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Breaking Boundaries: The many faces of artist Barry Johnson

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

Stillness surrounds Barry Johnson’s plum-hued home in south King County. While the visual artist works in his converted garage, he hears the familiar intermittent sounds of coyotes yipping, cars zooming by and the whistle of a train. He’s able to decipher those specific sounds because he hears them at 3:30 in the morning. Seven days a week, like clockwork, he begins his day working on several projects at a time while many of us are catching our final hours of rest.

Can you see me now? New vests ensure you’ll be able to spot your Real Change vendor

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

Real Change vendors are easier to spot these days thanks to a partnership with Granite Construction and the labor community. At the Dec. 6 truck unload, vendors grabbed high-quality vests with pockets as well as the new issue of the paper to sell.

Since they are neon green, or chartreuse as one of our dedicated Twitter followers recently pointed out, vendors will no longer blend in with the landscape.

Bringing the vests to our vendors is the result of the community stepping up to help vendors succeed.

Rampant Radicals: Dae Shik Kim Hawkins

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00
Rampant Radicals is a monthly report about Seattle's change makers from the Real Change Advocacy Department

Dae Shik Kim Hawkins has lived in Seattle for three years. He quickly realized the city is not the progressive paradise it appears to be, especially for people of color. He writes, organizes and preaches around the reality of disenfranchisement and prioritizes having everyone at the table as a means of building a truly cohesive and inclusive social justice movement.

On the 12th day of Christmas, Seattle gave me a shuttered hygiene center

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

I hate the news this week. I’m trying to keep my blood pressure down. President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court and the city of Seattle aren’t helping.

I try thinking about puppy dogs frolicking in meadows, babies cooing, glorious sunsets and children on a playground. Then the Supreme Court lets Texas deny benefits to same-sex couples on the grounds that some marriages are more worthy than others. My puppies throw up. The babies have colic. The sunsets look like the sky in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” It’s the Children of the Corn on the playground, and I’m their next sacrifice.

We need training centers for justice

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

How do we keep hope alive when everything is coming undone?

I think the first and most important thing we must do is to wake up to the cold hard facts that there is an enemy who does not share our values or desires.

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 12/13/17

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

Book Review: 'Things That Can and Cannot Be Said'

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00
Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, John Cusack, Arundhati Roy and 109 pages of chatter

The subtitle of “Things That Can and Cannot Be Said” says that it’s “essays and conversations.” Maybe my expectations were a bit too high for a slight, 109-page volume. But it involved renowned novelist Arundhati Roy, successful actor John Cusack, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, so can you really blame me? Shouldn’t a book containing writings from and conversations with these four be three times as long? Are the things that can be said really only 109 pages’ worth of material?

Study: Homeless census is an undercount

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

More than half a million people in the United States were homeless on a single night in January 2017, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported. That means the number of people living in the world’s richest nation who don’t have a secure place to sleep is almost equal to the population of Wyoming. It’s also very likely a severe undercount.

Native women use innovative methods to raise awareness of missing, murdered Indigenous women

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

Marita Growing Thunder read a letter to her murdered aunt. Her aunt taught her how to make dresses. She should still be here today.

Tearing up while she spoke, Growing Thunder remembered her aunt’s life and the last moment she saw her. She often thinks about that last moment, she said, because she never wants to forget her aunt as others have.

Growing Thunder read this letter at an Indigenous Feminisms event at the University of Washington Intellectual House, an event space on campus dedicated to increasing Native student success at UW.

Uncharitable taxation: New tax law could rob nonprofits in Washington of millions

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 04:00

Southern California, is on fire. The images blasted across every news service and channel have been seared into the nation’s collective consciousness. People fleeing the Thomas Fire in their cars, driving through a fiery hellscape. A young man clutching a wild rabbit to his chest after he rescued it from the flames. The jagged, broken bones of homes jutting upward, picked clean and discarded.

Bellevue Arts Museum celebrates Pratt Fine Arts Center instructors

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:47

“Making Our Mark: Art by Pratt Teaching Artists” speaks to the breadth of talent of artist educators who have imparted their wisdom onto those who are fine-tuning their craft. Visitors to the show will see a variety of mediums represented, including sculpture, paintings, glass, jewelry and an interactive installation. The exhibition showcases 292 works of art, making it the largest group show in Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) history. Typically group exhibitions require artists to compete to enter.

Divided by deportation: Margarita Reyes Pacheco’s story is marked by immigration, family and hard work

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:30

If cranberries decorate your Thanksgiving table or a Christmas wreath adorns your home, you might have Margarita Reyes Pacheco to thank.

She’s a Mexican immigrant farmworker who spends 10-hour days picking berries and weaving wreaths, which Spanish speakers call coronas, until her hands ache so much they wake her at night.

Vendor Profile: Elias Padilla

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Elias Padilla plans on putting down roots in Seattle.

“I’d like to travel, but I’d like to make Seattle a home,” says Elias, originally from Stockton, California. “I like it because there’s a lot of art; creativity around. And there’s not a bunch of prejudice, you know; everyone’s their own person here.”

Art and individuality are important parts of Elias’ life. And although he is a well-rounded creative, Elias has been focusing on poetry writing as of late.

Growing up, Elias wanted to be an architect. He has always enjoyed drawing.

Access Denied: News and who gets it

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Years ago in a job interview with a local paper, I suggested that they consider covering homelessness with more depth — specifically, in a way that would be beneficial to people living outside. The paper was one of the remaining free sources of information — The Seattle Times had recently adopted a paywall — and one that was accessible not just to the general population but to the very population who needed the information the most.

Apparently hygiene services and shelter aren’t doing enough to satisfy our overlords

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Hello. My name is Wes Browning, and I have an anger management problem. And the city of Seattle is not helping.

When former-Mayor Ed Murray was still our king, the city required bids from homeless service providers for city funding starting in 2018. The main criterion to be eligible for funding would be a record of placement of clients into housing.

The results are in. Who got what?

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 12/6/17

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Book Review: 'The Book of Joan"

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00
Lidia Yuknavitch’s ‘Joan of Arc’ dystopian cli-fi is a national bestseller but our reviewer wasn't won over Illustration by Jon Williams, Real Change

Everyone at the table

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Regional leaders gathered Dec. 1 to announce a renewed partnership to combat homelessness throughout the region.

The initiative, called One Table, is meant to synchronize efforts in the public, philanthropic and business communities throughout King County to identify short and long-term strategies, produce more affordable housing, address impacts of homelessness on marginalized communities and eliminate barriers that impede the implementation of solutions to homelessness.

Mayor starts with a bang

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

The activist community urged an action outside of the King County Detention Center Saturday to stand in solidarity with a protester who was arrested after a group disrupted an event run by Mayor Jenny Durkan.

The person arrested was the final speaker in a planned action on Nov. 30 meant to interrupt Durkan’s announcement of a Small Business Advisory Board, and the only person of color, according to a statement from the Industrial Workers of the World: Greater Seattle General Defense Committee.

Police chief steps down

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will leave the department by the end of the year, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday. Deputy Chief Carmen Best will serve as interim chief beginning Jan. 1.

In the more than three years that she led the Seattle Police Department, O’Toole has overseen major changes within the organization, particularly the reforms to get out from under a consent decree placed on the department for biased policing and excessive use of force. Judge James Robart is expected to issue a decision on whether SPD has met the requirements of the consent decree soon.

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