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Runta, Runtanews, Somali and African news service | Category Archive | Local News

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OIRA and SPD Celebrate Final Day of Immigrant Family Institute!

OIRA and SPD Celebrate Final Day of Immigrant Family Institute!

Posted on 16 May 2017 by admin

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Abdullahi Farah with Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and SPD Acting Lieutenant Adrian Diaz.

SEATTLE (May 13, 2017) – Community members gathered at City Hall to celebrate the completion of a groundbreaking program intended to keep immigrant young people out of the criminal justice system.

Eeight-week-long Immigrant Family Institute (IFI) brought together 42 immigrant family members who have experienced the juvenile justice system and 12 Seattle police officers to engage in group discussions and interactive workshops. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) attendees included frontline officers from community police teams and patrol. The families included 15 caregivers and 17 young people who have immigrated to Seattle from Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Somalia. A team of interpreters, facilitators, and presenters helped support the curriculum.

IFI builds off the award-winning success of the Refugee Women’s Institute (RWI) launched in September of 2014. OIRA designed this innovative program to build understanding and trust between refugee communities in Seattle and the SPD. The institute, the first of its kind in the nation, aimed to build a grassroots network of refugee women leaders while increasing the cultural competency of the female officers who participated. Evaluations of the program showed the RWI participants reported stronger one-on-one relationships with each other. And short- and long-term data indicated that the participants had meaningful interactions that helped overcome bias for both communities. In 2015, the U.S. Conference of Mayors selected RWI for an innovation award.

 “During RWI, we heard mentioned repeatedly a need to build trust and relationships between not only police officers and refugee communities, but also between foreign-born parents and their children,” says OIRA director Cuc Vu who herself was raised in a refugee family in Olympia. “That’s why when our office considered the next step for RWI, we quickly recognized the need to ensure that kids from immigrant families also benefited from bridge-building conversations.”

The work of building IFI started shortly after RWI ended, with the creation of the IFI Advisory Committee. Members of this body includes immigrant youth of color, immigrant/refugee parents, and other key stakeholders from the juvenile justice system, community-based organizations, King County, City of Seattle, service providers, and academia. This committee helped shape key aspects of the program, including the curriculum, recruitment, and outreach. They also helped create the program’s objectives:

Strengthen the leadership skills of immigrant youth of color and their caregivers to understand and navigate City, educational, and legal systems.

Bolster trust between immigrant families and the police, so that families are better able to self-advocate and to find resources to help them overcome systemic barriers.

Help Seattle Police Officers be more culturally responsive in serving immigrant youth of color and their families.

 The program organizers envision that the above objectives will help empower immigrant youth that are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system, disrupting pathways to that system.

 During the graduation event at City Hall, the attendees heard from Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, SPD Acting Lieutenant Adrian Diaz, and OIRA Director Cuc Vu. Participants also shared their reasons for participating in IFI, as well as their favorite moments. Program participant Abdullahi Farah talked about how his grades started to increase after the first few weeks in the program.

Program participant Khadra Mohamed who is a Somali refugee and whose son also participated in the program stressed the importance of not only continuing the program, but also expanding it, “I think it would also be best to have such a program closer to our neighborhood. Many families will benefit from it.”

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Mayor Murray, City Attorney Holmes respond to Attorney General Sessions’ threats against ‘sanctuary cities’

Mayor Murray, City Attorney Holmes respond to Attorney General Sessions’ threats against ‘sanctuary cities’

Posted on 29 March 2017 by admin

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SEATTLE (March 27, 2017) – Today, Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes issued the following statements in response to comments made by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening to withhold grants from so-called “sanctuary cities”:

 “Attorney General Jeff Session’s latest threat does not change our position,” said Mayor Murray. “As I’ve said, I’m willing to risk losing every penny of federal funding to stand by our commitment to protect everyone in our community. Attorney General Sessions’ threat to claw back federal funding only strengthens our resolve to fight back. We will keep all our Welcoming Cities policies in place. Attorney General Sessions accused Welcoming Cities like Seattle of harming their respective communities. However, we are helping those in our community by assisting residents on the path to citizenship and warmly integrating immigrant schoolchildren into our classrooms. But the federal government is intent on driving people underground. If Attorney General Sessions is so concerned about Seattle’s safety, pulling law enforcement dollars from cities nationwide is the height of hypocrisy and makes us less safe. Research shows cities with larger foreign-born populations experience less violent crime. Bigotry, not safety, seems to be at the heart of the White House immigration policy.”

City Attorney Pete Holmes added, “Just like the original executive order targeting so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ today’s press statements in D.C. provided little if any legal clarity to guide otherwise law abiding Welcoming Cities like Seattle. The Attorney General’s comments appear to be little more than cynical attempts to talk about anything other than Trumpcare or Russia following a bad week for the Trump administration. At the same time, Seattle should know that my office and the Mayor’s Office have been working ever since President Trump’s ‘sanctuary cities’ order was signed to explore all avenues to protect Seattle’s interests, and most of all its values. The City will not be bullied into abandoning its principles. Stay tuned.”

 

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Mayor Murray and King County Executive Constantine on President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration!

Mayor Murray and King County Executive Constantine on President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration!

Posted on 26 January 2017 by admin

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SEATTLE (January 25, 2017) – Mayor Ed Murray surrounded by City Council Members, Police Chiefs, and Civil rights activists issued the following statement after President Trump signed executive orders on immigration:

“Today is one of the worst days for immigrants in America since Japanese internment. Just days after hundreds of Seattleites volunteered to support more than 1,000 members of our immigrant community, President Trump sent a message back. He doesn’t respect our values and will exercise his power to threaten immigrants and our federal funding.

“I want to assure Seattle residents that while they are right to be alarmed about President Trump’s divisive vision, they should not be concerned that this City will be bullied into stepping away from its commitments and values. The City of Seattle will continue to protect the rights guaranteed to the City and its people by the United States Constitution and will challenge any unconstitutional policies that threaten the security of our communities.

“We are a nation of laws and we are committed to defending our residents, our values, and the Constitution in the court of law. We will not be intimidated.”

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On the other hand, a press release issued by the King County’s Executive Office states, “The administration’s action against immigrants and refugees betrays the fundamental principle that has guided our nation since its inception: that we welcome people who come here fleeing tyranny, fleeing oppression, seeking a better life. We do not build walls. We demand that they be torn down. We do not ask people to show their papers when they report a crime or bring their sick child to a clinic. We do not push children and families into the shadows, and sow fear among our neighbors who may look or speak or pray differently than the majority.

King County proudly upholds the fundamental, self-evident truth announced at our nation’s founding: that all are created equal. We embrace the basic American value that we are a nation of opportunity for all. Immigrants and refugees are welcome here, and our region has acted decisively to become more inclusive, removing barriers to affordable housing, transit, and support to help children.

Now, in this toxic environment, we must do even more. We will offer even greater assistance to community partners providing legal services and immigration assistance. We will increase support and resources to those who can gain citizenship. We will work with local cities and other counties to establish stronger safeguards to protect undocumented immigrants and refugees.

Martin Luther King Jr. County is a place where everyone – regardless of where they started in life – has the opportunity to flourish. Today’s actions by the administration, and those actions we expect are to come, serve only to strengthen our resolve, and draw our community closer.”

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Nov 8th, 2016, General Election Recommendations From Dick Burkhart

Nov 8th, 2016, General Election Recommendations From Dick Burkhart

Posted on 27 October 2016 by admin

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Dr. Richard Burkhart (Dick) is a well-known Seattle progressive political activist.  He has closely followed politics in America throughout his life.  He is especially concerned about the extreme wealth gap in this country.  He knows lots of politicians personally and is very knowledgeable about the political views of every candidate on the ballot.  Many justice-minded Seattleites look forward to receiving Burkhart’s recommendations to help them decide who they would like to vote for. Erin Jones, a favored to many people of color is missing from the list. He picked Chris Raykdal for Washington State Public Instruction Position instead of her. When we asked him why he favored Chris over Erin, he simply said she is equally qualified as he is.

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Erin speaks to the Ethnic Media of Seattle called SeaBeez during Meet n Greet Candidates!

 

Here is the list:

 

Measures

    Sound Transit:

  • Proposition 1: Approved (Best vote for our future: Regional expansion of light rail, commuter rail, and express buses, from Tacoma to Everett.)

    Seattle:

  • Initiative 124:  Yes (Badly needed health and safety protections for hotel employees)

    King County:

  • Charter Amendment #1: Yes (Make the prosecuting attorney non-partisan)
  • Charter Amendment #2:  Yes (Switch to gender neutral language in the King County charter)

    State:

  • Initiative 732: Yes (Best triple win: Restructures our state taxes to be more progressive, while taxing carbon to reduce air pollution and climate change. Could set the stage for a capital gains tax on the 1%)
  • Initiative 735: Yes (Urges a US Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United)
  • Advisor Votes 14 & 15: Maintained (Ignore the confusing language mandated by a past Tim Eyman initiative. These votes are about appropriate insurance premiums and about removing tax breaks)
  • Initiative 1433: Yes (Badly needed increase in the state minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020)
  • Initiative 1484: Yes (Reduces the influence of big money on state politics by giving each citizen three $50 vouchers to donate to candidates)
  • Initiative 1491: Yes (Permits court orders to get guns out of the hands of people who exhibit potentially violent behavior)
  • Constitutional amendment 8210: Approved (A technical amendment that requires that congressional redistricting be completed 46 days earlier after a census)

Federal Candidates

  • President: Jill Stein (preferred) or Hillary Clinton
  • Senator: Patty Murray
  • 9th Congressional District: Adam Smith
  • 7th Congressional District: Parmila Jayapal
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State Candidates

  • Governor: Jay Inslee
  • Lieutenant Governor: Cyrus Habib
  • Secretary of State: Tina Podlodowski
  • Treasurer: Duane Davidson
  • Auditor: Pat McCarthy
  • Attorney General: Bob Ferguson
  • Public Lands: Hilary Franz
  • Public Instruction: Chris Reykdal
  • Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler
  • 37th Distrist: Sharon Tomiko Santos
  • 37th Distrist: Eric Pettigrew

Judicial Candidates (contested)

  • State Supreme Court #1: Mary Yu
  • State Supreme Court #5: Barbara Madsen
  • State Supreme Court #6: Charlie Wiggens
  • Superior Court #14: Nicole Gaines Phelps
  • Superior Court #26: David Keenan
  • Superior Court #31: Helen Halpert
  • Superior Court #44: Cathy Moore
  • Superior Court #52: Anthony Gipe
  • Superior Court #53: Mariane Spearman

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Somali-American Entrepreneur Creates Product Designed to Simplify your Oral Care Routine!

Somali-American Entrepreneur Creates Product Designed to Simplify your Oral Care Routine!

Posted on 06 October 2016 by admin

Somali-American Entrepreneur Creates Product Designed to Simplify your Oral Care Routine!

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Like many entrepreneurs and inventors, Yusuf Osman, better known as Yusuf Abudi was inspired to create his current venture, Simple Oral Care Inc. based in Seattle, to solve a problem that he experienced himself. He says during a normal visit to his dentist, he discovered he had tooth decay, so his dentist recommended removing it. The dentist also recommended him to better take care of his remaining teeth. Yusuf began searching for products that could help him improve his dental hygiene routine.

“The first thing I wanted was a product that keeps all my oral care needs in one place and at the same time uses current technology to simplify my oral care routine. But I could not find one, so I decided to create one myself,” Yusuf said.

“The result was ORIA, smart oral care system designed to help people brush and floss their teeth thoroughly and in consistent with ease. ORIA is about the size of a toothbrush holder that sits on the bathroom counter. First of its kind, it has built-in hands free toothpaste delivery system, automatic dental floss dispenser and a smart guiding LCD display that guides the user to brush all areas of the mouth evenly for the dentists’ recommended time of 2 minutes, and it can hold up to four toothbrushes.”

The device tracks brushing and flossing habits, and gives you score to encourage you, or your family members to improve your oral care habits. After each session, the data collected in the device automatically syncs with your Smartphone, telling you your brushing and flossing activities, and recommends you an achievable goal.

Yusuf says he created this product because he discovered many people were also having hard time to improve their oral hygiene and often felt embarrassed whenever their dentist asked if they have been regularly taking care of their teeth.

” What surprised me even more was that after doing some research I have found out that poor oral hygiene not only causes oral infections and tooth decay but it is also linked to many diseases such as heart disease,” said Yusuf.

“It was a dream, until I participated in a local entrepreneurship contest called Startup Weekend Seattle, where my concept was chosen to advance to the top 10 best ideas, then I realized the potential and started building prototypes, drafting business plan and filed a provisional patent.”

 And that is no all. This past spring, Yusuf and his team were invited to participate in an annual business plan competition at the University of Washington in Seattle.

ORIA is in still in the early stages, but Yusuf says he hopes to launch his product early next year.

Visit www.simpleoralcare.com for information on the ORIA and when it will be available.

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Following through on King County’s Commitment to Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees

Following through on King County’s Commitment to Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees

Posted on 12 August 2016 by admin

The photo shows the first meeting of creating the Task Force, a group of immigrants met with KC Larry Gossett. From left Michael Neguse, Mohamud Yussuf, Yemane, Mehret, Larry, Ubax, Ethiopia, and Habtamu Abdi.

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Summary: Executive Constantine endorsed recommendations by an immigrant and refugee task force to add resources and build on successful King County programs that welcome new residents and open opportunities.

King County Executive Dow Constantine endorsed Thursday recommendations by the King County Immigrant and Refugee Task Force to advance equity and opportunity for the more than 400,000 foreign-born residents in the region.

“At a time when hateful rhetoric targets men, women and children from around the world who seek safety, hope and a better life, King County proudly upholds the American principle that we are a nation of opportunity,” said Executive Constantine. “The task force has produced recommendations that will help immigrants and refugees in our region flourish, achieve their full potential, and contribute to our region’s prosperity.”

The recommendations endorsed by Executive Constantine include a permanent Immigrant and Refugee Commission with a dedicated staff member that will serve as a hub for activities, services and dialogue among elected leaders, community organizations and county employees. Such a hub would align organizations and critical players serving the refugee and immigrant population to achieve greater impact.

The commission would coordinate with King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice.

The all-volunteer 13-member task force included representatives from across King County with diverse professional backgrounds, including nonprofits, local governments, small businesses, health care and clergy. It hosted 20 community meetings to collect input from immigrant and refugee residents representing 18 ethnic cultures and 16 languages.

“It was an honor to serve with many passionate, multiethnic, multi-background individuals and the highly dedicated King County staff on this task force,” said Mahnaz Eshetu, Executive Director of the Refugee Women’s Alliance. “I believe the well-researched recommendations we put forward will help King County address the complex needs of refugees and immigrants and will create a more inclusive community. I sincerely hope that our suggestions will lead to a future County Office of Refugees and Immigrants. I appreciate Executive Constantine’s leadership in taking this first very important step.”

Contributing to the region’s economic growth

Local business leaders say that helping the region’s growing immigrant and refugee population succeed as members of the community is important for economic growth.

“Immigrants and refugees strengthen King County and contribute significantly to our local economy,” said Maud Daudon, President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “They bring innovation, fresh thinking and entrepreneurial drive: in fact, more than 30 percent of our area’s ‘Main Street’ business owners and 19 percent of all of our local business owners are foreign-born. They also help position our region to compete against all the other parts of the world that would love to have the jobs and the prosperity we have here.”

The proposed actions would be the latest in a series of actions King County has taken to make the region more culturally and economically inclusive. King County now requires election ballots to be translated to more languages, and in 2015 it joined more than 60 other local governments across the United States as a Welcoming County that recognizes that emigration makes regions more resilient and prosperous.

King County’s draft Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan, 2016-2022 lays out specific goals and measures to diversify the county’s workforce at all levels in order to better represent and serve the county’s increasingly racially diverse population and to take further steps in all agencies – such as through increased translations – to better serve and work with immigrant and refugee communities.

Last December, during the peak of the Syrian refugee crisis, Executive Constantine rallied elected leaders from 12 other metropolitan regions across the country to reaffirm their status as welcoming communities.

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Eid Mubarak and a Message from MPower Muslim Grassroots Movement

Eid Mubarak and a Message from MPower Muslim Grassroots Movement

Posted on 11 July 2016 by admin

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By Linda Sarsour in the photo

On Wednesday, we marked the close of the glorious month of Ramadan. This Ramadan, Muslims faced many trials and tribulations—from horrific attacks around the world to an alarming increase in hate crimes and bias incidents targeting individuals and Muslim communities.

Yet, while this Ramadan proved to be one of the most challenging in recent years, we are confident that we will emerge stronger than ever. Let us use the teachings, gatherings, and worship of these past 30 days to continue to build the inner strength and spirituality of ourselves and our communities, so that we may continue to work towards building our collective political and social power. Let these 30 days of spirituality and worship, these 30 days of reflection and contemplation, these 30 days of realignment and rejuvenation, be a reminder of the enduring power of our faith and our communities.

While we grieve for the suffering that seems to pervade our world today, it’s worth remembering that Islam and Muslims have survived dark periods in the past—from the earliest days of our faith when the Prophet (pbuh) himself undertook the Hijrah, to the lasting ordeals of colonialism, slavery, and imperialism.

As Muslims, we follow a faith rooted in hope and action—we are taught to trust God, yet always “tie our camel.”

At MPower Change, we used Ramadan as an opportunity to strategize, prioritize our work, and re-center our values and vision of whole, strong, powerful Muslim communities. We are focused and committed to building an innovative and creative movement fueled by the passion, consistency, and enthusiasm of our membership. MPower Change is an unapologetic platform of truth that believes in the power that lies within us.

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This photo: From left, Sutan Gurbis, Mohamud Yussuf (Chief Editor of Runta News), Ahmed Shegow, and his wife Faisa

Over the coming months, we will call on you to participate in an unprecedented campaign to galvanize and mobilize thousands of Muslims across the country. We are ready to tell our own stories of who we are, highlight the issues we care about, and show our power in our communities, at the polls, and beyond. So while you celebrate this Eid with your families and communities, remember that soon it’ll be time to tie your camel, saddle up, and join us in organizing and mobilizing our communities and allies to speak truth to power and bring justice to the marginalized in our society.

We wish all who observe a joyous Eid Al-Fitr. Amidst the hardships, we remain worthy of joy and celebration. Amen

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Jessie Wineberry, once a Reporter close to Muhammad Ali, now a Candidate for US Congress District 9

Jessie Wineberry, once a Reporter close to Muhammad Ali, now a Candidate for US Congress District 9

Posted on 06 June 2016 by admin

By Janice Tufte

On the sunny first Saturday in June and a day after the sad news of the passing away the boxing legend Ali, Imams, Sheikhs, and concerned Islamic leadership met at the beautiful Samad home in Mercer Island, WA for the purpose to hear from Candidate Jessie Wineberry about his aspirations, visions, career and political history as he is running for Washington States 9th Congressional district House of Representatives.

Mr Jessie Wineberry opened up the afternoon sharing his personal story where he had at one time spent an evening through until morning with Mohammed Ali the boxing champ. This experience was back in 1978 when he was working with ABC and Mr Wineberry had been sent to D.C to cover the exhibition boxing match the very same afternoon that the Native American “Longest Walk” across the US was coming to a conclusion. Hundreds of Native Americans had participated in the incredible walk and more than two dozen had walked the full five months cross country walk to bring attention to Native American land rights, civil rights and tribal recognition, or lack thereof.  Mr Wineberry taught us not only about the Longest Walk though also shared his personal story and time with Mohamed Ali, who had passed just the day before this leadership gathering.

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Jessie Wineberry is running against “Incumbent” Congressman Adam Smith, who has been in Congress for almost two decades.  Mr Wineberry has lived in the Central District most of his life and attended Garfield highschool, received a degree in Business Administration from University of Washington  and then a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Puget Sound.  He recently was a Fellow in the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership program that offers education, support and encouragement to prospective African American Leaders who are interested to make and bring about positive changes. Jessie Wineberry is dedicated to bring about inclusive change for the better, feels deeply regarding the importance of “leaders a true reflection of their constituency”.  Mr Wineberry is the only individual of color running for the 9th District, where constituents in the South end are a “minority majority” and all 9th District constituents are able to vote in the primary between June 14th   and up until the August 2nd deadline.

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What does Jessie Wineberry stand for? Long overdue reform is what he stands for. He is interested in applying for “smart parole”, an opportunity that none of our current Washington State Congress members have applied for to date. (parole having been voted out many decades ago, now is the time to look at that decision and bring about more opportunity to individuals who have so little) Mr Wineberry is planning on reinstating Affirmative Action, to bring equitable change where a difference will be made. He supports Single Payer Health Care and remarked that Colorado is currently working on implementing this. His comments on Israel and Palestine and the two state solution he stated was an Israeli construct and is for a one state solution, he shares this stance across the board, no matter where he is talking. He is hoping and is planning on building a more inclusive 9th District bringing together Back Clergy and Muslim leadership together as so many issues on the district affect both groups.

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Mr Jessie Wineberry is an affable, intelligent, enthusiastic leader who has previously served in Washington State legislature, in both the 43rd and 37th districts between 1984-94. He has built his own business, lives in the Central District and has realistic goals for the 9th.  Just remember you should Vote this upcoming Primary. Watch for upcoming Candidate forums and or debates and attend.

 

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Leading With a Public Health Response for Those without Shelter

Leading With a Public Health Response for Those without Shelter

Posted on 21 January 2016 by admin

runtaI’ve been hearing a variety of concerns about how the city is removing homeless encampments. We are hoping to mitigate the harm this displacement is causing and discuss how we can take a more mindful, transparent, public-health oriented approach.

People experiencing homelessness themselves as well as their advocates have been sharing their frustrations over the last several weeks. In a November letter, the ACLU, Columbia Legal Services, and the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness stated that the ‘City’s practices appear to include referring people from encampments to shelters that are already at capacity, effectively displacing people who are already in shelter or waiting in line for shelter, and forcing those indoors back into the streets.’  The Public Defender Association sent a letter today as well.

 “I would request that we consider using this discussion to design a new public health approach to outreach to displaced individuals, rather than using limited resources that may only displace people to even less safe locations.”

 Since the November 2nd declaration of emergency, more than 200 shelter beds have been added to the system; this is good news. However, I am concerned this is insufficient to meet the very real emergency survival needs of the people our encampment removal practices displace. For that reason, as well as concerns about the destruction of personal belongings thought to be garbage I asked Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas, together with the Departments who lead these efforts, the Human Services Department and the Financial and Administrative Services Departments, to come and brief the Council about those efforts.

I appreciate the Executive Department’s response to Council’s concerns and sharing the procedures used to address issues related to outdoor camping today. I am looking forward to February 1, when we’ll learn more about how the Mayor proposes to spend funds allocated during the 2016 budget process, including $2,265,000 to create an Emergency Homeless Program for 2016, as well as a spending plan for both the $2,265,000, and the $5 million proposed by the Mayor as part of the declaration of a State of Emergency and added to the budget by Ordinance 124892 in November 2015.  Thanks as well are extended to the Council’s Human Services and Public Health Chair Sally Bagshaw for her commitment to continue this discussion in her upcoming February 10, committee meeting.

In today’s Briefing we learned that 38 encampments with approximately 184 people staying in them were removed since early November. Of those 184 people, only 74 received shelter. I appreciated Councilmember Burgess’ request for more information about why only 74 people received shelter – was the capacity insufficient? Did people refuse shelter, and if so, why? The Council was also told about the development of the 2008 encampment removal protocols. Bill Hallerman of Catholic Community Services reminded Councilmembers that development of that 2008 policy included a public process.  Several Councilmembers today requested that the Executive consider a new public process to review the existing protocols.

I support that request, but in the interim, my request of the Executive is that of the approximately 171 encampment sites identified, that the Council and the public receive information about the number of the locations that are deemed to be priorities for removal because of public safety threats to residents and/or surrounding communities.   I would like that information to be shared as soon as possible in the hopes we can quickly find some common ground around how best to address the safety of the people there.  For those sites that are not priorities for removal, I would request that we consider using this discussion to design a new public health approach to outreach to those individuals, rather than using limited resources that may only displace people to even less safe locations.

I remain concerned about the resources that we have for the people staying in encampments that have already been removed.  Of the approximately 184 people staying in the 38 encampments removed since early November, only 74 received shelter.  We need to know more about whether the approximately 110 people who didn’t receive shelter were offered it and refused, and if so why, and whether there wasn’t sufficient capacity so that we can address these needs using the authority granted the Mayor under the State of Emergency.  Other Councilmembers (O’Brien and Gonzalez) expressed concerns about the process used to determine whether property was waste or of value and in what languages that information is conveyed.

Lisa Herbold

Council Member

City of Seattle

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Murray statement of support for Know Your Rights trainings for immigrants

Murray statement of support for Know Your Rights trainings for immigrants

Posted on 19 January 2016 by admin

SEATTLE (Jan. 15, 2016) – Today Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement affirming Seattle’s support for immigrants and refugees:

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“Seattle is a welcoming city. Our community believes strongly that the United States should be a welcoming nation.

That’s why I am deeply troubled by the recent reports of ICE raids targeting adults and children from Central America. I understand many families are seeking refuge from horrendous acts of violence in their home countries. Equally disturbing are reports of the poor conditions they experienced at Border Patrol facilities and that many lacked access to legal assistance for their asylum claims in the U.S.

The City’s longstanding position is that Seattle police officers, or any City employees for that matter, will not ask your immigration status nor will officers arrest immigrants solely for being undocumented.

Last year, our Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and Seattle’s Human Services Department worked with SPD to remind all law enforcement personnel of this policy. We released another reminder that contractors receiving City dollars cannot deny services based on citizenship status.

These policies align with our community policing goals. We know that immigrants may be afraid to report crimes, leaving people vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Our goal is to eliminate this fear. Our City is safer when all residents feel comfortable interacting with City services and staff.

Thank you to our community partners for their work ensuring residents have access to city services and that immigrants know their rights.

Seattle remains committed to our values of being a welcoming city for refugees and immigrants who are integral to our vibrant cultural diversity.”

Joaquin (wah KEEN) Uy (wee)

Ethnic Media & Communications Specialist

City of Seattle Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs

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