The GOOD and the BAD of Technology

Watch out, Seattle is climbing to one of the city top tech cities in the U.S.   With this new wealth, comes both benefits and problems.  If you tallied up the value of all of the housing stock in Seattle in 2017, it would add up to about $645 billion, more than the gross domestic product of Argentina.  Even more remarkable, that figure shot up nearly 12 percent in a single year, compared with 2016.

Ongoing construction in Seattle’s downtown core.

The net worth of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, soared to $105.1 billion in January, placing him ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth was valued at a slight less-astounding $93.3 billion.  Both of their companies provide nearly 100,000 tech jobs opportunities.  Based on a recent report, there are 134,000 tech jobs in Seattle, a 33 percent increase since 2011. And these workers are well-paid, with an average wage of $113,906.   With many jobs opportunities comes many newcomers.



According to King5 News, nearly 21, 000 people— 57 per day—moved into the city between July 1, 2015- and July 1, 2016.  As a result, Seattle placed 10th as the most expansive market for both apartments and office spaces.  To illustrate, the prices for the average apartment rent in the Seattle metro area at $1,640 per month, a 37 percent increase since 2011.  Furthermore, Seattle’s new median price for a single-family house is $729,000, up by 13.7 percent from a year earlier.  Skyrocketing housing prices and increasing traffic congestion are eroding our quality of life and causing many residents to relocate to other parts of the country.  In Silicon Valley’s case, this resulted in many becoming homeless.  And to add injury to insult, many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become so unaffordable.

Brian Biege, first vice president in CBRE’s Bellevue office claimed “Although rental rate in core submarkets in the region have gone up, it’s clear that dollar-for-dollar, Seattle continues to offer more options than some of the other large technology hubs across the nation” As a result, it often seems like Seattle is getting younger all the time, and there definitely has been a big influx of fresh-faced techies into the city in recent years.  Seattle’s population of 20-somethings living in the downtown core increased by 16 percent since 2010.  Correlated, Seattle is the most educated market in the nation according to the same report, with 62.1 percent of all resident over 25 possessing at least a bachelor’s degree.

Higher education should improve one’s quality and quantity of life.  According to an article from Sightline Institute, “If Seattle were an independent nation, its life expectancy would rank second, just a month behind Japan’s”, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world of 83.84 years. However, which population does this data represent?

With this new culture way of life, they are many good outcomes and many destructive results.  The disparity in many social, political, and economic aspects of life fall beyond our control as the Seattle’s market getting more competitive each day. What can be done about this growing inequality? And how do you define your role in this community?


By: Sopheakvatey Chey

The Power of the Connection Desk

I recently spent some time getting to know all of our programs from a community level. In December, I volunteered at the Connection Desk and got to see the power of what makes it work. Communities aren’t simply connected to social and health services. Rather, they are given a helping hand to improve their daily lives. In doing so, you empower people and give them the ability to believe in themselves and others.

Imagine yourself in need of help paying rent or to enroll in health insurance. Maybe this isn’t too far off from reality. But if you haven’t been in these shoes, think of having no option except to ask a stranger for help. At the Connection Desk, you enter the door and are immediately greeted by warm faces. Those faces are intentionally there to make you feel welcomed and supported. First, you’ll enter brief information about yourself and the type of services or resources you need. Then a program coordinator will patiently walk you through the necessary steps for registration for the Affordable Health Care, utility assistance, housing, resume building and much more.

I had the opportunity to work with a newcomer that was in need of a resume and finding job opportunities. As we began to build his resume, he started to talk. By listening, we had the chance to learn about each other and hear each other’s stories. In the end, it was more than just resources. We began to have an honest human connection, valuing and validating the social experience.


By Niesha Brooks
Leadership & Engagement Manager

In light of DACA lets revisit the Federal Real ID Act of 2005.

As you consider renewing or getting your WA State ID, please consider the following about the Federal Real ID Act that was passed in 2005. You could help prevent placing a target on people in our community.

 What is it?

The Real ID Act of 2005 is a federal law intended to help prevent terrorism and identity theft. It was placed after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. For 12 years the Real ID Act did not go fully into effect in some U.S. states. Now the final day for anyone to use their regular ID in Washington state as identification for domestic flights is January 22, 2018. Washington became the latest state to seek federal ID compliance and last one left standing in this battle to stop the Real ID Act from going into effect. Real ID is supposed to tie a person’s residency to their identification card.

 What does this mean?

Real ID can be more harmful than we think. Withall thesepolitical barriers being thrown at people who immigrated to this country in hopes of fulfilling their dreams, this can actually be a weapon used to target them. The Real ID Act will individually targetwhois an immigrant and who is not.  After January 22, 2018, they can no longer fly domestically. This is unfair, and we are also seeing injustice being done to our DACA students. The “Dreamers” who came to this country at a young age at their parent’s will, and who know nothing more than this country which is their home.

What can we do?

WA state will give their residents two options when going to get the WA state ID. You can either get the enhanced ID that falls under the Real ID Act allowing someone to know you’re a citizen or resident of the United States, or you can get the regular WA state ID, and also get a passport card separately.  A passport card is a great identification card to have in your wallet. Here is why:

  • Real ID compliant.
  • Costs $30 for adults if you already have a passport book and $55 for first-time adult applicants.
  • Same validity as the passport book: If you’re over 16, your passport card is valid for 10 years. If you’re under 16, your passport card is valid for 5 years.
  • Can be used for entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Even though the Real ID Act will soon go into effect in WA state, there is something we can all do to protect and help everyone in this state. Go get a passport card or book additionally when it is time to get or renew your current state ID. If you need to travel domestically or internationally, having a passport card will be convenient.

More information:
DACA Resources:

If you or anyone you know is a DACA recipient and is in need of financial help for the renewal application, please visit:

•     DACA Renewal Fund



Are you a committed community-builder or a fabulous photographer?

We have two new opportunities at G2L!

For the Committed Community-Builder:

We are seeking one full-time CHW to provide health-related services to section 8 voucher holders in SeaTac and Tukwila. Applicants with a deep understanding of community needs, fostering partnerships and relationships, and have a passion for improving the local community are encouraged to apply!

Check out our Programs page to see the CHW program and the Opportunities page to view the full job description.


For the Fabulous Photographer:

We’re looking for someone who can take high-resolution photos of our programs in action, staff photos, and a creative photo for thank you cards. These photos will be used in print and media. Programs occur during the day on Mondays & Wednesdays 11 am – 2 pm (2-hour length), other photo sessions may be scheduled on Tuesdays & Thursdays 3 -6 pm.

Please email Allison with 2-3 photo samples if you are interested. 

WA Medicaid Needs Input!

New Washington Medicaid projects need input!

Why is this important?

Medicaid (not to be confused with Medicare) is our health care program for families and individuals with limited income or resources. Our most vulnerable communities access health services through Medicaid.

Projects like these have the potential to set our standards of care higher. We can ensure a holistic approach to health that includes equity and social issues outside of just health care (i.e. housing, transportation, etc). However, these projects will only be successful with community buy-in and participation. Please give feedback by September 8th, 2017. 


Confused by the language? Here’s the low-down.

What is the ACH?

ACHs are where public and private entities come together to work on shared health goals. Washington State has nine, some are divided by county and others include several counties. Here’s a fact sheet for more info and a map of our state’s ACHs. King County ACH is a formal LLC enterprise with an Executive Director.

What are the ACHs in WA tasked with?

A Medicaid Transformation Demonstration Project. WHEW. That’s a mouthful. This basically means that the federal government has agreed to give WA state money in order to test new ways of providing health care and insurance to Medicaid (Apple Health) clients.

The ACHs are each selecting 4-8 projects that they will be testing over the next 5 years. These projects focus on a variety of issues and have been pre-determined at this point. Once the projects are chosen by each ACH they will be monitored and evaluated based on defined metrics for success. Projects that achieve improvements in metrics outlined in the toolkit will be eligible to earn incentive funds.

Who are the people designing this?

In King County, “Design Teams” of medical providers, social service providers, local government, health plans and community members developed the draft project plans.

What are they asking for feedback on?

The King County ACH wants public comments on the 8 possible projects. I’ve listed all of the projects below. The survey is designed to elicit feedback one project at a time and it asks detailed questions about whether these projects will address community needs and how achievable the outcomes seem. Detailed information on each project can be found in the 86-page Project Toolkit.

  • Bi-directional Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health through Care Transformation
  • Community-Based Care Coordination
  • Transitional Care
  • Diversion Interventions
  • Addressing the Opioid Use Epidemic
  • Reproductive and Maternal/Child Health
  • Access to Oral Health Services
  • Chronic Disease Prevention and Control


Still Confused?

Well, you aren’t alone. Feel free to contact us if you want to give feedback but need help navigating the form. (disclaimer: we can’t provide opinions but can help define and explain lingo, terms, or context)

How is inclusion practiced?

How is inclusion practiced?

I came across this wonderful article recently, “All Voices on Deck: How Inclusiveness Can Help Define Your Leadership Style” by Rebecca Shambaugh. I highly suggest every person read it. Especially those who want to be leaders practicing inclusion.

Inclusion has been on my mind a lot lately (hiring processes will do that). It’s easy to think as non-profits that we’ve got this covered. And of course, we all use the words equity and inclusion so often that, why wouldn’t we? But these words are such a totem in our industry. I wonder what we miss by throwing them around so casually. The Shambaugh article isn’t written for non-profits but applies all the same – if not more since our work is in the name of social good.

Inclusion Confusion

From my experiences talking with many other non-profit professionals, our

Turns out inclusion is a lot like a community conversation…just everyday.

industry is pretty good at giving clinical definitions of equity and understands inclusion as a way to practice equity. But what does inclusion really look like? How do we practice it? Does it exist in both our programming and our organizations? When asking these questions, I’ve found it much harder to get a clear and tangible answer.

Recently asked what equity and inclusion means to me, I gave the same canned and romantic response I often hear from colleagues. I talked about bringing people to the table and said something about my shoes not fitting all feet. This re-played in my head for the next few days until I realized what was off about my answer. It was a regurgitation of definitions that didn’t speak to mindfulness or action. Many of us solidly understand the concepts and it certainly isn’t hard to intend to be inclusive. It does, however, take action and commitment to actually practice them.

When asked again, this is how I will answer:

Equity must go beyond intent (although intent should be examined–  doing this work out of privileged guilt makes it about you and not equity). It is not enough to be intentional. True equity requires us to engage in constant awareness, have humbling conversations, and most of all – create transparency in our actions. It is a constant cycle of listening, adjusting, and recognizing patterns of behavior and history.

But at any given moment, it should be easy to point to concrete actions – as a person or an organization. We are all, each and every human being, responsible for doing this. And this should be the ultimate requirement we have for our leaders. One of my concrete actions is my commitment to asking for and giving honest feedback – especially the hard kind that digs at my ego.

Taking actions

The article linked above outlines 10 solid actions for leaders to take. Shambaugh includes actions to increase equity across race, gender, cognitive styles and more.

If you prefer listening or watching to reading, try Chimamanda Adichie’s TEDTalk – The Danger of a Single Story. Another great resource that goes hand in hand with the Shambaugh article.


-Allison Mountjoy

Are You a Rock Star at Program Design?

We are hiring a Director of Programs (DoP) to join our fun, dedicated, and dynamic team. The ideal candidate will be innovative and creative, have a demonstrated commitment to health equity, and will thrive in an ever-changing environment that responds to community needs. Reporting to the Executive Director, the DoP will be responsible for the strategic and operational management of all community-based programs.

Check out our Programs page to see current programs and the Opportunities page to view the full job description.

Join our CHW Team! 2 Positions Open

G2L is hiring two full-time Community Health Workers

Join our CHW team! We are seeking two (1 Somali-Speaking and 1 Spanish Speaking) culturally-competent CHWs to provide health-related services to Latino and Somali residents of section 8 housing in SeaTac an Tukwila. Applicants who have a deep understanding of the community’s needs, are comfortable fostering partnerships, and have a passion for improving the local community are encouraged to apply!

Visit the Opportunities page for more detail. Applications due: July 5th, 2017