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Updated: 36 min 27 sec ago

Seattle backs anti-youth jail motion

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:21

The city department in charge of building permits asked the Seattle Hearing Examiner’s Office on March 20 to hold a hearing on a new motion by community organizations that oppose a proposed youth detention center, arguing that to do otherwise would be “unfair.”

A Seattle hearing examiner had dismissed an appeal by Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) and over 60 other groups on March 1, a final administrative hurdle to construction of the youth jail planned to replace the current facility in the Central District.

Africatown, evicted

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00
Property managers pushing out lynchpin of historically Black neighborhood

A backhoe, flashing crimson against the backdrop of dark Seattle sky, rolled across trash and debris before coming to a halt. It bent down, opened its jaws and lifted a large, wooden sign that read “Umojafest Peace Center,” and crushed it.

Trump logic: It’s only racism if you ban every single Muslim in the world

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00

Now that the new executive order on immigration has been stopped by two federal courts, it’s beginning to look like Donald Trump is going to be a premature lame duck president.

The reason I say that has to do with the reasoning that the judges used in the two rulings. In both cases, the judges looked at Trump’s public declarations of intent to bar Muslims from immigrating to the United States and read the travel ban in the light of those declarations.

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 3/22/17

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00

View previous images from The Middle Ground. Sam Day's work can be found online at

Talking flight

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00
Author Isabel Wilkerson comes to SAM to share her research of the Great Migration to accompany the Jacob Lawrence exhibition

Isabel Wilkerson is a Pultizer Prize-winning journalist and author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” “Warmth” is historical nonfiction documenting the relocation of 6 million Black people from the South to the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970.

CAIR jumps on Trump lawsuit

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and five individuals announced last week that they would join a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU) challenging the constitutionality of the most recent travel ban proposed by the Trump administration.

The ACLU asserts that the newestexecutive order, signed by President Donald Trump on March 6, is still a ban targeted at Muslims despite changes made to address concerns raised by judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the first iteration of the executive order.

Director's Corner: Protecting our youth

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00

On March 13, Real Change screened Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th.” In the film, DuVernay shows how a loophole in our constitution strips away the rights of people who are perceived as criminals or convicted of a crime. Of those targeted, a disproportionate number of individuals are people of color and often poor. Our showing of the film sold out a week before the viewing.

They sent me out of the Go Green Conference. This is what I wanted to say

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 06:00

Some of the Raging Grannies and I crashed the Go Green Conference March 16.

With the support of several groups in this city, some of us got into the Go Green Conference and tried to talk with King County Executive Dow Constantine about the militarization of our city.

The conference was advertised to assist local businesses and government to “green” their companies with profitability in mind.

It seemed like the perfect place to discuss the dangers of building a $210 million dollar cage for our children on a toxic waste site.

Vendor Update: Harlan Wood

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 18:02

Real Change Vendor Harlan Wood brought home another gold medal at state Special Olympics competitions through Seattle Parks and Recreation.

The Seattle Parks Sharks visited Wenatchee March 3 for statewide basketball games. Harlan’s team took the gold. In the final game, the Sharks beat the Edmonds Tigers 52 – 8.

Harlan has been competing in the Special Olympics for about five years and plays in basketball, track and field, softball and bowling.

Foreigner at home

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 17:37
Two Japanese-American men share the long-lasting effects of the U.S. concentration camps

The friendship between Lawrence Matsuda and Roger Shimomura began with an art sale. Both are Japanese-American, and Matsuda was among the first Japanese-Americans to purchase a piece of Shimomura’s art. Shimomura invited Matsuda to lunch, and they bonded over Bruce Lee stories, a love for salmon fishing and sharing the same middle name — Yutaka. They first met about 10 years ago.

It was only a matter of time before the poet and artist, both successful in their respective fields, collaborated on a project.

Vendor Profile: James Marshalek

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 17:23

James Marshalek used to “fly a sign” asking for money, but he didn’t like asking for something for nothing.

“It’s not just about money, it’s about self-respect.”

“I told the good Lord I needed something else. I talked to a brother selling Real Change.” Then, he started selling it, too. Now, “people fly a sign next to me all the time and it really bothers me when they ask my customers for money.”

Book Review: "Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File"

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 17:16
John Edgar Wideman’s ‘Louis Till File’ explores the unjustice delivered to Emmett Till’s father

The tragic story of Emmett Till still shocks the conscience of our nation. It was the summer of 1955. Fourteen years of age, Emmett was a good natured Black adolescent from Chicago. He traveled by train to visit family in rural Mississippi. It was his first time in the Deep South, a far cry from the northern city of his origin. His mother Mamie was nervous about her son’s journey. Just before departure Emmett gave her his watch. He doubted he would need it where he was headed. Emmett did keep the ring on his finger. It was his late father Louis Till’s ring.

Women in Black mourn the death of 22

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 16:36

Twenty-two people with no known address died in Seattle and King County during the first two months of 2017, and a group of women dressed in black stood vigil on March 8 as a silent reminder that their deaths would not be forgotten.

Women in Black, a project of the Women’s Housing Equality and Enhancement League (WHEEL), conducts their remembrances using data they receive data from the King County Medical Examiner’s office documenting the number of deaths over the previous month.

Two competing bills would extend real estate filing fees for affordable housing

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 16:18

Two bills that would extend fees that provide one of the largest sources of funding for homeless services and affordable housing are up for debate in Olympia, and it’s making officials in King County nervous.

Document recording fees are surcharges attached to some real estate transactions assessed by the county. The lion’s share of the existing fees is set to expire in 2019 unless the legislature intervenes to extend them.

KIRO pulls map of homeless encampments

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 13:00

A local news station put up and took down a crowd-sourced map of homeless encampments after community members took them to task on social media for endangering the lives of people living on the streets.

KIRO 7, a member of the Cox media group, asked its followers on March 9 to send in the locations of homeless encampments in order to map their location and prevalence in Seattle. The team claimed that the city of Seattle did not have such a map, and promised to share the locations of such encampments with the city “as we said we would do.”

Dancing around an epithet

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00
Jade Solomon Curtis explores the word ‘nigger’ on stage

Jade Solomon Curtis moves across the stage with intention and purpose. Her entire body is permeated with the emotion she needs to convey. She easily convinces the audience by manipulating her limbs.

Curtis found her passion for dance while in middle school. The Lubbock, Texas, native received her master of fine arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is the subject of an Emmy award-winning film. She moved to Seattle several years ago to work with Donald Byrd of Spectrum Dance Theater.

Who knew that infrastructure was, like, so deep, man?

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00

Our strange president says that — besides making our military more capable of disintegrating the world and eliminating pesky immigrants and putting sick people in their place (alleys and dumpsters) — he will fix America’s ailing infrastructure. So what is this infrastructure thing and how do you fix it?

The examples I keep hearing about are bridges and roads. Those sound infrastructurish, but are they the whole picture? To answer the question, “what is infrastructure?” I would ask “what is infra-?” and then “what is -structure?”

Hierarchy culture at the airport and at Starbucks

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00

It was midwinter break and I had a week off from work as my students were on a well-needed break. I got my ticket and headed to the airport for some much-needed sun in L.A. As I arrived at the airport — maybe it was the activism I have done, maybe it was all the “woke” posts I see on Facebook — something I hadn’t noticed before became clear. As I walk to the terminal, there were signs at the express terminals that read “Elite” and “First Class.” I’ve never found myself in one of those lines or had whatever credentials needed to be accepted by the smiling strangers at the desk.

The Middle Ground by Sam Day 3/15/17

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00

View previous images from The Middle Ground. Sam Day's work can be found online.

Survey: Seattle homeless population is local, educated

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00

People experiencing homelessness in Seattle deal with extreme stereotypes.

They must be hooked on illegal drugs, unwilling to work or mentally ill. They must be from elsewhere, here to benefit from services offered in so-called “Freeattle.”

These generalizations helped housed people justify an erroneous conclusion: These people are outsiders.

Seattle’s Human Services Department says otherwise.