18 things CHS heard at Rep. Jayapal and Seattle March for Our Lives town hall

What would you say to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old arrested for the murder of 17 students last month in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?

“I wish you had the chance to get the help you needed and to understand why this is not okay. I’m really sorry that it had to come to this and I feel sadness and anger and pity for you,” said Lucas Illa, Lakeside High School junior and Seattle March for Our Lives organizer.

March For Our Lives – Seattle

The movement to end gun violence has spread from Parkland Florida to Washington. Ahead of the Seattle March for Our Lives protest march next Saturday, March 24, Illa and six other activists from high schools across Seattle hosted a town hall meeting at Garfield High School to discuss the national student-led demand for gun-access policy reform.

U.S. Representative from Washington’s 7th congressional district Pramila Jayapal joined the activists to address questions from online and a live audience Saturday morning at Garfield High School’s Quincy Jones Auditorium.

“Our prime responsibility is to take care of each other. It’s not to money or greed so let’s make sure we incorporate love and generosity through non-violence,” Jayapal told the young march leaders Saturday.

Here are 18 more things CHS heard at the March for our Lives town hall: Continue reading

Capitol Hill, Central District students speak out against gun violence for #NationalWalkoutDay

With reporting from Michelle MacKinnon and Alex Garland

Students and supporters walked out of their schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Seattle Wednesday at 10 AM to come together for 17 minutes of silence to honor the one month anniversary of Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting that has reignited calls for gun control reform.

The actions Wednesday are part of a wave of activity including town halls with Governor Jay Inslee and Rep. Pramila Jayapal leading up to the March 24th March for Our Lives protest march starting at Cal Anderson Park.

At the Central District’s Garfield High School, student organizers were looking beyond school shootings. “We are planning March For Our Lives and participating in school walkouts because we want change and refuse to be ignored in our pursuit of it,” student Bridget Fox told CHS. “We hope to bring attention to the fact that gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color and other marginalized communities, and we strive to find methods of legislation that won’t have further unintended consequences in such places.” Continue reading

Jayapal, Inslee town halls join student walkouts, Seattle March For Our Lives — UPDATE

This kid from the 2018 Seattle Women’s March was a sign of things to come

Add two town hall gatherings involving important Washington leaders to the list of actions, walkouts, protests, and marches planned this month as Seattle students and supporters speak out about gun violence and make calls for more to be done to reform gun control laws.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will come to Garfield High for one gathering next Saturday while Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled to participate in a Wednesday night town hall at Seattle University organized by a local television station.

More immediate actions are slated to begin the morning of this Wednesday, March 14th to mark one month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida set off a national debate on doing more to control gun violence. Student and parent groups are planning walkouts Wednesday at schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, the city, and the region in solidarity with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Continue reading

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

Mayor Nickels: Time for ‘common sense’ steps on gun control


The former mayor is all in on I-594. Here’s his current Facebook profile photo

Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels posted the essay below via Facebook earlier this week before Friday’s tragic school shooting in Marysville. In it, he invoked the memory of the “Capitol Hill massacre” in a call for the State of Washington to do much, much more to control guns:

On the morning of March 25 a few years ago, I stood outside of a house in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood just a block from the newspaper route I had as a kid. A gunman had just taken the lives of six innocent young men and women and then killed himself.
It was a senseless and shocking act of violence in the heart of my community. Like the others who gathered at the scene that morning, I felt grief, disbelief and anger. As mayor of the state’s largest city, I asked myself a question: “what could we have done to prevent this tragedy?”

Every week seems to bring fresh examples that beg this difficult question, from the horrific school shootings to a young man senselessly shot dead during an argument at a Rainer Valley intersection.

The rest of his essay and call for improving the state’s gun control is below.

We asked the former mayor — who grew up on Capitol Hill — if he was worried that calls for greater control as the state prepares to vote on I-594 could lead to greater backlash from the pro-gun community and groups aligning to defeat I-594 and support the limits proposed in I-591.

“The Washington State Legislature has failed to take any meaningful action to protect our children and seniors from guns getting into the hands of felons and persons who are mentally disturbed,” Nickels writes. “Sadly this has largely been due to the opposition of the Democratic Speaker of the House, Frank Chopp.” Continue reading