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

Making case for new justice center, King County says juvenile incarceration down 16%

King County officials sought to shift the narrative surrounding the new juvenile justice center during a March 10 meeting by pointing to a 16% drop in overall juvenile incarcerations and a steeper drop among youth of color.

For the past few months, talk around the center has been about whether or not there should even be a youth jail. A group called Ending the Prison Industrial Complex has filed appeals and staged protests, even going so far as to demonstrate in front of Mayor Ed Murray’s house in opposition to the new facility. The group’s latest gambit, an appeal to the hearing examiner, was recently rejected.

Now, the county is hoping to spread a message of its own. At the recent meeting, leaders in the county’s juvenile justice system laid out progress they say they have made toward the goals for which EPIC is agitating.

Friday’s presentation also made the case that the planned facility has the lowest number of cells possible. Continue reading

Mayor calls for ‘second look’ at plan for new King County Youth Justice Center

Maybe taking the protest to Mayor Ed Murray’s North Capitol Hill neighborhood really did make a difference. When it comes to a proposed new youth jail at 12th and Alder, the mayor is now woke:

I have learned that since the passage of the County-wide levy in 2012, a consensus has grown among juvenile justice experts that incarceration is harmful and counterproductive. Incarceration decreases the chances of high school completion, increases risk of recidivism, and is associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes for youth. Due to the racial disproportionately that exists in the youth detention center, these injuries are concentrated in the Black community.

The Stranger broke the news Monday on a letter from Murray to King County officials calling for a “second look” at the controversial 12th Ave project.

“While I recognize that an immediate transition to zero youth incarceration is unrealistic, I have some concerns about the current plans for the detention facility given our joint goals of working toward zero detention,” Murray writes. “The landscape of research on best practices and intervention strategies points to mounting evidence against incarcerating young people that was not known at the time this facility was being planned. This new evidence, the continued decline of incarcerated youth in our community, and the need for considering public concerns all point toward reexamining aspects of this facility.” Continue reading

Activists make one last stand against 12th Ave youth jail project

Protest — including a December rally in Mayor Ed Murray’s home North Capitol Hill neighborhood — has not swayed the process, construction permits have been issued for the county’s $210 million project planned to replace the old youth jail still in use at 12th and Alder pending a two-week appeal period. Not surprisingly, an appeal — likely a last ditch effort to stop project — has been filed.

Activists including the Ending The Prison Industrial Complex group leading the fight against the new facility were at the site Wednesday to announce the latest attempt to curb the construction.

“We are united under a vision to create a brighter future for our youth and our region that does not include incarceration of children, but instead invests in community to support, educate and empower our youth,” a statement on the appeal from EPIC and lawyer Knoll Lowney reads: Continue reading