Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $1,000,000 for the Youth Achievement Center (YAC), Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) in Columbia City, Seattle, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“These funds, if awarded, will go toward the development of a first of its kind Youth Achievement Center that will provide immediate services and intervention to the youth of South Seattle and King County. Many of these young people face many insurmountable challenges that can be alleviated if there is early intervention in their lives. YAC hopes to achieve that goal by creating over 90 units of permanently affordable housing, along with wrap around services to assist and provide a safety net for this vulnerable population, allowing them better short- and long-term outcomes. Our partners are excited as well, as this is the first step in the culmination of a long-held dream to create this center by our coalition.” – Youth Achievement Center, Africatown Community Land Trust

“The Youth Achievement Center came out of lots of young people coming together through organizations like Creative Justice and Community Passageways and telling us what they most need in South Seattle is housing and services for young people,” said Councilmember Girmay Zahilay. “Seeing the energy and advocacy of the youth from my community inspired me to give my full support to the YAC as a King County Councilmember.”

“We started a program called the Youth Consortium,” said Dominique Davis. “We started with about 25 young people from the community, all from different backgrounds, from the city; some were facing criminal charges, some were not, some were in school, some had dropped out of school. We did a canvassing of the streets and the young people came back and said, “We need a place for young people to live, to get services, somewhere to get help with education,” so we partnered with Creative Justice, Africatown Community Land Trust, and Councilmember Zahilay to develop the Youth Achievement Center.”

“We are in the midst of an uprising that is forcing us as a nation to face even more deeply the ways in which our systems and institutions very intentionally marginalize and disenfranchise black, indigenous and youth of color,” said Nikkita Oliver. “Times such as these highlight the need for projects like the Youth Achievement Center: spaces birthed out of the genius and lived experiences of youth of color.”

The Youth Achievement Center (YAC) is a project being developed by a community-based coalition focused on addressing the various systemic obstacles that Black and Brown youth in South Seattle and King County are facing in their life. It will provide permanent and emergency housing for youth, community services and programming for youth, and space for commercial businesses.

The youth in this area, who are predominantly Black and brown, face systemic inequality that makes them more likely to experience unemployment, criminal detention, violence, and housing instability. The YAC coalition is developing this project in collaboration with the youth in the community who are directly affected by these problems to begin taking steps towards addressing challenges created by historic and multigenerational inequities. Funding for the development of the YAC is an important step to help address these historic injustices.

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

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $1,000,000 for the Keiro Site, Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) in the Central District of Seattle, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“Africatown Community Land Trust is pleased that Keiro will be selected as one of the projects that may be awarded funding through this congressional process. Immediately upon receiving these funds ACLT will be able to provide 150 beds to homeless and unsheltered individuals. We hope that many of the homeless residents that are housed at Keiro temporarily will become permanent residents when we open our doors. These residents will be supported by wraparound services. At the time of completion, Keiro will provide 285 units of permanently affordable rental housing that is much needed in Seattle – a city that is suffering the dual crises of a lack of affordable housing and homelessness.”

The Keiro Site will be a mixed-use project that will provide opportunities for affordable rental housing, economic development, and community space in the Central District of Seattle; a historically Black neighborhood that is experiencing intense gentrification and displacement pressures. The Keiro Site is expected to create approximately 300 units of affordable rental housing and will have dedicated space for culturally relevant early childhood education, a critical need in the Central District.

The requested funds for the Keiro Site will help combat growing displacement, increase access to affordable housing and early learning services, and provide economic opportunities for Black-owned businesses.

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

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the Biden-Harris administration announced that the Department of Defense will halt all projects related to the previous administration’s diversion of Department funds for the border wall, returning all unobligated military construction funds to the Military Departments and Defense Agencies.

“The previous flawed attempt to divert Department of Defense funds for the border wall was an unmitigated disaster that robbed billions of needed dollars from the Department, dollars that supported schools for military children, facilities important to military training and readiness, overseas construction in partner countries, and national guard and reserve equipment accounts.

“By returning the unobligated funds to the Military Departments and Defense Agencies, President Biden is prioritizing our service members and military families, who rely on the military construction projects that were gutted to fund the wall. The Biden-Harris administration is restoring normal order under the federal government’s authorities, after the previous administration abused them under the guise of a national emergency.

“I look forward to working with the Department to fully understand what harm has been done to our existing military construction projects and what can be done to mitigate that harm moving forward.”

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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.”

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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.”

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