by Nathalie Graham
Earlier this month, King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert faced repercussions for a racist campaign ad she funded. The ad depicted her colleague, Councilmember Girmay Zahilay as a socialist puppeteer pulling the strings of Sarah Perry. Perry, Lambert’s opponent, is bringing Lambert the first real fight for a seat she’s held comfortably for 20 years.
Lambert’s ad also associated Zahilay, who is not a socialist, with Vice President Kamala Harris and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. After public outcry, Lambert resigned from the King County Council committees she chaired.
In the age of Trump and social media-fueled polarization, “conflict and sensationalism” sells, says Zahilay. Politicians have pivoted to “divisiveness and scare tactics” to “rile up their base.” Zahilay sees this trend emerging across all levels of politics, local King County elections included.
Continue reading King County Conservatives Discredit Progressive POC Candidates as ‘Defund’ Extremists
by Allison Fine
The term “Gay Pride,” coined by gay rights activist Thom Higgins in Minnesota, has become the most common way to articulate the many celebrations held during this month every year. In the U.S., Prides and festivals are usually held in the month of June to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, a series of demonstrations by the New York City Queer community protesting a violent raid of the Stonewall Inn and the ongoing brutality they were experiencing at the hands of the New York Police Department. Today, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the increased visibility of and continued desire for equality and self-affirmation for the LGBTQ+ community.
Continue reading Growing South King County Pride Events Show Queer Communities We’re Welcome
by Chamidae Ford
Ubax Gardheere recently announced her plan to run for King County Council District 9, which includes portions of Renton and Bellevue as well as Maple Valley and Enumclaw. The single mother describes herself as a “bureactvist” who is looking to shift the King County Council to a more cooperative community.
She currently oversees the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) program as the equitable development division director for the City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development. She’s also the governance group member for Communities of Opportunity, a board member of A Regional Coalition for Housing, and a member of Fund 4 the Frontlines committee. Gardheere has also served on the advisory board of Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund and is a former board co-chair of Social Justice Fund NW.
Gardheere has experienced homelessness, poverty, a mental health crisis, and inaccessibility to resources throughout her life. These obstacles guide Gardheere’s platform and influence the policy she seeks to implement.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Continue reading County Council Candidate Ubax Gardheere Centers Campaign Around Lived Experience
by Stephen Fesler
(This article was previously published at The Urbanist and has been reprinted with permission.)
A new Metro RapidRide line is coming to Auburn, Kent, and Renton in 2023 to provide more than just more frequent and faster bus service. King County Metro also is planning new station standards at stops and making lasting improvements to streets. In the latest project update, Metro unveiled four types of station standards depending upon expected ridership and station access needs, which will dictate which improvements will be rolled out.
Continue reading Metro Reveals Plans for RapidRide I-Line Stations in South King County
by Guy Oron
South King County community members protested against police violence this past Saturday, April 24. Flanked by a car brigade and bike patrol, dozens of demonstrators marched in the rain along South Grady Way from Southcenter Mall in Tukwila to Renton City Hall, where they held a rally.
Continue reading Families and Community Members Call for Justice for People Killed by Police
by Carmen Rivera
Renton, Washington, is home to more than Boeing and the Seahawks’ practice facility. Renton, only 12 miles south of Seattle, is a majority BIPOC city where white supremacy is gasping for air.
I was born and raised in Renton. I graduated from Lindbergh High School where one of my friends, a masculine presenting boy who came out as gay, had his truck keyed with the word “FAG.” When I moved back 12 years later, I had hoped the amount of inclusivity and respect would have improved, but what I have seen in the last two years alone exemplifies that Renton is still unsafe for marginalized people.
Continue reading OPINION: Racism Runs Rampant in Renton
by Ashley Archibald
In a video posted to YouTube, a woman in a blue surgical mask stands in the corner of a walled-off yard, a puffy, slate gray jacket zipped against the cold. To her right is a table draped with a white cloth holding 19 votive candle holders. Slowly, deliberately, the woman reads a list of names.
In the silence following each name, a man lights a candle.
Continue reading A Hard Year for Those Without Shelter: Death Rates Rose and Pressures Increased for the Homeless During the Pandemic
by Jasmine M. Pulido
Estrella Gonzales-Sanders’ parents may have been prophetic when they named her Estrella, the Spanish word for “star.” The young Renton resident has already danced in front of notable stars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Barry Gordy, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. Now, she has landed a small feature in Debbie Allen’s newly released Netflix documentary, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. And at age 12, Estrella’s own rise to stardom has only just begun.
Continue reading Rising Star Estrella Gonzales-Sanders Featured in New Debbie Allen Netflix Documentary
by Melody Ip
Whether Kim-Khánh Văn is serving on the Renton City Council, advocating for clients as an attorney, leading as co-president of the Parent-Teacher Association, volunteering with numerous community organizations — and now running for King County Council — she boils her motivation down to this phrase: “acknowledging privilege, being grateful for opportunities, and paying it forward.”
Continue reading Kim-Khánh Văn Aims for King County Council
by Ari Robin McKenna
A report launched Tuesday, Dec. 8, outlines how to scale up multilingual education to meet the dire need for it in South King County. Called Our Rising Voices: A Call to Action to Support Our Multilingual Students, the study was the result of a year-long collaboration between the Road Map Project, the Community Center for Education Results, and One America.
Looking at data from public schools within the so-called “Road Map Project region” of South Seattle, Tukwila, Renton, Highline, Kent, Federal Way, and Auburn, the report concludes that 42% of students are English learners at some point during their K-12 education. Yet, only 8% of teachers in that region are endorsed in English Language Learning (ELL), and a mere 0.4% of teachers are endorsed in Bilingual Education. This systemic failure to adequately serve almost half the students in this region is especially troubling given how many English learners there are in this state. At the Zoom launch of this report, Veronica Gallardo, the state’s assistant superintendent of Schools and Systems Improvements — and a long time member of Road Map Project’s English Language Learners Work Group — cited the fact that Washington has the nation’s seventh largest English learner (EL) population and the second largest migrant population in the nation. Gallardo said, “The data makes the need for this work undeniable.”
Continue reading Study Indicates Stark Need for a South King County Paradigm Shift on Multilingual Education