct. 13, the Port of Seattle Commission passed a motion that aims to promote equity and to stop structural racism in its workplaces by working to eliminate bias, increasing support for the port’s office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and requiring mandatory unconscious bias training for port employees.
Similar to efforts the port began in July to assess its police department, Tuesday’s motion was created in response to ongoing racism across the country and the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. While he agrees that pushing for change in the port’s policing is a step in the right direction, Sam Cho, one of the port’s commissioners and the only commissioner of color, said he and his colleagues felt the effort was incomplete.
“The reality is that the fight for racial justice goes well beyond just policing. It’s systemic. It’s institutionalized,” Cho told the Emerald. “So what I said is, ‘Let’s introduce a motion that goes beyond policing and looks at the Port of Seattle holistically and can look to see if we are perpetuating any policies or practices that are contributing to these social injustices.’”
Continue reading Port of Seattle Passes Motion to Improve Racial Equity in Its Workplaces