Tag Archives: Seattle Human Rights Commission

BREAKING: Leaked SCAO Memo — Amicus Status for HRC ‘Neither Fruitful Nor Efficient’

“I have never felt so backed into a corner as I have in the past 24 hours.”

—Erika Chen, Seattle Human Rights Commissioner

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


The Emerald has obtained the unredacted email the Seattle City Attorney’s Office (SCAO) sent to the Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in which the SCAO told the SHRC that it could not seek amicus status with the federal court overseeing the Consent Decree. The Emerald originally reported on this email in this breaking story. It has also obtained two new recent memos from the SCAO addressed to the SHRC.

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BREAKING: SCAO Tells Human Rights Commission Not to Seek Amicus Status

by Carolyn Bick

The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.


The Emerald has today received confirmation that the Seattle City Attorney’s Office (SCAO) told the Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC) not to seek amicus curiae status shortly after the commission’s vote to do so at its public meeting on April 7, 2022. It is immediately unclear exactly who in the SCAO told the commission this and why.

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OPINION: For South Seattle on Human Rights Day

by Amanda Ong


This Friday is Human Rights Day — the international celebration of the United Nations General Assembly’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. The declaration has been recognized as the first international delineation of standards for the protection of fundamental human rights, including freedom, justice, equity, education, and standard of living. It has since been foundational to more than 70 human rights treaties and is the most translated declaration in the world, having been translated into over 500 languages

But not only do few of us celebrate this date, but many of us have also never read or really considered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These kinds of charters and declarations might make human rights feel academic and abstract, but really “human rights” reflect simple values that we can, and should, live every day. 

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Emerald Founder Honored With Human Rights Award

by Emerald Staff


Marcus Harrison Green, South Seattle Emerald founder and publisher, continues to be recognized as a leader and voice for equity and justice. On this International Human Rights Day, Green is being honored with the Seattle Human Rights Commission’s Individual Human Rights Leader award. Other awardees are Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, recipient of the Human Rights Coalition award, and Choose 180, recipient of the Human Rights Organization award. 

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Remembering Phil Hayasaka, Asian American and Civil Rights Activist

by Frank Irigon


The Asian Family Affair was the first pan-Asian community newspaper in Seattle which I co-founded in 1972 with Diane Wong, Norman Mar, and the late Alan Sugiyama. In April 1975, we published an interview with Phil Hayasaka for our Asian American Movement issue. At that time, Phil was the Director of the Seattle Human Rights Commission and Kathy Tagawa was the paper’s editor.

In the editor’s note preceding Phil Hayasaka’s interview, Tagawa wrote Phil “was one of the prime movers in beginning the Asian American Movement in Seattle. In 1969 the Asian Coalition for Equality (ACE) was begun. ACE was involved in such activities as picketing the Elks Club for its discriminatory policies, and shutting down construction sites with the United Construction Workers Association.”

Fifty years have passed since ACE was begun to bring about social change in Seattle. Although it had a short shelf life as far as community advocacy organizations go, it did leave its mark on Seattle’s Asian Movement. After ACE, Phil plowed ahead with his passion for civil rights. In 1972, he served as the first chairperson of the Washington State Asian Advisory Council under Governor Dan Evans. He used his position as Chair to convene the first national panel to bring awareness of institutional racism against Asians. 

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