12-05-2016  4:26 am      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Seattle Heritage Festival

Landmark Report Presents Recommendations on Giving Immigrants and Refugees Greater Voice

The King County Immigrant and Refugee Task Force recommends the best way to ensure the successful integration of these communities into the County is the creation of a commission that will become their voice in King County government.

Created by the Metropolitan King County Council, the task force presented their recommendations to Councilmembers. The recommendations are part of a report compiled by the 13-member panel that examines what steps the County should take to ensure that these communities have the opportunity to successfully integrate and become “engaged, thriving members of the community.”

From 2000-2010, more than half of King County’s new population was foreign-born, a number that continues to grow, with the majority of the population being located in communities outside of Seattle.

In the case of refugees, these are individuals and families moving to King County who are fleeing their home countries out of fear, whether it be due to war, persecution, or environmental disasters. They have a special refugee status secured while outside the country. Others are immigrants coming to King County and moving to America in the quest for a better life, perhaps to join family or perhaps knowing no one. Over the last four decades, there has been a change in those coming to the U.S., with a decrease in the number of citizens moving primarily from Europe to those born in Africa, Mexico and Southeast Asia.

The recommendations of the Task Force are the result of 10 months of exploration and the input received after more than 20 meetings held in communities throughout King County over a six-week period. Task Force members focused on how King County could achieve the goals that are part of the County’s equity and social justice vision, including assisting these communities in having fair and just access to services and opportunities. The community meetings targeted specific areas that prevent immigrants and refugees from full participation. Those include:

  • Discrimination
  • Language and culture issues
  • Difficulty understanding and navigating systems
  • Insufficient resources, and invisibility of communities

The members of the task force stressed while there are community groups that have been created to help these populations, those groups are limited because these is no umbrella organization to coordinate or streamline their efforts. They see a county-based commission as the best opportunity for that to occur.
Additional recommendations from the Task Force include:

  • Greater investment in immigrant and refugee communities: Greater civil engagement, assistance beyond basic needs (more support for life skills training, ESL, education on other cultures and home ownership),
  • Increased government responsiveness: Better, more meaningful connections to county government, greater involvement and participation of county officials and agencies within their communities, development of training programs for county employees focusing on immigrant and refugee issues, communities, and cultures,
  • Addressing issues related to immigration status: Working on solutions for undocumented populations that would allow them greater access to services—one example given by the Task Force being a municipal ID that would help with access to services regardless of immigration status. Reviewing programs that tie eligibility to immigration status (health insurance was specifically noted) to weigh costs of exclusion and possible workarounds, and providing better pathways for undocumented residents to become citizens.

 

Learn How to Research Family History at the Seattle Public Library Aug. 29 and Sept. 12

The Seattle Public Library will offer two workshops on researching family history on Aug. 29 and Sept. 12 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, Level 4, Boeing Technology Training Center Room 4, 206-386-4636.

Library events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for both workshops. To register, send an email using Ask A Librarian or call 206-386-4636 and ask for the genealogy desk. Parking is available in the Central Library garage at the regular rates.

Beginning Your Family History Research - 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Boeing Technology Training Center Room 4, 206-386-4636. Genealogy librarian Mahina Oshie will give an introduction to family history research and an overview of research resources available in the Seattle area. Sample genealogy charts and bibliographies will be provided in the class.

Genealogy Databases: Ancestry Library Edition – 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Boeing Technology Training Center Room 4, 206-386-4636. Genealogy librarian John LaMont will demonstrate how to use the electronic databases and internet resources found on the Library's website to search for ancestors. This workshop will focus on how to use the database "Ancestry Library Edition."

For more information, call the Library at (206) 386-4636 or visit https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-help/ask-a-librarian/ask-a-librarian-email-form.

 

Seattle Public Library Hosts Technology Petting Zoo Aug. 27

The Seattle Public Library invites everyone to drop in and try out tomorrow's technology alongside nostalgic old technology from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7539.

Library events are free and everyone is welcome. No registration is required. Free parking is available in the branch parking lot.

The Library's Teen Service Learning interns will help attendees test drive a variety of new technology that will include Little Bits inventor kits, 3-D printing, Finch robots and more. There will also be a showcase of old technologies that include a typewriter and gramophone.

For more information, call the branch at 206-684-7539 or visit https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-help/ask-a-librarian/ask-a-librarian-email-form.

 

Unique Donation Will be Used to Purchase Land

King County’s “green curtain” received a boost today with the unanimous approval of the Metropolitan King County Council to accept an anonymous donation of $392,000 that can only be used for the purpose of purchasing open space.

A local family that wishes to stay anonymous contacted the Seattle Foundation trying to find out how they could make a donation towards the purchase of open space in South King County. The Seattle Foundation put the family in contact with Forterra, who worked in collaboration with the County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks to find potential parcels for purchase.

King County Code allows the County’s Parks and Recreation Division to solicit gifts, but requires that gifts of $50,000 or more must be approved by the Council by motion. The adopted motion authorizes the Executive to accept a donation of $392,000 from Forterra for the purpose of acquiring the properties.

The three properties that will be purchased with this donation have been identified as critical preservation and habitat areas and will add to the County’s network of open spaces and trails. Two of the properties to be purchased will add to existing public lands in the Spring Lake/Lake Desire Park bordering the unincorporated community of Fairwood. The third will add to the open space network along Soos Creek near Covington.

 

For more Seattle and Portland area events, see the Community Calendar.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Hershey Felder's Irving Berlin
Santaland Diaries