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Dozens of Seattleites shared their top ten "What Every American Needs to Know" lists at a Central Library event on Wednesday night. Photos by Michael Maine

WHAT EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW

The prison industrial complex, javascript, neurodiversity and Tupac. Those are just a few things that a group of Seattleites think every American should know.

On Wednesday night, dozens of people gathered at the Central Library to share their responses to this question: What do you think Americans should know to be civically and culturally literate?

A bit of context: In the 1980s a professor published “Cultural Literacy,” a book that included 5,000 facts and cultural references that he said every American should know. There’s value in this common knowledge, says Eric Liu, founder of the Seattle-based Citizen University. But Eric had an idea: Why not crowdsource a list that reflects a more diverse and inclusive America?

So he helped launch the “What Every American Should Know” project page, where you can submit your top ten and see a ranking of all the submissions.

The top five right now?

  1. U.S. Constitution
  2. Declaration of Independence
  3. US Civil War
  4. Slavery
  5. Martin Luther King Jr.

These lists are fascinating to read. (Here are a few from last night’s speakers). But the discussions they generate are even more valuable. “We should use these lists as an object of community convening, as an object of conversation,” Eric said.  

We’re big fans of conversation and all things Seattle. So here’s what we want to know from you:

What do you think every Seattleite should know given this moment we’re at in our city’s history?

Hit reply and let us know! We’ll read through all your responses and compile a top ten list to share back with you.

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WHAT’S NEW IN THE 206

A snapshot of what Seattleites are earning. Fifty-one percent of Seattleites who filed taxes in 2014 reported an income of less than $50,000. And more than half of those people made less than $25,000. FYI Guy Gene Balk digs into why this data is worth paying attention to. (The Seattle Times)

The search ends in Bellevue. Dara Khosrowshahi, the longtime CEO of Bellevue-based Expedia, has been chosen as Uber’s new leader. “I have to tell you that I’m scared,” he wrote in an email to Expedia employees. “I’ve been here at Expedia for so long that I’ve forgotten what life is outside of this place.” (GeekWire)

Returning a piece of history. A Seattleite bought a piece of Native art – a Chilkat blanket – when he first moved to Seattle. Years later, his teenage daughter learned about the cultural significance of the ceremonial robe and urged him to return it to its rightful owners. He did. Now KUOW is raising a question: Does your Native American artwork belong to you or to its tribe? (KUOW)

Ring my bell. Knee High Stocking Co. just doubled its capacity and added more delicious dishes to its Filipino-inspired menu, which is great news for folks who’ve had a tough time getting a spot at the 10-year-old Capitol Hill speakeasy. Now you just need the courage to ring the bell. (Eater Seattle)

What’s the most meaningless thing you’ve ever done? Is it more meaningless than David Peterman posing with every single mailbox in Seattle? “Everything doesn’t have to make a grand statement,” he said. “It’s okay to do things just for the hell of it.” We like that. (The Stranger)

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We’ll be chatting with Chase Jarvis, co-founder of CreativeLive, about how Seattle creators and creatives can secure a place in Seattle’s future as the city becomes increasingly expensive. We’d love to see you there.

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