Tag Archives: Youth Incarceration

NEWS GLEAMS: Election Checkup, Seattle Relief Fund, Black Future Co-op Seeks Community Input

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


Register to vote today! Photo courtesy of King County Elections.

Election Checkup

Only six days left until Tuesday’s important Nov. 2 election!

Seattle’s Mayor, City Attorney, at-large City Council Pos. 9 seat, King County Executive, as well as other local city and county district races will be decided. The winners of those contests will chart the course of how the region tackles homelessness, policing, and housing affordability.

Did you get your ballot, or was it damaged in the mail? If you need help with your ballot  or other questions, call 206-296-VOTE (8683).

Are you registered to vote? It’s too late to register by mail and online, but you can still register and get a ballot through Election Day, Nov. 2, by visiting the King County Elections Center, 919 SW Grady Way in Renton, or a variety of voting centers in the county.

Who can register to vote in Washington? Simple, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • A legal resident of Washington State.
  • At least 18 years old by election day.
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order.
  • Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction.

Read more about who can vote.

This article is funded in part by a Voter Education Fund grant from King County Elections and the Seattle Foundation.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Election Checkup, Seattle Relief Fund, Black Future Co-op Seeks Community Input

Dow Constantine Runs for Reelection as County Executive Pushing COVID Recovery

by Chamidae Ford


Dow Constantine, the current King County executive, is running for reelection this year. Constantine is a Seattle native who grew up in West Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He has had a long career in politics, serving as a Washington State representative from the 34th District for two terms, a State senator for one term, and later held a seat on the King County Council for nine years. Constantine has served as the King County executive for 12 years. 

The current executive is running against Joe Nguyen, a member of the Washington State Senate who represents the 34th District, the seat once held by Constantine.. 

This election, Constantine’s main areas of focus are COVID-19 recovery and building strong, equitable communities.  

Continue reading Dow Constantine Runs for Reelection as County Executive Pushing COVID Recovery

PONGO POETRY: Free me

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. For an opportunity to learn Pongo’s trauma-informed techniques for facilitating personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space, join their training on Oct. 23.


FREE ME

by a young person, age 16 

If my fist could speak,
it would tell you how I’m feeling at that moment 
It could tell you what’s up
Or it could tell you I’m mad  

If my feet could speak, they would recall
walking down downtown Seattle
with my little brothers 
Smoking 
The city around me
People
Cars
Stores
Chillin’
Listening to rap music 

Continue reading PONGO POETRY: Free me

PONGO POETRY: All True Story, No Lies

Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special monthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. For an opportunity to learn Pongo’s trauma-informed techniques for facilitating personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space, join their training on Oct. 23.


ALL TRUE STORY, NO LIES

by a young person, age 16

Group homes and detention had me institutionalized 
so my behaviors are the reasons of me being traumatized 
The way I act towards people 
and 
the way I take situations 
The way I believe a lot of stuff is lies 
It’s hard to trust 
in my relationships with people
Me not having trust and not wanting to get hurt
has me break trust first
so I don’t get hurt first 
Ends up making the situation worse

Continue reading PONGO POETRY: All True Story, No Lies

Legislation Looks To Change Youth Sentencing, Offer Retroactive Relief

by Bunthay Cheam


A collection of proposed legislation working its way through the Washington State Legislature could substantially change sentencing of young offenders, as well as revise sentences for those currently incarcerated.

Continue reading Legislation Looks To Change Youth Sentencing, Offer Retroactive Relief

‘The Shadow Beside Me’: Seattle Nonprofit Debuts Poetry From King County Juvenile Detention

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


“You see that I am always getting in trouble

Trouble follows me

like a shadow right behind me, always

You see that I am always in fights

Always rebel fights, arguments

But you don’t know me. I’m not that type of person

I’m really caring, giving

Always trying to help people”

Those are the opening lines to “Josiah,” a poem by 16-year-old Damian, a youth incarcerated at Seattle’s Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), formerly King County Juvenile Detention. “Josiah” appears in The Shadow Beside Me, a new anthology of poems from youth at CFJC, published by the Pongo Poetry Project. In the poem, Damian writes about how life changed when his friend Josiah was shot and killed. “Josiah was the only person we knew who had graduated / had a job, and had something going for him / When he left, it broke me.” 

Continue reading ‘The Shadow Beside Me’: Seattle Nonprofit Debuts Poetry From King County Juvenile Detention

Q&A: With Plans for the New Youth Jail to Be Built in 2019, Protesters Continue to Fight Against It

by Leija Farr

Despite overwhelming backlash from anti-youth jail protesters, King County continues to push forward with the construction of a youth facility in the Central District. The new King County Juvenile Detention Center is a $210 million project set to open in 2019. This project has been a hot-button issue around politics in Seattle for many years.

Continue reading Q&A: With Plans for the New Youth Jail to Be Built in 2019, Protesters Continue to Fight Against It