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Youth Opportunity Summit

Youth Opportunity Summit


March 16, 2015 by Office of Mayor Murray


Youth Opportunity Summit Mayor Murray is convening an all-day Youth Opportunity Summit, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for young men of color. This Summit is intended to launch a new conversation about how we can build on the good work of our community partners through better alignment of resources, better coordination across systems and agencies, and through lifting up the voices of young people to address longstanding disparities.

Youth Opportunity Summit

When: Saturday, April 11th, 2015, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Where: Rainier Beach High School, 8815 S Seward Park Ave, Seattle, WA 98118

Seattle has committed to three related national initiatives:

President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper, a community challenge to improve outcomes for young men of color;
Cities United, an effort by the National League of Cities to reduce black male homicide;
National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, an initiative of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that seeks to more effectively prevent youth and gang violence.

The Youth Opportunity Summit will also serve as a space for dialogue on how Seattle can connect to a larger national network of communities engaged in addressing disparities for young people of color, identify ways to improve on our local strategies, and ultimately take action to move the needle locally.


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Sisyphean Tales: Senate Shoo-In Pramila Jayapal Mulls New State


Sisyphean Tales: Senate Shoo-In Pramila Jayapal Mulls New State

Ready for a rest after a campaign that put her more than 30 percentage points ahead of her closest competitor, and with the general election still to go, Pramila Jayapal isn’t diving into details of her plan of attack in the state Senate just yet. But she’s got some long-term plans for sure, and they’re of Herculean proportions. Or maybe Sisyphean.

Basically, she wants to restart the conversation about a state income tax. Or the kind of tax on the wealthy that voters overwhelmingly rejected in 2010, when presented with an initiative supported by Bill Gates Sr. Or some other alternative to the regressive sales tax that she can’t think of yet but probably won’t be an easy sell either. As she notes, anyone who has put forward such an idea in the past “has failed miserably.”

So why does she say she’s “most excited” about this right now? She says she sees no other choice. In her race for the South Seattle, 37th District seat that Adam Kline’s retirement left open, the longtime immigration rights activist says she was presented with a host of urgent needs, from finally passing a transportation package to dramatically ramping up education funding in a way that will satisfy the judge overseeing progress on the landmark McCleary decision.

The money’s got to come from somewhere, and she argues sales taxes will only take us so far. They don’t fully take advantage of the growing wealth around here because they only apply to what we buy, and just goods not services. Plus, they’re widely regarded as “regressive,” meaning the poor pay a larger share of their income than do the rich.

As she talked about this while doorbelling, people let her know that they weren’t prepared to pay an income tax on top of all the other taxes they pay. So she says the state would have to tinker with the whole tax system, possibly in a way that kept a lesser amount of sales taxes and combined them with an income tax.

That’s a huge undertaking, which is why she envisions it as a “serious, multi-year effort,” not anything she can remotely accomplish next session. And she still has the general election to get through and the changing politics of the legislature to figure out. A few tight races, like the one involving turncoat Democratic Tom Shelton, leave it uncertain whether the Senate’s ruling Majority Coalition will hold.

Still, she says, “that’s what I’ve spent the most time thinking about.” She adds that she hopes her strong showing this week will give her some leeway. So we soon may see her start rolling the ball up the hill.

Visit Pramila JayapalWebsite

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Immigration Activist Runs for Washington State Senate


By A Staff Reporter

Mar 24, 2014

Activist Pramila Jayapal, the founder of Hate Free Zone in Seattle, Wash., is running for the Washington State Senate.

United States

Attorney and immigrant rights activist Pramila Jayapal, the founder of Hate Free Zone, which organized after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to bring local Muslims and non-Muslims together in harmony, has announced her candidacy for the 37th District seat in the Washington state Senate, the Seattle Times reported.

The incumbent, Democrat Adam Kline, will vacate the post at the end of the year to spend more time with his family.

Jayapal, 48, is an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants and women and for social justice. It is her first try for public office.

“In my two decades of work for justice, I have seen the critical intersections between education, affordable housing, adequate family income, transportation, criminal justice and immigrant rights,” Jayapal told the Times.

“It would be an honor to have the opportunity to represent these very issues for this district that I love and have lived in for nearly two decades,” she said.

The 37th District stretches from Beacon Hill and south Seattle, where Jayapal lives, into Renton. It is one of the state’s most diverse districts, the Times said.

In 2008, Hate Free Zone changed its name to OneAmerica to remove confusion and reflect broader issues on immigration and social justice.

The Indian American activist stepped down as executive director of OneAmerica two years ago to focus more on national concerns and is currently a fellow at the University of Washington School of Law.

A former worker on Wall Street, Jayapal has received early endorsements from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and former King County executive Ron Sims, the Seattle Times reported.

At OneAmerica, she led a successful effort to file a class action lawsuit against the federal government to prevent the deportation of 5,000 Somalis nationwide. Jayapal has also served on the executive committee of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement and led a new voter drive in Washington that registered more than 23,000 new Americans to vote.

Born in India and raised in India, Indonesia and Singapore, she was recognized in May 2013 among 14 Asian American and Pacific Islanders as White House Champions of Change.

In conjunction with that event, she said in a statement, “I’m a proud immigrant from India. My parents used their last savings to send me here for college when I was 16 because they wanted me to have the best education possible.”

“Now, a mother myself, I know what an enormous sacrifice it was to send a child so far away, knowing they would probably never return back. Through my years of work with immigrants from all over the world, I’ve witnessed even greater sacrifices from so many who came to America seeking safety, stability and economic opportunity.”

“For the past 23 years, I’ve been inspired by countless people on the ground who demonstrated tremendous resilience and courage as they struggled to make ends meet. I began my social justice career in international public health, running a $6 million loan fund for critical health projects. I had the opportunity, too, to spend two years living in villages and small towns across India, understanding problems and solutions that came from the ground,” she said.

“I have a remarkable opportunity to work at the national level on the most important questions of our time: passing immigration reform, but also how to navigate our rapidly changing demographics with grace, and how to build an economy that works for everyone, including people of color, women and the most vulnerable,” the Indian American attorney said.

“I’ll continue to dedicate my life to reaching for our nation’s beautiful founding ideals: that America is born of hope, possibility and justice, where each one of us has the choice, the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute our full selves to this beautiful place we call home.”