Where are all the native Washingtonians? And two more things to know today

Where are all the native Washingtonians? They’re either leaving, or not moving in as fast, according to recent Census data analyzed by Gene Balk of The Seattle Times. The number of native-born Washingtonians living in Seattle and King County had been going up every year since the Census Bureau started tracking them in 2005 — no surprise in our booming city. But last year, for the first time, their number went down, leaving out-of-state transplants to drive the city’s growth. What’s going on? It’s too early to call the decline a trend, Gene says, but it could be that more natives consider this increasingly expensive, crowded, gentrifying city just too hard to make a life in. “We tried to make Seattle work,” Washington native Rachael Sartor told Gene. Instead, she and her family got a four-bedroom house for less than $350,000 in … Austin, Texas. (Seattle’s median home price is $599,000, according to Redfin). And speaking of Seattle’s growth…

Here’s the best explanation we’ve seen for why traffic around South Lake Union is still the worst. Christie Brydon’s piece in GeekWire takes 11 minutes to read, but hey, that’s just three minutes longer than you’ll spend inching along the Mercer corridor. As you’re silently — or maybe not so silently — cursing to yourself and wondering why the city doesn’t just add more traffic lanes, consider this: Making more room for cars just invites more cars, according to a couple studies, and developers and the city say they’d rather focus on making the neighborhood more friendly to people than to people-moving machines. Traffic hasn’t gotten any worse since 30,000 more cars joined the fray in the last two years (it’s actually two seconds better), so that’s something. And Amazon, which says that less than half of its 25,000 local employees drive to work, just launched a new shuttle service to keep more cars off the road. What’ll happen to traffic when Google opens its new offices next door? Hard to say. Until then, bike, anyone? ?

This Eastern Washington town went 77 percent for Trump, and it’s not for the reasons you think. “Put a businessman in there. Why not?” Amy Boxwood told Crosscut’s David Kroman. Journalists from blue Seattle have been leaving the city to report from more conservative areas, and David’s dispatch from Ritzville, Washington, is one of the most thoughtful we’ve read. It pushes past stereotypes with strong reporting and vivid writing. “For all the shock folks in western Washington may feel about the election, for folks on the east side of the mountains this was not some revolutionary statement about people being fed up,” Kroman writes. Want to find out why the people of Ritzville voted how they did? Make 13 minutes to read David’s piece.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, The Evergrey highlights three stories that Seattleites might find interesting or important to know. Want to suggest a story we should include in our next newsletter? E-mail us at [email protected]

By Mónica Guzmán
Mónica is the cofounder and editor of The Evergrey. She's been a Seattle journalist for a decade and adores this city.