by Sharon Svec
Some might say that greatness was lost on America, but we disagree. For the last 100 years, we’ve seen and experienced the greatness of our community, which has built and maintained a safe place where eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, remains the ultimate mission.
This was evident in 1916, when we established a lunch counter, so that working women could eat and socialize in public. It was also clear in 1960, during the emerging civil rights movement, when we took an official stand against segregation. Over the years, up to seven different programs have been developed to address the changing needs of our community, and to ensure that equality, diversity, and empowerment are celebrated and encouraged in the work we do and the lives we live.
by Emily Ostrowski
This year our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program is celebrating its 35 year anniversary. We are incredibly proud of all the work our volunteers have done for children in the community through this program. In honor of this, we’d like to take some time to look back at the very beginnings of the CASA Program, and why it remains a vital resource to advocate for children.
The National CASA Program was started by King County Superior Court Judge David Soukup in 1977. During his time on the bench in juvenile court, Judge Soukup became frustrated that during cases there was no one in the courtroom whose sole job was to provide a voice for children, and from his concerns the idea for CASA grew. “It struck me that it might be possible to recruit and train volunteers to investigate a child’s case so they could provide a voice for the child in those proceedings, proceedings which could affect their whole lives,” said Soukup.
by Michelle Polek
Charleena Lyles called the police to ask for help. That’s one of the supposedly basic concepts that many of us instill in our children: when you are in danger, call the police. Memorize 911. If you are lost, find a police officer. They will help you. In most horror movies, the arrival of police sirens and lights signify that safety has come at last. Here at SafeChoice, I am currently charging several of our donated phones that we always have on hand to give to survivors. These phones don’t have a messaging plan – their sole purpose to have a way to call 911. Calling the police is an important part of many domestic violence survivors’ safety plans. But calling the police is not a safe option for everyone.