by Fiona Dang
Foregrounding inclusivity and community, BIPOC-led markets across the greater Seattle area have been thriving in recent years, and many will be showcasing local talent this summer. These markets have sought to redress the staggering absence of markets centering BIPOC entrepreneurs and to reduce the often high barriers to entry such as application and vendor fees, bias in selection processes, and lack of mentorship. These markets support diverse communities of vendors with businesses that range from food and drinks to arts and crafts, apparel, beauty, and even performance. Here is your guide to several BIPOC-led markets in the Seattle area and beyond.
Continue reading A Summer Guide to BIPOC-Focused Markets
by Lizz Giordano
Luz Casio spends many of her mornings directing traffic outside the Refugee and Immigrant Family Center Bilingual Preschool (RIFC) in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood. As director of the preschool, she’s trying to help make drop-off a little less chaotic for families.
Casio says this extra duty wasn’t needed before Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) installed a yellow concrete median in the middle of Delridge Way that cut off left-turn access to the preschool. The road redesign was done in anticipation of the RapidRide H Line, a new King County Metro bus route set to start running frequent service between Downtown Seattle and Burien along Delridge in late 2022.
Continue reading Delridge Traffic Barrier Causes Hardship for Community Preschool
by Fran Yeatts
“It felt like doing crisis counseling for hundreds of people each month.”
Samantha “Sam” Thompson manages our emergency financial assistance program at the West Seattle Food Bank, and she spends most of her time connecting with West Seattle tenants who need support with overdue rent or utilities. During the pandemic, the number of people needing support went through the roof, and while the lockdowns have ended, the economic impacts for people in West Seattle are ongoing. Our clients include people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, had their hours reduced, or are going to soon lose their unemployment benefits.
Since the West Seattle Food Bank merged with the West Seattle Helpline in 2020, our services now include both our shopping-style model of food distribution as well as emergency grants for individuals struggling to pay rent or utilities. The merger was well-timed, as need in our community exploded during the pandemic the following year.
Compared to 2019, in 2020 applications for Helpline services — the arm of our organization that provides help with rent and utilities — nearly doubled. Helpline staff and volunteers worked overtime, and to meet the growing need we increased the average amount of our financial assistance grants by 35%.
Continue reading OPINION: Despite Governor’s Actions, Eviction Crisis Still Looms Large
by Chetanya Robinson
(This article first appeared in Real Change News and has been republished with permission)
Visitors to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle have to navigate poor sidewalks and a treacherous stretch of West Marginal Way that lacks a crosswalk and pedestrian signal.
“People go up and down West Marginal Way at 60 miles an hour — it’s like a freeway,” said Jolene Haas, director of the Longhouse.
Continue reading At Last, the Duwamish Longhouse is Getting a Crosswalk