1. Last May, tracking census data between 1990 and 2010, I published an article titled "Surprise: Seattle is Getting More Diverse, Not Less" that showed a dramatic increase in the city's non-white population. The numbers went from 26.3 to 33.7 percent non-white.
So, I was startled late last month when the Seattle Times had a story with new census data showing that the city actually got whiter between 2012 and 2013, going from 65.2 percent 67 percent white.
Apparently, the Seattle Globalist was confounded by the new data as well. They published a column last week called "Confronting the Myth of Seattle as a 'White City'."
Digging into the nuance of the numbers, the Seattle Globalist checked with King County demographer Chandler Felt for some context.
The Seattle Globalist reports:
Inside the city limits diversity (and lack thereof) is concentrated in certain areas. To illustrate this Chandler brings my attention back to his series of maps.
“This time watch right here,” he says pointing at neighborhoods between the Ship Canal and Lake City (including Greenwood, where I grew up). While the rest of the region became significantly more diverse over this period of time, these neighborhoods did not. “When Gene Balk talks about Seattle getting whiter, a lot of it is happening here.”
Alternately, Patrice Thomas of SEED, an organization devoted to supporting community development and diversity in Southeast Seattle, says her daily experience living in the 98118 ZIP code is defined by diversity.
“(I) walk out of my front door and have the option to either get Somali, Ethiopian, Italian, a burger or a fish … from Saar’s [an Asian market],” she says while sitting at Kaffa, an Ethiopian coffee shop and wine bar on Rainier Avenue South.
Still think Seattle is a “white city”? It might just be the neighborhood you’re in.
It makes sense to me that Felt's northern boundary (that is, where the "white city" stops) is Lake City. I flagged Lake City last week as becoming increasingly diverse; it is was more than 25 percent non-white as of 2010.
2. While the big news out of D.C. yesterday was that senate Democrats stopped a bill to green light the Keystone XL pipeline, the senate also stopped a bill to rein in NSA surveillance; the Democrats, who support the bill, couldn't reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster to bring the bill to the floor. The vote was 58-42 to take up the legislation.
Both U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) voted to bring the surveillance bill to the floor.
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA, 1) was a vocal dissident vote against the weaker house version which had stripped out stricter anti-surveillance provisions she had fought to put in; the senate version had restored many of those provisions such as giving companies like Twitter and Facebook more recourse to challenge government snooping.
DelBene tells Fizz: “I’m disappointed that the Senate failed to advance debate last night on the USA Freedom Act. While this is a setback for surveillance reform, we must continue the fight to pass meaningful legislation to stop NSA overreach. I am committed to working with my colleagues to make this a priority in the next Congress.”
3. The state house Democrats have decided to stick with the same leadership, voting yesterday to (no surprise) keep Seattle Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) as speaker along with the same team from last year: Reps. Pat Sullivan (D-47, Covington) as Majority Leader, Eric Pettigrew (D-37, SE Seattle) as Majority Caucus Chair, and Kevin Van De Wege (D-24, Sequim).
And the Democrats were evidently unfazed by the GOP gains in the house. They filled Rep. Tami Green's (D-28, Tacoma) Majority Floor Leader spot (Green, with a 90 and 93 percent lifetime voting record on the environment and labor respectively, ran for senate this year and lost) with Rep. Kris Lytton (D-40, Anacortes). Lytton, a strong education vote, has a 100 percent labor voting record and 94 percent score from the environmental Washington Conservation Voters.