Sebrena Burr, community activist and mother of 9-year old daughter Rena, went on a tour of charter schools in Houston hosted by pro-charter organizations. She now believes charters are not beneficial for the most underserved populations and has become an outspoken advocate about the harmful impacts of I-1240. (Photo courtesy Sebrena Burr)
Unless you are immersed in the education world, your exposure to charter schools might be limited to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.
But with Initiative 1240 on the Washington ballot this year, you’re being asked to make a major decision regarding our education system with little information other than the ample evidence that our existing schools are struggling.
Washington is one of the only states in the country with a growing opportunity gap between students of color/low-income students and their white counterparts. In the recent state Supreme Court decision, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff stating that Washington State has failed its paramount duty to provide basic education to all children. This upcoming legislative session, elected officials will be tasked with determining how we will fully fund basic education during an economic recession.
But in the midst of dealing with a broken and underfunded system why are we thinking about diverting more money from our struggling school districts to 40 charters schools that would only educate a very small proportion of our children? I-1240 has steered the conversation away from the thousands of students and the growing opportunity gap to the needs of less than 1% of our student population.
How did we find ourselves considering such an inequitable option?
The Japanese zombie film “Helldriver” takes camp and gore to outrageous levels. (Video still from “Helldriver”)
Run for your life folks, zombies are everywhere.
It’s Halloween night, and if you haven’t made your costume yet, take a cue from some chilling foreign zombie flicks and you’ll be the undead life of the party.
The American zombie scene has been saturated with zombie flicks that just look, and bite, the same. Sure, classics and smash hits like “Dawn of the Dead,” “Zombieland” and “The Walking Dead” are fantastic.
But I’ve seen close to 100 zombie movies and am what some might call a zombie nut. I am always looking for a film that can take the genre to the next level.
Since George A. Romero, my personal hero, brought “Night of the Living Dead” to the masses in 1968, his ghoulish formula has been copied, recycled and mashed up ever since. So much so that just about any red-blooded American can tell you that it takes a headshot to kill one and a zombie bite means you’re a goner.
I started venturing outside the realm of movies made stateside and looking at how filmmakers around the world are spinning the zombie yarn.
Fliers for Kshama Sawant, a socialist candidate running for state legislature, are plastered around Capitol Hill (Photo courtesy votesawant.org)
Kshama Sawant is a pretty cool lady.
She’s a socialist who won the opportunity to challenge entrenched State House Speaker Frank Chopp to represent the 43rd Legislative District as a write-in candidate in the primaries.
She teaches economics at Seattle Central Community College (she’s got a PhD!) And she’s a great example of how third party candidates aren’t all variations on that Goodspaceguy.
She has a dog named “Che,” makes fun of Marxists (“they all talk too much”) and has a uniquely socialist perspective on the Globalist-y aspects of the upcoming local elections.
She’s also super laid back about things not going according to plan.
I first heard of Sawant through the bright yellow and pink “Vote Sawant” posters I’d seen all over Capitol Hill. When I found out she had grown up in Mumbai, India I figured the Seattle Globalist had to meet her.
The 9th Congressional District (shown in green) was redrawn this year to be Washington’s first ‘majority-minorty’ district. (Image via Google Maps and Washington State Redistricting Commission)
When Washington’s congressional districts were redrawn last January, the State Redistricting Commission made a bold move:
They split the city of Seattle between two districts in order to create the state’s first ever “majority-minority” district.
The 9th Congressional District was shifted northward, leaving behind the Fort Lewis area and rural Pierce County to take in both South Seattle and a growing population of immigrant and minority voters in South King County.
Now 51 percent of residents in the new 9th district identify as ethnic minorities.
Majority-minority districts are usually created with an eye to boosting the number of minorities in Congress.
But that’s not going to happen this election.
Eight-term incumbent Adam Smith, a Democrat, is facing GOP challenger Jim Postma to be the face of Washington’s most diverse district. Both are white. Both are Christian. Both were born in the US.
Seattle Globalist co-founder and columnist Sarah Stuteville starts a new weekly column in The Seattle Times today:
Corina Bakker of local band the Tempers delivers her “Free Pussy Riot” message at the Comet Tavern. (Photo by Sarah Stuteville)
Friday night at The Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill: the music pounds, the bathrooms stink and Russian politics are the topic of the night. I’m at a benefit show for Pussy Riot — a punk rock band arrested in Moscow last March for protesting in a church — and experiencing the passion of new Global Seattle.
Our city has always had an international orientation. Global industries (logging, shipping, planes), an international border (Canada counts!) and a diverse population (even before Columbia City started promoting itself as one of the most diverse ZIP codes in the country) were part of our identity long before The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded its first grant or The Seattle International Film Festival screened its first foreign film.
But as a kid growing up in Ballard in the 1980s and 1990s, Seattle still felt like a small city with small city sensibilities.