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Seattle Vigil
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 21 July 2016

Urban League of Seattle receives $25,000 Grant for Career Bridge Program

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) this week announced it philanthropically invested $25,000 in Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to help African Americans with criminal histories chart a new course in life through its Career Bridge program.

Additional Wells Fargo Economic Opportunity grant recipients in Washington for 2016 include:

  • Ventures – $75,000 for microloans, entrepreneurship training and technical assistance
  • Neighborhood House – $25,000 for job training and adult educations programs

In order to strengthen communities challenged by the highest levels of unemployment, Wells Fargo awarded $2.3 million to 59 nonprofits across California, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Thirty-five of the funded nonprofits are from urban communities and 24 are from rural markets. The organizations offer people advancement opportunities by providing services focused on small and micro business development, workforce development or job creation.

In total, the 59 grants are expected to make the following impact in local communities (as reported by grant recipients):

  • 16,000 low-to-moderate income individuals to be served
  • 11,000 business owners to receive business planning support
  • 8,900 individuals to receive employment and job training
  • 14,500 expected job placements


Upthegrove Proposes $87 Million Investment in Affordable Housing

A plan to invest $87 million in affordable housing projects near transit stations over the next five years was approved today by the Metropolitan King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.

Upthegrove’s proposal will generate approximately $87 million by selling bonds supported by lodging tax revenue that must be spent on affordable housing under state law.

Approximately $32.3 million will be distributed throughout the County through a competitive procurement process. Projects must be located within one-half mile of transit stations. Preference will be given to proposals serving low-income households or other vulnerable populations such as survivors of domestic violence, veterans, and people with developmental disabilities.

The remainder of the funds will be focused on specific high-capacity transit areas that include the Northgate Transit Center, Des Moines Link Light Rail Station, S. 272nd Light Rail Station in Federal Way, Bel-Red Corridor transit stations, I-90 corridor from Issaquah to North Bend, and South Seattle stations.

This plan represents an expansion of the previous plan issued by County Executive Dow Constantine and invests an additional $39 million towards housing projects.

The legislation will be reviewed by the full Council later this summer.


Mayor: New Community Engagement Plan Will Bring More Diverse Neighborhood Voices Before the City

Mayor Ed Murray today signed an executive order to bring greater equity to the City’s outdated system for promoting public engagement among residents of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

The District Council system, established in 1987, includes thirteen area-based councils whose membership includes local residents representing their neighborhood’s community council, business associations, and nonprofit organizations. In 2009, the City Auditor issued a strongly-worded report advocating for a reset of the District Council system, due in part to the low-level of diverse representation on the district councils.

In 2013, a demographic snapshot of District Council attendees showed that they tend to be 40 years of age or older, Caucasian, with the vast majority owning their homes. At least six District Councils had no reported people of color attending, and only three District Councils reported any African American attendees.

Murray’s executive order directs City departments to begin developing robust community engagement plans, and takes steps toward dissolving the City’s ties to each of the thirteen district councils. The district councils may still exist, but Department of Neighborhoods’ resources that previously supported the district councils will be redirect to support all City departments in these efforts. Throughout the month of August, the Department of Neighborhoods will conduct civic engagement focus groups. By September 26, the department will also draft legislation for a new citywide community engagement framework and strategic plan, including a new Seattle Community Involvement Commission to be established by January 2017. The Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle IT are also directed to submit a digital engagement plan by March 1, 2017 to broaden public accessibility.

An FAQ on today’s announcement can be found here.


Department of Financial Institutions Warns Against Legal Mediation Services Scam

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers that before doing business with a financial institution, company, or individual, they should make sure that the entity is properly licensed. Consumers are urged to verify license status prior to giving the financial institution, company, or individual any nonpublic personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access.

DFI received a complaint indicating that “investigators” claiming to represent “Legal Mediation Services” contacted a consumer via telephone about the collection of a debt. The debt was purported to be from Direct Lending. The individuals alleged that an arrest warrant was put out for the consumer. The consumer reported that she has never conducted business with either entity.

Information included in the complaint:

Representative: Tracey, “Investigator”; Mr. Wilson, “Investigator”

Phone number: 859*208*0826

“Direct Lending” is not to be confused with the following licensed and registered companies in Washington state:

  • Direct Loans Online, Inc. dba Direct Lending Group
  • B & E Personnel Services, Incorp. dba Direct Lending
  • Direct Lending Group, Inc.

Those perpetrating this scam are not related to the properly-licensed companies listed above, and are not licensed by DFI nor registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP(382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. If the scammers already have your bank account information, social security number, or other nonpublic information, you may be a victim of identity theft and you should take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a financial scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus. Procedures for contacting the credit bureaus are available on the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov.


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

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