Since June 16th, 2020 the Corner Greeters joined by the Clean Crew, RBAC’s Circle Keepers and RBAC’s YATTA Rising Team (20 in all) have “activated” the west end of the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot. This activity is being conducted with the goal of making that space “less hot.” If you haven’t heard three of our own lost their lives there or near there in the past eight months. No incidents have occurred there since June 16th.
The “activation,” which is an evidence-based practice that reduces the incidents that contribute to youth crime, includes a resource table, conducting safety surveys, providing nutrition, posting headlines to the RB News Wire, beautification of the local area and a healing circle. Imagine that…every Friday afternoon/early evening since June 16 this “activation” has occurred. The young adults — referred to as YATTA’s (young adults transitioning to adulthood) — who activate this space live, go to school, catch transit, pray and shop in Rainier Beach. In other words, Rainier Beach is their home.
There is a line in all RBAC job descriptions that states, “Need to be comfortable working in areas where violence and crime may occur and be committed to improving the beautification of it.” This signals to all who aspire to work at RBAC the reality of the situation, and the opportunity. This is a more poignant statement in light of the fact that RBAC has received a number of calls recently from residents and local organizations concerned about gunshots in various parts of Rainier Beach. We wonder if these folk have in their job descriptions (or maybe in part of their neighborhood covenants) a similar statement.
The young folk ask themselves in light of these concerns, “Don’t they know where they live or work? Don’t they know this is what under-investment in a people, in a neighborhood, creates? They also ask, “Do they realize they are discounting the work that is going on to limit these occurrences, even though we are underfunded to do it?” Regardless, these young people are committed to realizing the vision, but naturally, success in such an endeavor cannot be done in isolation, so a shout out is in order: Rainier Beach A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth initiative, Southeast Network Boys and Girls Club, Mom’s Demand Action, and Rainier Beach Safeway management. We can be counted on to engage the concerned residents and organizations and together realize the vision for this place.
Can you join us? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.