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Vendors Malachi and Monique Lightfoot surpass sales record

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

Malachi and Monique Lightfoot have been Real Change vendors for just a short time, but they’ve already set a new sales record. They became vendors in January of this year, and in February Monique sold 245 and Malachi sold an impressive 1,681 papers. There’s no mystery or magic to the way they did it, but there is a story.

Let’s talk about something that doesn’t scare us!

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but ever since the Republican Presidential nomination was decided for Generalissimo Covfefe, two out of three of these columns have been about things he has been doing to suspend the workings of the known universe. These things have all been downers.

Plagues of biblical proportion

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00
Real Change columnist

Climate change is here. And not just here as in “affecting someone else in a faraway place that doesn’t really concern us.” No, it is right here, in our great Pacific Northwest, burning our forests every summer — making our air barely breathable — and killing our livestock in the winter. The Seattle Times had a recent article reporting the Yakima Valley deaths of 1,850 cows from last month’s blizzard. The headline read: “What next?

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 3/20/19

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

Contact Sam Day at sam@samday.com

Book Review: 'Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924'

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00
Author Heather Mayer chronicles the contributions of women in organized labor in the PNW

A hundred years ago, Washington and Oregon were hotbeds of labor radicalism. The most radical union of the time, the Industrial Workers of the World (or “Wobblies”), was almost unique in its politics. Unlike the more mainstream AFL (American Federation of Labor), it welcomed and recruited women and people of color, including Black people and Chinese immigrants, who were otherwise almost universally rejected by American labor.

Science fiction themed exhibit beams into Wing Luke

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

Among karaoke bars, noodle houses and markets selling imported goods in the Chinatown/International District is Wing Luke. The building blends in seamlessly with its neighbors. The museum is more than a place to go to learn more about the Asian Pacific American (APA) experience. It is dynamic hub for contemporary art. The exhibit, “Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of APA Science Fiction,” takes visitors on a journey through the genre via observation, artifacts and visual arts.

Looking beyond the profits, corporations with a social conscience wonder how to measure success

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

Social businesses trying to solve a diverse range of problems, from homelessness to gender inequality, the refugee crisis to plastic pollution, often share the same conundrum — how to measure success.

In an era of greater transparency, consumers and investors increasingly expect companies to look beyond profits and report their environmental and social impact.

For social enterprises, which are businesses that aim to do good as well as make profit, measuring impact is often a non-negotiable requirement from their funders.

Hundreds gather to unite with our Muslim neighbors

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

On Friday, March 15, a White supremacist entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and opened fire. By the time the attack ended, 50 people were dead.

It was an act of terrorism designed to go viral. The 28-year-old Australian live-streamed his act of barbarism. He peppered the written manifesto with references to internet culture. Photos from his court appearance show him making the “OK” symbol with his hand, a once-innocent gesture that has been coopted by White supremacists to signal “White power.”

Washington legislature strips bill of provisions to help Black and Indigenous families in poverty

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00

State lawmakers have stripped a bill of key provisions that could help Black and Indigenous families stay on a government program that provides benefits to families in poverty.

House Bill 1603 would have made it easier for families to stay on the program past its current five-year limit, preventing those who rely on the program from being cut off from benefits when they still need them.

Now is the time to clean up Washington's air

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 04:00
COMMENTARY

We all want clean air. We all want to breathe freely, easily and particle-free.

However, certain communities — disproprtionately low-income and communities of color — didn’t get a choice in the matter. They didn’t pollute the air and they didn’t build the highways. These communities, integral parts of our cities, should not continue to pay an overshare of the impacts of an avoidable problem.

Vendor Bryant Carlin prepares for wildlife photography assignment

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

In November, Real Change profiled vendor Bryant Carlin and his plans to spend most of this year in the Olympic Mountains photographing wildlife and landscapes.

Those plans are still on; in fact, the donations to Conservation Made Simple have been so great that Bryant is extending his trip by a couple of months. He credits his Real Change customers for some of that.

Which is the best path to failure: to try and fail, or to fail to try?

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00
Real Change columnist

Thank goodness the House of Representatives acted so quickly to make our country safe from anti-Semitism. If only now we can condemn the guy in office who thinks the KKK might be good people. He won’t know until he gets to know them, see? Maybe they don’t kick dogs and little children, how will we know until we ask?

The KKK could be like Kim Jong-un. Really trustworthy for the president. There’s no evidence that Kim has ever poisoned a dog or a child. Maybe an uncle or two. Do you think Americans don’t poison uncles?

The benefit of focusing on our core strengths and knowing our limitations before burning out

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00
Real Change columnist

A few years ago, during an annual United Way community service day, I asked a volunteer if he knew anything about computers.

The desktop we offer for public use at our Hillman City Collaboratory Drop-In Center had been malfunctioning.

The volunteer, who had been busily working with his hands to assemble a shelf, said he was adept with computers and would take a look. That afternoon, he told me he had easily diagnosed the problem and had optimized its performance. Indeed, the computer now ran like a champ.

The Middle Ground 3/13/19

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

Contact Sam Day at sam@samday.com

Book Review: ‘American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants’

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00
Robert E. Bartholomew and Anja E. Reumschüssel’s book explores American bigotry

In November of 1688, an elderly Irish Catholic woman named Ann Glover was hanged in Boston. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was a Protestant stronghold where rigid conformity to Puritan beliefs brooked no deviation.

Artist Jeffrey Gibson mixes Indigenous heritage, pop culture and art therapy in SAM show

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

When rap group Public Enemy released the song “Fight the Power” in 1989 it spoke to discontent in the Black community and the need to rise up against an oppressive system. The tune was more than catchy. It was an anthem; an unflinching statement of Black pride. Early in the song Chuck D raps, “Got to give us what we want / Gotta give us what we need / Our freedom of speech is freedom or death / We got to fight the powers that be.”

Housing rights activists in Berlin plan to renationalize up to 200,000 ex-council homes from corporate landlords

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

In major cities throughout the world, the price of housing is on the rise: in 2017 alone, prices leaped by 20.5 percent in Berlin, 16 percent in Vancouver and 14.8 percent in Hong Kong. As rents keep going up, activists in Berlin are spearheading a novel proposal to nationalize housing.

Residents of homeless encampment clash with nonprofit over self-management

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

Grassroots homeless encampment operator Nickelsville and their sponsor, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), are at odds over a new agreement that Nickelsville says would end a tradition of self-management and autonomy in their encampments.

Why does the US think it’s so special? How capitalism and racism are trying to erase our immigrant cultures

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00
COMMENTARY

I work at a local Din Tai Fung in downtown Seattle, which is an internationally-renowned Michelin star Taiwanese restaurant. On an average day, I’ll be asked, “Do you have California rolls?” or, “Do you use MSG in your pho broth?” I hear a variety of comments that conflate and flatten the numerous cultures of Asia — it’s part of my daily shift.

Supreme Court ruling could boost the case of a homeless man who sued the city for towing his truck

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

Attorneys for a homeless man in Seattle believe a new Supreme Court ruling could help him and future plaintiffs fight the impounding of their vehicles and other civil cases against the city of Seattle.

Steven Long’s truck was impounded by the city in 2016 while he was living on the street. His lawyers say the court’s ruling in Timbs v. Indiana means the Eighth Amendment protections against excessive fines apply to Long’s case and cases like his.

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