Seattle student walkouts planned in response to Parkland school shooting

(Image: Everytown)

A movement of students calling for gun control reform following the country’s latest school mass shooting is inspiring a wave of walkouts and marches including one planned for Saturday, March 24th starting at Cal Anderson.

A Seattle component of the March for Our Lives effort is planning to gather on 11th Ave on March 24th for a march to Seattle Center. Everytown, a nonprofit dedicated to gun control and addressing gun violence led by Michael Bloomberg, is organizing the events:

Thoughts and prayers are not enough to honor the victims of gun violence. What we need now is action. On March 24, 2018, students will rally in Washington D.C and in local communities across the country to demand action from our leaders. Join us in the March For Our Lives, as we fight for an America that is free from gun violence.

A school day walkout, meanwhile, is being planned for Wednesday, March 14th as the organizers from the Women’s March movement plan to rally in cities across the country. Continue reading

‘The Impatient Mayor’ — Durkan talks jobs, education, and housing in first State of the City address

Mixed in with strong statements on massive social issues and a look ahead at possible economic issues on the horizon, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan focused on three pillars for new initiatives in her first State of the City address Tuesday: jobs, education, and housing affordability.

“We believe we are all better off when prosperity is shared and is not just for the few,” Durkan said.

In her speech delivered at Rainier Beach High School, Durkan got the biggest round of applause for her new proposal to give free, year-round Orca transportation passes to all 15,000 high school students in the Seattle Public School system. Passes are currently provided by SPS to high school students who live farther than 2 miles from school and to about 3,000 income-eligible middle school and high school students. By fall, Durkan’s plan calls for King County Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation to fund the new program. UPDATE: To clarify, the new initiative would fund cards for about 7,000 students not currently covered by the other programs.

Durkan also touted her Seattle Promise proposal to provide graduating Seattle public high school graduate free tuition to state community and technical colleges. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Century Ballroom hosts donation drive — ‘Like dance, giving blood is a community need’

Capitol Hill’s Century Ballroom might not be the first place you’d think of to make a donation but the Odd Fellows building dancehall was host to a special blood drive Monday.

The drive came as Century owner Halle Kuperman wanted a unique way to begin the ballroom’s 21st year of business. “I now know why it’s so important to give blood if you can; because many cannot,” Kuperman wrote. “There are some restrictions for sure, but not everyone who has a tattoo or piercing or is gay, or has traveled, etc. is excluded.” Last year, CHS wrote about Century Ballroom marking 20 years of dance on Capitol Hill.

The drive with Bloodworks Northwest comes as older donors have aged and younger generations are much less likely to donate blood.

“Like dance, giving blood is a community need,” Kuperman said.


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Seattle’s new small business council has big Capitol Hill presence

Durkan and Taylor on a neighborhood small business tour in November (Image: CHS)

After Amazon announced it was going to open a second headquarters, the Seattle City Council decided it needed to start meeting with the behemoth corporation, carefully orchestrating  who would attend so they didn’t run afoul of open meetings laws.

Small businesses around town haven’t yet gotten the same sort of attention.

“I feel like small business has lost its voice in this city over the last few years,” said Tracy Taylor of Capitol Hill’s Elliott Bay Book Company.

That will change in the coming months. Mayor Jenny Durkan has convened a Small Business Advisory Council and the group plans to have its first meeting this week on Wednesday, February 21st. Taylor is one of the council’s four co-chairs.

Taylor’s comments about the loss of a voice were echoed by others with strong Capitol Hill connections on the council. Continue reading

City Council hosting ‘Seattle Housing Gap’ meeting

Tuesday night, Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda will give over the meeting of her Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers’ Rights Committee to a special public hearing on Seattle’s housing gap:

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, a special meeting of the Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee (HHEWRC) will find out. From 6 to 7:30 p.m., a panel composed of housing and homeless service providers and advocates will inform City Councilmembers what structural obstacles exist to creating enough affordable housing for everyone in Seattle, and what steps could be taken to overcome these challenges. A slide presentation will show how the loss of housing for very-low-income households is part of the broader affordability crisis. Discussion among panelists and Councilmembers will be followed by public comment. This event is hosted by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda in collaboration with the Housing For All Coalition, and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Mike O’Brien, and Kshama Sawant.

“Last fall the City Council passed Resolution 31782, expressing their intent to pass an Employee Hours Tax and use the revenue to ‘assist people who are homeless or at a high risk of becoming homeless in obtaining and retaining stable housing,'” an announcement on the hearing from the Housing For All Coalition reads. Continue reading

Capitol Hill venues part of Presidents Day ‘celebration for a cause’ Protest Fest

Dumpster Tyrant

As the meme goes, happy Presidents Day — for 44 out of the 45 presidents.  You can put that fighting spirit to good use Monday night as a collection of Seattle venues including Capitol Hill’s The Woods, Bar Sue, Chop Suey, and Barboza host Protest Fest, “a celebration for a cause” featuring music and donations to some of the big nonprofits on the front lines of battle with the Trump Administration.

The festival from event promoter Do 206 spans three neighborhoods Monday night. Proceeds from Barboza are destined to help power the ACLU, Chop Suey is supporting the Anti-Defamation League, The Woods supports the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Bar Sue is earmarking proceeds from its Motown on Mondays night to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

The full lineup of the night’s performers and information about sister events at The Tractor and Nectar Lounge can be found at do206.com/p/protestfest.

Meanwhile, Seattle-area groups are beginning to rally around plans for student walkouts to call for action on gun control reforms in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school mass shooting. We’ll have more on those efforts, soon.

 

 

43rd District Dems draw big crowd for town hall updates on progress in Olympia

Rep. Chopp, Sen. Pedersen, and Rep. Macri

Constituents of Seattle’s 43rd District packed every pew in Harvard Ave’s First Baptist Church and half the choir-lofts for a town hall meeting on Saturday.

“This is the biggest crowd in our history, let’s say a thousand people,” said Speaker of the House Frank Chopp.

Sen. Jamie Pedersen and Rep. Nicole Macri joined Chopp to discuss the most recent legislative session outcomes in Olympia. Moderator Maxima Patashnik shared questions on carbon tax, education and gun violence protection among the chief concerns from the crowd. Armed with good news and plenty of reasons for the bad, the Democratic lawmakers addressed state gun violence protection measures first. Continue reading

Cold, wintry winds rip loose construction scaffolding at 12th and John

(Image: @ShellyShelly via Twitter)

An under construction Capitol Hill microhousing development became one of the city’s centers of attention Sunday as a cold winter storm blew into Seattle and tore loose scaffolding while sending a wall of plastic sheeting into a flapping fit at 12th and John.

Traffic in the area was detoured for hours and the sidewalk closed after the scaffolding came loose and could be seen rocking and swaying in the wind. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Historical Society | Stepping on Republican stairs, the most forlorn landmark in Seattle

Republican Steps (Photo Rob Ketcherside)

The stairs on East Republican Street between Melrose and Bellevue may be both the most overlooked stairway and the most forlorn landmark in Seattle.

The stairs were landmarked in 1979, just after Seattle’s preservation ordinance went into effect. The landmark designation report issued at the time didn’t pinpoint its date of construction, vaguely stating that it was “…one of the finest… produced by the City Engineering Design Staff during the first two decades of the twentieth century.” Continue reading