Storytelling school

NEW SHINES | Starbucks Pushes to Halt Nationwide Union Elections, Community Storytelling Series in CID

A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to lose in the ever-changing news cycle!

Organized by Vee Hua 華婷婷


🖋️ Letter from the editor 🖋️

The Starbucks strikes continue to make local and national news, including their current demand for the National Labor Relations Board to suspend union elections at all of its US stores.

In continuing coverage of transit safety issues, we share news of a developing story surrounding a death at Mount Baker Station.

A community storytelling series will also be presented at Hing Hay Park, featuring Yuko Kodama, Anne Xuan Clarke, Christina Shimizu, Norma Timbang and Luzviminda (Lulu) Carpenter.

—Vee Hua 華婷婷, Acting Editor for the South Seattle Emerald

✨ Shine this week ✨


Photo depicting a group of Starbucks employees holding red signs that read: "Fight Starbucks Union Breakup," and "Rebuilding a fighting labor movement."
Starbucks workers rally and march in Seattle, Washington. The photo is attributed to Elliot Stoller (licensed under Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0).

Starbucks asks the Labor Board to suspend union elections in its American stores

On August 15, Starbucks asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to temporarily suspend all union elections at all of its US stores. In a 16-page letter, they alleged that NLRB staff secretly worked with Kansas City-area union organizers to exploit weaknesses in a mail-in ballot system, in order to unfairly influence unionization votes. from one of their stores earlier this year.

“The store is one of 314 US Starbucks locations where workers have called on the NLRB to hold union elections since late last year. More than 220 of these stores voted to unionize. The company opposes the organizing effort,” reports the Associated Press. “Seattle coffee giant alleges that St. Louis labor board officials made special arrangements for pro-union workers to vote in person at its office when they did not receive mail-in ballots , even though Starbucks and the union had agreed that store elections would be handled by mail-in ballot.

This comes after Starbucks recently announced the closure of six Seattle-area stores – including five in Seattle and one in Everett – citing “personal safety, racism, lack of access to health care, a crisis of growing mental health, an increase in drug use and more.” According to Workers United, 30% of those stores that were due to close were unionized, organizing or asking to form a union. Among the stores that closed was one on South 23rd Avenue and South Jackson Street in Seattle’s Central District.

The strike organizers believe that these store closures and the suspension of union elections are acts of retaliation for efforts to organize workers. As of August 15, according to Starbucks Workers United, more than 200 Starbucks stores were unionized, with more than 10,600 supporters.


Photo depicting a clear blue sky above a light rail platform.
Mount Baker station light rail platform. The photo is attributed to Oran Viriyincy (under Creative Commons license, CC BY-SA 2.0).

Woman killed after falling from light rail platform at Mount Baker station

According to the Seattle Police Department Blotter, a 911 caller reported at 1:45 p.m. that a pedestrian had been struck by a light rail at Mount Baker station. The matter is under investigation; The SPD traffic collision investigation team responded to deal with the scene.

“Seattle Fire Department doctors responded and pronounced the 39-year-old woman dead after pulling her from between the streetcar and the station platform,” the SPD writes. “According to witnesses, the woman appeared to trip and fall off the platform, colliding with the moving light rail.”


Photo depicting the Hing Hay Park Pavilion with its artistic red arch.
Community stories will be presented at Hing Hay Park, in collaboration with InterIm CDA and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. (Photo: Jaidev Vella)

InterIm CDA and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation will host a Talk-Story Series featuring powerful leaders with ties to the Chinatown-International District. In its fifth year of this series, community members will share personal stories of building movements, reporting events, and securing community and the future of civil rights.

Bring your lunch and join them at the Hing Hay Park Pavilion throughout the next month! Details can be found on the Wing Luke Museum Events Calendar.

August 17 – Yuko Kodama

Yuko served as Director of News and Public Affairs at KBCS, a Seattle-area public radio station. She has covered stories affecting Asian and Pacific Islander communities for several decades, bringing radio into the realm of direct education. Her recent project brought her to Heart Mountain to capture stories for the upcoming program on the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

August 24 — Anne Xuan Clarke

Anne was a founding mother of the Asian Lesbian and Bisexual Alliance. Founded in the 1990s, ALBA was in many ways a refuge and a place of teaching and advocacy. Their work has inspired other young queer activists to connect with each other. The impact of their work on life.

August 31 — Christina Shimizu

Currently co-director of Puget Sound Sage, Chrissy is good at leading others to understand the intersections of social movements. She was instrumental in organizing the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of Mr George Floyd. She and her compatriot will discuss the impact of these uprisings and the current status of efforts.

September 7 – Norma Timbang

Norma is a former Executive Director of API Chaya. Norma has worked with numerous organizations locally, nationally and internationally, including the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, International Community Health Services and New Beginnings, among others.

September 14 — Carpenter Luzviminda (Lulu)!

Lulu has been a vital voice in our community, where she honed her passion and skills for youth and young adult advocacy and empowerment, economic justice, and mentorship. She has worked as a radio producer, teacher, vocal storytelling advocate, and more. She has worked with and for many women’s and youth organizations.


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