Students from across state coming to Capitol Hill for March for Our Lives protest

The students from March for Our Lives Seattle made a trip to Olympia to spread their message (Image: March for Our Lives Seattle)

With Mayor Jenny Durkan set to lead a town hall Thursday night addressing the youth-led push against gun violence, a coalition of students from across the state has announced its members will be part of the March 24th protest march slated to begin on Capitol Hill:

A coalition of Washington State students today announced that they are working to unite their communities to stand in solidarity with the March for Our Lives protest, a student-led demonstration created in response to the most recent mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Protest marches are scheduled throughout the country on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Seattle’s demonstration begins at 10:00 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill and will be marching to Key Arena.

Maple Valley student Rhiannon Rasaretnam tells CHS she was inspired by the student activism at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the wake of the Valentine’s Day deadly mass shooting at the school. “I feel like youth around the nation seeing that students can take the lead on this inspires them to increase their own role in their own community,” Rasaretnam said. “I want the focus to be on the face a lot of these marches are being led by the students.”

The Tahoma High School student is joining Ballard High’s Emilia Allard to organize the coalition effort that they say also includes students from public and private schools in Gig Harbor, Marysville, South Seattle, and other local communities. Rasaretnam said that students gathering in Seattle from communities across the region is an important part of the message. Continue reading

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

Project to replace Pike/Pine natural gas mains begins next week

The electrical grid. Our sewage system. The underpinnings of an old neighborhood facing an ongoing population spike need care and maintenance — and, sometimes, a full replacement. A Puget Sound Energy project to replace major swaths of 1980s-era main gas pipes beneath the core of Capitol Hill is set to begin next week.

“In an ongoing effort to deliver safe and reliable energy to our Seattle-area customers, Puget Sound Energy’s natural gas system maintenance program will soon be underway in your neighborhood,” a bulletin on the project sent to customers reads. “The work requires PSE to replace the existing, underground natural gas main, installed in the early 1980’s, with corrosion-resistant plastic main. We are committed to completing the work with as little inconvenience to you as possible.” Continue reading

City Council candidate charged for allegedly trying to rip off Seattle’s Democracy Voucher program

Seattle’s new Democracy Vouchers program worked to create a more level playing field for campaign donations in 2017 — but one candidate who tried to utilize the program has been charged with false reporting and attempted theft in what police say was a fraud that started with outreach to voters at last June’s Trans Pride event in Cal Anderson Park.

Sheley Secrest, 43, was charged Wednesday in Seattle Municipal Court for allegedly using her own money to boost her campaign contributions to qualify for the Democracy Voucher program. Under the program, a candidate is required to “collect at least 400 qualifying signatures and contributions” to qualify for the up to $150,000 in funding the program can provide depending on how people donate their $25 certificates.

Secrest mounted an unsuccessful run for Seattle City Council Position 8 and was knocked out of the race in the primary. CHS talked with the attorney about her candidacy here.

After tipping off the Seattle’s Ethics and Election Commission, Secrest’s former campaign manager Patrick Burke told police how the alleged ripoff began with a day collecting signatures in Cal Anderson: Continue reading

Seattle Women’s March 2018: Why did you march? (Plus, our 10 favorite signs)

By Frankie Godoy, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Thousands of people from in and out of the Seattle area made their way to Cal Anderson Park Saturday morning for this year’s Seattle Women’s March with strollers, signs, pets, and pink hats in tow. Everyone gathering in the park had a reason for marching. Some wrote out their reason on their clothing or carried it on a sign.

Janet Caragan, from Gig Harbor, Washington, was among the people in the largest rush arriving at 9 AM. Caragan was unable to attend last year’s march, but said she was excited about attending more Women’s Marches in the future. She said she wished more young people would participate in the march and other political movements.

“Young people need to get out here to make changes,” said Caragan. Continue reading

State budget deal brings more than $200M to power Capitol Hill projects including new Hugo House, County Doctor dental clinic

Coming soon: the Hugo House Writers Center on 11th Ave (Image: Weinstein A+U)

While Washington D.C. struggles to keep the government open, our Washington has sorted things out enough to agree on a new $4.2 billion capital budget including nearly $1 billion for schools, and $205 million in funding for projects in our own 43rd District.

“Our top priority when we returned to Olympia last week was passing the state capital budget, which funds the construction and renovation of our schools, public health facilities and community projects,” 43rd District Sen. and Capitol Hill resident Jamie Pedersen wrote to constituents about the agreement. “The legislature adjourned in July with no enacted capital budget for the first time in living memory, because the Senate Republicans refused to bring it to a vote due to an unrelated dispute involving rural water wells.”

With the water squabble solvedGovernor Jay Inslee’s new budget includes nearly $2 billion for the construction of new school construction across the state. Pedersen also points out $106 million in the budget earmarked for the Housing Trust Fund, “the second-highest such investment in state history.”

The new budget helps push a handful of Capitol Hill area projects forward. Continue reading

Thousands fill streets of Capitol Hill for 2018 Seattle Women’s March

The view up E Pine (Image: CHS)

Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Capitol Hill, stretching from Cal Anderson Park to downtown Saturday for the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. It was the start of a weekend of activism and, officials, say the largest event the neighborhood’s central park has ever hosted.

“We stand together with one heart, one mind,” Deborah Parker, legislative policy analyst for the Tulalip tribes, said in her time at the microphone addressing the massive crowd assembled on the park’s Bobby Morris playfield.

Parker and tribal representatives from across the region began the day’s event with songs and prayers for missing and murdered indigenous women.

“It is time we stand together,” Parker said.

Saturday’s march comes after one year of Trump’s America with the federal government shut down in a budget impasse. It’s been a year of battles over women’s rights, immigration, and health care but also of movements like #MeToo against sexual assault. Sunday, neighborhood “hubs” and forums will focus on organizing, voter registration, and education at locations across Seattle. “March on Saturday, act on Sunday,” one organizer told CHS. Continue reading

2018 Seattle Women’s March at Cal Anderson — what you should know, why you should go

The 2017 Women’s March set a tone of mainstream resistance, in Seattle and across the nation and world, to the many competing agendas of President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. Seattle City Council member and representative for District 3, where the 2018 march will step off from Capitol Hill this weekend, Kshama Sawant recalls the historic event:

“Right after Trump was elected, everybody — and especially Democratic party operatives, who had just lost the election for Clinton — was sitting in a sort of paralysis of shock and demoralization,” she said. “Ordinary people were not. In fact, the day after the election, ordinary people, especially young people, wanted to go out and show their complete opposition to Trump’s anti-worker, anti-immigrant agenda.”

Outrage against the new president — regularly stoked by its subject — remains white-hot one year later. “In a lot of ways our worst fears and concerns have played out through 2017, and continue every day when we look at the headlines,” said state Rep. Nicole Macri. “The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have taken on assaulting our very basic rights here”–for instance, those of immigrants and patients.

2018 Seattle Women’s March

  • Timing: Assembly on Cal Anderson’s Bobby Morris artificial turf will begin around 10 AM with shuttle buses from organizations and groups traveling to Seattle for the march expected to arrive around the park much earlier. The 2018 march program of tribal blessings and speakers is slated to take place from the stage on the south end of Bobby Morris from 10:30 to 11:30 AM at which point marchers will be directed to begin assembling onto 11th Ave and E Pine. Speakers are expected include Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Mayor Jenny Durkan. Continue reading

Weekend of action: 2018 Seattle Women’s March is only the beginning

It will be difficult to outdo the amazing signs from the 2017 march. Sign makers gathered Sunday at Capitol Hill’s The Riveter co-working space to begin working on this year’s batch

The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration last year, women around the world marched: for each other, for the future, for the flickering hope of a sane world.

The marches were massive, attended by an estimated 2.6 million people around the globe, including your correspondent’s mama. In Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of marchers overwhelmed the nation’s capital. In the Emerald City, organizers estimated more than 120,000 marchers stretched from the Central District to the Seattle Center. Last year’s marches set the tone of mainstream “resistance” that has defined political opposition to current ruling party’s agenda. The symbolic import of the march is difficult to overstate.

“The mantra of the Women’s March is that all issues are women’s issues,” says Liz Hunter-Keller, who helped organize last year’s march, “and that nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

Power to the Polls: Anniversary of the Womxn’s March on Seattle/Seattle Women’s March 2.0 – 2018

The “Unity Principles” shared by Women’s Marches across the country expand on that view, detailing opposition to state violence and environmental degradation and support for civil rights for people who are pregnant, queer, employed, political, immigrants, or disabled. The marches are sometimes titled with nonstandard spellings of “womxn” or “womyn,” in order to repudiate discrimination against trans women by bigoted feminists and to reject the categorization of women as a subset of “mankind.”

In short, lots of women et al marched last year in lots of places for lots of reasons, with lots of feelings. So that’s good. But let’s get practical for a moment: what did last year’s march actually accomplish? Continue reading

Officials unsure how many thousands to expect on Capitol Hill as plan for 2018 Seattle Women’s March comes together

In 2017, the first marchers reached Seattle Center before the last marchers left Judkins Park (Image: CHS)

For the thousands hoping to come to Capitol Hill for the January 20th Seattle Women’s March, we have two words for you: light rail.

In 2017, officials believe more than 120,000 people marched from the Central District’s Judkins Park as part of the march, the city’s contribution to women’s rights marches across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory. But, to be honest, they’re not sure. It was impossible to count. In 2018 with a year since the election passed and with some advocates saying it is time to move beyond demonstrations, nobody knows how many thousands will gather January 20th on Capitol Hill for this year’s rally and march.

Organizers and city officials are preparing and gathered Wednesday to plan for how to help those thousands get to and march off of Capitol Hill in the smoothest, safest, most First Amendment-y way possible. Continue reading