by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Foreshadowing what will likely be a heated debate over Mayor Jenny Durkan’s plan to wall off $100 million in the city budget for future “investments in BIPOC communities” that will be decided by an Equitable Investment Task Force appointed by the mayor, Seattle City Council central staff released an unusually blunt memo last week cataloguing potential issues with the mayor’s plan.
The memo raises two high-level issues with Durkan’s proposal. First, according to the staffers, it duplicates work that the City has already done, perpetuating the City’s practice of asking members of marginalized communities to provide recommendations again and again without ever taking action on those recommendations.
Continue reading Council Staff: Mayor’s Proposals Could Promote “Racism Cloaked in the Language of Anti-Racism and Equity”
by Gordon McHenry
In a couple of weeks, Washington State will mail out ballots for one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes. While every election is important, this upcoming contest has the potential to alter the course of our nation for generations, so every vote will count.
In the last presidential election, almost 77% of eligible, voting-age Washingtonians registered to vote — the highest percentage since 1984. However, turnout was only 65%. In King County, turnout declined by nearly 3% compared to 2012. Statewide, it went down by a similar amount.
While 65% turnout is high relative to other states, that leaves room for improvement.
Continue reading OPINION: Yes, Your Vote Matters
by Seattle Black Collective Voice
A man had been murdered by the police. A heartbreaking video of the killing had made it to the internet. Thousands watched as a policeman kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, while Mr. Floyd begged for his life in vain.
Like protesters across the country, Seattle took a stand against police brutality only to experience more police brutality firsthand. Even non-protesters were harmed by the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) negligence. On Capitol Hill, tear gas entered people’s homes and businesses, and the police did not care.
SPD voluntarily abandoned Capitol Hill’s East Precinct, and the neighborhood tone changed to one of collaboration. In a city physically divided by wealth and class, people came together around a common goal: ending police violence against the Black community.
Continue reading OPINION: CHOP Not the Beginning, and it’s Not the End
by Liz Covey, LMHC
“Miserable is exactly how the white people who want to help should be feeling right now, and then they should sit with that misery until something breaks in their brain, the narrative changes in their psyche, and the legacy of emotional paralysis lifts entirely.”
—Rebecca Carroll, The Atlantic (June 2020)
I’ve had this saying about my work for years now, and it goes like this: I will spend the rest of my career indebted to the (mostly Black) kids and foster families with whom I worked early on, and who had to put up with my sorry self, before I knew the damage I was causing as a white practitioner in Black spaces. I dedicate any good work I do today to these kids. In the spirit of Black Lives Matter, I Say Their Names, to myself, in my heart, on the regular.
Continue reading Calling Out White Supremacy in Seattle’s Mental Health Establishment: One Therapist’s Confession
by Ty Brown
What we are seeing today is not just about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the horrific, continuous list of our murdered brothers and sisters — may they rest in power. This is about systemic injustice and systemic racism that has plagued this continent and our neighborhoods for 400 years.
These tragedies are constant reminders of the hate crimes, police brutality and systematic injustice the Black community faces far too frequently.
In Olympia, we’re thinking about our neighbors who have faced police brutality, negligence, and lost their lives due to an over-militarized and over-funded force: Yvonne McDonald, who died in mysterious circumstances; Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, who were shot at by Olympia police and then each sentenced to prison terms; and Jackie Salyers, a Puyallup tribal member fatally shot by police in 2016.
Continue reading OPINION: Defund Police and Defend Black Lives — Why We Rally