Today’s front page of The Washington Post (print edition) runs a story with the headline “After war on drugs, Seattle tries ‘peace’.” It chronicles the city’s innovative approach of not charging for personal drug possession. As someone relatively new to Seattle and still learning her way around local politics and policies, I found the article informative and well reported. But I wondered what those with more background would make of the article. What did it get right and what did it miss? How does the article present Seattle to the rest of the country?
In 1885-1915, the state's formative period, "Washington attracted a prodigious share of radicals, socialists, and utopians," coming here because we were a state that welcomed radical change.
Deprived of their usual performance venues, artists have turned to the internet to make and disseminate their art. The art is evolving quickly
Overall, observers and participants will need to continue thinking about how claiming a portion of public space for an underserved and discriminated community can initiate effective social and political change, and not perpetuate the status quo or ignite a right-wing backlash that pursues further repressive policies.
“Normally getting a project of this size done in the city of Seattle would have required months of bureaucracy, red tape, and writing grants, and trying to find the money, all of which can kill a creative vibe or project real quick.”