Opinion | John Lewis | Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

By Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.


John Lewis, the civil rights leader and congressman who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death.

Written in the New York times:

Technical Assistance Services Workshops

The Northwest Mountain MSDC hosted a series of free online workshops for businesses interested in doing business with the City of Seattle as part of the Technical Assistance Services program. This series included insight from industry experts and open discussions on a number of topics. Missed these workshops? Click on the attachments below to review any or all of the presentations. This series will be repeated in the summer, so let Zavere Weeks, Program Assistant, know if you are interested in registering!
  1. How to register to do business with the City of Seattle? Firms learned how to properly register with the City of Seattle’s Online Business Directory. All firms seeking to do business with the City of Seattle must be registered as a Supplier. Registering here places your firm into a directory utilized by City of Seattle departments when searching for businesses to fulfill work orders. Firms engaged in the process of developing a capabilities statement. To learn more: TAS Workshop 1
  2. How to research the City of Seattle opportunities and contracts? Firms learned how to search and find City of Seattle solicitations and reviewed effective searching practices. After finding solicitations participants learned how to evaluate whether or not a particular solicitation is right for them (make go/no-go decisions). This training discussed choosing the opportunity that appropriately fits your business. To learn more: TAS Workshop 2
  3. How to read and respond to a City of Seattle Request for Proposal? In this workshop, firms gained an  understanding of how to properly respond to the City of Seattle’s Request for Information, Request for Quote and Request for Proposal. Knowing how to respond and with what information, will help to gain further consideration from the City. To learn more: TAS Workshop 3
  4. How to design and develop your marketing collateral? Learn how to develop a complete marketing strategy to prepare your business to successfully engage with the City of Seattle for potential business opportunities. In this workshop, firms discussed creating marketing with purpose! To learn more: TAS Workshop 4
  5. What are the back office responsibilities you are accountable for? In this workshop, participants learned how to interpret the terms and conditions of a contract and translate that into actionables. This helps to create deliverable timelines to better manage back office  responsibilities and comply with contract terms and conditions. To learn more: TAS Workshop 5
  6. Now that you have the business, how do you finance it for growth? In this final workshop, firms dove into a discussion around growing your business smart. Participants learned from subject matter experts in the following fields: Finance, Accounting Budgeting and Tax Planning.  They also reviewed tips on how to best use and manage credit. To learn more: TAS Workshop 6

10 Considerations for Managing Your Business Through a Crisis

It is important to create a business strategy to help mitigate some of the offsets caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Below are ten recommendations by Reggie Brown, lecturer for the University of Washington Foster School Consulting and Business Development Program, to help you plan and not panic.

10 Considerations for Managing Your Business Through a Crisis

Visit your State Sites for updated information and support:

City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Distribute Survey to Measure Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Region’s Businesses and Non-Profits

Results Will Help Inform Strategies for Regional Economy Recovery and Maximizing State and Federal Aid

SEATTLE, WA – The City of Seattle, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced today they are distributing an Economic Impact Survey (www.greater-seattle.com/economic-impact-survey) to further capture the effects of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, on businesses and non-profits in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.  The Economic Impact Survey will identify early local and regional effects of COVID-19, inform strategies for regional economic recovery and development, and maximizing and allocating badly-needed federal and state recovery aid.

For businesses and non-profits interested in completing the survey, go to, www.greater-seattle.com/economic-impact-survey

Initial quantitative data and qualitative information shows that small businesses, non-profit organizations, arts, and workers in the Seattle region are experiencing significant negative financial impacts due to the COVID-19. Local businesses and non-profits have reported 50 – 90 percent revenue losses, laid off employees, reduced hours, temporary or permanent closures, xenophobia, and major declines in foot traffic as tens of thousands of people are being asked to work from home and practice social distancing. Industries that are most impacted include retail, restaurants and hospitality, transportation and logistics, as well as arts, large festivals and cultural events.

“We hope that employers and non-profits of every size will complete the survey. From small businesses to large employers, we need your stories to help inform our recovery strategy and maximize both state and federal aid that is so critical,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Whether it is making the hard decisions to work remotely, reduce hours, lay off employees, postpone events, or temporarily close, your voices tell Seattle’s story in reacting to these unprecedented times, and will shape how our city recovers. The more information and stories we have, the faster we can receive aid and begin our economic recovery.”

“The Survey results will be critical to maximize state and federal support and direct local resources to save jobs and get back to business as soon as possible,” said Greater Seattle Partners CEO Brian P. McGowan. “We urge all businesses and non-profits organizations in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties to share their economic impacts so we can quickly and effectively request emergency funding.”

“This is a transformational moment for our society and economy. As the virus spreads, so too will the economic impact,” said Markham McIntyre, EVP of the Chamber. “To design a solution to meet the problem, we need to understand how deeply the outbreak is impacting our regional economy, especially the most vulnerable businesses and workers. Please fill out the survey and share your stories.”

“We need to understand the economic impact of our regional economy during this unprecedented time,” said Office of Economic Development Director Bobby Lee. “By measuring the economic impact of COVID-19, we will better understand our short and long-term solutions. This will also give us the data and information we need to build a come-back economy where everyone is included.”

“We know our arts and cultural sector is hurting and we are doing everything we can to help them through this crisis,” said Randy Engstrom, Director Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. “We rise and fall together, which is why it’s so important that we are all counted and included in this regional economic recovery effort.”

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The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is an executive office of City of Seattle municipal government. OED creates a vibrant economy, benefiting the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities. For more information about OED’s programs, visit our website at www.seattle.gov/oed or email our office at oed@seattle.gov.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) manages the city’s public art program, cultural partnerships grant programs, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and The Creative Advantage initiative in the effort to foster a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. In alignment with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, we work to eliminate institutional racism in our programs, policies and practices. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council.

Greater Seattle Partners work to attract and support businesses that create and sustain jobs across all income levels throughout the region.  

The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse network of influential business leaders in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization of 2,600 businesses representing a regional workforce of approximately 750,000 people. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.

 

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Coronavirus Resources for You and Your Business

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) affects every one of us is some way, shape, or form.  Whether it is in product manufacturing, warehousing & inventory, or reduced service activities, we invite you to stay informed through our Council Blog.  Updates are coming out daily, follow us to our main source of communication, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce website.

The state of Washington has officially created a page for Coronavirus information. Visit www.coronavirus.wa.gov

Be Safe in all you do!

 

TAS Presentation at NAMCWA

Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the Council, presented at the Washington Chapter of National Association of Minority Contractors on March 5, 2020 in Tukwila. He presented on the Technical Assistance Services program. To view the presentation, click here.

For more information on the Technical Assistance Services program, visit www.nwmmsdc.org/tas-seattle