Archives for July 2020
With the help of community feedback, we’re moving forward with the design for one-lane protected bike lanes on each side of MLK, from S Judkins St to Rainier Ave S. The project will improve safety for people walking, biking, and driving along MLK Way. It will also provide better bike connections to important destinations in the area, including the Mt Baker and (future) Judkins Park light rail stations, Metro transit center, and Franklin High School.
Join us for an online early design drop-in session
On Tuesday, August 11, we’re hosting an online drop-in session to share information about the project, gather your feedback on the early design concept, and answer your questions.
Online event details
5 to 6 PM
Tuesday, August 11
https://tinyurl.com/MLKPBL | Password: MLKWayPBL
Presentation transcripts available in English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese
To request an interpreter or accommodations for persons with disabilities, please contact (206) 684-0392 at least 5 business days prior to August 11.
Participate in our online design concept survey
During the event on Tuesday, August 11, we’ll launch a survey that will remain open through Tuesday, August 18. The survey, which will be available in English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, is intended to get a better sense of your travel and parking needs and your feedback on the early design concept. The input you share will inform the next phase of design.
After the online drop-in session, we’ll send an email with links to the event recording and the survey. We’ll also post both links to our project webpage.
Stay connected with us
We want the design to work not only for people who love to bike, but also for everyone who lives and works in the area. Visit our webpage for updates and contact us with questions at (206) 900-8750 and MLKWay@seattle.gov.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Communications and Outreach Lead
AHF seeks to apply and enforce the federal Fair Housing Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act to stop the discriminatory effects of four Hollywood developments: Sunset Gordon Tower, Palladium Residences, Crossroads Hollywood and one planned at the Amoeba Music site
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) filed a ‘petition for review’ with the Supreme Court of California in litigation it first filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles in August 2019 against the City of Los Angeles, the L.A. City Council and several luxury property developers. The petition was filed Monday, July 27th (Case No. S263550).
AHF has asserted violations of both federal and state housing laws intended to eliminate housing discrimination, barriers to minority housing and integrated communities in the permitting, planning and construction of four luxury mixed-use residential, commercial and/or entertainment development projects within the Hollywood area.
AHF’s petition to the Supreme Court now seeks to overturn the Appellate Court ruling in order to allow for enforcement of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) inasmuch as AHF believes and asserts it should apply to the four Hollywood development projects: Sunset Gordon Tower, Palladium Residences, Crossroads Hollywood and one planned at the Amoeba Music site.
The four upscale developments are within a one-mile radius in Hollywood, putting economic pressure on lower income residents in the area. Three of the four stretch along Sunset Boulevard. AHF’s lawsuit asserts these four buildings will predictably displace people of color from their homes and neighborhoods and were approved without providing adequate measures to prevent such displacement. The fair housing laws protect minorities who are disproportionately impacted by a city policy or practice that is facially neutral.
In its filing, AHF outlines the crux of its reasoning for submitting a petition for review:
“The primary issue presented in this petition is whether state and federal fair housing statutes will continue to address the practical reality of disparate-impact discrimination and reach this latter form of discrimination, or, as the Court of Appeal held in its published decision, these fair housing statutes are to be narrowly construed to bar such claims based on a newly announced standard for pleading a prima facie case of disparate-impact discrimination.”
“Not a single one of these luxury property developments in Hollywood has nearly enough housing units set aside as affordable for very-low or extremely-low-income families and they collectively continue the gentrification and wholesale displacement of low-income, largely minority communities from Hollywood,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “We believe the courts were incorrect in their interpretation of the laws and respectfully are seeking reconsideration before the Supreme Court of California.”
AHF’s petition notes and poses another question:
“As recent events confirm, centuries of discrimination have created ongoing and significant disparities for communities of color seeking their rightful place in the American dream. This petition raises a fundamentally important question of whether historically discriminated against minorities have any remedy under fair housing law for policies that effectively drive them out of certain communities.”
It also states that:
“Affordable housing and racial justice are issues of obvious statewide importance. This case involves both, because the Court of Appeal’s published opinion imposes new barriers for communities of color and other victims of discrimination to challenge housing policies that force minorities to leave ‘desirable’ neighborhoods for good.”
Studies show that large scale, high end market-rate housing development without sufficient affordable units is linked to the mass displacement of neighboring low-income residents. These low-income residents are disproportionately people of color. AHF offers a prime example of such low-income and minority displacement in its initial lawsuit and the current petition—the Crossroads Hollywood development, which will demolish over 80 existing rent stabilized apartments, displacing a decades-old, tight-knit community of largely low-income, predominantly Latino residents.
The Hollywood Center neighborhood is approximately 50% white, 32% Hispanic/Latino, 12% Asian, and 6% Black or African American. However, Hispanic/Latino residents are disproportionately lower income, with both median household and per capita income far below the County medians.
The four Hollywood projects in development targeted in AHF’s lawsuit and petition include:
- Sunset Gordon Tower on Sunset Boulevard, a 22-story, almost entirely market rate apartment complex by development company CIM.
- Hollywood Palladium Residences, by developer Crescent Heights, twin 28-story towers that will house 730 residential units.
- Crossroads Hollywood, by Harridge Development Group, a project set to include 950 apartments in 3 high-rise buildings, over 100 of which apartments will be set aside for very low-income families. However, Harridge will demolish over 80 units of existing rent stabilized apartment housing, so the net gain of new affordable housing units is just 20 or so housing units.
- And, the as yet unnamed 26-story, 200-unit luxury residential and commercial development that provides almost no below market housing by GPI Companies for the site of Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.4 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare
Since 1982 when short shorts and big hair ruled at the first Bite of Seattle at Green Lake Park with 75,000 people celebrating food and summer fun, to 38 years later at Seattle Center, 300,000 guests, three live music stages, over 200 vendors, chef battles, and craft beer and cider tasting, the Albert Lee Appliance Bite of Seattle has remained one of the great iconic free-to-attend community festivals in the Northwest.
People from all walks of life coming together to celebrate summer, with three days of festivities, great food, entertainment, chef demonstrations, Bite Movie Night, kids activities, and so much more, all made possible by invaluable partnerships with sponsors like Albert Lee Appliance, BECU, Emerald Queen Casino, NW Beverages, Xfinity, and, many more.
Festivals Inc. the event production company behind the Bite of Seattle, had been trying to reschedule the Bite for a later date, and, had successfully secured a tentative date in late August, however most recently had been notified that the City of Seattle Special Events Committee voted and approved the following:
“The City of Seattle is not issuing permits for major events until further notice – adhering to guidance from the State of Washington and Public Health – Seattle & King County. These include major cultural events, run/walk events, street events, festivals, and vendor fairs.” This lasts in a best-case scenario through Labor Day.
Furthermore, recently the State Public Health Department and Governor Inslee issued the following guidance which states in part:
“The changes between Phase 3 and Phase 4, especially with regards to gathering size and occupancy rates, could further increase the spread of COVID-19 in our state, even in communities that have very low rates of disease. The progress we’ve made thus far is at risk, therefore we are making the prudent choice to slow down our phased approach to reopening.”
The vote by the City of Seattle Special Events Committee, in addition to Public Health mandates, and the Governor’s continued restrictions on gatherings into the unforeseeable and unpredictable future, and, for the safety of all involved, the 2020 Albert Lee Appliance Bite of Seattle will be forced to cancel.
“Despite this devastating news, not only for the Bite of Seattle, but for the hundreds of thousands of guests who attend the Bite each year, our top priority remains the health and safety of our guests, vendors, employees, bands, chefs, and all who help make the Bite of Seattle the summer festival of the year,” said Brett Gorrell, President of Festivals Inc.
Behind the scenes, the Albert Lee Appliance Bite of Seattle takes months of planning including securing sponsors, media partners, food and craft vendors, chefs, craft breweries, cider houses, over 90 entertainment acts, in addition to the extensive onsite infrastructure that sprawls across the Seattle Center campus.
The Bite of Seattle has become “the” free-to-attend community food and entertainment festival of the summer, and recently featured as part of the Food Paradise “Best of the Fests” across America series, on The Cooking Channel.
In its 38-year history, the Bite of Seattle has won numerous ‘best of’ awards, and in 2019, founder Alan Silverman was inducted into the Washington Festival and Events Association Hall of Fame.
The Bite of Seattle has secured itself as one of the best food festivals in the world; a long way since 75,000 people attended the first Bite of Seattle at Green Lake Park in 1982.
Seattle’s ‘Original Foodie Festival’ the Albert Lee Appliance Bite of Seattle, would like to thank all who have supported the Bite over the years, and although will miss celebrating this year, look forward to the day when live festivals and events can be celebrated again.
In a recent NPR interview Joe Biden’s Senior Advisor Symone Sanders tried to convince listeners that Biden’s 1994 Crime Bill was a good thing, but the facts show that it was a damaging piece of legislation that led to the mass incarceration of thousands of Black Americans which hurt families, communities and generational wealth.
“Much ink has been spilled about the crime bill and I think if we are going to talk about the crime bill we have to ensure that we are putting it in perspective of the times, that crime was rampant and many folks across the country — you know African American pastors Mayors, African American mayors, the members of Congressional Black Caucus were urged, and were urging for something to happen and that is how the crime bill came about. There were lots of things in the crime bill that folks would say are good…” –Symone Sanders (NPR 6/22/20)
“So, when you take a look at my record, people talk about the crime bill. Crime bill didn’t increase mass incarceration, other things increased mass incarceration and the reason why, if you go back and look, and I know you talk about it, you go back and take a look. That’s why you had the vast majority of the black caucus at the time, supporting the crime bill.….Almost every major city with black mayors supported the crime bill because blacks were getting killed overwhelmingly as well…” -Joe Biden (The Breakfast Club 5/22/20)
EVEN LIBERALS DISAGREE WITH JOE BIDEN ON HIS HORRIBLE CRIME BILL
- “A crime against the American people.” –NAACP (Christian Science Monitor, 4/28/94)
- “I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” he said of the trend toward increased incarceration, “and I want to admit that.” –President Bill Clinton (NAACP, 7/16/2015)
- “That crime bill was shameful, what it did to black and brown communities like mine [and] low-income communities from Appalachia to rural Iowa. It was a bad bill.”-Senator Cory Booker (The Huffington Post, 5/30/19)
- “…The hundreds of thousands of Americans unjustly sent to prison for long periods of time, the families torn apart, the effects of mass incarceration we are feeling to this day in New York and all over this country, and look, the crime bill was the foundation of that horrible era of mass incarceration…look at the fact that the bill had a disproportionate impact on African Americans and Latinos…that bill was a huge mistake…” –New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (CBS News, 5/30/19)
- “It destroyed entire neighborhoods, destroyed entire communities and we’re still paying the price and suffering from it.” -Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder (LA Times, 6/26/19)
- “The 1994 federal crime bill that created tough new criminal sentences and incentivized states to build more prisons and pass truth-in-sentencing laws is getting new scrutiny during this 2020 election cycle.” – Udi Ofer, Deputy National Political Director and Director of Campaign for Smart Justice, ACLU (ACLU, 6/4/19)
- “Many consider the crime bill to be one of the cornerstone statutes that accelerated mass incarceration. But the law’s negative effects did not end there. States and localities were incentivized through a massive infusion of federal funding to build more jails and prisons and to pass so-called truth-in-sentencing laws and other punitive measures that simultaneously increased the number and length of prison sentences while reducing the possibility of early release for those incarcerated. It has been well-documented that these policies were failures.” Ed Chung, Betsy Pearl, Lea Hunter, Center for American Progress (The Center for American Progress , 3/26/19)
DESPITE TEAM BIDEN’S “THE BLACK COMMUNITY MADE ME DO IT” EXCUSE FOR HIS CRIME BILL
HERE ARE THE FACTS
- Joe Biden Played A “Central Role” In Writing And Passing The 1994 Crime Bill (Joe Biden, Press Release, 10/25/07)
- The 1994 Crime Bill “Remains the Most Extensive Federal Crime Legislation Ever Passed.” (The Brennan Center, 9/9/19)
- The Biden Crime Bill Included Measures Many Experts Now Say “Helped Give the U.S. The Highest Incarceration Rate in The World.” ( The New York Times, 8/21/15)
- After Biden’s Crime Bill, The Incarcerated Population in America Doubled, from 1994 To 2009, With 12 Percent of People Incarcerated in U.S. Jails Reporting Regular Use Of Opioids. (Politico, 5/23/19)
- The Most Significant and Long-Lasting Impacts of The Legislation Was the Authorization of Incentive Grants To Build Or Expand Correctional Facilities Through The Violent Offender Incarceration And Truth-In-Sentencing Incentive Grants Program. (The Brennan Center, 9/9/19)
o This Fueled A Prison Construction Boom, For A Period in the 1990s, A New Prison Opened Every 15 Days on Average. (The Brennan Center, 9/9/19)
Joe Biden’s 44-year record is finally being fully examined. His record of making bigoted comments and his long legislative record of advocating for policies that actually hurt Black Americans should be contrasted to President Trump’s four years in office working to advance, support and empower the Black community.
Now, Team Joe Biden is trying to convince Black American voters that his 1994 Crime Bill really wasn’t that bad for the Black community, and Black leaders were really the ones responsible for it instead of taking responsibly for his poor leadership and policy judgement.
Each year since its inception in 1995, Family Scholar House (FSH) has served disadvantaged residential and nonresidential single moms, dads, and their children with a comprehensive, holistic continuum of care that meets them where they are and empowers them toward their educational, career and family goals. All of these individuals and families have experienced poverty, unstable housing, and most often, domestic violence.
Those who come to FSH often rise above the circumstances they’ve been dealt with, and they deserve a great deal of recognition. And one of the most accomplished FSH alumni who most certainly merits that recognition is Aleshia Thompson.
When Aleshia and her young daughter Trinity arrived at Stoddard Johnston Scholar House in January 2012, she was already on her path towards a better life and career. Studying night and day, she graduated with her Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees from Jefferson Community & Technical College in 2013.
Aleshia originally wanted to be a nurse, but several of her professors encouraged her to take more challenging courses, and that’s when she fell in love with Anatomy, Biology, and Medicine. “Once I helped deliver a baby with the doctor who delivered Trinity, and I was nearly brought to tears by the magic of that moment,” she says. “It was then that I knew that I wanted to help bring healthy babies into this world and take care of women. My goal, in fact, my mission, then as it remains now, is to give back to women like me who are underserved and need a familiar face that can relate to their concerns and situations.”
While Aleshia and Trinity continued to reside at Stoddard Johnston Scholar House, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Louisville (U of L) in 2016. And to top off that accomplishment, she and her daughter then secured their own living arrangements off-campus thanks to the help of FSH. From that point forward there was no stopping Aleshia! She worked hard personally and professionally to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a doctor and was able to care for patients from her previous work as an EMT and Dialysis Technician once she enrolled in the U of L’s School of Medicine.
So, this June, in the very unprecedented year of 2020, Aleshia received her Medical Degree (M.D.) from U of L and has secured a residency at Kansas University Medical Center’s OB/GYN department as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist for the next 4 years. She remains active with FSH and wants everyone to know this: “Never give up no matter how hard life may seem. And never be afraid to ask for help. Without the guidance I received from FSH, I don’t know where I would be now, eight years after I first met with them. They truly helped make my dreams come true.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the national economy, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) provides employers with updated options for managing their loans. However, it’s important to know the best way to leverage these options and protect your company during this time of upheaval.
“Under changes to the PPPFA signed on June 5, employers will now be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount the borrower spent on rent, utilities, and mortgages during the 8-week or 24-week covered period or alternative covered period,” says Rob Wilson, President of Emplocyo USA and human resources expert. “Up to 40% of payroll costs can also be covered under these loan terms.”
What is considered a covered payroll cost under the guidelines of the PPPFA?
“Payroll costs can include salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation, sick leave or medical leave, group insurance, retirement benefits, and cash tips among other possibilities,” says Wilson. “But there are a few exceptions like compensation of an employee whose residence is out the United States.”
Below Wilson also explains the difference between the covered period and the alternative covered period under PPPFA.
“The covered period is the only option for companies with semi-monthly or less frequent payroll periods,” explains Wilson. “Under PPPFA, borrowers will have an 8-week (56 days) or a 24-week (168 days) period starting on the same day as the PPP loan proceeds were received. But companies with bi-weekly or more frequent payroll periods can fall under the alternative covered period, and have an 8-week (56 days) or a 24-week (168 days) period starting on the first day of their first pay period following PPP disbursement date.”
Here, Wilson offers his top tips for maximizing forgiveness:
Adjust your payroll schedule (temporarily) to fit within the 8 or 24-week window.
Don’t forget to include employer-paid benefit amounts in the payroll costs, including group medical, dental, vision, FSA and 401(k) plans.
Keep track of hours worked for each employee – the forgiveness is based on FT and FTE counts (based on a 40-hour workweek).
Pay a bonus or increase compensation for employees if you’re tracking too low near the end of the 8 or 24 weeks.
Tonight, Young People For (YP4)– a national network that provides life-long social justice leadership training centers black, brown, indigenous, disabled, and LGBTQ+ leaders in education, media, politics, business, government, and everywhere– will host its YP4 Civic Engagement Series of the summer featuring young elected officials and other who will break down how power functions at each level of government.
The purpose of the series is to offer young people a clearer understanding of who holds the power to influence our day to day lives and how they can shift that power to our communities.
WHO: First guest speaker of the series is Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, NY, discussing his personal experience in local government.
WHAT: YP4 Civic Engagement Series (July 1, 8,15, & 22)
WHEN: **Tonight** Wednesday, July 1st at 7:30PM ET
WHERE: ONLINE; Register HERE.
This training is completely FREE and OPEN to the public and is part of a series taking place every Wednesday in July– July 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd. The YP4 Civic Engagement Series will lead up to the YP4 Civic Engagement Summit scheduled for August 4-7, 2020. More information to come.
According to data from King County’s 2020 annual Point In Time (PIT) Count, 15% of the total homeless population is American Indian or Alaska Native. This is an increase from PIT’s 2019 report, which stated that Native people represented 10% of the homeless population in King County.
The advocacy to collect more accurate data related to Native people experiencing homelessness may be attributed to efforts led by the National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness (Coalition), a collaboration between service providers working with King County’s Native community including, Chief Seattle Club, Seattle Indian Health Board, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Mother Nation, and Urban Indian Health Institute.
In 2018, Native organizations were excluded from the PIT Count survey collection, and as a result, the analysis found that only 3% of the homeless population identified as American Indian and/or Alaska Native. In 2019, the Coalition advocated for more involvement in the distribution of surveys, leading to a more accurate count of 10%. That year, the Coalition also advocated for All Home to eliminate “multi-race” as a racial category, which has led to undercounts of Native populations in the past.
In 2020, the Coalition advocated for there to be no limits to the number of surveys their organizations distribute to the community, and they mobilized Native organizations to make a concerted effort to collect more accurate counts.
The following statement from leaders of the National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness can be quoted in part or in full.
“Because of our efforts to collect more accurate data related to American Indians and Alaska Natives experiencing homelessness, we believe we are getting closer to truly understanding the scope of the work ahead.
In the past, we have expressed concerns about gaps in the outreach and sampling methodologies used in the PIT Count because Native service providers and researchers were not consulted through the design and implementation. This contributed to inconsistent, inequitable, and culturally incompetent practices that resulted in an undercount of the American Indian and Alaska Native community.
But the reality of these more accurate numbers is saddening. These are our relatives, and they are part of a system that creates barriers for them at every turn. They are part of a housing system that is anti-Native.
We need more resources for Native-led organizations, and we will continue to advocate for policy change that begins to remove the barriers that have led to our relatives experiencing homelessness disproportionately.
It is important to remember that the PIT Count is only a snapshot and does not accurately reflect the whole picture of people experiencing homelessness in King County. However, this data is used throughout the year to inform funding decisions, policy and systems strategies, and shapes the narrative of the homelessness crisis in our community.
We know that culturally specific programs are part of the solution to solving homelessness for everyone. Since the City of Seattle and King County have begun funding our agencies, we have seen an increase of Native people being housed through Native providers.
We are housing more people in our community than ever before.
Without accurate data that tells the truth about the astonishingly high rates in the Native community, the narrative is inequitable. We cannot break down barriers in the homelessness crisis without accurate information.
If, together, we can figure out how to solve homelessness within the Native community, we can figure out how to solve it for all.”