Real Change Founder Tim Harris joins us this Thursday

Tim-Harris_by_Rex-Hohlbein_2014_04_24We’re delighted to have Tim Harris with us this Thursday. Tim is founder of Real Change — yes, that newspaper that is sold by sometimes-homeless people on street corners. Maybe the best tribute to Tim is this feature in the September 16, 2010 The Stranger.

On Friday, September 17, at the Moore Theatre, The Stranger will give out five Genius Awards (along with $5,000 apiece) for excellence in arts. There’s no award for excellence in politics (and no money, either), but there are people in politics who are geniuses. So this year, the Stranger news team is naming Tim Harris, executive director of Real Change newspaper, an honorary political genius for winning political battles—and even changing the landscape of local politics—while coming out unscathed.

The room was far too small. Twenty thousand copies of Real Change newspaper would arrive every Wednesday at the office in Belltown, where writers and staff were already cramped. Dozens of homeless men and women would then try to enter a waiting area that only seated about four people to get those papers and sell them. So Tim Harris, who had a background in journalism and founded the newspaper in 1994, decided earlier this year that it was time to move.

But the Pioneer Square Community Association (PSCA) balked when Harris signed a lease two miles south. The group lobbied Mayor Mike McGinn to intervene against the presence of another social service organization, and it lobbied the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board to ban the business, claiming that the offices weren’t “retail use.” PSCA director Leslie Smith even teared up as she pleaded at one of the public meetings. Then, when all that failed, Smith filed a legal appeal with the city.

Harris chided the group in the local press, but then in a calculated turnabout, he volunteered for a neighborhood cleanup. “We had an eight-person crew weeding and planting and putting down mulch in the median on First Avenue—right by our new offices,” he said this spring. Shortly after, both groups issued a joint press release to say the legal challenge had been dropped (and PSCA changed its name to The Alliance for Pioneer Square). “We look forward to Real Change‘s contributions to the vitality of the Pioneer Square neighborhood,” said a newly tuned Smith. Real Change hadn’t offered any concessions. It had won yet another political fight—this time against a well-heeled group anchored by real estate money in the city’s oldest neighborhood.

“The beautiful thing about Real Change,” says Harris, “is that it isn’t a politically smart thing to do to hate on Real Change.”

The Pioneer Square story (fighting, winning, and leaving the arena with a stronger relationship with his opponent) is only one facet of Harris’s genius.

Part of a national street-paper movement, Real Change employs up to 400 people a month, mostly homeless, who earn 65 cents for each copy they sell (they buy them for 35 cents and sell them for a dollar). “The horizon for social change is very long and uncertain, but homeless people’s needs are very dire and immediate,” Harris explains. “Real Change is a way to engage homeless people in social and economic justice—and meet their immediate needs at the same time.”

The paper does a staggering number of things at the same time: providing social services during a human-services funding drought, running a media outlet—a newspaper that is growing steadily—while most newspapers are shrinking and closing, and parlaying all of that into a political body that converts the most down-and-out scapegoats in society into a virtually unassailable constituency.

For example, Harris was behind a city initiative in 2002 to build more homeless shelters. In a deal with the city council, Harris agreed to withhold it from the ballot if the city council funded half of the project (“We were bluffing that we had money for a campaign,” Harris says). Harris and Real Change transformed the debate around building a new jail by filing another initiative in 2008. Although former mayor Greg Nickels and former city attorney Tom Carr supported the jail initially, the discussion pushed politicians to the third rail of racial and social justice by last year’s election (when Carr and Nickels lost). Now elected leaders almost universally oppose another jail. And this spring, in defeating an aggressive panhandling bill, Harris’s opposition “was critical to the outcome,” says city council member Nick Licata.

Even people Harris has opposed in politics adore him. For instance, Council Member Tim Burgess, sponsor of the losing panhandling bill, says, “I like Tim,” adding that he’s “respectful” and a “true leader.”

The organization runs on an annual budget of around $850,000—about 40 percent from newspaper sales and the rest from donors—which is fairly lean for the size of the operation.

Harris reflects, “From the beginning, I was very clear that the newspaper was a vehicle for organizing.” Now, with a 20,000-paper circulation and over 1,300 annual donors, Harris has built the organization from a one-man show 16 years ago into “a network of relationships that translates into political power,” he says. “I think that is part of the reason why elected officials don’t want to cross Real Change. No matter what people think about me, Real Change, or our organization’s priorities, they are not going to openly attack us. We are too popular.”


Dan Keusal will help us with old and Jung relationships this Thursday

aboutdan-element27I’m trying to remember the last time we had a Jungian pschoanalyst at our Seattle NE Rotary Club meeting. It’s been at least…. well….never! But this week we will break all precedent as our president introduces Dan Keusal, Jungian psychoanalyst and marriage and family therapist as our speaker. He’ll talk about “Meaningful Relationships: Overcoming Obstacles, Deepening Connection.” With a whole year in advance of Valentine’s Day 2018 this gives us plenty of time for practice.

Dan’s office is right at the Lake City Professional Center. Here’s what he says about himself on his website:

Welcome. I’m Dan Keusal. I’m now in my 25th year serving individuals and couples as a Jungian psychotherapist in Seattle, WA.
My work stems from a deep commitment to supporting the unique journey of those I serve. I provide a broad, holistic, multi-faceted approach that honors and integrates mind, body, and spirit.
I hold a masters degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University; as part of that degree I earned a Certificate from the Marriage & Therapy Training Center at what was then Presbyterian Counseling Service (now Samaritan Center of Puget Sound). I am a Washington State Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (License #LF 00001195). I have also studied Analytical (Jungian) Psychology at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago.
I am a member of the Jungian Psychotherapists Association,(where I served on the leadership Council for 5 years).I am also a member of the Northwest Alliance For Psychoanalytic Study.
In addition to 24 years in private practice, I have worked in several counseling agencies, and at a hospital that specialized in treating people with psychiatric and chemical dependency (drug & alcohol) issues.
I am a Past President of the Seattle Counselors Association (2006-2007), and served on the SCA Board of Directors in various capacities for three years.
I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame (in Theology). I have done graduate theological studies at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and at Georgetown University. I also completed basic training in shamanism with Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
After two years of training with Seattle-area astrologers Sheila Belanger and Laura Nalbandian, I completed a five year apprenticeship with Steven Forrest, an internationally respected astrologer, author, and teacher.
In order to continue growing professionally, I regularly attend workshops, seminars, and classes on a wide variety of topics, I consult with peers and other professionals, I read, and I attend to my own personal growth.
For more than 20 years, I have led workshops and lectured on personal development, spirituality, astrology, and other topics. By integrating practical examples with stories, humor, and the arts, I work to integrate head and heart, to make the process of healing and growth accessible while honoring the complexity and depth that gives life its richness and meaning. I have presented to a wide variety of organizations, including Microsoft, Seattle University, The Northwest Astrological Conference, and dozens of other churches, businesses, and community groups. For a complete list, click here.
I bring to my work a passionate love for the arts, and an appreciation for their power to animate, deepen, and enrich our lives. I am a musician and a photographer, and a devoted student of film and poetry.
In my free time, I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, walking in my favorite local parks, and staying alert for the next movie, song, or poem that will enrich my soul.

Washington State Poet Laureate to speak this Thursday

marshallpoem1While we have Washington Poet Laureaute Tod Marshall here this week we will have to ask him about poetic justice. Was there poetic justice in the last-minute goal line stand of the Seahawks this Sunday, paying us back for Superbowl IXL? Let’s plan to ask this and other important questions of Tod Marshall this Thursday. Also, we can hear about the soft launch of Lake City Bingo Karaoke on Saturday night.


Tod Marshall, Washington Poet Laureate




What do you do if an active shooter enters your school or business?

415bnxdh1qlThe title asks a question we hope no one ever will need to answer, but we know all too well that these incidents are becoming more common. Our speaker this week, Robert Bennett, will tell us how to prepare for an active shooter in our midst. Robert is an author of several books, and consults with companies and schools to develop and implement active shooter strategies.

We’ll also be discussing our upcoming Thanksgiving baskets, Bingo Karaoke, and Christmas plans. See you at Rotary!

First undercover photos ever of Seattle NE Rotary board meeting

Our undercover reporters secured hitherto unseen photos of the usually secret Seattle NE Rotary board meeting. At the meeting, held at plush law offices in a building north of Seattle, topics ranged from the treasurer’s report to the secretary’s report.

Also among topics discussed was Bingo Karaoke, which remains one of North Seattle’s biggest secrets. The new program is so secret that no one will be impacted by cancellation of the October session.

The board is aiming at Nov 19 for Thanksgiving and Dec 17 for Christmas basket assembly with the scouts. Also discussed were which club meetings to cancel for the holidays and when to have the club’s Christmas party.

Highlight of the meeting was the Social Media report, which held rapt attention of the members. Afterward, the board breezed through other, less interesting items.

Get ready for a Darling meeting this Thursday

m800096778We’re excited to welcome our District Governor, Bo Darling, at this week’s club meeting. Bo is tired of the usual District Governor’s presentation, so he promises we’ll have a very different and more interesting District Gov presentation this Thursday. It’s certain to be Darling!

Born in Houston, TX, Bo actually grew up in New York City. His college career included both Yale University (Industrial Administration) and Oklahoma State University (Mechanical Engineering).  Bo was with the Linde/Praxair Division of Union Carbide, in the integrated steel and chemical arenas., for 37 years.

After spending many years racing sailboats, he met Patti, who was on the Unlimited Hydroplane Medical Team.  Impressed by both, they married and he joined the Organization.

Bo and Patricia are members of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island Club, where he has served as President, Vice President and multi-year Director of the annual Half-marathon, the Club’s major fund-raiser.

Congressional candidates’ forum Thursday noon in Lake City

State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-37) and State Rep Brady Walkinshaw (D-43)

The community is invited to join the Seattle NE Rotary at noon on Thursday, September 8 at the Elliott Bay Brewery in Lake City for its Congressional Candidates’ Forum. Rep. Brady Walkinshaw and State Senator Pramila Jayapal will speak and answer questions following the no-host luncheon in the brewery’s downstairs banquet hall. 

Jayapal and Walkinshaw, both Democrats, are competing for the Seventh District seat, known to be one of the safest seats for the Democratic Party in the US. The Seventh District has been represented by Congressman Jim McDermott since 1989. 

Prior to serving in the Legislature, Jayapal founded Hate Free Zone, an immigrant rights nonprofit, now called One America. Jayapal, of Indian-American descent, grew up in Indonesia and Singapore and became a US citizen in 2000.  She is author of the 2000 book, Pilgrimage: One Woman’s Return to a Changing India, and is endorsed by The Stranger. 

Walkinshaw, an attorney, worked previously for the Gates Foundation. Of Cuban-American descent, Walkinshaw is fluent in Spanish. He is endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the Seattle Times. 

The Seattle Northeast Rotary has served the community for nearly fifty years, most recently with a focus on worldwide polio eradication and helping meet the basic needs of local residents. The club meets each Thursday noon at Elliott Bay Brewery in Lake City. 

Dan Raley to tell how Seattle became a big league sports town

How Seattle Became a Big League Sports Town Journalist Dan Raley’s work has appeared in most major newspapers in the country through New York Times syndication and in Athlon pro football, college football and college basketball magazines, Golf Magazine, Golf World, Golf Journal, Travel & Leisure, The Wall Street Journal. This week he tells the story of how we arrived in the big leagues. Join us to ask the eternal question: How did Oklahoma City get there, too?

Cyber security expert to speak at this week’s Rotary meeting


This image stolen from Kip Boyle website

Cyber risk strategist Kip Boyle will share tips to enhance our online security at Thursday’s NE Seattle Rotary Club meeting. Join us to hear how to chase away the cyber security monster.

Kip was Chief Information Security Officer at PEMCO Insurance and held important cyber security positions at Expeditors International and Stanford Research Institute. He also served in the military with the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter program. He’s taught all over the world — from Norwich, England, to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

If you don’t want to be the next victim outed on WikiLeaks make sure you come to hear Kip’s tips!