by Mark Van Streefkerk
Last Friday night, 16 year-old Earl Estrella was shot several times and killed when he answered a knock at the door of his family’s home. The killing was without apparent reason or motive, leaving Estrella’s family and community grieving the tragic loss of a beloved son, another life cut short in Rainier Beach due to gun violence. The case is still under investigation.
The Rainier Beach neighborhood has weathered at least eight shootings since last May — including six deaths — according to chair of the South Precinct Advisory Council Erin Goodman. As people look to community-based safety organizations for solutions that prevent youth gun violence — ideally without increased policing — the leaders of these groups all echo a similar sentiment: we’ve been out here doing the work before, during, and after these crises, and we will continue.
Continue reading Community Responses to Youth Gun Violence in the Wake Of Rainier Beach Shootings
by Mark Van Streefkerk
In January, the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot saw several shootings — including one incident in which two people sustained non-life threatening injuries. In response, the community organized a series of Town Hall meetings, parking lot improvements, and an organically-driven “Action Team” that included Safeway employees, Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Southeast Network Safe Passage at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, and Urban Family. Since then, business owners say the area is safer, with no reported incidents of violence to date.
Continue reading Community Safety Requires All Of Us: Rainier Beach Safeway Update
by Jack Russillo
It’s taken years of work, but the Rainier Beach Food Innovation District is finally on the horizon.
After the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) received funding over the summer from the City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI), RBAC has ramped up work on its planned Food Innovation District, a network of food-related businesses and activities aimed at creating living-wage jobs and preventing displacement. Once complete, the food-centric district could be a natural hub for retail and restaurant development; farmers markets, festivals and other attractions; and public health outreach and services, such as cooking and nutrition classes or harvest gleaning programs that move farm surpluses to families in need. With assistance from Forterra, RBAC acquired ownership of a property at the end of October with a central location in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. The $3 million purchase is the result of a decade-long effort and will help RBAC implement a primary aspect of their neighborhood plan.
Continue reading Rainier Beach Action Coalition Virtual Town Hall to Share Plans for Neighborhood’s Food Innovation District
by Emerald Staff
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday that the City will provide $2.1 million to buy land for the future home of the Food Innovation Center in Rainier Beach, a project of the not-for-profit community organization Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC). Funding was made available through Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). Continue reading News Gleam: Rainier Beach Action Coalition Receives $2.1 Million to Purchase Land for Food Innovation Center
by Carolyn Bick
In a normal week, kids who rely on schools for their meals know they’ll receive breakfast and lunch on any given school day. On the weekends, those who need to may take home backpacks of food or ingredients for themselves and their families. Continue reading South End Organizations Step up to Feed Students in Need During COVID-19 Closures
This is a letter Budget for Justice sent to the city of Seattle. It is reprinted with permission.
For years, Budget for Justice (BfJ) organizations have been doing the restorative and transformative justice work our communities need. Despite repeated acknowledgement and talk, the City of Seattle has, also for years, allowed this work to remain unfunded or underfunded. We have been doing the work longer than the recommendations of many city work groups have existed. It is time for the City of Seattle to fund our work and to stop funding the harmful systems that make our work necessary. The criminal justice system causes disproportionate and irreparable harm.
Continue reading Budget for Justice Calls for ‘Ongoing, Real and Progressive Policy and System Change’
by Erica C. Barnett
Plans to turn some of the land immediately adjacent to the Rainier Beach light rail station into the centerpiece of a new “food innovation district”—a proposed network of food businesses and food-related activities aimed at creating living-wage jobs and preventing displacement in the Rainier Valley—remain stalled, after a property that advocates hoped would serve as the hub for that district sold last month to a company controlled by a local landlord who owns numerous single-family homes in the area. Continue reading Empty Lots Abound: Why Are There So Many Vacant Properties Near Rainier Beach Light Rail?