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Seattle’s Chinatown is in Crisis and Politicians are Nowhere to be Found

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What About Chinatown/international District?

Some of the fundamental pillars of Mayor Bruce Harrell’s (@MayorofSeattle) “One Seattle” approach is unity and ethnic diversity. You could clearly see it behind him during Wednesday’s press conference as he laid out more details driving his Downtown Activation Plan. But afterwards, I asked why there wasn’t a single mention of the #CID in his game plan.

Timelines for measurable change also remain unclear. Watch interview below. Other advocates noticed this omission as well since this predominantly Asian American neighborhood faces enormous and unique challenges related to fentanyl and the homeless crisis exploding on it’s streets. Dozens of small mom and pop immigrant owned businesses have also left in the past couple years due to unchecked crime in the area. And with Major League Baseball All-Star weekend less than two weeks away, fans will no doubt see all this urban decay since the #CID is just minutes away from T-Mobile Park (@TMobilePark @Mariners.)

By the way if you did not know already, #Chinatown-ID is considered part of “Greater Downtown” Seattle. On a side note, Councilmember Tammy Morales (@CMTammyMorales) was not present even though she represents parts of the #CID. Unclear why she didn’t show, but she also voted against the drug bill that would have given City Attorney Ann Davison (@_Ann_Davison_) the power to go after open air drug use and possession which are gross misdemeanors. And arguably, her district continues to suffer the most from this failure.

*I should also mention long time community advocate Tanya Woo, who I interviewed for this piece, is running against Morales in the D2 council race.

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.