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Bettie Williams-Watson Recognized for her Advocacy for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors

D2_WilliamsWatson_webBettie Williams-Watson has been a community activist for over 30 years, but for many in our community she has been a lifeline for those fleeing domestic and sexual violence. For her work as a voice for the survivors of domestic violence, as well as providing critically needed, culturally relevant services for perpetrators, I and the Council honored Ms. Williams-Watson, presenting her with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service.

Ms. Bettie Williams-Watson has raised awareness of these traumatic acts particularly within the African American community. Yet, due to her understanding of the historic trauma and fragmentation African American families have experienced throughout our 400 years, she understands the need to provide culturally effective awareness and interruption upstream, therefore providing programming for perpetrators as well. She has clearly raised consciousness in terms of sexual and domestic violence awareness.

In 1987, Williams-Watson became a Volunteer Coordinator for what was then the New Beginnings Shelter for Abused Women and Children, and eventually worked in a number of other capacities including Shelter Advocate; Community Advocate, and Community Advocacy Program Director. Williams-Watson soon helped create the first support group in the State of Washington for Older Abused Women, and developed groups at Shoreline, Central, and Greenwood Senior Centers.

Over the last three decades, Williams-Watson has become an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, focusing on survivors in the African-American community, including working with three faith communities in developing Multi-Communities, a faith-based program that aids domestic violence survivors. Williams-Watson has also worked with Solid Ground, Northwest Family Life and the Salvation Army. She has also worked with batterers, creating a Domestic Violence Treatment Prevention Program for at-risk male teens in 12 community and/or school-based settings for kids, ages 9-18 and being the co-lead of the only African American Batterers Treatment groups for men, ages 20-50+ in the Rainier Valley. Her current project is Closing the Circle: Ending Silence and Shame in Predominantly African American Faith Communities, which focuses on African American boys as allies in their own healing and well-being, a step toward reducing high levels of gender-based violence.

Ms. Williams-Watson’s work has been recognized locally and nationally. She has received the Ginny Nicarthy Award for Excellence in Advocacy by King County Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence and has been a National R.O.S.E. Award Nominee. She has been recognized by the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as well as the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center for groundbreaking work in addressing domestic and sexual violence through the use of faith communities.

The annual presentation of the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service is the Council’s way of thanking those who have made a particularly strong impact on the county and to encourage others to renew their dedication to serve their community. This is the third year Councilmembers have recognized individuals in their districts who have answered the question asked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are you doing for others?”

Congratulations Franklin High School Mock Trial Team!


Franklin High claims top honor in national mock-trial competition! For the first time in 15 years, Franklin’s varsity team took 1st place at the Washington State Mock Trial Championship, earning a spot at the National High School Mock Trial Championship. Franklin High School’s Mock Trial Team was declared the National Champion in Reno, Nevada on May 13th, the second time (2000) to win this coveted title in the 25 years of the existence of this program. The team competed against 46 teams, and after five rounds of arguing the same court case against competitors from 42 states, Guam, the Mariana Islands and South Korea, took home the win. Franklin High School is located in District Two, and the King County Council honored the team on May 7 for winning the state championship. The Council would like to congratulate the members of the team and their coach, Don Eaton, and retired King County Judge William Downing for overseeing high school mock trials in King County for many years. Congratulations Franklin High School!

Metro Routes 4 and 48 to be Re-Routed off 23rd Avenue Temporarily

23rd_avenue_s_reroutes_420x280Metro Transit routes 4 and 48 will be re-routed between S Jackson Street and Rainier Ave S starting this spring for about one year due to construction for the Seattle Department of Transportation 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements project.

Routes 4 and 48 will be detoured off of 23rd Avenue S to Martin Luther King Jr Way S, between S Jackson St and Rainier Ave S when construction begins in May.

Route 4 is a trolley route and there is no trolley wire on Martin Luther King Jr Way S, so all service south of the stops on E Jefferson St will be provided on 40-foot long diesel bus shuttles starting March 12, 2018. On weekdays, this will require anyone traveling beyond E Jefferson St to transfer between the regular trolley bus and the diesel shuttle bus. On weekends, Route 4 will operate full-length trips with diesel buses.

Look for signs at the bus stops, electronic alerts, and street teams getting the word out to riders. For questions, contact or Kamilah Brown at

Communities of Opportunity

King County and Seattle Foundation selected 27 nonprofit organizations that will help improve health, social and economic outcomes in the region. The total of $2.5 million in competitive grants will help confront startling racial inequities in King County. The community partners will achieve multiple goals, such as empowering small family businesses facing displacement, connecting youth of color with city leaders to prevent violence, and making it possible for more people of color to participate in the green economy.

This is the latest round of investments from Communities of Opportunity – a partnership between King County and Seattle Foundation – which is governed by leaders from community organizations, local governments, and philanthropies.

“We are setting a course for positive change by tapping into community expertise and supporting community priorities,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “This latest round of community investments holds true to our shared vision with King County to further civic engagement, advance community leadership and support community priorities.”

Communities of Opportunity is funded jointly through Seattle Foundation and Best Starts for Kids, a voter-approved initiative to promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families, and communities in King County.

Here are a few examples of the partnerships funded by Communities of Opportunity grants:

  • Casa Latina will work to develop and advocate for a Bill of Rights that better protects domestic workers and removes loopholes in employment laws that often exclude domestic workers.
  • Federal Way Youth Action Team will expand its work to engage youth of color in policy making. This includes engaging city leaders to discuss vital issues with young people, including violence prevention approaches.
  • Friends of Little Saigon received a capacity-building award to engage small family businesses to mitigate changes in the neighborhood and to strengthen Little Saigon in Seattle’s International District as a cultural hub for the larger Vietnamese population.
  • Got Green will address disparities that often keep people of color from participating in the green economy internships and careers. This includes investing in fellowship programs to develop young leaders in the environmental justice movement.
  • Here is a complete list of the systems and policy change grants. The 27 nonprofits that successfully competed for the Communities of Opportunity grants will work with partners, so a total of 50 nonprofits will contribute to the work.

Council Approves a Flat Fare for Metro Riders

The King County Council unanimously approved steps simplifying Metro Transit's complex fare structure to a flat $2.75 adult fare. The new fare plan eliminates a payment system that fluctuated between time and distance and could cost an adult rider between the ages 19-64 anywhere from $2.50 to $3.25 a ride. The new fare eliminates the Peak and Zone Fares for Single Adult Rate and does not affect the roughly 1 in 3 Metro riders who pay ORCA Lift—Metro’s low income fare program— or youth, senior, and disabled fares. The new fare structure will go into effect in July of 2018.

Dreamers Legislation Passes Unanimously

This week, the King County Council passed legislation calling on Congress to swiftly and comprehensively protect the legal status of thousands of Dreamers. The motion, passed 9-0, also directs King County’s federal government relations team to prioritize efforts in Congress to continue DACA protections. It also requests this team commence efforts to build a broad coalition of county officials nationwide. This heartless action from the White House punishes people who were raised, educated and contribute everyday to the only home they know--the United States. Congress must act to protect DREAMERS! A copy of the legislation is now being shared with Washington’s congressional delegation. For more information on the termination of the Dreamers Program and various resources, visit:

Councilmember Gossett featured on Prosecutor's Partners

Celebrating Black History Month: King County's Logo

MLK logo 225pxClick here for information on the 10 year anniversary of the county logo


What’s Happening in District 2

A Central Area Story: A Nightime Projection Event
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
6pm - 8pm
Greater Mount Baptist Church parking lot, 2425 South Jackson Street

Bring your friends and family to see images, art and stories from the Central Area neighborhood. Artists Jill Freidberg, Rachel Kessler, and Inye Wokoma have created a dynamic video artwork that takes you through the sights and memories of the Central Area. Come to learn about the public artwork being commissioned for the Central Area and help us visualize what the artwork should be. Hot cocoa and food provided. There will also be art activities at Two Big Blondes Retail Store. FREE but please RSVP here:

Student Leaders Program - Apply Now
2019 Student Leaders application period will be open from November 11, 2018 — February 1, 2019
Program Open to Community-minded high school Juniors and Seniors

Are you a Student Leader? Since 2004, Student Leaders has been part of our ongoing commitment to youth employment and economic mobility. Preparing a diverse pipeline of community-minded young students with the leadership training they need to be successful in the workforce is vital to our approach to responsible growth and helps to build thriving communities. Every year, through our Student Leaders program we help connect 225 community-minded high school juniors and seniors to employment, skills development and service. They're awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofits such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity and participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. The Student Leaders Summit focuses on skill building and creating a more civically engaged society.
If you or someone you know have a passion for improving the community, click here to see where the Student Leaders Program operates and learn more about our eligibility criteria. The 2019 Student Leaders application period will be open from November 11, 2018 — February 1, 2019. Encourage young people to apply. 

Stitchery & Conversation 
‎Thursday, ‎December‎ ‎27, 2018  Room 108
10 am - 11am 
University Heights, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 Room 108,

Each fourth Thursday of the month, we gather together for knitting, crocheting, stitching and conversation. Stop by and bring a friend. All are welcome! For more information:

Career Bridge Job Readiness Program
January 2019, classes begin 
10am - 2pm, Monday - Friday
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle,105 14th Ave, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98122 

The Career Bridge training curriculum targets in on soft skills development, job readiness, wellness, computer basics and focuses on each of our student’s strengths to prepare them for employment. Sign up today! 
• $75 Stipend per week while in training/classes are 6 weeks long (paid bi-weekly) 
• Life skills, communication, and essential soft skills 
• Job search portfolio (personal career plan, cover letter, resume and interview skills) 
• Wrap-Around Services
4 certifications

*Forklift *OSHA 10*Industrial First Aid/CPR *Flaggers

• Transportation Assistance provided (during training) 
• Job Placement Assistance

Call the Urban League to enroll now at 206-461-3792! 

Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands Community Workparty
Saturday, January 5, 2019 
10am - 12:30pm 

Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands, 5513 S Cloverdale St, Seattle, Washington 98118
Join the Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands  on the 1st Saturday of each month on various projects to maintain the farm and grow food for our community. For more information:

Jeremy Bell: Utopian Blackness Exhibit
December 20, 2018 - March 24, 2019.
Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S. Massachusetts Street Seattle, WA 98144

You don’t want to miss the  highly anticipated Jeremy Bell: Utopian Blackness exhibit. You can catch the exhibit during regular business hours of the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), including Free First Thursday on January 3, 2019.
Through the lens of self-discovery, Jeremy Bell creates lifelike portraits of people. The images of men and women are reflections of Bell’s lived influence and his intimate inspirations brought to the surface by his bond with his Mother, Brother, Aunt and Grandmother. This display of fond, and familiar faces accurately resembles the essence of this exhibition title, Utopian Blackness. Jeremy Bell: Utopian Blackness masterfully uses ink, graphite, charcoal, spray paint, wood and wax, all to frame the ordinary beauty of “just being you,” while elevating the relevance of identity found in a Utopian Blackness. The exhibition runs from December 20, 2018 - March 24, 2019. More information:

46th Annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Friday, January 18, 2019 
Noon to 1:30pm
Mount Zion Baptist Church, 

Please me at the 46th annual community celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. This year, renowned author, preacher, and academic Michael Eric Dyson will be the keynote speaker. DaNell Daymon and Greater Works gospel choir will  grace us with their award-winning music. This special celebration of reflection and unity is free and open to all. I hope to see you there. 

37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March and Rally 
Monday, January 21, 2019
Workshops 9:30am - 10:50am
Rally in Gymnasium 11am - 12:30pm
March 12:30pm
Garfield High School, 300 Jefferson St. Seattle, WA 98122

The Seattle MLK, Jr. Organizing Coalition will host its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration on January 21st, 2019. This year’s theme is Affirmative Action = Justice. At this this the workshop committee is accepting proposals for the event. If the theme resonates with you, consider submitting a workshop proposals for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration The link to applications is on the site below.
Workshops should relate to the theme and/or Doctor King’s legacy - they begin a day of learning, celebration, political/justice muscle flexing and community building.  The Coalition is seeking a broad array of workshops for many ages and interests. Please consider offering a workshop or sharing with interested presenters. Preference will be given to proposals submitted by the end of December.:

The Eastlake Community Council Public meeting on Roosevelt Rapid Ride
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
6:30pm - 8:30pm
TOPS-Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E., 

This public meeting is your opportunity to discuss with government officials and your neighbors the RapidRide bus line, protected bicycle lanes, and on-street parking prohibitions that the Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing for Eastlake Avenue. The meeting will also address other bus, bicycle, pedestrian, and parking issues. Loss of parking, dedicated bus lanes and impact to community have been issues the neighbors have raised. Make plans to attend if you have questions, concerns and to share comments. For more information:


Contact Councilmember Gossett

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