The King County Library System (KCLS) has expanded its Study Zone program to help students and parents navigate remote learning environments during the pandemic. The free service is accessible online or by phone, and is open to students in grades K-12, and residents up to age 21 who are studying for their GED. Learn more about Study Zone Plus at kcls.org/studyzone. Residents may contact Ask KCLS or call 425.462.9600 or 800.462.9600 for assistance.
The expanded Study Zone Plus program allows students to practice their math and reading skills, exercise ESL/ELL conversation skills, study with peers in a relaxed virtual space, and boost energy and lower stress with fun social activities. Tech tutors are available to help students understand how to use remote learning software, and KCLS librarians can help students make the most of KCLS’ digital resources and databases. Tutors work with one to three students in a group setting, and students can select tutors by language skills or specialty.
“We know families are facing extra pressure with remote learning right now, and parents and students need as much support as possible,” stated KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “Study Zone Plus helps fill learning gaps, and keeps students active and engaged in core math and reading subjects during this time.”
“KCLS has offered the Study Zone program for 20 years,” added KCLS Public Services Specialist Annie Holloman-Poyner. “We have expanded upon this popular service to create a safe and positive online format that will feel familiar to students who have used Study Zone in the past, and is easy to use for newcomers.”
Study Zone Plus sessions are separated by grades K-5 and 6-12. Students can drop in any time during the following Study Zone Plus hours; no registration is required.
- Tuesday and Wednesday, 3:00-5:00pm
- Thursday and Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm and 3:00-5:00pm
- Tuesday and Wednesday, 5:30-7:30pm
- Thursday and Friday, 12:30-2:30pm
About King County Library System:
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest public library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County (outside the City of Seattle), KCLS currently has 50 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2019, residents checked out more than 5.6 million digital eBooks and audiobooks through Rakuten OverDrive, making KCLS the No. 3 digital circulating library in the world. In 2011, KCLS was named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal.
Learning remotely from home is now the norm for many families across the country. Kids and caregivers alike have settled into a routine, though keeping children engaged can still be challenging. These ideas can help infuse more fun and moments of inspiration into school days to keep kids engaged and excited about learning.
For parents facing uncertain school schedules, new ways of working and concerns about the health and safety of their families, life in a pandemic is stressful enough. Add in the potential for children to feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with the unfamiliar and many families feel they are in no-win situations. When it comes to selecting the best option for your family, keep these considerations in mind.
- 55% of energy sector jobs are in clean energy; 1 in 4 construction jobs
- 17,000 jobs lost since COVID-19, wiping out over 19% of industry’s workforce
- Clean energy paid a $25.40 median hourly wage in 2019; 11% higher than WA median, 32% higher than U.S. median
Led by strong growth in clean energy storage, clean fuels, and energy efficiency, Washington state’s clean energy economy employed over 85,000 workers for the first time after adding 1,300 jobs in 2019. This continued a years-long trend of steady growth for the state’s clean energy sector employment before the COVID-19 health and economic crises, according to a new report from E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), CleanTech Alliance, Low Carbon Prosperity Institute, and Renewable Northwest.
85,035 Washingtonians worked in energy efficiency, solar, wind, clean energy storage, clean vehicles and other clean energy occupations at the end of 2019, according to the new report Clean Jobs Washington 2020. In 2019, Washington’s clean energy industries provided over 11 times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry and over 55% of employment across the energy sector. Nationwide, Washington state had the 13th most clean energy jobs in 2019, accounting for nearly five out of every 200 jobs in Washington and employing more Washingtonians than worked as software developers or architects and engineers.
Washington state’s clean energy economy also provides high-quality jobs, according to a separate recent report from E2, the American Council on Renewable Energy, and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. The sector’s median wage in 2019 ($25.40) was nearly 11% higher than the statewide median wage and more than 32% higher than the nationwide median. Jobs in clean energy were also found to be more likely to include health care and retirement benefits. The sector’s 10.5% unionization rate was second only to New York state for clean energy workers, and well above the nation’s economywide average.
But this increasingly central pillar of Washington state’s economy has been temporarily upended due to the COVID-19-driven economic downturn. While some jobs have been recovered since May, Washington state’s clean energy industries remain down some 17,100 jobs since the pandemic began in March—more than five times the entire sector’s job growth since 2017. The losses represent over 19% of the sector’s total workforce.
Clean Jobs Washington 2020 comes at a critical juncture in the State’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 health and economic crises. With the Washington State Legislature set to reconvene in January, policymakers will have the opportunity to leverage clean energy as an engine for broader economy recovery by enacting policies to get clean energy back on its growth trajectory. Policies such as a clean fuels program, clean truck standards, a state-wide limit on carbon pollution, and carbon pricing can drive investments in climate solutions and bring robust economic growth across the state.
Zach Amittay, Washington Advocate of E2, said:
“With the economic impacts from COVID-19 driving significant unemployment across Washington state, investments in the clean energy sector have proven potential to stimulate a recovery. With a focus on smart clean energy policy, lawmakers have the opportunity to generate thousands of new clean energy jobs and millions of dollars in investment to rebuild and strengthen our economy for the long haul.”
Mark Liffman, Founder & CEO of Seattle-based Omnidian Inc. and E2 Member, said:
“Omnidian is proud to be part of Washington’s growing clean energy economy. While these are challenging times for many in the sector, this report’s findings are still clear: our state’s present and future is increasingly being powered by clean energy, and that’s good news for our environment, our economy, and our workforce.”
David Giuliani, Founder & Chief Engineer of Low Carbon Prosperity Institute, said:
“Clean energy will power Washington state past this pandemic caused pause. Replacing fossil fuel combustion with clean alternatives, notably electrification, will also reduce waste and save wasted money going up in tailpipe emissions. The money we then spend will primarily be in our home state, amplifying prosperity by the velocity of money. New industries and businesses will continue to burst forth as our storied northwest entrepreneurialism takes on these fascinating challenges. We can have both a clean and highly prosperous fairly-shared economy, and put an end to the false question – what are you for, a clean economy or a prosperous economy?”
Mel Clark, President & CEO of CleanTech Alliance, said:
“The CleanTech Alliance is a strong proponent of the great work E2 does, including compiling this report. The CleanTech
In addition to detailing sector-by-sector employment, Clean Jobs Washington 2020 also breaks down jobs at the city, county, legislative and congressional district levels. See more details here.
More details by sector:
- Energy efficiency is the biggest sector of the state’s clean energy economy, employing 64,900 workers at year-end 2019;
- Renewable energy employed nearly 11,200 workers, including more than 5,000 in solar energy;
- Jobs related to clean vehicles, including hybrid-electric and electric vehicles, employed over 3,300;
- Clean fuels companies employed over 1,900 and had the fastest growth rate of any clean energy occupation, growing 6.8% in 2019.
Other key findings:
- Small businesses are the backbone of Washington’s clean energy economy. More than two out of every three (69%) clean energy workers were employed at companies with fewer than 20 workers;
- 1 in 4 construction jobs in Washington are in clean energy occupations, from solar installers and site workers to electricians, HVAC technicians, lighting technicians, carpenters and others who work in energy efficiency;
- Washington ranked in the top 15 for jobs in 12 sectors and subsectors in 2019 – helping the state diversify jobs growth across the clean energy economy;
- Clean energy accounts for 55% of all energy sector jobs in Washington and made up 74% of the sector’s total job growth in 2019;
Clean Jobs Washington 2020 is the third iteration of the annual employment analysis. The report expands on data from the 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership. The report was released in March 2020 and is available at www.usenergyjobs.org. E2 and Clean Energy Trust are partners on the USEER, the fifth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration.
Previous E2 Clean Jobs Washington Reports:
Previous E2 Clean Energy Unemployment Reports
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | March 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | April 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | May 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | June 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | July 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | August 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | September 2020 Impact Analysis
- Clean Energy & COVID-19 Economic Crisis | October 2020 Impact Analysis
With rising case numbers all over the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has guaranteed that Thanksgiving will look different this year. For most of us that means it may be time to host a holiday celebration that unfolds in the same virtual environment as work and school.
So, how are you going to add more to your Thanksgiving experience? What about, say, serving a delicious side dish of virtual fun via a video conferencing solution like ClickMeeting?
Dominika Paciorkowska, Managing Director at ClickMeeting shares 5 tips for hosting a virtual party this Thanksgiving:
- Invite distant friends and relatives. Every so often, something pops up that prevents a loved one from being able to come to a party. In these situations, a video conferencing solution is the magic wand that can beam up whoever is missing out on all the fun!
- Come together around food and wine. Food and drink offer an obvious opportunity for friends and family members to come together during virtual holidays. This can be as easy as firing up a video chat to run through dinner!
- Decorate and dress up. Setting up your table, and adding some flowers or balloons or even a homemade backdrop can definitely get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving. And a video chat allows everyone to enjoy your masterpiece!
- Play some games. If magic isn’t your family’s jam, leveraging technology to play virtual games might be another way to celebrate as an extended group. Virtual charades anyone?!
- Snap a family photo. Even if you’re spending Thanksgiving virtually this year, you can still take a family photo — hopefully one that will make you laugh when you look back at it in years to come.
While Thanksgiving looks a bit different this year, ClickMeeting makes it easy for friends and family to come together and share these moments together.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) today released a reportexamining transportation challenges affecting the Black community. The report analyzes issues related to access, sustainability, and safety and identifies policies that provide a pathway toward an equitable future.
The county has assured voters its ballot collection teams are out emptying boxes at least once a day and in busy locations, twice a day.
“Ballard Library, for example, tends to be our busiest box. Others in that top tier include Crossroads in Bellevue, Redmond City Hall, our box at Elections HQ and more.” officials said.
Officials said that the ballot drop box bins hold about 5,000 ballots and could “theoretically hold more.” However, what they see more often “than a truly full box is the ballots stacked up a little funky and that makes it hard to get more in there. But we’re expecting to break records this weekend.”
The pandemic has more places across the nation following Washington’s lead, offering mail-in options.
Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now Statement on Introduction of Bill Gutting Efforts to Divest from Policing and Invest in Black Community
Coalitions Urge Council Members to Reject Surrender to Durkan and Defend Black Lives
Seattle City Council President Lorena González will introduce a bill that guts efforts to divest from policing and invest in the Black community. This is unacceptable. This is anti-Black.
The gutted bill follows a pattern of the Executive branch bleeding into the Legislative branch, with Mayor Durkan reshaping legislation that Council has already passed. This new bill represents an utter capitulation to the Mayor, who has shamelessly not moved from her anti-Black, pro-police position. The bill does not get us closer to creating true community safety. We reject this approach and question the motives behind it. We urge Council members to override the Mayor’s veto outright. For the first time in their careers, we urge them to stand on the right side of history, stand for Black lives, and against the Mayor’s anti-Black obstructionism.
This summer’s historic uprising in defense of Black lives—following the police murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manny Ellis and too many others—inspired millions across the country to demand a rethinking of our reliance on racist policing. These movements compelled our Council members to heed the calls for an end to the era of bloated police budgets and failed models of “public safety,” an era that resulted in the police murders of Charleena Lyles, John T Williams, and many others. Council members voted for the first time to minimally cut a police budget, rather than grow it. They voted for a modest $3 million to fund a Black-community led research process to let those most impacted by policing lead the planning of a new world beyond it. They voted for $14 million to fund community interventions to generate safety that do not rely on policing, including $4 million to urgently address gun violence needs in the Black community.
These bills passed with a veto-proof majority. Mayor Durkan’s August 21st veto was anti-Black. It was offensive to all those who stand with Black lives and against racist policing. But it was not unexpected. In fact, this was her fifth veto of a council bill—more than any of the previous five mayors had during their tenure. Council members knew when they voted that they were signing up for an override vote. Nothing has changed except for the Mayor’s public relations machine going into overdrive to justify a veto of a cut to a tiny fraction of SPD’s overall budget, as well as a veto of an investment that pales next to SPD’s overtime budget. That brings us to this moment, to a so-called compromise that reflects a Mayor who continues to attempt to strong-arm the City Council into doing her will.
We reject the new bill, a bill which reflects the Mayor’s contempt for Black people and nothing more. We reject a bill that does not reduce the size of SPD, that keeps the failed Navigation Team mostly in place, along with budget lines for mounted police, police officers in school, and more. We reject a bill that offers $200,000 in bonuses to cops hired in 2020, even as essential city workers face layoffs. We reject a bill that outright slashes community investments in true public safety to $2.5 million down from $14 million. As these investments are needed to address substantial gun violence happening in the Black community right now, this gutted proposal is straight anti-Black. We reject a bill that locks thousands of Black community members (especially elders, youth, and those without political connections to the Mayor) out of the process of reimagining public safety.
Our council members were elected to serve their constituents. This summer, we saw them begin the process of creating true community safety. We saw them vote for Black lives. We urge them to override the veto and reject surrender to the Mayor’s pro-police agenda. We urge them to stand for Black lives and restore badly-needed balance to the legislative/executive relationship. We ask them not to flip-flop on one of the most important votes of their careers. Nothing has changed—our city is still in urgent need of rethinking our approach to public safety. The material conditions for most Black people haven’t changed. They won’t change without the City Council standing in defense of Black lives and avoiding capitulation to the Mayor’s defense of the status quo. We urge Council members to stay the course, follow through on their public commitments, and vote to override.
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.”