‘A stronghold for positive change:’ Your hope for Seattle’s future

Seattle turns 165 years old on Wednesday. To mark the milestone, we asked you to help us honor it by reflecting on a pretty personal question: “What keeps you here?” A lot of you shared your stories (thank you!) and we’re sharing out your answers over the next several days… 

When you live in a certain place, what makes you stay? We asked you that question last week, and your answers have run the gamut. For some of you, it’s the family and cultural connections you’d hate to break. For others, it’s the groups and activities you’ve found that make you feel like you belong here.

But in the background of a lot of what you’re sharing is something that’s almost impossible to forget: Seattle is struggling. Our county has the country’s third highest homeless population, our housing prices have been climbing faster than anywhere else for a year and a half, and according to this analysis from Redfin, more people want to leave.

It’s hard to know whether all these changes are leading our city somewhere good. But some of you believe it will. You have faith in your city, its people, and its values. You want to roll up your sleeves and get to work. And that’s what‘s keeping you here:

💪  “I want to stay here because I’m seeing a growing movement of people who care about urbanism and equity. All four generations of my family that lived here before me improved the city for the next, and this is how we’ll improve it for the next one.”
— Philip Weiss

🍔  “I stay in Seattle because I think it can be/wants to be a stronghold for positive change. I feel Seattle is (was?) a place where people held strong human right ethics, sustainable ideas for technology, and believed in progress (both as technology enabling the future and evolving thoughts and ideas based on new data). I stay in Seattle because I want to support/create/make a space that is safe and empowering for people of diverse worlds. I think there are a lot of people who believe the same, but they are somewhat overrun by many of the people that came as part of the tech gold rush. I believe (perhaps naively) that this offers an opportunity to share the Seattle ideals with those people. I also stay because I love Dick’s Cheeseburgers. It’s about 50/50.”
— Jacob Manalan

🔭  “In my case it’s what draws me back to Seattle and that is to be part of helping it grow into the global city that it is struggling to become. I see my future in a diverse and inclusive city which fosters innovation and where opportunities abound. A city with a world class public transportation system. A city with enough housing for the people who want to live here, enough to reduce housing insecurity and homelessness as much as possible. That future is what brings me back to Seattle.”
— Giuliana Isaksen

Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing what keeps you in Seattle. Want to hear some of your answers on air? Give a listen to yesterday’s edition of KUOW’s “The Record,” where our own Mónica Guzmán joined Ross Reynolds to talk about this very question (starting at the 20-minute mark). And stay tuned for more next week.