Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $1,000,000 for the Wadajir Residences & Souq, Forterra NW in Tukwila, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“The souq or International Market at Wadajir will be a powerful incubator for small businesses in the Somali and immigrant communities of Tukwila, Washington,” said Michelle Connor, President and CEO of Forterra. “A commerce anchor for an innovative affordable housing development, the International Market brings 15,000 square feet and 60 spaces to new and existing businesses within a BIPOC community that has long faced continued displacement pressures. This federal investment helps to offer a path for small business owners to move forward through the challenges of the pandemic.”

The Wadajir Residences & Souq is a mixed-use attainable housing and commercial development project that will provide affordable cooperative ownership opportunities in Tukwila. The international market located on the ground floor will provide space for the community to gather, small and micro-businesses to thrive and grow, and community members to access culturally specific goods and services. Above the Souq, Forterra is developing 100 affordable homes for cooperative ownership.

With rising rents and the closure or sale of international markets in Tukwila and SeaTac, the BIPOC immigrant and East-African communities in South King County are facing displacement. Many are not able to make rent, pay for basic services, and are increasingly concerned for their long-term stability. Over 110 immigrant-owned small businesses have closed in the area in just the last three years. The Wadajir Residences & Souq will help combat this by providing 100 units of affordable housing and 60 micro retail units for small businesses. The new businesses will generate quality, family-wage jobs and economic growth for the region and increase economic mobility.

Through a relationship established around shared values of housing affordability and community ownership, Forterra has partnered with the Abu Bakr Islamic Center to develop this project.

Click here for information about other Community Project Funding requests submitted by Congressman Smith.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $673,000 for the Entrepreneurship Incubation Hub: Teaching & Commercial Kitchen for Refugee & Immigrant Community, World Relief Seattle in Kent, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“We are beyond thrilled that World Relief Seattle’s Commercial/Teaching Kitchen has been elevated as one of the 10 CPF projects for Representative Adam Smith’s Office. This project, if funded, will enable hundreds of refugees and immigrants to build economic capacity, start microbusinesses, and bring neighbors of all races and ethnicities together-- over their passion for food!  What can be better than that!  In addition to the Commercial/Teaching Kitchen, we will bolster this project with an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Academy—so that people can be connected to culturally appropriate knowledge, access capital and connect to a network of business people who can add to the success of their business.  This opportunity could provide powerful pathways to economic thriving for the communities we serve, at World Relief Seattle.”

This request would help World Relief develop a teaching and commercial kitchen that will be a 1,215 sq. ft. multi-impact community space serving Washington’s King County refugee and immigrant community. This space will be used as an entrepreneurship and small business incubation hub to launch and promote local businesses, particularly food-based businesses, and train refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs through an Entrepreneurship Academy hosted in the space.

The project will promote entrepreneurship and successful small business ownership within historically underserved communities; advance community based economic empowerment through promoting food related businesses and income-generating initiatives; and simultaneously increase food security and sovereignty for refugee and immigrant communities.

Click here for information about other Community Project Funding requests submitted by Congressman Smith.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement on D.C. statehood after the House passed H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act:

“Washington, D.C. residents pay federal taxes, serve on juries, and serve our country, yet they are barred from having a vote in Congress. The United States is the only democratic country in the world that denies full democratic rights to citizens because they live in the nation’s capital. D.C.’s robust economy, rich culture, and diverse population operate on a budget that is already larger than twelve states and bring in more federal income tax dollars than twenty-one other states. The over 700,000 American citizens who live in the District of Columbia deserve the same voting and representational rights as citizens from every other state in the Union.

“The Washington, D.C. Admission Act would establish the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state in the Union and finally give residents meaningful political representation and control over local affairs. I am proud to join Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton in strong support of statehood to correct the injustice citizens who live in our nation’s capital have faced for decades. The passage of this bill in the House is a step forward in realizing the full promise of our democratic system.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) issued the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 1333, the NO BAN Act, and H.R. 1573, the Access to Counsel Act:

“The United States should be a place that welcomes and embraces people of all nationalities and religions. By passing the NO BAN Act and the Access to Counsel Act, the House is setting a path forward that better reflects America’s values where we do not shut our doors for xenophobic reasons.

“Following President Biden’s executive action to rescind the egregious Muslim ban put forward by President Trump, the NO BAN Act will establish guardrails to prevent future attempts at discriminatory travel bans. I have spoken with countless constituents who were forced to live apart from their loved ones because of the Muslim ban. This is unacceptable and this bill helps ensure we will not have similar needless and cruel policies in the future.

“Following Trump’s Muslim ban, many individuals lawfully entering the U.S. were held by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for secondary inspection for hours and often denied the ability to contact loved ones or lawyers. Just last year we saw this happen in Washington when hundreds of Iranian Americans were held at the U.S.-Canada border for hours. The Access to Counsel Act seeks to ensure that individuals entering the U.S. who are subjected to secondary inspection can rightfully access and communicate with legal counsel, family, and others who can assist with verifying the legal status of their trip.

“The two bills passed today are important steps to address bigoted policies and practices that have caused unnecessary suffering for years.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), released the following statement after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for which he was charged in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Today, we saw the judicial system work to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for the murder of George Floyd by convicting him on all three criminal charges, but it does not change the fact that his life was brutally cut short.

“Derek Chauvin’s conviction in this case of such brutal violence follows years of impunity for officers who committed similar abuses of power and violations of public trust. Our current system fails far too often, and while today’s guilty verdict brings a sense of relief, it does not represent the fundamental reforms needed to prevent further acts of brutality against Black Americans at the hands of those sworn to protect them.

“George Floyd will not have the opportunity to spend time with his loved ones, raise his children, or live his life free of the threat of police violence. We owe it to him and countless others to continue the work of combatting systemic racism, eliminating police brutality, and reforming the criminal justice system to ensure police are held accountable when they fail to protect the communities they serve. Efforts to overhaul policing in the U.S., like those in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, are as desperately needed today as they were yesterday.

“My thoughts are with George Floyd’s friends and family – I hope this verdict can bring his loved ones peace while knowing that his life has inspired so many as we continue to work on police reform.”