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.
Editors’ Note: This article will be updated periodically as new information becomes available. New sections will be dated for your convenience.
Beginning Thursday, April 15, everyone in Washington 16 years or older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Chances are that’s you. So now that you qualify for a shot, how do you actually get one?
The good news: There are plenty of places around South Seattle and South King County that offer the vaccines. Vaccination is also free of charge, no matter where you get it or whether or not you have insurance.
The not-so-good news: Finding a shot — at least for now — might take some time. Millions of people across the state have become eligible in recent weeks, and waitlists are getting long. The region is also forecast to see a near-term shortage in vaccines as manufacturers scramble to ramp up production.
I live in an industrial area of town. For the last 12 years, my South Seattle neighborhood has experienced the changes of gentrification. The punk rock house with a sign that read “don’t trifle with us” still stands, but its inhabitants and the sign are now gone and townhomes with six to a dozen units per lot have popped up with more on the way. I have new sets of neighbors where I see more young children and young parents walking their dogs and taking their children for an outing down my alleyway. In fact, my alleyway serves more like a sidewalk as folks walk by with strollers and kids on bikes as we exchange pleasantries. My new neighbors are also homeless with different types of RVs and makeshift homes lining our streets and a tiny-home village with folks who care about the community as much as those with a fixed roof over their heads.
What has not changed in my neighborhood are the toxic odors that I wake up to most mornings.
In a landmark decision last month, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) became the first district in Washington state to commit to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The unanimous vote came after years of work and testimony provided by youth, SPS employees, community members, and community organizations. This will definitely spotlight SPS as a leader and role model for other districts across our state to learn from in the fight for climate solutions.
This monumental decision will (I hope) serve as a catalyst for other districts to model and follow. United in their decision, all board members voted that the time to transition from fossil fuel dependency to clean renewable energy sources is now. The resolution, dated January 2021 and voted into action on Feb. 10, 2021, is a light of hope after an extremely hard and disheartening 2020.
Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters
Women’s History Month begins this Monday, March 1, and the Intentionalist team is excited to kick off our celebration by highlighting some of our favorite woman-owned businesses in South Seattle.
This month is all about commemorating, acknowledging, and celebrating the vital role women play in history and present day. March also marks one year since the pandemic shut down small businesses throughout Seattle, disproportionately affecting women and women of color in particular. This month, especially given the events of the past year, it’s important to continue showing up for the woman-owned small businesses at the heart of our communities.
Whether you’re into sweet, savory, or all of the above, here are three Intentionalist suggestions for woman-owned businesses you can support in the South End.
Growing up, I was very involved with the people and happenings around me. I was always aware of my surroundings; coming home from Head Start at Dunlap Elementary School right off Cloverdale and Henderson, I paid close attention to the street signs, the houses, and all of my classmates on the bus. But the South End of Seattle hasn’t been looking the same as it did 10 years ago. More and more of the small businesses I grew up around — like Hong Kong Seafood, Pho Bo, and Randy’s Restaurant off of East Marginal Way — are starting to disappear. And I’ve also started to notice more and more blueprints being posted saying “New Modern 2-story Townhomes” and images of new condos and apartments being built.
The South Seattle Emerald asked our photojournalists to pick some of their favorite 2020 photos shot for Emerald stories. From protests to pandemic responses to celebrations-despite-it-all, the images show not only a difficult year but also one filled with resilience, strength, and solidarity. We are proud to call South Seattle our home and grateful to our talented photographers for helping us capture our community’s special history.
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.”
More Seattle families will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to an expansion of the City of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks program. The city has just added $1.3 million for the program in the newly approved 2021 city budget, making it possible to enroll 3,100 people currently on the Fresh Bucks waitlist to begin receiving vouchers in December and continuing through 2021.
Fresh Bucks customers receive $40 in monthly benefits to purchase fruits and vegetables from participating Seattle farmers markets, neighborhood grocers, and Seattle Safeway stores. With the program’s expansion, there are 12,100 Seattle households served, in addition to the city’s emergency grocery voucher program that has supported 14,000 households.
In an effort to better support people who either are or may be infected with the novel coronavirus who would not be able to quarantine themselves at home without risking financial hardship, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be rolling out a financial support program for people infected with the novel coronavirus.
The program has not yet been formally announced, but Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin briefly talked about it in a press conference on Nov. 6, as he was answering the Emerald’s question about the driving factors behind the rapid and concerning rise in COVID-19 cases in South King County, and how — aside from encouraging behavior modification — PHSKC plans to try to combat this rise.