Tag Archives: wyking

Omari Tahir-Garrett announces mayoral candidacy

From: CentralDistrictNews.com

Posted on January 9, 2013 by Tom Fucoloro
Omari at a meeting about the sale of the 23rd/Yesler fire station

Omari Tahir-Garrett announced his candidacy for Seattle mayor with a one-line email in his signature all-caps style:


He then copied and pasted the full text of a 2002 Seattle Times article about his sentencing hearing following an assault conviction for striking then-mayor Paul Schell with a bullhorn at 23rd and Union (Tahir-Garrett maintains that he used his fist, not a bullhorn).

Few CD activists are as controversial as Omari, who was a leader of the Colman School occupation in the 80s and early 90s. That effort eventually resulted in the Northwest African American Museum, which is not the cultural center Omari had hoped it would be. Just last year, Mayor McGinn cancelled a town hall at NAAM due to disruptions led in part by Omari.

With a very public assault on his record and his propensity to disrupt public meetings, Omari has alienated many people. But his refusal to be silenced and his never-ending dedication to the causes he believes in has also earned him a following. And no matter how people feel about him, he is certainly a notorious force in the CD.

Both Omari and his son, Wyking Garrett, ran for mayor in 2009. The Seattle Times reports that Wyking, active organizer of the Umojafest Parade and PEACE Center, is considering a run this year, as well. Stay tuned.


Discussion to make Firestation #6 the future home of the Umojafest PEACE Center

With the new Fire Station 6 at MLK and Jackson getting ready to open perhaps by the end of the year, the city is looking to sell the old station at 23rd and Yesler. Before they do that, however, the city is seeking input from the community about what people would like to see in the historic building.

The other idea presented at the meeting was to make the station the future home of the Umojafest PEACE Center. Currently based at 24th and Spring, the center is bursting at the seams with 150-200 young people using it every week, said Nicquitta Brooks.

Watch Omari and Wyking’s presentation Here

“If [the youth] are not given a stake in the community, that’s when they start acting destructively,” said Wyking Garrett, explaining why a space like the Umojafest PEACE Center is important.

Omari Tahir-Garrett also spoke and suggested the space could house the African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center.


Wyking: Seattle Mayor’s “Juneteenth” Town Hall

Mayor’s “Juneteenth” Town Hall
By Wyking

(re-printed from Central District News)

I was at the meeting that was held on Juneteenth. I found it ironic that the staff of a Black history institution nor the elected Mayor acknowledged the significance to US and world history.

But on to the issues. I did not notice anyone at the meeting promoting anarchism or “Black Bloc” as they’ve been called. There were a number people that were VERY vocal about issues related to police misconduct and accountability. There were also other issues raised.

The media, and Mayor’s office it appears, is not mentioning the biggest issue raised that led to the arrests were about corruption related to the ownership and occupancy of Colman school.

The meeting started with representatives of the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center asserting ownership and the founder presenting the Mayor with legal documents regarding ownership of the Colman school building and demanding an full scale investigation into corruption and fraud resulting in current occupancy by Urban League Village. They challenged the attempted corporate takeover involving prominent white Seattle power brokers including Bill Gates mother in law Mimi Gates. Barbara Thomas, the director of NAAM admitted that their organization did not own the building.

People also expressed:

-a need to stop the “plantation politics” and high level institutional racism and corruption that has effectively destabilized the African American community creating the conditions that foster the negative culture of crime and violence leaving everyone vulnerable as evidenced by tragic death of Tyrone Love and Justin Ferrari in the same block.

-Questioned the wasting of public resources such as the situation with Horace Mann being funded by the city yet kept empty.

– Reiterated ongoing need for a world class cultural center, an institution that effectively inspires and nurtures positive culture, pride and productivity. Too many African American youth who lack a positive cultural identity and framework adopt negative lifestyles trying to imitate European mafia gangster culture (i.e., Al Capone, John Gotti and Al Pacino Scarface). Colman school was fought for to be a center of cultural and economic revitalization for the community but was co-opted into a real estate development with a milquetoast museum-gallery that has not significantly impacted the issues of education/youth development, culture, economic development and public safety. The estimated 30 million dollars that has gone into this building could have made a serious difference if strategically invested.

-Raised questions about $200 million being spent on new juvenile jail development and ineffective incarceration model rather than invested in effective prevention and intervention.

-Raised questions about the administration’s commitment to diversity, equity and “shared prosperity” in light of people being pushed out of Seattle in general and the Central District and how the pending Yesler Terrace redevelopment in specific and mitigate or exacerbate the problem.

-Highlighted institutional inequity where white organizations use black faces on brochures to raise money in the name of “helping” the community but are really serving their own interests, perpetuating the status quo and keeping power among their own while problems in Black community have continued to get worse.

Personally, I would have preferred the meeting continued and feel that the Mayor got a pass to avoid dealing with hard issues and go beyond his talking points.

What I don’t understand is how everyone is going to live together in harmony if all lives and interests are not respected and valued. How can you expect peace without justice? There needs to be some honest dialogue if there is going to be any common ground or resolution. Other than that it will be business as usual, polarization will increase and tensions continue to rise.

Source: http://www.centraldistrictnews.com

Hollow Earth Radio: K. Wyking Garrett of UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E Center

In case you missed it, we’ve made this available as a podcast!

An important discussion between the hosts of the weekly Central Sounds show and esteemed guests K. Wyking Garrett of UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E Center and community journalist Sakara Remmu of the Sable Verity blog. This podcast features a necessary, and at times, heated conversation about changes in the Central District. Points of departure include the under utilization of the Horace Mann bldg in the community, what the occupy movement really means for people of color locally and nationally, and a variety of hot button issues that you’ll have to tune in to understand…

Source: http://hollowearthradio.org