02-19-2017  6:05 pm      •     
Alzheimer's

County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of two centuries of bondage of Americans of African descent in the United States.

Two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces, and one month after the last official battle of the Civil War, the last Africans and African-Americans in bondage were told of their freedom by Union forces. That date, June 19, 1865, became a day of celebration for the African-American descendants of those freed slaves.

As those descendants left Texas and spread throughout the United States, they took the celebration with them, a recognition and remembrance of the challenges they faced then and today.

 

King County Announces New Director of Police Oversight

The Metropolitan King County Council announced today the hiring of Deborah Jacobs as Director for the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO), an independent government agency with responsibility for reviewing complaints relating to the King County Sheriff’s Office, its policies and practices.

Jacobs takes the helm of a newly strengthened agency. In November, King County voters approved a measure to expand OLEO’s authority to investigate complaints. New precedents for investigations and advocacy will be established under her leadership.

In a career dedicated to human rights, Jacobs has served in executive leadership positions for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Ms. Foundation for Women. She brings extensive knowledge of organizational management as well as expertise in police practices. As Executive Director for the ACLU of New Jersey for 13 years, Jacobs worked on a wide array of policing issues including Internal Affairs policies, bias-based policing, sexual harassment, local enforcement of federal immigration laws, and training. In Newark, she created an unprecedented model for documenting police misconduct, successfully making a case for DOJ intervention in the troubled Newark Police Department.

In addition to expertise on police practices, Jacobs has worked on a wide variety of civil liberties issues, including First Amendment rights, privacy, government transparency, economic justice, criminal justice policy and women’s health and safety.

Jacobs grew up in Ellensburg, where her father taught Law & Justice at Central Washington University. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Organizations including the National Organization for Women, the NAACP, and the Peoples Organization for Progress have formally recognized Jacobs’ advocacy. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Helsinki, Finland.

 

Youth tell the City how to spend $700,000 of public funds

Mayor Ed Murray has announced the project winners of Youth Voice, Youth Choice, the City’s new Participatory Budgeting (PB) initiative in which youth decide how to spend $700,000 of the City’s budget. More than 3000 youth ages 11-25 voted on 19 project proposals in May.

The seven winning projects are:

  • Houses for People Experiencing Homelessness
  • Youth Homeless Shelter Improvements
  • Job Readiness Workshops for Homeless Youth
  • Homeless Children and Youth Liaison Services
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot Checkout
  • Park Bathroom Upgrades
  • Safe Routes to Schools

“Thanks to the leadership of former Councilmember Nick Licata, we launched participatory budgeting to empower the youth of Seattle and to show them that their voice matters in shaping this city,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Through this process, we learned that young people are concerned about the homelessness crisis gripping our city, as well as issues of equity and public safety. They want to help those who are suffering and to create safer streets for walking or biking.”

The process started in January with several assemblies where the public brainstormed ideas for projects it would like to see in their communities. The 20 youth delegates turned those ideas into 19 concrete proposals with help from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and City staff. Now that the choices have been made, City staff and local agencies will implement the projects.

Participatory Budgeting is a civic engagement program in which community members decide how to spend a portion of a City’s budget. Seattle has joined Chicago, New York, Boston, and cities across the globe in using the process. Youth Voice, Youth Choice is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. For more information, visit the Youth Voice, Youth Choice website at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/seattle-participatory-budgeting.

 

Alzheimer’s Association Offers Long-Distance Caregiver Support Group

Caring for someone with memory loss long-distance? Do you need information and support? Alzheimer’s Association long-distance family caregiver support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss long-distance.

Meetings are held the 2nd Monday of the month, from 6:00-7:30 pm, at Full Life Care, 6555 Ravenna Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98112. For information call Marian Sheehan, (206) 323-2096.

 

HUD Warns of Housing Grant Scam

HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has received complaints about fraudsters contacting individuals to say they have been awarded a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but they need an upfront fee. HUD will never email or call to "award" clients money.

In addition, HUD has learned about fraudsters using the same scam to trick their targets into sending them "fees" to so they can process grants for thousands of dollars. While the same phone number is being used, that is likely to change over time. HUD recommends members of the public do not take or return phone calls from (315) 675-4146, give identifying information by fax or over the phone to anyone offering you a grant or wire funds to cover the "fees" for the federal grant.

If you receive contact from this number, or anyone requesting money on behalf of HUD, file a report on OIG’s website or call the appropriate Special Agent in Charge in the Office of Investigation.

 

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

Recently Published by The Skanner News

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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