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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
Embracing Diversity in the Workplace – Part II
by John A. Huguley – Community Writer
For a second year, the NW Facts Newspaper is proud to do a feature article on the Port of Tacoma on the subject of diversity in the workplace. This year we are highlighting two port employees; Ricardo Charlton, Port of Tacoma’s maintenance director, and Pat Patterson, assistant director of facilities maintenance.
Originally from the Bahamas, Ricardo Charlton came to the Port of Tacoma four years ago with over 20 years of experience. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, he worked at ports in Louisiana and Florida. During his years in the industry he experienced many diversity changes, but none of the changes were as positive as he has seen at the Port of Tacoma. When he first came to the port he said he was given a blank slate and was granted the power to hire staff whom he felt were most qualified. He made it his goal to exhaust all avenues to find his new team. Ricardo says, “I made it my personal business to have total diversity … I wanted to create a work environment that reflects what the city of Tacoma looks like.”
Ricardo tells us he’s blessed to work in such a great work environment and to be living in the most beautiful part of the country right now. Among his many jobs, he says working for the Port of Tacoma is, “by far, unequivocally the best job he’s ever had.” Ricardo explains that the leadership as well as the people he works with daily are all outstanding. Ricardo has worked for several other ports around the country and says, “what we have here in Tacoma/Seattle is bar-none the best port there is.”
We also spoke with Pat Patterson, assistant director of facilities maintenance.
Pat is responsible for the facilities side of the day to day operations at the Port of Tacoma properties owned or managed by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). He oversees a staff of 38 individuals of diverse backgrounds.
Pat came to the Port three years ago from the Tacoma Housing Authority where he served as the director of property management. The Port’s leadership team told Pat that they hired him to help make a difference. Pat has seen a conscious effort from the top down to make the workplace more diverse, including changes to the hiring process. Pat sees positive changes continuing based on the objectives of the current leadership at the Port and the goals of the NWSA.
Pat adds these wise words, “We have to keep moving – we cannot go backwards. As long as we have an agenda to move forward we are making progress.”
Today the Port of Tacoma employs about 250 people consisting of administration, maintenance, security, and skilled trades. The Port respects and values the rich diversity of its employees, customers, partners, and the community it serves. The Port is also committed to building an inclusive work environment that reflects the demographics of our community.
Founded in 1918, the Port is located on the Tacoma waterfront at the south end of Puget Sound. As the major economic engine for Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma supports more than 29,000 jobs and generates $3 billion in annual economic activity. Together, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma make up the fourth-largest container gateway in North America and a major center for automobile shipments, bulk, and heavy-lift cargo.
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You can read last year’s article by clicking this link:
The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) helps young people (ages 16 to 24) from low-income households and communities that experience racial, social, and economic disparities. The goal is to increase youth and young adults’ ability to pursue careers that pay well and are meaningful to them.
SYEP has two components: a school-year exploration and learning experience, and a summer internship. The summer internship places young people in work settings to apply their knowledge, gain hands-on experience, develop professional connections, and build their resume. In 2020, SYEP summer interns will be paid $16.39 for up to 150 hours of work over six weeks.
Specific supports are provided to young people to ensure they are set-up for success, including:
- An ORCA card to cover transportation to and from the program (if they don’t already have one issued through their school)
- All fees for tests and/or certifications required by internship sites, such as food handler permits or first aid/CPR
- Internship-related work clothes or safety equipment, such as hard hats and/or work boots
- Ongoing support from their Youth Development Counselor for general coaching
To be eligible for SYEP, young people must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old, live within the Seattle city limits, and live in a household with income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Applications for summer 2020 internships are now open, and will close on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Want to apply? Visit our program website at www.seattle.gov/syep today!