West Seattle, Washington
Every small, family-owned business has a story. Recently, the one behind New Leaf Bistro in The Admiral District turned tragic. Less than a year and a half after opening the restaurant in the former Royal India Grill space, co-proprietors Geoffrey Ly and Shi Qiu Chen found out in December that Geoffrey had “a very aggressive cancer,” customer and friend Suzanne Krom writes. “His doctors started treatment but it quickly overwhelmed his system, and on January 29th, he died. He was only 55 years old.”
The couple has two young children, 10-year-old Angelina and 8-year-old Kelvin. Chen is now raising them alone and running the restaurant, a 17-hour-a-day job.
When Suzanne found out about Geoffrey’s death, she wanted to do something to help, something with which the community could help too. So today she launched a GoFundMe page. She writes that “the business and family are in jeopardy. Friends have rallied around her and customers who know about the loss of Geoffrey have been supportive too. But it’s not enough, which is why we have set up this GoFundMe page. Any donations of any size are welcome. We have a goal of $30,000 to help Shi Qiu pay for Geoffrey’s funeral costs. … Shi Qiu and her children will be eternally grateful for any help they receive. It will help make this tragedy something they can recover from. And it will feel like Geoffrey is indeed watching over them, making sure they are going to be okay.”
Mr. Ly’s West Seattle ties, by the way, went beyond New Leaf Bistro; as we reported when it opened, he also operated Hunan Express in Morgan Junction at the turn of the millennium. Again, if you’d like to help, the GoFundMe page is here.
In case you missed the announcement this week – the city has a new hotline you can use to report harassment, 206-233-7100. From the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) news release:
The Hotline is part of the City of Seattle’s Bias Hurts Campaign for Seattle residents and business owners who are the targets of discriminatory harassment, including threats, slurs, intimidation and cyberbullying.
“We’ve set up the hotline so people in Seattle can contact the Office for Civil Rights immediately if they are harassed or discriminated against,” said SOCR Director Patricia Lally. “But more important, we want to join with the community to develop actions that we can take to protect and support people over the long term. As a community, we need to take care of one another as much as we can.”
The campaign includes three key components: a hotline (206-233-7100) to report harassment, meetings with community groups from across the city to learn what people are experiencing and how the City can proactively address them, and a media campaign to publicize the City’s efforts. The media campaign will include print ads, social media, ads on buses and trains, radio and direct outreach to community groups.
SOCR is coordinating its actions with the Seattle Police Department, which enforces criminal laws against hate crimes, also known as malicious harassment. Anyone who experiences physical violence, property damage or threats should call 911 to report directly to the police. People should call SOCR’s hotline if they experience discriminatory harassment in housing, employment, or public places that does not rise to the level of a crime.
It is illegal in Seattle to harass someone based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and other protected groups. SOCR can investigate allegations of discriminatory harassment, issue findings and mandate remedies.
“I urge anyone who feels they’ve been harassed to call the Anti-Bias Hotline at 206-233-7100,” said Lally. “By supporting one another we can send a clear message: all of us are welcome in Seattle. That’s what the City of Seattle’s Anti-Bias Campaign is all about.”
Report discriminatory harassment to SOCR by calling 206-233-7100.
Report bias-related crime to Seattle Police by calling 911.
Visit the Seattle Police Department’s Bias/Hate Crime Data Dashboard.
According to the dashboard, the Southwest Precinct – West Seattle and South Park – has the lowest reported amount of such incidents so far this year: 1.
P.S. You can also file a complaint online by going here.
Chief Sealth International High School student Katherine Fry was honored at the Woodland Park Zoo‘s first-ever Thrive Leadership Awards dinner on Tuesday night. Not only did she receive the Youth Conservation Award, she also received a $5,000 scholarship. Fry was honored, the zoo says, “for contributing nearly 800 hours of volunteer service and providing leadership in the zoo’s youth programs including ZooCorps, Seattle Youth Climate Action Network, and Citizen Science Amphibian Monitoring.” She’s going to Western Washington University this fall, planning to study biology and environmental science.
“Awesome Avery” Berg, the West Seattle 11-year-old fighting a rare type of brain tumor, is now six months post-diagnosis and one month post-surgery. Her mom Kristie Berg is continuing to publish updates online. And she e-mailed us the other day with not only an update on Avery, but also because she wants to make sure you know about an upcoming soccer match with part of the proceeds going to pediatric brain-tumor research in Avery’s honor: It’s on Wednesday at Memorial Stadium downtown, a “testimonial match” honoring newly retired Seattle Sounders FC veteran Zach Scott, who lives in West Seattle.
If you’re not familiar with the “testimonial match” concept, the original announcement from Sounders FC – co-hosting the match with Emerald City Supporters – includes this:
… Testimonials are a long-standing tradition in soccer culture, particularly in the United Kingdom and South America. These special matches are held to honor a particular player for his or her service to the club.
The Zach Scott Testimonial Match is taking place at Memorial Stadium (401 5th Avenue N.), the home of the Seattle Sounders in 1974-1975 and 1997-2002. With teams coached by fellow Sounders FC originals Osvaldo Alonso and Brad Evans, the match is set to feature teammates and friends across all 15 years of Scott’s career in Seattle, including Kasey Keller, Roger Levesque and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, among others. …
(Here’s who else is set to play.) Scott was known during his career for giving tirelessly to local causes, as noted in our September story about his retirement announcement. Proceeds from tickets to the 7 pm match will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the RAVE Foundation, and a college fund for Scott’s three children. Scott published a post online this week about why he chose the PBTF, explaining that he and his family are longtime friends of the Berg family:
… The Berg family, ever faithful, decided to pour all their time and resources into not only the care of their daughter, but in bringing awareness to the incredible lack of funding and resources given to pediatric brain tumor research. The community rallied around the Berg family and with the help of The Run of Hope, raised over $150,000 in a few short weeks in an attempt to do so. All of that money was given directly to Seattle Children’s Hospital for research and clinical trials for pediatric brain tumors.
However, that is not enough. Pediatric Cancer currently receives only 4% of the national budget spent on cancer research and development. On March 1, I will lace up my boots one last time with several of my friends in an attempt to further these efforts. Seattle has always shown me and my family such love. I urge you to do something amazing and continue to support families that face these devastating realities. It could be any of us. As Avery would say, “You are the difference makers.” A portion of proceeds from ticket sales as well as all the in-match auction proceeds will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund run by Seattle Children’s Hospital.
You can get your tickets to the match by going here. Meantime, in addition to her ongoing online updates (the most recent one is here), Avery’s mom tells WSB, “Avery is still fighting and has three more months of awful chemo, but she is doing very well considering. She had a downright miraculous surgery in January where they were able to remove 100% of her tumor. It’s a long, awful road, but we are doing our best and will continue to fight to support pediatric cancer research and advancement.”
We’ve shared updates before from local Girl Scout Alina Guyon, who is working on a Gold Award project to build a library for refugees in Uganda. West Seattleites have donated more than 1,000 books, and now she’s sharing words of gratitude for another big donation:
Thank you Alki Lumber!
When you heard that I was building a library for refugees in Uganda, you generously offered to help. The library project not only involves sending books by container, but I’m also building an actual library. Alki Lumber donated all kinds of paint and materials to help complete the structure. Thank you for being such a generous business and key part of our West Seattle Community.
There are currently more refugees in the world than any time since World War II. While we can’t easily affect our nation’s immigration policies, this is a small way our community can make a difference to people forcibly displaced from their homes. I am so amazed by the outpouring of support from West Seattle.
Thanks to Jen Calleja for the tip – multiple White Center businesses are closed today for the Day Without Immigrants protest against the federal crackdown on immigrants. We stopped by some of the businesses she mentioned – above, the sign at Greenbridge Café; below, the signs at Salvadorean Bakery and Best Roasted Corn:
And Jen sent this collage of other businesses she found closed, including Deli Garcia in South Delridge:
We haven’t seen/heard of any other West Seattle closures – if you have, please let us know – email@example.com or 206-293-6302.
Meantime, there’s news about the court fight over the presidential order on immigration – according to a news release from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, saying a federal appeals court was notified that “the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order” to eliminate constitutional concerns. Ferguson’s reaction: “Let’s be clear: Today’s court filing by the federal government recognizes the obvious — the President’s current Executive Order violates the Constitution.”
You’re invited to nominate somebody – and/or someplace – for this year’s Westside Awards, to be presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce on May 4th.
The categories again this year are:
Westside Business of the Year
Westside Emerging Business of the Year
Westside Not-for-Profit of the Year
Westsider of the Year
The nomination form is online, here. It includes more information on the criteria for each category. Nominees do NOT have to be WS Chamber members, nor do those sending in nomination(s). You can see who’s won in recent years by going here. Nominate someone/someplace (yes, you can send in multiple nominations) by March 6th!
By Cliff Cawthon
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Neighborhood House’s High Point Center is a place where neighbors gather almost every day of the year.
But Saturday afternoon had something extra – a Neighbor Day gathering with an emphasis on welcoming and celebrating the neighborhood’s immigrant communities amid the Trump Administration’s attempts at what’s being called the “Muslim Ban.”
“A lot of people who we work with could be affected by the immigrant ban,” explained Megan Demeroutis, Neighborhood House’s Family Resource Center supervisor. Demeroutis said that the potluck’s international flavor and the activities were meant to bring people together in the mixed-income Seattle Housing Authority– managed community. Read More
Not only is West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor) a place to cowork – it’s also a place to connect with your neighbors, especially today! Until 2 pm, in honor of Neighbor Day, several local groups/organizations have reps there to answer your questions – including West Seattle Time Bank, Plant for the Planet – Washington State, Urban Homestead Foundation, Terraganics Living, Seattle Farm School, West Seattle Bee Garden, West Seattle Food Bank, The Community General Store, and Backyard Barter.
Stop in (6040 California SW), have a cup of coffee, and find out how to get more connected within the West Seattle community.
WSB photos and video by Leda Costa
At 7 tonight, the moment that the mayor suggested people stand outside to #ShineALight showing support for immigrants and refugees, Hate-Free Delridge gathered on the Delridge pedestrian overpass.
WSB photojournalist Leda Costa reports about 30 people turned out and were greeted with honks from many passing vehicles during their gathering on the overpass.
Hate-Free Delridge is the community group formed last summer following a hate crime targeting a Pigeon Point family.
These photos just arrived in the WSB inbox, with this explanation: “Happening now, letter-writing campaign at Admiral Bird! Come down, write letters, meet cool people until 10 pm.” They’re writing to not only the White House but also other elected officials in D.C.
Admiral Bird is on the southeast corner of California/Admiral Way.
Though the big rallies have been outside West Seattle so far, two citywide events to show support for immigrants and refugees are planned later this week, and you can participate here on the peninsula.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: At 7 pm Wednesday (February 1st), you’re invited to step outside, wherever you are, and shine a light – “a candle, a smartphone, a lamp, a flashlight” – as per this invitation from the mayor.
FRIDAY MORNING: Before school, at as many local schools that choose to participate, grassroots support rallies are planned. We first heard about it from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 parent Shawna Murphy, who says families “will be out front, participating in the city wide show of support for our diverse families and Immigrant communities this Friday, February 3, from 9:15-9:35.” If your school is planning an event too, please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Suzanne sent the photos, saying she encountered this 6-year-old girl and her grandmother at Constellation Park today: “She was with her mom last Saturday in the Womxn’s March, carrying a sign she filled with messages of love, and continues to be inspired to do all she can to sustain it, her grandmother said.”
So if you saw, or see, the messages (which also included “Let Freedom Ring”) … now you know.
7:18 PM: The video is from King County Council Chair Joe McDermott at Sea-Tac Airport, one of multiple U.S. airports where demonstrators rallied today/tonight in opposition to the presidential order detaining people of certain nationalities even though they have visas. He reports seeing another West Seattleite among the demonstrators, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The American Civil Liberties Union went to court and reports that a temporary injunction has been granted. Also at the airport with demonstrators, area U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (whose district includes West Seattle) and Suzan DelBene, and Gov. Jay Inslee:
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 29, 2017
ADDED 7:35 PM: Thanks to Keri Watson for sending this photo from Sea-Tac, where she has seen other West Seattleites participating and says the demonstration in the arrival hall is expected to continue until 10 pm:
Anyone else there – email@example.com – thank you!
ADDED 9:31 PM: We don’t know if any of the people affected by the airport detentions are from, or related to anyone from, our area, but we did want to add one line from a media dispatch from Congressmember Jayapal’s office: “Family members of anyone detained at the airport should contact the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.”
ADDED SUNDAY: Thanks to Lauren for two more photos from the Saturday demonstration.
Our state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has joined 14 others around the country in vowing to fight the ban:
As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump’s unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.
Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country, and no president can change that truth.
Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.
We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.
Meantime, opponents of the immigration-related order have announced another Seattle protest, 5 pm tonight at Westlake Park downtown.
You might remember Mr. Walsh, 76, best for the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle. (The Municipal Archives photo above shows Mr. Walsh at right, with Rev. Jesse Jackson at the podium.) It was the second staging of the international competition hatched by cable-TV entrepreneur Ted Turner as an alternative to the Olympic Games, which had gone through multiple superpower boycotts by then. Before then, as noted in The Times’ report (and this 1990 profile), Mr. Walsh was known for basketball involvement including three years as an executive with the Sonics and promotion of big NCAA, WNBA, and NBA playoff events, and he since has had extensive nonprofit involvement. Sportspress Northwest has an extensive obituary, reporting that Mr. Walsh became ill while visiting the former Soviet republic of Georgia and died in a hospital in Turkey.
On Saturday, while tens of thousands of people were marching downtown out of concern over the newly inaugurated administration, the White House transition was also a topic of discussion at the Duwamish Longhouse. The day was in part a celebration of the longhouse itself – completed and dedicated eight years ago – but it began with a focus on the Duwamish Tribe‘s continued quest for its treaty rights. Our video above is from a Q/A session that followed the Longhouse’s first screening of the new documentary “Promised Land,” which is about the Duwamish and Chinook Tribes’ struggle to get the federal government to honor those rights.
In our video, after lauding the filmmakers for their work, Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen answered questions (others were fielded by James Rasmussen and Ken Workman, also of the tribe). Hansen said she is “not too encouraged about the new administration, but you never know what could happen.” Rasmussen said they also are dealing with a change in who represents Seattle in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, who just retired, was a longtime champion of the Duwamish pursuit of federal recognition; his newly elected successor, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, hasn’t been to the Longhouse, Rasmussen noted, and they don’t know whether she is supportive or not. He also explained, when asked for details of what would be different if they had treaty rights, that Duwamish youth are not recognized as Native Americans when enrolling in college – they have been offered the chance to do so if they enroll with a recognized tribe, but, Rasmussen said, usually decline.
Other tribes in the area have opposed Duwamish treaty rights, Rasmussen went on to say, because of concerns over casino competition. The Duwamish have “no plan to build a casino – never has been a plan,” he said, but he also said that when once offered the chance at recognition if they permanently renounced that option, they put the question to their membership and they said no, “we’re not giving up anything.”
Hansen, by the way, says she’s writing a book. She’s been fighting for the treaty rights for more than 40 years; the tribe briefly gained recognition in the final days of the Clinton Administration, saw it subsequently canceled by the Bush Administration, and then came another denial, from the Obama Administration, in summer 2015.
(August 2015 WSB photo)
As you will also hear her say in the video – and as we reported here a year and a half ago – she took the Duwamish’s case directly to now-former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a West Seattle resident (photo above). While Jewell touted the department’s work with tribes in her farewell, that didn’t include any progress for the Duwamish, Hansen noted. “If she had brought the tribes together, we would not be suffering with this non-status. … She should have done more for the Duwamish people.”
(EARLIER COVERAGE: Our photos of West Seattleites heading to the march)
(Gatewood pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen‘s aerial view of much of the crowd at the march’s starting point)
6:13 PM: With more than 100,000 participants, the Womxn’s March on Seattle lasted more than four and a half hours – from the first departures from Judkins Park around 11:15, to the Seattle Police announcement that the last marchers had arrived at Seattle Center around 3:50 pm, without incidents or arrests.
We covered marchers leaving West Seattle this morning (see those photos here); we appreciate everyone who has sent photos (email@example.com or 206-293-6302) and expect to add more.
Above and below, Trissa Hodapp sent photos of her group, all West Seattleites, from the end of the route at Seattle Center.
Trissa says, “My daughter carried the sign almost the entire route. It was so powerful and had positive energy.” The signs told the story of the day – this next one was photographed by Samuella Samaniego:
She also sent this view from the Chinatown area:
Carl Guess shared the photo below, observing, “Love the juxtaposition of the gospel tune lyric and the flag.”
The sign shown with this group of “walking West Seattleites” was from the school of “cup half full”:
Some signs were handwritten:
And in many views – what stood out was the prevalence of the pink “pussyhats”:
Many family groups – next are Stephanie and Madeline Gerding, photographed by Patrick Gerding:
The next two are from Y-Ma, who e-mailed: “We got to Judkins around 10:30. The crowd, the energy & respectfulness was kind of overwhelming. I think it took us about 90 minutes after start to actually be able to leave the park vicinity. Coming down the hill – it was an absolute sea of people for as far as one could see.”
That sea of people rolled and strolled on through the Central and International Districts, and on to downtown – this view is from Sarah Cameron:
And this, from Laura Dedon Oxford:
Next photo, via e-mail – “Denise Nelson and Lisa Stencel representing West Seattle!”
And here are students from a school that marched on Friday too – Taproot School:
Thanks to Lynne Meddaugh for that photo.
So what happened at the end of the march route? Barbara Dobkin sent this photo of performers on the Seattle Center grounds:
ADDED 9:40 PM: More photos sent since we published the ones above – thank you, again! Citywide media now quotes organizers as estimating about 175,000 people participated. The next three pictures are from West Seattle photographer Vy Duong:
Anna Yates took her daughters, Genesee Hill Elementary students, and shared this photo:
Another mom who took her child – Panayiota Bertzikis, who we found out belatedly is a West Seattle resident and was also among today’s speakers! She shared this photo of herself and her one-year-old, who joined her onstage:
From J. Lardizabal, more West Seattleites representing at the march:
Thanks to Layne Ahlstrom for the next three photos:
And Alki artist Susan K. Miller is the only person to send a sketch! “Reporting the old-fashioned way! 😊 This was Judkins Park at 9:15a, when you could still see some grass. Focused on that ERA NOW sign, exactly like the one I marched with 40 years ago because as several signs said, ‘Can’t believe we’re still protesting this’.”
ADDED SUNDAY MORNING: More photos came in overnight – the next two are from Karen Berge, featuring a two-sided sign created by one of the West Seattleites with whom she marched, Mary Sheely (seen in second photo):
Kathryn Aupperlee sent photos of signs that caught her attention, including these:
ADDED SUNDAY EVENING: A few more photos have come in – these are from The Lees:
“We’re a local WS family from the Puget Ridge area. We took the bus route #125 in front of SSC to downtown but since the buses were full from DT to the park by the time we arrived at the SAM, we just walked up to the park. I pushed both my kids in the stroller from there to Judkins Park. I didn’t have a pink hat so I hair sprayed my hair pink. My daughter is a kindergartener at Sanislo Elementary. I am on the PTA board.”
And from Aneelah Afzali, the West Seattleite about whom we wrote on the eve of the march, for which she was a pre-march speaker:
This was one of ~400 marches – photos seen on Twitter even included one in Antarctica.
This morning, we heard from Tom, whose family had decided not to go to the Womxn’s March on Seattle but wanted to invite others to join a small “solidarity march” around The Junction. We caught up with his group as they headed out from California/Edmunds around quarter till 1, after the sun had emerged from the clouds.
As for the main march downtown – per SPD, after more than two hours, the last of the marchers have finally left Judkins Park, as the front of the group arrived at the end of the route more than 3 miles away. The crowd has been estimated at well over 100,000. No incidents reported along the way, we can say from monitoring police frequencies and other emergency channels. We’ll have an update later with photos from participants (got a photo to share? firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!).
10:42 AM: After receiving a photo from the bus-chartering moms in Gatewood (shown atop our daily-preview list), we decided to head to The Junction to check out people catching buses to head to the march starting point in the Central District. And we found lots of them, of all ages!
The buses were jammed – even with Metro adding more, in the 9 am hour, they were leaving full, with some having to wait for the next one. This photo was texted from aboard a Route 21 bus caught along Avalon:
As we headed back south to WSB headquarters on the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy line, we saw an obviously march-bound group waiting at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation, so we pulled over for this photo:
They told us they were awaiting rideshare vehicles – and that the group was twice this size but the others had already left.
IF YOU’RE MARCHING: Please send a photo – we will have a separate report later with photos from the march. email@example.com or text to 206-293-6302 (our 24/7 round-the-clock number) – thank you!
IF YOU’RE NOT MARCHING: As added to our daily preview list, a local family is organizing a small solidarity march around The Junction – meet at Uptown Espresso (California/Edmunds/Erskine) at 12:30 pm.
ABOUT THE HATS: If you don’t know the background of the pink hats many are wearing … go here.
11:30 AM: As of a minutes ago, the march is officially on the move, having left Judkins Park (and all the overflow spots where people are waiting along the route to Seattle Center). If you are headed downtown for some other reason – keep in mind that traffic/access will be affected for hours. TV helicopters are over the crowd; this is the most reliable feed we’ve found so far.
12:28 PM: After more than an hour, SPD says the march has now spread almost entirely across the full official route of more than 3 miles – as the front of the march approaches the end of the route at Seattle Center, some have yet to leave Judkins Park at the start of the route.
2:45 PM: The march is in its fourth hour and some are still on the route to Seattle Center – just passing Spring Street, according to the latest police-radio update, plus SPD via Twitter:
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 21, 2017
All the estimates we’ve seen so far have participation at more than 100,000 people. Again, we’ll have a separate report later with the photos we’ve received (thank you!) and summary details.
3:04 PM: Some buses are still on reroutes – be aware of this if you’re trying to get home. For the C Line, we checked with Metro: “The C Line has been rerouted further west on Mercer to Queen Anne Ave. It is traveling south on QA to turn left on Denny Way, then right on 1st, left on Broad and right onto 3rd Ave.” We don’t know how much longer this will last, though.
3:29 PM: Metro also now has a free shuttle running “on 5th Ave between Mercer and Broad Streets” to go south back into downtown from Seattle Center to catch buses back this way.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One is a West Seattle neighbor – Aneelah Afzali.
Afzali is executive director of MAPS-AMEN, the recently launched American Muslim Empowerment Network, launched through the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, which is based in Redmond.
She will be one of five speakers at the rally before the march, and her speech will be about combating Islamophobia. “Essentially,” she told us during a phone conversation, “getting people to understand that Muslims were part of America even before it was a country, despite the demonization we are seeing in the media.” She’ll be talking about what people can do to help combat Islamophobia.
What CAN you do? “Each circumstance will vary,” Afzali says. The important thing is to not just stand by in silence – use your voice, use your body if you have to, or tell the story – if you see or hear something, posting about it on social media can be an important way of fighting back. “Standing up for the victim, letting them know they have an ally … there are a variety of things that people can do.”
In the bigger picture, her work “has four areas of focus – coalition building … with other minority groups as well as our friends and allies of any kind of background. That’s important during troubling times. (Also) education about Islam and Muslims – unfortunately, most people in our country don’t know Muslims, and something is easy to demonize when you don’t know much about it.” Another area of focus: “Leveraging media properly – Islam is the most mentioned religion (in media),” but most of the mentions are negative, Afzali says. The final focus: “Youth empowerment – helping build the future leaders of our country.” Last weekend, MAPS-AMEN had a youth-advocacy workshop with more than 100 young participants learning about Islamophobia and using the “power of the pen” to combat it.
MAPS-AMEN plans to have more than 100 American Muslims marching tomorrow; an announcement of that is how we found Afzali – we received a news release about the group’s participation, and asked if there were any West Seattleites with whom we could speak.
ABOUT THE MARCH: Marchers are gathering at 10 am at Judkins Park, with the speakers (including Aneelah Afzali) scheduled at 10:30 am, marching instructions at 11. Full details, including maps, are here.
Inaugural Parade today, Women’s March tomorrow. Big weekend in D.C., and some West Seattleites have traveled from here to “the other Washington.” The photo was just sent by one of them, Kerry Murphy:
We (the 3 on the left: Kristen Meyer, Kerry Murphy, Megan Jasper) were standing at the inaugural parade (in our pussyhats) today, feeling a little overwhelmed, and a woman and her teenage daughter (Tessa Surface and Kristina Dahl, in the pic) wandered up, also looking a hair overwhelmed. We started chatting, and it turns out we all are from West Seattle. Small world! I had 4 West Seattleites on my plane yesterday, too (that I know of – maybe more?).
We’ll appreciate photos tomorrow too – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Going to the Womxn’s March on Seattle this Saturday? Victoria at VAIN (WSB sponsor) in The Junction just e-mailed to say you’re welcome to stop in (4513 California SW) tonight or tomorrow for a free hand-folded origami-flower corsage:
VAIN is open until 8 tonight, and 10 am-8 pm on Friday.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In light of some disturbing, recent trends, we feel compelled to speak out.
In the last few months, we have seen a rise in hate crimes against members of immigrant, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities. Harassment of women and people of color has been reported at higher rates locally and nationwide. We’ve seen increased hateful, divisive dialogue in the media, online, in our schools, and at public gatherings. From the neighbors we serve, to our volunteers and supporters, to our own friends and families, fear for safety of self and others has become far too common.
Additionally, we are seeing signs at the federal level that social safety net programs and protections may be scaled back or terminated; loss of health insurance, accelerated deportations of immigrant families, and cuts to social benefits critical to the safety and well-being of local families may be on the horizon. These actions threaten to hurt members of our community, including those that we support as they recover from crisis or hardship.
We, at the West Seattle Helpline, are dedicated to serving all of our neighbors and to help foster a caring and cohesive community. This letter affirms our commitment to do the following in solidarity with our underserved neighbors:
Continue to offer services to every member of our community regardless of race, age, sex, gender identity, immigration status, religion, and sexual orientation.
Continue participation in the Safe Place Program (providing safe haven from and reporting anti-LGBTQ hate crimes) and extend our promise to be a safe space for anyone experiencing hate-based harassment or threatening behavior.
Work with local community leaders in underserved communities to continue to improve the cultural and language accessibility of our services.
Refuse to voluntarily provide federal immigration officials data that could put our clients at risk of deportation (in alignment with Seattle’s status as a Sanctuary City).
Continue to advocate at the local and state level for policies and resources to support low-income, marginalized community members and protect them from harm.
We want West Seattle to continue to be an inclusive, caring, and safe place for all our neighbors. We look forward to working with local leaders, partner organizations, elected officials, and all who share our vision of an inclusive, safe, and welcoming community.
Your Friends at the West Seattle Helpline