Seattle Could be First in the Nation to Stop Rental Criminal History Discrimination

 

Even though it took Adrian Laster two years to get a Section 8 voucher, it typically takes five. Even still, nobody would sublease him because of his criminal charges. Here, the Seahawks-loving Othello resident holds a folder with all of his paperwork in it. (Photo by Kelsey Hamlin)

 

As it stands, one slice of the criminalization and homelessness cycle could shatter thanks to a Seattle City Council vote set for next week. Seattle would make history, becoming the first city in the nation prohibiting landlords from denying rentals to applicants based on criminal background. […]

via Seattle Could be First in the Nation to Stop Rental Criminal History Discrimination — South Seattle Emerald

Jayapal leads Seattle town hall rally against Trumpcare

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Sen. Pramilla Jayapal answers audience questions about moving forward. (Photo by Kelsey Hamlin)

Town Hall Seattle filled with mostly seniors July 6, gathered together for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash) as she talked about politicians’ strategies and proposals for America’s new healthcare.

The Republican base vowed to rail against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before its implementation, quickly renaming it Obamacare in 2010. After that negative political nickname trickled down throughout America, now-President Donald Trump promised to repeal the ACA as soon as he got elected office. Now, seven months into his term, Republicans are still trying to replace it. […]

On July 27, the Senate cast their votes for the last standing Trumpcare bill. Hoards of protestors stood outside of the Washington D.C. Capitol shouting, “don’t kill us, kill the bill!” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against repealing Obamacare and against their own party’s wishes. People watching nationwide were nervous because McCain, recently diagnosed with cancer, was speaking out in support of the bill the entire week prior and even after his diagnosis. Without having obtained three more people against the bill on top of many democrats already against it, the legislation would have past. Still, many speculate it is not yet over.

[…]

a woman with gold-rimmed glasses stepped on stage. Her name: Leigh Pate. She’s a cancer survivor who finished another round of chemotherapy three weeks prior, due to fallopian tube cancer. Her bills, Pate explained, are already upward $300,000.

Before the ACA, Pate struggled to pay for her necessary medical interventions. She recalled that the ACA “was a tremendous burden lifted.” But that burden wasn’t lifted for too long.

“Two weeks ago, I got a love letter from my insurance company,” Pate said. The paper alerted her to no longer having coverage. She held up the paper.

“I spent the rainy morning at my kitchen table—still sick from having chemo three days before—researching which insurance company might offer me an individual policy.”

She knew losing her insurance meant never getting coverage because of her pre-existing condition: Cancer. Missing a payment meant getting dropped.

“There are people sitting around kitchen tables all around this country who got the same letter as I did,” Pate said. “They’re using their precious energy worrying about their health finances.”

King County Metro Access Slammed By Audit, Claims of Poor Service

Going out on a limb, parent Becky Bisbee, decided one day to use Access, a $61 million ADA transit program under King County Metro. Her non-verbal and physically disabled daughter was supposed to attend a day camp sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation but Bisbee couldn’t get her there. At noon, someone from the day camp called asking if the young girl was coming. This was three hours after Bisbee’s daughter first journeyed to catch the Access van.

Bisbee, recounting this at Tuesday’s King County Council meeting, began to tear up. Deep down in the pit of her stomach, the ghost memory of panic churned.

[…]

Auditors found that, over the past eight years, Transit only billed contractors for half of their missed trips, collecting $97,000 instead of over $250,000. Transit also awarded less than $24,000 incentives which were mostly paid in error. Nearly half of the 29 performance-based payments were paid even though performance standards were not met.

via King County Metro Access Slammed By Audit, Claims of Poor Service — South Seattle Emerald

#NoNewYouthJail Movement Says Flawed Appeals Process Aided Juvy’s Construction

Over the summer, Seattle’s #NoNewYouthJail movement’s future steps seemed unclear. After more than five years of protests, demonstrations, teach-ins and community outreach, it appeared the “youth jail” people had been fighting vehemently against would soon be constructed on 12th and Alder in the Squire Park neighborhood.

However, a hearing Tuesday evening showed the fight against King County’s $210 million “Children and Family Justice Center” — which, along with courthouses and youth program space, will house a 92,000 square foot juvenile detention center, replacing the current one —  is far from finished.

A slew of unpublicized errors made by Seattle City and King County Councils was that evening’s focus.

via #NoNewYouthJail Movement Says Flawed Appeals Process Aided Juvy’s Construction — South Seattle Emerald

South Seattle’s Ethiopian Community Forging Ahead With Their Own Affordable Housing Plan

Photo by Alex Garland

Because Ethiopian culture favors and prioritizes family time and community, adjusting to American culture’s fetish for individuality comes as quite a shock. In addition, should an Ethiopian be so lucky to travel to or with their family, it is often that landlords won’t lease to a larger group of people, or landlords will increase the rent tenfold.

“For seniors, it’s not that easy to try to manage through translators,” Wase said, “It becomes doubly difficult in an unfamiliar city in which they cannot communicate.”

Public transportation is also a problem for seniors, who often get lost when on foot. Another frequent symptom of adjustment: Anxiety, Wase explained, due to lost social status, loneliness, unplanned departures, and stress.

“They see the need to go to places like worship,” he said. “Instead, they choose to stay home. It makes their life worse. Why? Because, after awhile, they get depressed.”

via South Seattle’s Ethiopian Community Forging Ahead With Their Own Affordable Housing Plan — South Seattle Emerald

The ACA: Where it stands and how it affects the API community

Pete Souza

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House. White House photo by Pete Souza

As the GOP continues to adjust its own plan, healthcare professionals and advocates are doing some serious groundwork around the ACA, which has had a tremendous impact on the Asian Pacific Islander community.

One of these advocates is Stephanie Liou, a medical student at the UW. She advocated for the ACA in its inception, and now she’s advocating for it to stay. And she’s not alone. Doctors across the nation are getting behind the ACA, to the point where there are numerous health providers underneath the Protect Our Patients coalition calling legislators, and continuing to educate the public about ACA myths and facts.

Locally, there’s a group of physicians in Washington who have never done advocacy, but are now taking action, writing opinion pieces and convincing colleagues.

“Doctors have been kind of historically a-political, and really it’s becoming this movement across the country for doctors and health professionals standing up and saying, ‘look, whatever your political ideologies are, this is going to be harmful for patients,’” Liou explained. “It’s appalling to me that the landscape I face when I graduate next year is that I can only take care of a certain population who can pay for it. So this do-no-harm idea has been really core to a lot of the advocacy we’re doing.”…

In addition, APIs are impacted the most by the ACA. In 2012, a DHS study predicted that nearly 2 million Asian Americans would be covered by the ACA given that the community is disproportionately impacted by chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and Hepatitis B, because they often skip out on screenings. The most frequent uninsured group was Korean Americans (at 25.5 percent uninsured). As such, an ACA repeal would reverse disparity gaps like these that were closing.

Read more here