by Kathleen Braden
The mayor’s July decision to diminish the resource of district councils is symbolic of a wider attempt to undermine the role of neighborhoods in Seattle as our city struggles with the changing dynamics and needs of the 21st century American city. But at the heart of the move is the desire for streamlined political power. Citizen activists in silos don’t invest as much in issues outside their own narrowly defined scope. They are easier to manipulate.
We human beings like to form communities of interest to join together in hopes of achieving outcomes, but there are two paths to how we create them. One path is spatial: we live in areas defined by geography, whether by neighborhood, district, or city. The other path is more narrowly set out according to a specific affiliation.