At the root of it
A report generated by the Clark County’s Sheriff’s Office revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigations designated the Proud Boys an “extremist group linked to white nationalism” that is actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest.
The report, released by government transparency nonprofit Property of the People, stemmed from an investigation into a Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Sheriff found to have participated in the female auxiliary organization, the Proud Boy Girls. The officer, Erin Willey, was on probation and has since been fired.
According to the report, the Proud Boys were not considered an extremist group initially but became classified as such during 2018 when the organization grew in numbers and notoriety.
Proud Boys, known for their uniform of black polo shirts with yellow piping, have attended protests-turned-violent in Seattle and Portland. Several were arrested in Manhattan after a fight broke out in October. The group was founded as a “western chauvinist” organization by Vice co-founder Gavin McGinnes.
Paying Peter and Paul
The Seattle Budget Committee passed an amendment to the annual funding document that promised wage increases for homeless services providers without reducing the amount spent on a special team of police officers and outreach workers that perform encampment cleanups.
The amendment, sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, puts another $1.8 million over two years to provide 2 percent wage increases to workers covered under contracts with the Human Services Department not supported by the general fund.
A previous attempt to boost wages involved reducing new funding to the Navigation Team, but that idea ultimately failed to receive sufficient support from other council members.
Workers have testified that their wages have not increased as prices in Seattle have skyrocketed. Some qualify for the same low-income programs to which they are tasked with connecting homeless clients, Mosqueda said.
A 2 percent wage hike will help workers helping Seattle’s vulnerable citizens. The increase is not expected to match the rate of inflation.
The second edition of the Emerald City Resource Guide has hit the streets, giving people experiencing homelessness and those that help them access to the most up-to-date compilation of programs and services in Seattle and King County.
The pocket-sized guide lists health care services, meal programs and shelter options among others. It includes special sections for culturally responsive services.
Real Change ordered 40,000 copies of the first edition released in April 2018. It wasn’t enough.
With the help of 16 sponsors, Real Change will put 50,000 guides into circulation this month.
It is also available online.
NAACP calls out racial profiling in Kirkland
Protesters gathered outside of a frozen yogurt shop in Kirkland Tuesday morning to push back on employees for calling the cops on a Black man who had been doing his job supervising a family visit at the site the previous week.
According to a release from the NAACP, Byron Ragland had been overseeing a visit between a mother and her 12-year-old child when Kirkland police arrived and asked him to leave. The employees who called the police were White, according to the release.
“From Starbucks in Philadelphia to Menchie’s in Kirkland, Black people are continuously racially profiled across this country where police are called to further facilitate acts of racism at the expense of African-American men and women. The NAACP is reminded of the days in history where blacks were not allowed to sit at counters nor patronize businesses without the risk of being racially profiled simply because they are black,” said Gerald Hankerson, president of the NAACP in the release. “All it takes is for a single white person to claim fear or intimidation before law enforcement become its advocate and further perpetuate injustice.”
Ragland told The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat that two police officers approached him while he was working and asked him for his ID and then to “move along.” He had apparently made two White, female employees uncomfortable by sitting down without buying anything. An explanation of the circumstances — that he was there as an advocate of the courts — did not sway the officers.
The newest affront follows a string of similar circumstances that have received press attention this year in which predominately White women have called the police on Black people who were going about daily activities such as moving into an apartment, using a community pool, having a barbecue in a public park, selling bottles of water.
“This growing trend must end before it takes root and eventually becomes the norm as it was during the Jim Crow era,” Hankerson said in the release.
Investing in the future
Mayor Jenny Durkan and other leaders announced a new permanent supportive housing development and arts space at the city-owned former Teatro ZinZanni site in Queen Anne.
The effort marks the first time that the Office of Housing and Office of Arts and Culture will collaborate to make joint investments into an affordable housing development, according to the release.
The announcement comes a day after the City Council made final adjustments to the Mayor’s budget package that had been criticized by housing advocates for including little new funding for affordable housing development.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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