Addressing equity in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine

January 26, 2021

This written testimony was sent to the King County Council in response to Motion 2021-0046 regarding equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution and access. Dear King County Council Members, I write in support of Proposed motion 2021-0046 which would address equity in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine during these initial stages of distribution and have some suggestions for …

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Holding commercial tobacco retailers accountable instead of penalizing youth for addiction

January 16, 2021

This statement was put together by the Healthy King County Coalition in partnership with Neighborhood House. Policy Change for Health Equity SB 5129: Concerning the possession of vapor, vapor products, tobacco, and tobacco products by minors When Tobacco to 21 was passed it rightfully omitted penalties for commercial tobacco use and possession on those ages …

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Neighborhood House condemns threats to democracy

January 15, 2021

Dear Neighborhood House, Last week’s assault on our democracy was the inevitable culmination of years of division and racism. The insurrection follows over four years of anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Asian, and anti-immigrant messaging. The current administration and its allies passed racist policies including family separation, public charge rule, the Muslim ban, severely restricting our borders to …

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Old people at home will get vaccinated, but maybe not their caregivers, state announces

January 14, 2021

“Rimi Afroze, program manager of the Aging and Disability Services of Neighborhood House, said the mainstream healthcare system has long overlooked the particular needs of immigrant, refugee, and marginalized populations. During the pandemic, she ‘faced huge roadblocks’ in trying to find culturally appropriate support for homebound elders who were becoming increasingly depressed and anxious, such …

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Will Washington state lead the way on equity?

January 4, 2021

This month, Governor Jay Inslee announced his equity policy package that would include $365 million for equity related initiatives. The package proposes a wide variety of investments like capital investments for Africatown Land Trust and Rainier Valley Food Bank, outdoor recreation equity, and equity for foster and homeless students.  Some policy proposals that you may …

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Gracious Space and undoing white supremacy culture

December 1, 2020

Last month’s Equity IRL talked about white supremacy culture and if you read further, the accompanying article also offered some antidotes. Several years ago, Neighborhood House adopted Gracious Space, which is based on Gracious Space: A Practical Guide for Working Better Together written by Pat Hughes and published by the Center for Ethical Leadership. Gracious Space, when done …

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Supporting the health and well-being of our elders

November 24, 2020

For the past 9 months, our lives have been turned upside down. We’ve had to balance working from home and homeschooling, change our holiday plans, and wear a mask. For low-income children, youth, adults, families, seniors, and people living with disabilities, the effects of the pandemic are even greater. Lack of financial resources, lack of …

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What is white supremacy culture?

November 2, 2020

When you think of white supremacy, many people think of people wearing white hoods, burning crosses, and terrorizing Black people, Jews, LGBTQ people and other people of color. But, white supremacy is also white supremacy culture – an invisible force that keeps people of color and those without power silent and powerless. Living and working …

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Why some locals are skeptical about Jeff Bezos’ free preschool near Seattle

October 14, 2020

“If Bezos or any other wealthy donor were to fund existing free preschool programs for low-income families in Washington, there are many areas that their wealth can fill, according to Karin Ganz, an administrator at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). They include supporting more mental health consultation services for parents …

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Inequities in accessing unemployment

October 1, 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in expanded unemployment benefits, which has made many more community members eligible for unemployment than were before. This benefit has been a much needed lifeline as people were laid off and/or lost hours of work. As Washington State’s Employment Security Department’s (ESD is the department that administers Unemployment benefits) …

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Small slip of paper stands between Pacific Islanders in Washington and unemployment benefits

September 21, 2020

“In the time of Covid-19, everyone is at risk when one community can’t access safety net programs allowing them to stay home. Instead of staying in isolation, people with Covid may have to venture out to work to survive, advocates say. The problems caused by that slip of paper are one of a series of …

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“There Can Only Be One” Syndrome and how people of color can also uphold white supremacy and injustice

September 1, 2020

The following is an entry from the blog Nonprofit AF, published August 24, 2020 and written by Vu Le.  After the kids went to sleep one day, my partner and I put up “Ugly Delicious,” a show where celebrity chef David Chang explores different types of food and talks to various chefs and restaurant owners. In one …

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Taxes are an equity issue

August 3, 2020

10.1% That’s how much you are paying when you purchase most basic necessities, except unprepared food. Diapers, household goods, and prepared food are all subject to sales tax. Sales taxes are regressive taxes where everyone pays the same tax rate regardless of their income. Because everyone pays the same, higher-income taxpayers pay a smaller percentage of …

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Defund the police?

July 1, 2020

A significant portion of this article is an excerpt from a letter signed by over 275 Asian Pacific Islander American community organizations, businesses, and leaders to the Mayor of Seattle and Seattle City Council dated June 22, 2020. Main authors are: Chrissy Shimizu, SuYoung Yun, and Gabrielle Nomura Gainor. When advocates call to defund the …

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Black Lives Matter

June 2, 2020

Dear Neighborhood House, Like many of you, I watched in horror and disgust how yet another unarmed Black person was killed by a police officer. George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN comes on the heels of Breonna Taylor’s death in Louisville, KY on May 13, 2020, shot by police officers with …

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Gender Pronouns

June 1, 2020

In English, we often use pronouns to refer to someone in the third person. These pronouns have an implied gender – such as “he” to refer to a man or “she” to refer to a woman – and these associations aren’t always accurate or helpful. We often make assumptions about the gender of person based …

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Unemployment in King County hits communities of color hardest

May 29, 2020

“The low jobless rates of the past several years masked just how precarious the financial picture was, Deguchi said. The reality was that many people, particularly in immigrant communities and communities of color, were balancing multiple low-wage jobs just to get by, and the coronavirus has now toppled that house of cards.” Read the full …

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