23rd and Union development update: Notes on Africatown Plaza

As developers snag every available piece of land in the booming real estate market of Central Seattle, African American community members demand a seat at the table when it comes to who fills the future Africatown portion of Midtown development at 23rd and Union. How do you address the concerns of a diverse community while understanding the history of the land the development is being built on? By meeting, bringing those voices together, and giving them a chance to express their concerns and desires for positive change.

Read more Full Report

Advertisements

Plan’s Rise for Seattle Africatown Plaza


Garrett, center, with Forterra’s Michelle Connor and Chris Persons of Capitol Hill Housing (Image: Africatown Plaza)

The newly formed Africatown Community Land Trust entered an agreement with Capitol Hill Housing and Lake Union Partners, the Seattle development company that bought the Midtown Center block in May.

Read more FULL REPORT

Here’s how Seattle became so segregated

920x920

A new look at New Deal ‘redlining’ maps offers insight into subtle racism’s not-so-subtle predecessor

The “redlining” maps minted during the New Deal were a roadmap for investment in America’s cities. Seattle was no exception in warning bankers off extending loans to home buyers in non-white neighborhoods. Here’s a look some of the more racist descriptions offered about Seattle’s neighborhoods back in 1936. They’re rated “A” to “D,” with “A” being best.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

The *other* lawsuit at 23rd and Union: Activist sues property owners, City Hall for ‘strong racial hostility’

Screen-Shot-2016-04-01-at-11.09.40-AM

Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016 – 12:04 pm by jseattle

The battle to sell off the Midtown Center property at 23rd and Union is keeping the courts busy. CHS broke the news this week on the family legal fight holding up a $23.5 million deal to sell the property to a California-based apartment developer.

Now we have learned of another legal fight stemming from the issues at Midtown that might have more immediate ramifications for the block while setting up a last stand of sorts for a long time part of the activist community around Africatown.

Omari Tahir-Garrett is suing everyone from the family partnership behind Midtown Center to Kshama Sawant and Seattle City Light in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought after utilities were cut off the property where his UMOJA P.E.A.C.E Center is located at 24th and E Spring.

In his suit, Tahir-Garrett alleges that the long list of defendants acted on “strong racial hostility” and violated his first amendment rights because of “Black community activism” —

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Police: Men claiming explosives, sniper at former school arrested

school_arrests_07

SEATTLE — Four people suspected of being part of a group claiming to have explosives and a sniper inside the old Horace Mann school building were arrested Tuesday, ending a weeks-long standoff between the group and the Seattle School District, according to the Seattle Police Department.

The District closed the school building on East Cherry Street years ago. In recent months, 18 groups moved into the school without permission and started using it for community classes and other purposes as the Africatown Center for Education and Innovation.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Michigan Judge Pulls No Punches in 30-Minute Sentencing Tirade Against Police Officer

aa97579f7c10a7469c5e98f04079b007
In a speech that lasted almost 30 minutes, Judge Vonda Evans of Detroit laid into 47-year-old William Melendez, the former Inkster, Michigan, police officer caught on video beating an unarmed black man in January 2015.

Melendez was sentenced to 13 months to 10 years in prison Tuesday for his role in the attack on Floyd Dent, a 58-year-old black auto worker, that occurred during a late night traffic stop in the struggling Wayne County suburb last winter.

“The one image [from this trial] that stood out to the court was looking at Mr. Dent in his cell, shaking his head in disbelief of what had occurred to him,” Evans said in a courtroom video published by local television station WJBK.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

The spread of Israeli settlements in the West Bank

israelsettlementgraphic

“American Jews are not hard-liners on Israel. Obama won 69 percent of Jewish voters in 2012, even as American conservatives accused him of purposefully undermining the country’s security and status in the region. Indeed, according to a 2013 Pew study, only one in three American Jews feel a strong emotional attachment to the Jewish state. But over the past 30 years, and especially in the last decade, the GOP’s attachment to Israel has become remarkably fierce, to an extent that is basically unprecedented in modern American politics. On issue after issue — from military aid to settlement policy — the GOP now offers Israel unconditional and unquestioning support, so much so that some Republicans now liken the country to America’s “51st state.” The person most responsible for this development is the multi­billionaire casino magnate and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.”

Read more FULL ARTICLE