Made in WA

6 Washington Ideas That Went National

Thank us, U.S.

Edited by Benjamin Cassidy By Seattle Met Staff August 23, 2022 Published in the Fall 2022 issue of Seattle Met

$15 Minimum Wage Law

A local surge in the national Fight for 15 movement lifted the floor on workers’ pay here. Since 2014, Seattle’s been the test case for implementing a policy later adopted in cities like San Francisco and New York.

Buy Nothing

A 2010 epiphany on a plastic-covered beach turned Bainbridge Island friends Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller into the architects of a circular economy, where communities reduce waste by gifting it. One neighbor’s overripe banana is another’s banana bread.

Father’s Day

We can thank a mom for a holiday dedicated to dads. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane petitioned to honor her single father with something akin to a Mother’s Day sermon she heard in 1909. The first Father’s Day was held the next year in Spokane, but it wouldn’t become a national holiday until 1972.

Shopping Mall

In 1950 a slew of retailers convened on a street called Northgate Mall before malls as we know them got their name. Connected by covered, car-free walkways, this gateway to postwar American consumerism pioneered the concept of a modern shopping center.

An aerial photograph of Northgate Mall circa 1952.

The Far Side

Tacoma-born cartoonist Gary Larson sketched a singular brand of offbeat syndicated in newspapers around the world. “The Importance of Being Weird” was the title of his commencement speech at WSU in 1990. Safe to say millions in this region and others subscribe to that philosophy.

White Fragility

Not the feeling, but the theory that spawned a bestselling book and a million Substacks. UW professor Robin DiAngelo coined the term for white people’s defensiveness when discussing matters of race and racism. White Fragility has since become a cultural lightning rod.

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