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Real Change News
It’s time for a News You Can’t Use Roundup!
We do these every time we get stuck with no single big news event to talk about, just a lot of little piddly events.
Little piddly news story No. 1 concerns the Lynnwood man who took a DNA test and found out that, though he’s 90 percent White, he’s 6 percent Native American and 4 percent Sub-Saharan African. So he applied for state and federal certification as a minority business owner. When they said, “no, we think you’re actually, you know, White,” he sued.
Contact Sam Day at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the first works on display in “Lore Re-Imagined: Shadows of Our Ancestors,” now on display at Wing Luke, is Alex Anderson’s “Anxious Watermelon,” which sits atop a pink pedestal. The sculpture has facial features including bright red lips that are frowning. It’s also a daruma figure, a Japanese spiritual intention-setting device. With a daruma, you fill in one eye when you set the goal and you fill in the other eye when the goal is realized.
George Sidwell was stable. He had a house, he worked in the construction trade and had the skills he needed to make it. But then Sidwell became a statistic.
In a country where health insurance is a luxury, not a right, one of the leading causes of bankruptcy is the cost of medical care. Medical bills can rob a person of their future — which is what happened to Sidwell when he suffered a debilitating stroke.
The people of Fremont know Sabina Lopez for her smile.
The 41-year-old mother of three is a warm presence at the corner of 34th Ave. and Fremont Ave., showing up nearly every day to sell Real Change papers. Lopez, a vendor of four years, has her sales tactic down pat — simple kindness and an infectious laugh.
“I’ve met a lot of people here, and my customers are now my friends,” says Lopez.
Among the top priorities of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office, two have received top booking in the last six months: Ending homelessness and ending gun violence. To demonstrate the City of Seattle’s commitment to both of these goals, Durkan has released policies to address them, including a new safe storage law for firearms and assembling the newly-convened Innovation Advisory Council. For local elected officials, guns and homelessness have been top-of-mind issues this summer.
Homelessness advocates believe panhandling is protected speech — and they’re putting Washington cities on notice
We all see them.
A woman standing on the sloping entrance to Interstate 5 where it meets Interstate 90, holding out a sign and trying to catch the eye of drivers waiting at the metered stoplight. Young people near Pike Place Market looking for fare to the next town. The guys making a cynical commentary on the stodgy morality of the housed with their missives that read something like, “I’ll be honest, it’s for weed.”
Gun violence is a public health epidemic in America. We read and hear daily headlines of the latest mass tragedy, but more often than not gun violence doesn’t look like the kind of stories that take over the headlines and grip the country. Though mass shootings dominate the news cycles, interpersonal shootings of mainly young Black and Brown men, suicides and domestic violence shootings account for more death and injury.
With the Seattle Times editorial board and others going gaga over Jeff Bezos’ new foray into philanthropy, anything less than a love-fest feels a little like kicking a big-eyed puppy.
After all, $2 billion is, technically speaking, a shit-ton of money — nearly equal to the entire annual investment in family homelessness from the federal government. And yes, the numbers of homeless kids enrolled in Washington state schools is at an all-time high.
I used to read almost exclusively nonfiction. I wanted to be educated, but I was also looking for ways that I — as only one person with relatively little power — could help make a positive difference in all the problems I saw around me. I’ve since revised my thinking that any single individual can solve society’s problems. Not only is that impossible but it reinforces the idea that we are all equally responsible for the mess humanity is in, which we are not. Instead, I wanted a way to contribute to turning some of our biggest troubles around.
Sam Berndale worked all kinds of jobs in Seattle and Everett before he became homeless. While between jobs, he started selling Real Change to help make ends meet. And, he says, he needed it.
“I had a thousand dollars a month to pay on rent. My light bill was always in trouble. I gave up my car and then lost my apartment.”
Then, his life took a turn. He moved to the Philippines, where he planned to marry a woman he’d met online. Unfortunately, he says, he “wound up losing her.”
Last week, I was one of 22 people arrested on Fifth Avenue in front of the Westin Hotel while hundreds of hotel cleaners and allies, including a large group from my congregation, marched in a picket line. We were not alone.
“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
So says the anonymous writer of the op-ed in the New York Times, explaining why they are “part of the resistance inside the Trump administration.”
Contact Sam Day at email@example.com
Susan Russell was about two seconds away from giving up when an act of kindness changed everything. In 2013, she was on her first day selling Real Change in front of Ken’s Market in Greenwood, feeling vulnerable and hopeless. She had been homeless for years, but had always tried her hardest not to look the part. But there, with her papers, she knew she was doing the right thing – but it didn’t feel right.
Karina O’Malley didn’t really stand a chance. Growing up, her parents incorporated her into their activism early. They even opened and operated a shelter in Wisconsin when she was a teen – and because they needed someone on staff, they all lived in it, too.
“We definitely saw things differently,” she explains. Instead of viewing folks on the margins as “needy,” they were “just people in our lives.”
According to estimates from the City of Seattle, more than 200 people relocate to this town every day. Every day. That means there are a lot of folks on the bus, walking the streets and sitting in traffic who are new here – and who likely haven’t heard of Nick Licata. But whether they know it or not, they’re familiar with his legacy.
The Columbia City Farmers Market bustled in the early evening as people stocked up on fruits and veggies, sampled icy apple cider and mulled over mead.
The market is a community space, full of familiar faces and regular customers. Nora Jenkins counts herself among that number.
Jenkins didn’t always get to eat as many fresh vegetables as she — or her doctor — wanted. She lives with diabetes and kidney problems that brought her energy level down and kept her at home.
But things have changed.
“I could run,” she said excitedly. “Party!”