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Rampant Radicals: Gina Owens, member of Washington CAN

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00
Rampant Radicals is a monthly report about Seattle's change makers from the Real Change Advocacy Department

Gina Owens has been a member of Washington CAN (Community Action Network) for more than 16 years. She’s well known around City Hall, where she regularly uses her personal experience and in-depth knowledge of housing issues to give powerful testimony.

What do you do? What do you say?

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00
Pamela Bradburn shares how volunteering at Real Change helped her through an uncomfortable situation

Heading back to our room early in the morning on a sweltering New York City subway car. A young man enters, announcing in a loud voice, “My name is Jim. I’m asking for any leftover food you have. My wife and our son, Danny…. His birthday is coming…. We’re not homeless,” he hastens to add, “but I don’t have a job.” Every finger clutches white plastic bags of other peoples’ unfinished dinners.

What do I do?

I stand up, take out my wallet, which has more cash than usual because we’re traveling. I begin to pull out a 10-dollar bill. “No,” I say and hand him a 20 instead.

Everything that happens does so according to a plan written in cursive on a rock on Pluto

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00
Real Change columnist

I can’t remember the last time I had a deep thought.

It’s hard to have a deep thought when everything that’s wrong with the world is just so blatantly obvious.
Let’s see. We have federal workers working without pay. We also have a constitutional amendment that says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” What crimes did all those workers get convicted of?

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 1/16/19

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00

Contact Sam Day at

Book Review: 'The Fifth Risk'

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00
Michael Lewis’ ‘The Fifth Risk’ documents how the Trump administration’s incompetence destroys government departments

Donald Trump inspires high passions throughout red, blue and purple America. Trump’s tweets and sensational comments drive our daily news cycles. Often lost in this storm is a clear assessment of how the administration is actually governing. In “The Fifth Risk,” Michael Lewis details the Trump administration’s approach to running three government departments: The Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce. Lewis implements his highly readable style, which was successful in his previous bestsellers, including “The Big Short” and “Moneyball.”

Utopian Blackness: Artist Jeremy Bell explores the human experience

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00

In the newest exhibition at Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), portraits take center stage. “Jeremy Bell: Utopian Blackness” introduces the viewer to more than a dozen Black people including “Roxanne,” “Grace” and “Rebekkah.” Roxanne’s afro perfectly frames her face. She exudes confidence as she meets the gaze of the viewer. All of the works in the show are intimate portraits. Each has a familiarity that makes it recognizable, as if they are someone we know in real life.

If the shutdown continues, those in government housing and food programs will feel the pain

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00

As of this publication, the United States is embroiled in the longest ever (partial) government shutdown. President Donald Trump told the leaders of the Democratic Party that he would shut down the government unless the legislative branch approved $5.7 billion for a wall/steel fence that Mexico was supposed to fund.

The Democrats didn’t bite.

Representative payees, like their clients, are struggling to survive

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:00

Stacy Dym was at a crossroads.

Dym is the executive director at The Arc of King County, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and offers help managing the benefits that they receive from the Social Security Administration.

I’ve traveled all over the country — and the world — and I’d like to be composted here

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00
Real Change columnist

One of the things I’ve most loved about Seattle is also something I’ve come to detest.

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 1/9/19

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

Contact Sam Day at

Book Review: ‘The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump’

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00
In the age of Trump, lies are disseminated like a virus. Is there a cure?

I’d mentioned in my recent review of Andrew Keen’s “How To Fix The Future” that I’d mostly burnt out on nonfiction, but I liked Michiko Kakutani’s “The Death of Truth.”

Feeding the Soul: Hiba Jameel trained to be a nutritionist but painting sated her

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

The role art plays in Hiba Jameel’s life goes well beyond the finished piece on the canvas. Art has helped her heal. It’s spurred conversation. It’s what she looks forward to at the start of each day. Art is a lifelong passion Jameel is able to devote more time to now that she’s pressed pause on pursuing a career as a nutritionist.

“I needed to become the artist that’s in my head,” said Jameel. “I wake up, go to sleep all I think about is paintings, art, applying to shows, creating more, getting my work out there.”

Man killed by Seattle police remembered as a devoted father

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00
This is the first use of deadly force by police in King County since the passage of I-940 in November.

In June 2017, a Kent police officer shot and killed Giovonn Joseph-McDade, 20, after a traffic stop turned into a car chase. According to the police, Joseph-McDade tried to run an officer over after getting trapped in a cul-de-sac, and the officer opened fire, killing him.

In the summer of 2018, Kiana Keni and her sister Kerina released a track on Soundcloud called “Justice for Giovonn,” a 4:43-minute song that put the police on blast, questioning the chain of events and demanding accountability.

Artist collective Electric Coffin brings rays of light to Pioneer Square

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

"Illumination Station" by Electric Coffin in Occidental Park. Photo by Lisa Edge

LEAD diversion program is expanding to the city of Burien

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

Jimmy Matta became mayor of a changing Burien. The bedroom community in which he took up domicile was largely untouched by the explosive growth that struck Seattle in recent years, bringing with it intense wealth as well as increasing inequality and gentrification.

The city no longer enjoys the relative quiet of obscurity.

“We’re turning from a small, bedroom community to an urban city,” Matta said.

Womxn’s March: Building power through shared understanding and coming together

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

On the weekend of Jan. 19 – 21, we honor the third anniversary of the Womxn’s March on Seattle with a march, rally and hours of community-led programming.
As the local chapter of the Womxn’s March, every year we ask the question of what to present on Womxn’s March weekend that best honors our Unity Principles and best speaks to the needs and issues in our communities.
Among the valid critiques of the Womxn’s March movement is that it has failed to fully center  the experiences and leadership of nonwhite and trans womxn.