KIRO bought $1,000,000 in medical debt for $12,000

Seattle TV station KIRO 7 made its own news this year when it purchased and then forgave $1 million in medical debt. 

The kicker, though, is that the station only spent $12,000 to buy off that debt. Yes that's right: debt that is worth millions to poor folks struggling to access health care, is worth a fraction of that cost to the people who make money off debt. 

Washington CAN member Joelle spoke to KIRO's Jesse Jones about how medical debt was keeping her family in poverty, and forcing her to make a decision between life with lifelong debt, or death. 

Since KIRO first aired its story on medical debt, the news organization has started up a fundraising page to help pay off the medical debt of other struggling residents. 

Check out KIRO's original segment:

Tenants living in substandard conditions demand Seattle's inspections office take action


After a group of tenants and Washington CAN advocates delivered a letter to the Geoff Tallent, the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance Program manager, to demand his office respond to tenants living in unhealthy units, his office immediately sent inspectors to a unit in substandard conditions.

The tenants in the J&E Apartments on Rainier Ave. South had issued multiple complaints, and the units have failed city inspections multiple times. Unfortunately, six months after the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection issued notices of violation, the conditions for tenants have not improved  

After CAN and the tenants delivered the letter, Tallent immediately sent an inspector to the unit to see whether the tenants were eligible for relocation assistance. The office also confirmed they would respond to CAN's questions by March 2. 


Read the full letter Washington CAN delivered to the SDCI below. The address of the apartment building is redacted to respect the privacy of the tenants. 

SDCI Demand Letter 1.PNG
SDCI Demand Letter 2.PNG

Help us raise the funds for our new van

You may have met the Silver Bullet before. Our canvassing van is an old gal with more than 208,000 miles on her that she racked up over her 14 years of helping organizers achieve social justice wins for our community. 

Her job, is as straightforward as it is critical: She gets our organizers out into the community so we can identify the issues we need to make change on and rally the people who can help make that change. When policy-makers create policies without listening to constituents who will be impacted, or when we need a policy-maker to support our agenda, we send our field canvass team to their district in order to build a base of members that policy-makers should hear out.

She's never slacked on the job. Just in the last year, the van carried organizers into the community, helping us gain more than 8,500 new members. 

Of course, she's also been the main transport for our organizers when they get out the vote. We focus on underrepresented communities, to empower folks from often-disenfranchised communities to have a voice in the system. 

The thing is, 14 years is a long time for a van, and she's ready for retirement. So we're giving her a send off by raising money for her replacement. When we roll out the new canvassing van, we'll host a ribbon cutting ceremony and give the new gal a name, chosen by the person who submitted the highest donation. 

Help us raise the money so we can get out into the community, get residents involved, and make meaningful change for everyone in our state.