Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for the 'Community Leaders' Category

Aug 07 2014

Tony Orange Day!

Published by under Community Leaders

Please join me, community leaders, and other elected officials at the Tony Orange: Community Recognition for One of Our Own on Friday, August 29, 2014 at 7PM at the Royal Esquire Club, 5016 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98118.

The Tony Orange Community Recognition will be a celebration of his dedication and love for the “Beloved Community.” Tony’s commitment, courage, and service continues to make a difference in the lives of Seattle’s residents.

Please RSVP if you plan on attending:

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Aug 31 2012

Proclamation: Louise Jones McKinney Day

Published by under Community Leaders

Proclamation issued on August 31, 2012

WHEREAS, Sister Louise Jones McKinney was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1930 — during a time of adversity and progress. While in Cleveland, she graduated from Case Western Reserve University. She met Samuel McKinney in church and the two later married, moving first to Providence, R.I., where he pastored, before relocating to Seattle in 1958 to lead Mount Zion Baptist Church; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney adored her family — her husband and daughters Lora-Ellen McKinney and Rhoda McKinney-Jones, as well as her grandson, Kent McKinney Jones. She was a mother and sister to her son-in-law, Sam Henry Jones, Jr. and brother, John (Sonny) Jones, Jr.; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney has shown an extraordinary commitment to her community by serving as a philanthropist, patron of the arts, and longtime educator who believed that all children were capable of learning, no matter their station in life; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney was a teacher and principal at a number of Seattle schools. In this capacity, she prodded and nudged institutions to do right by all our children – especially African American youth – and established scholarships to ensure the brightest among them got a fair shot; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney gave young people the hope to believe in themselves and the idea that they could achieve anything; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney has had a tremendous impact on the lives of those she touched – she never faced a challenge too large for her to pursue and her community was the benefactor of her unswerving commitment to God and humanity; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney was a citizen of the World — everywhere she went, she left her mark in areas from religion to education to civil rights; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney will be remembered for her unrelenting and indomitable spirit of action — she inspired a generation to succeed and yielded herself to become a source of inspiration for her community and for Seattle; and

WHEREAS, Louise McKinney has left us, but her legacy will be cherished and not forgotten.


Louise Jones McKinney Day
in Seattle. We call upon all residents and educators to join in and pay final tribute, honor and respect to a woman who was larger than height. Together, let us honor her life and legacy to make our city a better place by promoting equality, social and economic justice, and the basic rights for all children and youth to succeed.

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Aug 31 2012

Proclamation: George William Hickman, Jr. Day

Published by under Community Leaders

Proclamation issued on August 30, 2012

WHEREAS, Mr. George William Hickman, Jr., was born on August 6, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the son and eldest child of George and Corean (Jordan) Hickman, and the grandson of slaves; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., adored his family — his wife, Doris Baptist Crawford Hickman, daughter Regina Hickman Melonson, daughter Sherie Hickman Gaines, son Vincent Hickman, and daughter Shauneil Hickman Robinson. George has three sons-in-law: Wayne Melonson, Vincent Gaines and Dean Robinson; five grandchildren, two great grandsons, an aunt, many cousins, and other relatives and friends throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr.’s extraordinary interest and great love of airplanes lead him to join the Air Force in World War II, and become one of the Tuskegee Airmen, a select group of African-American fighter pilots. George was a part of the 99th Air Squadron who broke down barriers because many people believed African Americans were not capable of being pilots; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., in spite of adversity and limited opportunities, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois. George’s experience as a Tuskegee Airmen, along with his engineering brilliance, earned him a career at the Boeing Company in Seattle, WA; and

WHEREAS, the persecution, abuse, and violence suffered by many African American veterans, as well as the courage and dedication of George W. Hickman, Jr. and the Tuskegee Airmen, persuaded President Harry S. Truman to sign Executive Order 9981, which backed civil rights initiatives and desegregated the United States Armed Forces. His actions paved the way towards integration of our country; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., and the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen were called to Washington, D.C. in 2007, to receive the Congressional Gold Medal; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., and the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen were invited by then President-elect Obama to attend the 2009 inauguration of the country’s first black president; and,

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., served his community through volunteering his time to be a volunteer organizer for the Special Olympics, coach basketball for the Seattle Catholic Youth Organization, serve as Vice President of the Seattle Black Catholic Lay Caucus, serve as a member of the Catholic Diocesan School Board and President of St. Joseph’s Catholic School Board; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., was honored by the Fulcrum Foundation in 2008 for his long-time support and dedication to Catholic education in the Northwest; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., in later years, was a beloved usher at University of Washington and
Seattle Seahawks games, where he greeted the public and athletes with an encouraging handshake or high-five and a smile as bright as a ray of sunshine. He was like a living history book and once said, “You don’t get anywhere in life if you’re angry. And besides, things are getting better”; and

WHEREAS, George W. Hickman, Jr., is an American hero, because he showed us how to not forget the past, but to focus on our future – America’s future — and to treat each other with humility, selflessness, compassion, and honest-to-goodness friendship; and

WHEREAS, It has been said before that “Some people do great things, while others are simply great, no matter what they do. George William Hickman, Jr., represented the best of both.” George, you have earned your wings!

THAT AUGUST 30, 2012, IS
George William Hickman, Jr. Day

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Feb 26 2012

Proclamation: Cierra Sisters: A celebration of surviorship and hope that one day cancer will be eliminated!

Published by under Community Leaders

WHEREAS, The Seattle City Council celebrates the Cierra Sisters, Inc., and Bridgette Hempstead, an outstanding leader who stood up in the fight against cancer. The Cierra Sisters, an African American breast cancer survivor and support organization, celebrates its 16th Anniversary in February 2012. For sixteen years, the Cierra Sisters, Inc., has effectively made a difference in our city, while sharing knowledge, giving support, and saving lives;

WHEREAS, In 1996, Bridgette Hempstead was inspired to seek medical care and scheduled a mammogram appointment. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 35th birthday. Thanks to early detection, Bridgette has been a breast cancer survivor for sixteen years;

WHEREAS, On February 21st, 1996, during Black History month, Bridgette formed Cierra Sisters, Inc. Cierra Sisters reminds us that having knowledge is not enough, but when one puts knowledge into practice, it is power against the ravaging effects of breast cancer;

WHEREAS, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women. The CDC further reports that African American women are disproportionately affected by it and that African American women are more likely than all other women to die from breast cancer;

WHEREAS, Early detection of breast cancer greatly increases the chances that a woman will survive this disease. Women who have regular exams (mammograms and clinical breast exams) are much more likely to detect breast cancer early, have more options for treatment, and survive the disease;

WHEREAS, For 16 years, Seattle has been grateful to the Cierra Sisters for helping cancer survivors and their loved ones make informed decisions and improve the quality of their lives. Cierra Sisters provides outstanding education and outreach — including information on early detection, seminars and motivational programs, as well as emotional and spiritual support. While the Cierra Sisters primarily provides support to breast cancer survivors, it also offers information and support to the survivors of all other forms of cancer.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it proclaimed by the Seattle City Council, that Sunday, February 26, 2012, is


We commend Bridgette Hempstead and the members of Cierra Sisters for standing up in the fight against cancer and for their outstanding support and dedication to cancer survivors and their loved ones. We ask all citizens to join in this worthwhile cause, as we celebrate the successes and memorialize lost battles.

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Nov 28 2011

NBA stars, Hope and a Holiday Dinner

Published by under Community Leaders

2000 Thanksgiving dinners given away at Rainier Community Center

On Tuesday, November 22, they came from Ballard and Rainier Beach, West Seattle and Madrona for a take home Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Young families with children, the elderly and disabled, lined up for local NBA stars Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, Will Conroy, Isaiah Thomas and Spencer Hawes (the “Home Team”), Seahawk player Kam Chancellor to bag and help distribute Thanksgiving dinners for 2,000 Seattle families.

Jamal Crawford, Brandon Roy and Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

People pack the Rainier Community Center.

The “Home Team” partnered with Safeway to purchase 2,000 turkeys. In return, Safeway provided all of the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings.

People began gathering in the gym around 4:30 p.m. Before long, the gym was packed with people waiting to sign in and pick up their dinners. There were plenty of volunteers to get everyone signed in and to help ensure that the event ran as smoothly as possible.

Families enrolled in the Seattle Public Schools free and reduced lunch program were encouraged to pre-register at one of eleven Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers. The gym was packed by upwards of 2,000 families who came to take advantage of the giveaway and to meet professional athletes and elected officials. They were not disappointed! The event was a success, with smiles all around.

Photo Credit:

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Nov 02 2010

Seattle City Council honors Al Sugiyama

Published by under Community Leaders

Press Release: November 1, 2010

The Seattle City Council presented a Proclamation recognizing the lifetime work of Alan “Al” Sugiyama, who among other great efforts, co-founded the Asian Family Affair newspaper in 1972 and promoted Asian American history throughout the 70’s.

Mr. Sugiyama is regionally and nationally respected for his integrity, courage, and tireless commitment to our youth and our community. His efforts helped to end misrepresentation of Asian Americans in the media.

“The City Council is proud to present this proclamation highlighting the hard and distinctive work of our friend, Al Sugiyama,” stated Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “He has served more than 26,000 high-risk youth in King and Snohomish counties by finding innovative alternatives to transition kids into productive and fruitful lives.”

In 1979, Mr. Sugiyama established the Center for Career Alternatives (CCA). For 30 years, Mr. Sugiyama’s work as executive director for CCA helped to create and foster spaces where disadvantaged adults and youth in King and Snohomish counties can go for free education, employment and career training.

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