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November 2010 Newsletter         Subscribe to this newsletter


NOVEMBER 2010

In this issue:

Human Rights Day

We are a proud member of the Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable

Coming Out Day Celebration at City Hall

Seattle.gov: City unveils new web site

Listen to 1963's Seattle Open Housing City Council hearing:
"Seattle Voices" audio archives showcase local history

Kudos

Events & Announcements

Community Forum on Criminal Records - Tuesday, November 30th, 6pm, Garfield Community Center

Residents of Sojourner Place Transitional Housing and other community advocates have called on the City of Seattle to make it against the law to discriminate against a person in employment and housing based on a criminal record when the arrest/conviction does not relate to the job/tenancy or infringe on the health and safety of other employees, residents or the general public.

The Seattle Human Rights Commission is sponsoring a forum on Tuesday, November 30 at 6 pm to discuss the issue and to share what other cities and states have done.

Free and open to the public

Featuring:
Proliferation: A video and music piece by Seattle artist Paul Rucker
Presentation by Julie Nelson, Seattle Office for Civil Rights

Community Panel:
Moderated by Chris Stearns, Seattle Human Rights Commission
John Page, Village of Hope
KC Young, Sojourner Place Transitional Housing
Merf Ehman, Columbia Legal Services

For more information contact Brenda Anibarro, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, 206-684-4514 or email Brenda.Anibarro@Seattle.Gov. Sponsored by the Seattle Human Rights Commission.


Human Rights Day

"Yearning to Breathe Free: Immigration, Human Rights, and Public Policy"

Honoring: Real Change News; Beth Reis, Dr. Benjamin Danielson, Quinn Wyatt With Special Tribute to Roberto Maestas

Thursday, December 9, 2010
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Seattle City Hall
600 5th Avenue

Free and open to the public!

Keynote Speaker: Joel M. Ngugi, Chair African Studies Program, University of Washington

Joel M. Ngugi

Professor Ngugi's work focuses on the role of law in economic development, the role of governments in market regulation and wealth allocation, and legal reforms in transition and developing economies. He has worked with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and conducted research work for the Global Coalition for Africa/World Bank, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University and at the Global Trade Watch Division of the Public Citizens, Inc. in Washington, DC.

For ASL and other language interpretation, and for other accommodations for people with disabilities, please call 206-684-4537.

2011 Human Rights Day Flyer

Youth videos about Human Rights Day

Seattle area youth have begun posting brief videos about what Human Rights Day means to them. This is a project spearheaded by Councilmember O'Brien's office in preparation for Seattle's celebration of Human Rights Day on December 9, 2010. For more information visit:

http://www.pugetsoundoff.org/video/13868
http://www.pugetsoundoff.org/node/13867


Seattle Human Rights Day is sponsored by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, United Nations Association, Puget Sound Off, Seattle Human Rights Commission, King County Civil Rights Commission, Seattle Women's Commission, Seattle LGBT Commission, and Seattle City Council Members Bruce Harrell and Mike O'Brien.

 


We are a proud member of the Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable

The City of Seattle is a member of the Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable. In 2009, the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) convened the Roundtable as a forum for community leadership on racial justice. The Roundtable is working toward real change that will result in tangible community benefits. The City is represented by Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Office for Civil Rights Director Julie Nelson.

The City of Seattle is one of 25 key community organizations and institutions that make up the Roundtable. The group includes representatives from community-based organizations, as well as larger institutions and government. The work of the Roundtable builds on the history of anti-racism work in many of our organizations and in the community over the last 15 years.

The Roundtable has chosen education as its lead issue; in addition, members also are examining the connections between education and criminal justice, economics, environmental justice and health. The ultimate measure of our success will be the elimination of racial inequities, such as the inequity in high school graduation rates.

"The significance of the Roundtable is the members' shared vision and their commitment to collaboration," says Glenn Harris, the Race and Social Justice Initiative manager for the City of Seattle. "Institutional racism creates disparities across the board. Organizing together has a greater collective impact than working within individual organizations. By joining forces, we are better able to actually eliminate racial inequities."

As a Roundtable member, The City of Seattle is committed to three specific priorities:
As a Roundtable member, The City of Seattle is committed to three specific priorities:

  • Ending institutional racism within our own organization.

  • Developing a statewide legislative agenda that focuses on racial equity in education.

  • Developing strategies to eliminate racial disproportionalities in discipline rates in Seattle Public Schools.

Adopting racial equity goals for our own institution forms a critical part of the Roundtable's collective work. All Roundtable members have committed to using a Racial Equity Toolkit to assess our own programs, services and internal operations. The Toolkit outlines best practices criteria to achieve racial equity and provides a set of questions to help analyze our own policies, practices and procedures.

"The Racial Equity Toolkit has supported the City in looking at the racial impacts of policy and budget decisions. We have to be focusing explicitly on racial equity if we are going to make a difference," shared Julie Nelson. "The Toolkit is normalizing conversations about institutional racism in City government, and importantly, shifting the way we do business."

"We are tremendously proud to be a part of this collaborative community effort to eliminate structural racism," declares Councilmember Bruce Harrell. "The Roundtable is working toward real change that will result in tangible community benefits, and I'm excited to be a part of it."

 


Coming Out Day Celebration at City Hall

On October 7th the newly formed Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) City of Seattle Employee Association hosted a Coming-Out Day celebration at City Hall. Chris Peguero, President of the LGBTQ Employee Association and member of the Seattle LGBT Commission welcomed attendees. Speakers included Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Sally Clark, Julie Nelson, Director of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, Louise Chernin, Director of the Greater Seattle Business Association, George Bakan of the Seattle Gay News, and Marsha Botzer of the Ingersoll Gender Center and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Speakers addressed the accomplishments made by the LGBTQ rights movement in Seattle and across the country while stressing the importance of the work still to be done, and highlighted the tragic loss of LGBTQ youth to suicide over the last few months. Mayor McGinn congratulated the newly formed LGBTQ Employee Association and welcomed the opportunity to work together on issues of importance to the LGBTQ community. To learn more or to join the employee association, contact Christopher Peguero at Christopher.Peguero@Seattle.Gov.


Photo credits: James Whitely for Seattle Gay News


Seattle.gov: City unveils new web site

Have you visited Seattle.gov, the City of Seattle's new web site? The new design is simpler to navigate, more streamlined, and has a more modern look and feel.

More than 2 million users visit Seattle.gov every month. The new version takes a back-to-basics approach with fewer categories and more interactive features - including blogs, twitter links and a new citywide events calendar.

The City Web Team and Mayor's Office reviewed numerous websites, studied how Seattle.gov is used and conducted usability studies on both the old and new designs. City staff accomplished the redesign with a financial outlay of less than $2,000.


Listen to 1963's Seattle Open Housing City Council hearing:
"Seattle Voices" audio archives showcase local history

The Seattle Municipal Archives has launched a new online audio exhibit called Seattle Voices, featuring Seattle government, citizen and activist voices from the past.

The audio collection is mainly composed of City Council Committee and Full Council meetings. One of the recordings focuses on a City Council open housing hearing on October 25, 1963, to debate an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin in rental or sales of housing.

The excerpts include the voices of Rev. John H. Adams, Tak Kubota, Rabbi Norman Hirsch, Robert Gans, Nancy McGhee, Eileen Meacham, Rev. Thomas W. Miller, and Wing Luke.

The Archives site plans to highlight a new recording every month. Currently featured is a recording of Roberto Maestas from June, 1973 at a public hearing to discuss equitable revenue-sharing of City funds. Maestas died of cancer on September 22, 2010.

Roberto Maestas also appears in a recording of a public hearing on January 7, 1975 to discuss the revelation that the Seattle Police Department had decided to use hollow point bullets as its official ammunition.

A third audio archive documents a Council hearing on January 27, 1970 to discuss a proposed ten-lane extension of Interstate 90 through Seattle's Central Area.

  • Interstate 90 hearing (1970)
    Includes Councilmember Tim Hill, Robert Eyre, Ed Banks, Tom Gayton, Pat Emerson, Carl McCray, William Merry, and Kathy Howlett

"As this exhibit grows, it will provide a glimpse into the human dynamic in the legislative process and illustrate the power of voice," said Scott Cline, City Archivist. "It is fascinating to hear the varied emotions, recognize the nuance and appreciate the face-to-face discourse that plays out in Council meetings and public hearings, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin in rental or sales of housing."

Visit the Seattle Voices audio exhibit.


Kudos

Way to go Ron!

Ron Ramp conducted training on public disclosure and public records for the Commission for People with Disabilities at the Commission's recent retreat. He made his presentation very interesting and engaging, and commissioners had a great discussion. Thank you Ron!


Thanks Marta!

Last week Marta Idowu met with Mrs. Miyuki Matsuda from Japan to discuss how to create a women's commission. Marta will be providing technical assistance to Mrs. Matsuda as she develops a proposal to create a local commission in Japan that would focus on women's issues. Good job Marta!


Great job, Policy and Outreach Team!

With help from the LGBT Commission, the new transgender rights brochure was designed with community input. SOCR staffers Brenda Anibarro and Elliott Bronstein organized a photo shoot with folks in the trans-community. Now that the brochure is available, a number of LGBT groups (including the Safe Schools Coalition and Gay City) have contacted SOCR to ask if they can help distribute the brochure. We also are working with the LGBT organization Entre Hermanos to translate the document into Spanish. Thank you to everyone in the P&O team and to Rosalinda Hoskins for all the work you put into making this brochure reflect race and social justice and inclusive outreach.

 


Way to go Mike Chin and Monica Beach!

Below is an excerpt from a letter we received from a property management firm following a presentation given by Enforcement staff Mike Chin and Monica Beach.

Hi Mike,

Many thanks to you and Monica for a great presentation. I know I had several important take-aways from the day, and I think I have a much better understanding of how we need to be handling Reasonable Accommodations requests. Our maintenance department is also much more keyed in on their important role in resident relations. So-a big success from my standpoint.

 


Events and Announcements

Civil Rights 101 workshop Dec 10th
A Workshop for Social Service Providers

Friday, December 10th, 2010
1:00pm- 5:00pm
Free!
Location: 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South,
Seattle, WA 98144

Register for this workshop by calling Brenda Anibarro at (206) 684-4514 or email Brenda.Anibarro@Seattle.Gov. Space is limited and on a first come first serve basis. Sponsored by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights.


MLK Essay
Twelfth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest Announcement and Rules

The King County Civil Rights Commission is sponsoring its Twelfth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Essay Contest open to all eighth grade students attending public and private schools in King County. The purpose of the essay contest is to encourage middle and junior high school students to think critically about Dr. King's legacy of peace and justice.

The essay theme is: "We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For."


Community Forum on Criminal Records- Tuesday, November 30th, 6pm, Garfield Community Center

For more information contact Brenda Anibarro, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, 206-684-4514 or email Brenda.Anibarro@Seattle.Gov. Sponsored by the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

Community Forum Flyer


Community Information Fairs on Nov. 30, Dec. 2

You're invited to a Community Information Fair to learn more about the proposal to renew the City's Families & Education Levy.

Tuesday, November 30
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32nd Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98118

Thursday, December 2 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Meadowbrook Community Center
10517 35th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98125

After listening to the community input on education from the Youth and Families Initiative process, the Levy Planning Committee has spent six months working hard to develop the next Families & Education Levy. At the information fair, you can

  • Learn about the recommended strategies for the new Levy
  • Offer your preferences for Levy services that should be provided for children, youth and families


  • To learn more about the Families & Education Levy, please call the Office for Education at 206-233-5118 or visit this Web site.


    Human Rights Day
    "Yearning to Breathe Free: Immigration, Human Rights, and Public Policy"

    Honoring: Real Change News; Beth Reis, Dr. Benjamin Danielson, Quinn Wyatt With Special Tribute to Roberto Maestas

    Thursday, December 9, 2010
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Seattle City Hall
    600 5th Avenue

    Free and open to the public!


    2011 Human Rights Day Flyer


    Seattle Office for Civil Rights
    Julie Nelson, Director

    For newsletter questions contact Brenda Anibarro, (206) 684-4514 Brenda.Anibarro@Seattle.Gov