This article is part of the ARCADE Issue 36.2 feature, “Seattle’s Ethos: Changes in our Shared Space,” in which members of the Magnuson Park and Central Area communities share their thoughts about what has happened and is happening in their neighborhoods. Articles from the issue will release online over the following weeks. Subscribe to receive ARCADE in print.

A quotation by King Chazm

Baist’s Real Estate Atlas of Surveys of Seattle, Washington, Plate 9. Author: William G. Baist. Collection: Seattle Public Library Maps and Atlases. Courtesy of The Seattle Public Library [spl_maps_341191.9]

What happens when an entire segment of a community is systematically confined by invisible redlines and efforts to access everything from health-care, education, loans, home ownership, insurance, and virtually all liberties are challenged by immeasurable odds? From this bleakness comes strength, innovation, culture, perseverance, and resiliency unlike anything known. Generations of pain, poverty, and inequality shift towards hope and optimism.

Seattle is among the fastest growing cities in America, with thousands of people moving here each year. It is both a sight to marvel at, with dozens of cranes towering over the changing skyline, and a solemn reminder that we are amidst a housing crisis with over 10,000 homeless people. And now, in Seattle's Central District (or the CD, as it's affectionately known), as with urban neighborhoods across the country, an area once ostracized and neglected by the city has become a hotspot destination for incoming residents. Meanwhile, lifelong community members are being priced out of their own homes and forced to relocate in the farther reaches of King County, places such as Federal Way, Tukwila, Kent, and Auburn. It’s just one aspect of the polarization we're facing today.

In these times, it is important to remember our core values: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is a free nation, a land of opportunity, a place to practice our religious beliefs, exercise freedom of speech, and be our true selves. And we have made great strides toward this collective vision over the years.

It is essential that we take time to meet and greet our neighbors, learn about each other, our histories, cultures, traditions, and build on a foundation of respect and understanding. May we strengthen our support of each other and invest in our local businesses. Success is not a destination but a journey. Let our moral compass be guided by love and commonality in each other, for we are all of one race—the human race.