by Jack Russillo
After more than six months of community outreach and coordination, six parks along the Duwamish River have new names. The new identities of the parks were announced at a virtual Port of Seattle meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The public spaces on the industrialized Duwamish River previously all had names with numerical subjects, but now all six of them have names that correspond more with the ecological significance and cultural history of their individual locations. Four of the properties have new names in Lushootseed, the Indigenous language of people who lived near the Salish Sea, and two of the new names are in English.
Continue reading Six Parks Along the Duwamish River Get New Names, Four Are in Lushootseed
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
by Jack Russillo
The Port of Seattle owns six public parks and shoreline access areas along the Duwamish River, but the current names of the green spaces don’t quite reflect the cultural and ecological history of the region.
To replace names based on former industrial sites, the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Parks Foundation are holding a nomination process to collect suggestions for new potential names for the parks and to decide on their new identities.
“Renaming parks is not sufficient in and of itself,” said Ryan Calkins, one of five elected Port of Seattle Commissioners. “This is the culmination of the effort to reconnect those communities to the water that runs right through them. These efforts will hopefully provide the means to really reconnect with the green spaces themselves, in terms of access, identity, and the actual content of the parks themselves.”
Continue reading Name Nomination Window Opens to Rename Six Parks Along the Duwamish River
by Bunthay Cheam
On Tuesday July 7, the Port of Seattle broke ground on Terminal 117 Park located in South Park along the west bank of the Duwamish River.
With the South Park bridge, moored sailboats, and dozens of Boeing commercial jets as a backdrop, Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins opened the event and stressed the importance of the Port’s relationship with its neighbors, saying, “throughout the cleanup, the Port and the community maintained an open dialogue on design ideas, and we know we have a better outcome as a result of that strong partnership.”
Continue reading Groundbreaking of Port’s Terminal 117 Park Increases Access for Duwamish Valley Communities
by Bunthay Cheam
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the economy, the Port of Seattle has unveiled a program to help provide economic relief to communities that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn, especially Black and brown communities.
On Thursday June 26, the Port announced a youth employment program called the “Opportunity Initiative” which seeks to employ 220 youth, with an emphasis on South King County. The program is slated to begin this summer.
Continue reading Port of Seattle Initiative Seeks to Save Youth Jobs
by The Port Community Action Team
On December 10th, Port of Seattle Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 3767, The Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment (DVCBC).
This adoption marks the culmination of over 2 years of community collaboration between the Port Community Action Team, made up of South Park and Georgetown residents, and the Port of Seattle, bringing the two closer towards institutionalizing the voices of the Duwamish Valley into Port of Seattle processes. Continue reading OPINION: Adoption of Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment by Port of Seattle is First of its Kind Agreement with Duwamish Communities
by Hanna Brooks Olsen
Diversity remains a challenge for the Port—but the Commission wants you to know they haven’t given up
For nearly 20 years, Washington’s government agencies have been legally limited in their ability to actively pursue contracts and partnerships with small businesses based on the race, gender, or religion of their owners. Submitted by Tim Eyman and passed by the voters of the state in 1998, I-200—billed as a method of leveling the playing field by criminalizing affirmative action—has been an oppressive force that further undermines the state’s glaring equity gaps. Continue reading How the Port of Seattle is Working Around I-200