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What keeps us in Seattle? For a lot of you, it’s family

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… 

What keeps each of us in Seattle? For some of you, it’s about roots. The people you love most have a strong place here, and by extension, so do you — both now, and into the future.

Here are three striking perspectives readers Ranny Nguyen, Amanda Clark, and Tramale Turner, shared with us, paired with some (beautiful) pics of the family that makes Seattle home. 

Amanda Clark with her cousin Jeffrey Reeves “wearing our traditional gákti, worn by the Sami, the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finnland, and Russia,” and Grandma “Mommom” Norma Hanson. (Photos courtesy of Amanda Clark)

“My ancestors emigrated here from Norway at the turn of the 20th century. They were indigenous Sami people who brought reindeer husbandry to the Inuit people of Alaska, stopping along the way at Woodland Park Zoo. They came back and settled in Poulsbo. Our history is here. We’ve fought to be here, leaving cultural oppression and poverty in Norway. Four generations of my family live in Seattle or the surrounding area. Our history is here; I couldn’t imagine leaving that.”
Amanda Clark

Ranny Nguyen (the one with the hair buns!) with her fam. (Photo courtesy of Ranny Nguyen)

“My parents were sponsored from Vietnam as teenagers and relocated to Seattle, where Vietnamese culture continues to be embraced through the growth of Little Saigon and Columbia City. Simply put, if we moved anywhere else we wouldn’t be able to have our regular groceries, medicines, sweet treats or social capital network of diverse peoples with an active or former refugee status.”
Ranny Nguyen

Tramale Turner with his 17-month-old daughter, Isabella. (Photo courtesy of Tramale Turner)

We are a reflection of our experiences. I have had a number of great experiences in and around the city. Still, Seattle is problematic for a number of reasons. Start with our income disparity, our housing crisis, people experiencing homelessness, and our challenged public school system. I stay because I want to live in a place that reflects me as much as I reflect it. It is the place where my daughter was born, and where she will be raised.”
Tramale Turner

Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing what keeps them in Seattle! Do you have strong family ties that make this place home? Share them out with each other here, and stay tuned for more of your stories this week.