Nikkita Oliver’s run for mayor: housing, education, and ending the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

It's official. Nikkita Oliver turned in her paperwork Monday to enter the race to be Seattle's mayor

It’s official. Nikkita Oliver turned in her paperwork Monday to enter the race to be Seattle’s mayor

The newly formed Peoples Party of Seattle is putting all-in-one educator, attorney, spoken-word poet, and activist Nikkita Oliver forward as its candidate to take on Mayor Ed Murray for this year’s election.

Oliver’s decision to run and help launch the “community-centered grassroots political party” came after the election of President Donald Trump.

“I didn’t want to stand in a place of powerlessness,” Oliver said.

After the election, she started meeting people for coffee, talking about values and concerns. Oliver talked with the “aunties and elders” in her community about how people running on the same platforms yield the same results and maybe it’s time to try something different.

Over time, those conversations lead to the collective decision that “we need to transform our local government.”

The party formed and encouraged Oliver to run against Murray.

“I take what my community says to me to heart,” Oliver told CHS. “… I’m not going to act like I entered into this with ease. I take it very seriously.” Continue reading

Writer behind ‘Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda’ chats with CHS

CHS sat down with Ezra Levin, co-author of “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” ahead of his talk at Town Hall Seattle earlier this week.

The free, creative commons guide was born from Levin and his wife Leah Greenberg’s desire to have a positive impact following the election of President Donald Trump.

About 30 something 30-somethings, many of whom have worked for members of Congress, contributed to the first release of the guide on Google Docs. It has since seen a staggering amount of success with more than 150 Indivisible organizations in Washington state and 6,000 across the country. The guide has been downloaded more than 1 million times and viewed more than 17 million times since its release in December 2016, according to stats from Indivisible Washington, which helped to organized the event Tuesday.

“Every day we think this is going to plateau and every day more groups are registering,” Levin said. “There’s more interest. People are taking action.” Continue reading

Rally and march, business closures, benefits part of Day Without a Woman, International Women’s Day in Seattle

Thousands marched in January’s Womxn’s March in Seattle. Rallies, protests, and marches have continued as part of the ongoing opposition to the actions and policies of the Trump administration.

District 3 rep Kshama Sawant is calling on her constituents to “fight Trump’s misogyny and bigotry” at a Wednesday night rally in Westlake as part of International Women’s Day:

Join me, Shaun King from the Injustice Boycott movement and the New York Daily News, Nicole Grant of the Martin Luther King Labor Council, Nikkita Oliver from Black Lives Matter and the No Youth Jail movement, Morgan Beach and Ruchika Tulshyan from the Seattle Women’s Commission, Terri Lindeke of National Organization of Women Seattle, Tiffany Hankins from NARAL, and more!

Meanwhile, expect to see a few local businesses including 23rd and Union’s Squirrel Chops closed Wednesday as some take part in the Day Without a Woman movement while others like 12th Ave’s Rachel’s Ginger Beer host benefits to raise funds for causes like Jubilee Women’s Center. Continue reading

Jayapal talks health care, climate change, fake news, battling Trump

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, representing Capitol Hill’s 7th District in Washington D.C., held her first town hall since taking office Monday night, appropriately enough, at a packed Town Hall Seattle.

“Some people have called me the anti-Trump, and I’m so proud,” Jayapal said in front of a crowd that put its “AGREE” signs to frequent use.

Jayapal’s office estimated 1,000 people attended the First Hill session.

Jayapal took questions about a number of issues surrounding work she’s done during her first two months in office and her fight against the president’s agenda.

Immediately notable as the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives, Jayapal started her career in D.C. with an early stance of opposition against the new president when she declined to attend the Trump inauguration. Jayapal joined the protest against the first Trump immigration ban with a call for the release of individuals held at Sea-Tac and joined Governor Jay Inslee in declaring Washington a hate-free state.

Jayapal’s status as a resistance leader puts her in good company replacing Rep. Jim McDermott retired after representing the 7th District for 14 terms and was considered by many as one of the most left-leaning members of Congress. She sits on two subcommittees — the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, as well as the Committee on the Budget.

Monday night, the crowd greeted Jayapal with a standing ovation and signs supporting the congresswoman, making the event feel almost like a rally, but members of the public did ask her about the next moves for the seemingly pinned-down Democratic Party and how she and her fellow party members plan to fight the administration and Republicans in Congress on a number of issues. Continue reading

Rally Saturday to fight for rights of Seattle transgender students

Every week, it seems, brings a new target as the Trump administration seemingly picks its way down the list of some of the biggest progressive gains and efforts of the past decade. Wednesday brought the latest affront as news spread of a new White House memo rolling back Obama administration protections for transgender students. In Seattle, of course, people are already fighting back.

“I can’t believe they’re going after the kids,” the Gender Justice League’s Danni Askini told CHS Wednesday afternoon.

The White House letter issued Wednesday tells officials at the nation’s public schools to disregard the previous administration’s directives that established that prohibiting transgender students “from using facilities that align with their gender identity” violated federal anti-discrimination laws. Continue reading

Womxn’s March actions continue with Tuesday night Capitol Hill ‘Huddle’

Participants at Action One writing postcards to Congress at the Wildrose (Image: CHS)

Participants at Action One writing postcards to Congress at the Wildrose (Image: CHS)

The energy from inauguration weekend marches in cities across the country is being sustained by a series of “10 actions in 100 days.” Last week, CHS stopped by a couple Capitol Hill bars and cafes as people gathered to write postcards to Congress and raise money for the ACLU. This week, the energy continues with a “huddle” on Capitol Hill.

The second action of the Womxn’s March is Huddle.

It’s a facilitated planning/brainstorming meeting with people in your community to discuss what we can do together, to make a difference.

There is a local Huddle happening this week with room for 200 members of the community.

Where: Fred Wildlife Refuge
When: Tuesday, Feb 7th, 6PM (Activities will begin at 6:30)
Cost: Free

Organizers say a few of the postcard-writing venues on Hill rallied together with about 300 people attending in an event that raised $500 for the ACLU and “sent over 500 postcards to Senators and Representatives.”

In Seattle, organizers have chosen to refer to their cause as the “Womxn’s March” in a spelling they say is meant “to promote intersectionality in our movement” and “takes into account the impact of discrimination based not only on gender but also race, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, faith, class, disability, and other backgrounds.”

You can learn more about Tuesday’s event at Boylston Ave E’s Fred Wildlife Refuge here.

Sawant’s push to divest from Wells Fargo a fight for the environment — and against Trump

Sawant at a Seattle Central rally on Inauguration Day

Sawant at a Seattle Central rally on Inauguration Day

Monday — if the snow doesn’t postpone the session — the Seattle City Council will vote on an ordinance to divest from Wells Fargo because of its financial backing of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

“The goal obviously is to not only put a stop to the Dakota Access Pipeline but to use that victory to build further momentum against climate change,” District 3 representative Kshama Sawant told CHS.

UPDATE: Final vote moved to Tuesday.

Last week, the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance Committee unanimously voted to send the ordinance to the full council for consideration, but not without some “quibbling” from a few members, Sawant said. Continue reading

Views from Capitol Hill on Trump’s blocked Muslim ban

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Friday from a Seattle courtroom, hope spread that  President Donald Trump’s executive orders might add up to little more than longer, more threatening tweets. Federal Judge James Robart’s ruling in State of Washington vs. Donald J. Trump, et al has put a major kink in the president’s attempt to bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

At age six, Boris Krichevsky fled the former Soviet Union with his parents, younger sister and his uncle’s family. They came to America in 1991 as refugees. Today, Capitol Hill resident Krichevsky is an educator and a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington.

Wassef Haroun, who was born in Syria and raised in Lebanon, moved to the U.S. for school. He met his wife, Racha, whose father is Syrian and mother is Iranian, while they were both college students in Houston, Texas. Together they moved around a lot — Seattle, Paris, Dubai, and back to Seattle. They opened Mamnoon restaurant on Capitol Hill’s Melrose Ave.

“We are afforded lots of great opportunities by being here that we simply could not be afforded at home,” Haroun told CHS.

With the battle over Trump’s blocked immigration ban — and the appeal filed Saturday — as background, both men talked with CHS about their views molded by both their backgrounds coming to the U.S. and the work they are currently doing. Continue reading

Seattle Students Walk Out!

Noon: Students walk out
1pm: Student Rally at Seattle Central
3pm: Meet up with El Comite Immigrant Rights March
5pm: Rally at Westlake

Donald Trump is openly racist and sexist, brags about sexually harassing women, and promises to deport or deny entry to immigrants and refugees from Mexico and the Middle East. He doesn’t believe humans caused global warming, and the 16 super-wealthy individuals he appointed to his cabinet want to cut spending to public education, social welfare progams and Planned Parenthood.

We as young people refuse to sit back and watch Trump attack our communities and threaten our future. We pledge to stand up, stand together, and fight back.

On Trump’s inauguration day, we will join thousands of students around the country and around the world who are walking out in protest and in defiance. Join us!