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Zeytuna Is Doing Better—And So Is Seattle

Zeytuna Edo Vigil Walk @Jawara O'Connor photo

Zeytuna Edo Vigil Walk @Jawara O’Connor photo

Our ability to care for the most vulnerable among us is a mark of how we are becoming a strong, compassionate community.  The Rainier Vista community was shocked by the hit-and-run on Martin Luther King Jr. Way S of 7-year-old Zeytuna Edo on September 30, 2014.

Zeytuna’s family is loved and respected, and Zeytuna’s hit-and-run brought together the Somali-Oromo community, Zeytuna’s Kimball Elementary community, the Boy’s & Girls Club where Zeytuna was walking with her family for afterschool tutoring when she was struck, and the Rainier Vista neighborhood.

All of Zeytuna’s communities turned out in large numbers to support the Edo family for a Vigil Walk organized by Rainier Valley Greenways, Bike Works, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. This was sadly not the first Vigil Walk on MLK. Just a year earlier, a few blocks north, 15-year-old Trevon Crease Holden was a hit-and-run victim. He and his family are still recovering, as are many victims of traffic violence around Seattle.

Zeytuna's father speaks with Mayor Ed Murray

Zeytuna’s father speaks with Mayor Ed Murray

The Vigil for Zeytuna was powerful and moving. Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and SDOT Director Scott Kubly listened to people, speaking in both English and Somali, plead for safer, healthier streets and more consistent law enforcement in the Rainier Valley. Mayor Murray was exemplary in speaking honest, thoughtful words, for comforting a distraught family, and for giving so much of his time to listen to a whole community with an open heart.

The fund established for family medical expenses for Zeytuna’s ongoing care has nearly reached its goal. Let’s continue to keep Zeytuna in our hearts and continue to be a compassionate city as we look out for each other and continue to build safe, healthy Seattle streets.

The great news is that Zeytuna continues to improve with physical and speech therapy and will most likely be returning soon to her class at Kimball Elementary!

More photos from the Zeytuna Vigil and Solutions Meeting on Flickr.

Letter to Mayor Murray summarizing the Solutions Meeting results.