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This weekend we begin Daylight Savings Time, which means spring is almost here. Today, I’m sharing updates on my work to address current challenges our city is facing along with a great community discussion on race and health disparities.

In Support of the AAPI Community

The Council's statement in solidarity with the AAPI community

On Monday, my council colleagues and I signed a statement in solidarity with the Asian American community and condemning the growing anti-Asian hate crimes against our Asian American neighbors. Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting database created at the beginning of the pandemic, received 2,808 reports across the nation of anti-Asian discrimination between March 19 and December 31, 2020. One recent study found a 150% increase  in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020, even though overall hate crimes fell last year. Locally, there have been 59 hate crimes filed with the King County Prosecutors in 2020, up from 39 in 2019 and 30 in 2018. This year, there have already been seven hate crimes against Asian Americans in the Seattle area. Unfortunately, we also know there are verbal and physical attacks that go unreported, or are ignored or mistakenly classified. 

Please click here for the full statement.

Thank you to the community leaders and elders in the API community for their help in drafting this statement. This statement must be coupled with policy and investments to address violence and racism, and I am committed to working with community on those next steps. I am also passing along a flyer I received from an elder who is encouraging folks to attend the Stop the Hate rally at Hing Hay Park - it’s Asian youth planned and led.

Recap: Addressing Racism Present in our Healthcare Systems

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a community conference hosted by King County Equity Now (KCEN) to discuss the importance of building collective Black power in healthcare.  We heard from community health leaders such as Dr. Ben Danielson, Healthcare Equity Advocate, Sybill Hippolyte from the African American Health Board and WSLC, Danisha Jefferson-Abye from the Tubman Health Center for Health and Freedom, Emijah Smith, TraeAnna Holiday from KCEN and many more. Each speaker talked about how we all have a role to elevate the current movement of community power. Before COVID-19 the Black community was already facing disparities in accessing adequate health and medical services and treatment, with the pandemic those disparities have been apparent with the disproportionate number of Black community members contracting COVID-19. I appreciate all the insights from the panelist on how we can build a stronger accessible healthcare system for all.

Additional Rental Assistance Coming

This week we are expecting draft legislation that will increase available rental assistance for our city’s residents that comes from funding allocated to Seattle in December as part of the federal government’s COVID bill totaling nearly $23MM in direct aid. These funds will join the rental assistance that will be provided by the city through the passage of the JumpStart Tax. The focus of these dollars will be not just be on replenishing available resources for tenants, but in expanding partnerships between the city and community partners to both accelerate distribution of funds as well as provide an equity lens on both this aid as well as future rounds of aid expected from both the federal and state governments.

It is my priority that we get these dollars out the door as soon as possible through our partners to provide direct relief for our hardest hit tenants and small landlords. In the meantime, additional resources for rental assistance can be found here.

COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day Proclamation

Last Monday, I introduced a proclamation designating March 1, 2021 as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day . I’m proud to have been joined by my council colleagues as Seattle joined 152 other cities across the country to pass a proclamation and reflect on the tragedy, loss, and havoc COVID-19 has left in our communities. Though we have had lower COVID infection and death rates than other cities locally, every life lost matters and has left a hole in the heart of loved ones, family members, and the community as a whole. We must remember that every person lost or who has suffered from COVID-19 is not just a number – they are real people with families and loved ones who are impacted.

I was touched by the statement of Linda and Alexander Oliver, who accepted the proclamation in remembrance of their daughter, Marian Jude Oliver, who was lost to COVID-19. “For all that she gave in life, I mourn most that I could not be there with her during her final moments. I was there when she took her first breath and I watched her take her final breath over Zoom. To not be able to hold my daughter’s hand during her greatest time of need will follow me for the rest of my life. I would not wish this horrific experience on anyone.”

As we hopefully move toward the end stages of this pandemic, we must not let down our guard. It is more important than ever to maintain proper social distancing, avoid crowds and gatherings outside our households, and wash our hands. I will continue hold those who have experienced a loss, who have recovered from COVID, who are battling COVID currently, and who are experiencing financial insecurity, mental health trauma, housing and food insecurity and more as a result of this pandemic close to my heart. You are not alone. 

In solidarity,
Teresa Mosqueda

Seattle City Council Councilmember, Position 8
Copyright © 2021 Seattle City Council, All rights reserved.

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