Our Future in Greenways, Eco Districts, Upzones, Design Reviews, Parks, Major Institution Master Plans, What does it all Mean?

Save the Date, April 11th and Attend

Certainly it is the people not the infrastructure that brings vitality to a neighborhood. Nonetheless, the design and type of development will have a profound effect on the character of where we live and work and this will be the focus of our April Quarterly Meeting with presentations by the Central Area Land Use Review Committee, Capitol Hill Housing and more. Why did you invest in the neighborhood? What are your aspirations for the Squire Park Neighborhood? Deciding to live in a neighborhood is an investment. How can you contribute your neighborhood? Squire Park residents and businesses, along with neighboring community councils have worked for decades to establish the Central District as a great place to live and work, while striving to maintain the residential character, the diversity, and history of our neighborhood. We have a great new board, and now more than ever we need ideas and energy from everyone in Squire Park.

The neighborhood-scape of Squire Park is changing and new development often feels chaotic, exciting and challenging. Newer and long-time residents know that some areas in the neighborhood are finally getting the attention they’ve needed and at the same time do not want to lose what brought them to this neighborhood or its familiar landscapes and landmarks. When poorly executed, these man made forms can contribute to feelings of isolation and alienation.  When well designed, neighborhood architectural styles and landscapes contribute to a welcoming, open, and neighborly feeling, while also reflecting a sense of the history and character of the place. The presentations will give an over-arching picture of what is being planned and currently under construction on 12th Avenue, E. Union, 23rd Avenue, S. Jackson and everywhere in between.

An important piece of the discussion will be how we can connect with the information to become effective advocates for our needs and aspirations for the neighborhood. Make this your neighborhood. Plan to attend the Squire Park Community Council Quarterly Meeting. In addition to the main presentation we will have updates on transportation and how you can be involved in restorative justice.

From the Meeting:


YJC: Community Update and Engagement Opportunities

Hello, Supporters of Squire Park’s racial justice work,

As members of the Youth Jail Committee that YOU helped create, we want to thank you for coming out to the Jan. 10 meeting of the Squire Park Community Council.

You provided the momentum to launch some exciting work, and we hope you will stay involved. This letter is to update you about great opportunities to plug into the work happening in and around our community.


  • As a result of your unanimous vote on Jan. 10 to write a letter officially clarifying that Squire Park is AGAINST the youth jail, we formed the Squire Park Community Council Youth Jail Committee and wrote a letter to the Seattle and King County Councils. (A copy of that letter is attached to this email).
  • Despite our letter and over 4 hours of public testimony unanimously against the construction of the jail, on Feb. 9 the King County Council unanimously voted to approve the contract with Howard S. Wright to build the youth jail.
  • We met with King County Justice staff members on Feb. 25 to reiterate our position in the letter.
  • We have continued to meet and to support the youth of color in our communities who have been leading the organizing effort against the jail.

Getting Engaged

The Peoples Tribunal on the US Juvenile Justice System
There is a great opportunity to engage this weekend at Seattle University. An important event created by the youth leading this movement, the Peoples Tribunal on the US Juvenile Justice System will build community and put the Juvenile Justice System on trial.

The Tribunal is set for Sat., March 28, 9:30 AM - 6 PM at Seattle University, Champion Ballroom, 914 E Jefferson St. More info: http://peoplestribunal.bpt.me/

In the organizers’ words: “As a community, we will hold the policies, the practices, and the personnel of these justice, or just-us, systems accountable:

  1. For disproportionately criminalizing and caging youth of color,
  2. For destroying communities of color,
  3. For financially profiting off the exploitation of youth of color,
  4. For coercion, torturing and terrorizing youth of color and their communities,
  5. For enacting state-violence against and lynching youth of color, and
  6. For ultimately killing the futures of youth of color by trapping them in a system that is slavery by another name….

Squire Park Youth Jail Committee’s Community Forum on Restorative Justice and The New Youth Jail

This idea is just that so far - an idea. We hope to create a forum on restorative justice and the new King County Youth Jail. We envision educating ourselves and our community: What is restorative justice? How does it work? What are its challenges? And its triumphs? How will it work in the Youth Jail? Want to join us in planning this? Please contact us.

Other events to learn more and connect with your community:
    • Undoing Institutional Racism training
     Thurs/Fri, May 14-15

    • European Dissent Quarterly Community Potluck Meeting
     Sun., May 17, time and location TBD.

    • No New Jim Crow Seattle weekly Vigil: Stop Jailing Youth - There's Another Way
     Wednesdays 4-5pm (NEW TIME!)
     401 Fifth Avenue at Jefferson
     For info: nnjcinfo@gmail.com

Thank you! Please reach out to us if you would like to join our monthly Squire Park Youth Jail Committee meetings.

In Solidarity and with Love,

Amir Islam
Squire Park Youth Jail Committee

Freshest Roots Expresso Open Mic

Founded in 2009, Freshest Roots is an organization established to connect the community to our roots through music and art. FR strives to spread awareness of culture and social issues, spur creativity and positive energy while celebrating diversity.

Freshest Roots, in partnership with Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, aims to provide a unique and welcoming space for artistic expression for all ages. Every First Friday at 7pm, Expresso Open Mic is held in Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute’s Grand Hall. Poets, vocalists, rappers, dancers and comedians alike take turns gracing the Expresso stage. There are 2-4 featured visual artists per month. The artist is invited to say a few words about their collection and their art is displayed around the room. There is also a professional photo booth where guests can get their photo taken for free.

Every month there is a new theme. December’s Expresso Open Mic theme was Freshest Roots Talks Ferguson. As community members it is our duty to utilize our safe space for not only showcasing performing and visual arts but also dialogue and discussion. We hosted a free-write segment and allowed for those who felt compelled to take the stage and share their thoughts. There were four invited spoken word artists who recited poetry directly dealing with Ferguson, police brutality and race relations. The regular scheduled open mic segment followed and free photo booth was then opened. The energy in the building was powerful and much needed. If we are to change the world we must first spark change in our own communities.

Our next large-scale Expresso will be held the first Friday in April for our 3-year anniversary at Langston Hughes Performing Arts institute. Until then, Expresso Open Mic will continue to serve as a catalyst for all ages artistic expression.

Expresso Open Mic

First Fridays, Doors/Sign Ups at 7pm | Show at 8pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Avenue S

For volunteering opportunities with Freshest Roots (Expresso as well as other events) email GWatkins@FreshestRoots.com

If you are interested in being a featured visual or performing artist at Expresso Open Mic email KeepTheRootsAlive@FreshestRoots.com.




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