Here are the lucky winners. They helped the Northwest Asian Weekly pick the top 5 biggest stories of 2017 affecting the local API community. They each win a $25 restaurant gift certificate. Congratulations.
Compiled by Staff
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
1. Manka Dhingra wins WA’s 45th Senate District
Washington Democrats won a key state Senate race that put them back in charge of both legislative chambers for the first time in five years.
Manka Dhingra defeated Republican Jinyoung Englund and filled the seat left vacant by the death of Republican Sen. Andy Hill. Dhingra must run again in 2018, when about half of the Senate and the entire House is up for re-election.
The race in the 45th district drew nearly $9 million and national attention not usually seen in a state legislative race.
A prosecutor in King County, Dhingra leapt into politics following President Trump’s victory in 2016. She ran on a campaign centered on women’s reproductive health issues and gun safety.
2. Navigation Center controversy
Local Vietnamese Americans were upset over the decision to site a Navigation Center in Little Saigon.
They said the decision was reached without hearing their views or concerns, and they criticized the mayor’s office for their lack of communication and community outreach.
They were concerned the shelter would attract more crime and harassment from panhandlers and homeless people, and disproportionately put elders and patrons in danger.
The Navigation Center, a shelter that accepts people with pets, partners, and possessions, as well as substance abuse disorders — opened on July 12.
3. SpringHill Suites controversy
The proposed development, at 616 8th Avenue South by Hotel Concepts, has sparked controversy among the Chinatown-International District community. The SpringHill Suites by Marriott will be a 14-story, approximately 225,000-square-foot mixed-used structure, containing 158 hotel suites, 84 apartment units, 14 condominiums, and retail space.
The primary concerns of the Chinatown-International District Coalition — a group of community organizers which includes people who live and work in the Chinatown-International District — are an increase in traffic, decrease in pedestrian safety, disruption in access to services and daily needs, issues of affordability that would lead to displacement of existing residents and small businesses, and loss of a sense of community, culture, and heritage.
Supporters have said that the CID needs to be receptive to new businesses and new development.
4. WA State Attorney General shuts down Trump’s Muslim ban
On Feb. 3, Judge James L. Robart of the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of the Washington State Attorney General’s motion for a temporary restraining order on key sections of President Donald Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.”
Bob Ferguson argued the provisions were illegal and unconstitutional. The suit was joined by the Attorney General of Minnesota, Lori Swanson.
The two state Attorney Generals argued that the executive order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The court found that the State had shown that the Trump administration was unlikely to succeed in defending the order’s lawfulness.
5. Al Sugiyama passes away
Longtime community activist Al Sugiyama died on Jan. 2 at Swedish Hospital, surrounded by family and friends, after a battle with cancer. Sugiyama was 67 years old.
Sugiyama helped organize the Oriental Student Union at Seattle Central Community College and led the Asian Student Coalition at the University of Washington.
He started the Center for Career Alternatives, and headed the Executive Development Institute, a leadership training program.
In 1989, Sugiyama was the first Asian American elected to the Seattle school board, and he served two terms.