I am new to Seattle, coming from Los Angeles as a COVID-19 refugee to be with my daughters.
I am finding almost identical urban problems here, although a bit rougher as the climate is harsher, and even a bit more ethnically segregated. Homelessness is everywhere. We are struggling with the same economic and social-justice issues brought on by racism, but to me, in this generally progressive city, the saddest thing is to find even greater racial segregation of neighborhoods.
In David Brooks’ column [“2020 taught us how to fix this,” Jan. 4 Opinion], he makes the point that equity, empathy and understanding of each other cannot be taught in training programs. The change has to happen as we get to know and trust each other in schools, in neighborhoods and in the workplace. I look ahead and get very nervous. As more people work at home, as housing prices skyrocket and laid-off workers create even greater financial inequity, where are we going? What’s our plan? How will we bridge these distances that seem only to accelerate?
It’s not only Seattle. It is much of urban America, and we so desperately need to rethink the Band-Aids that haven’t worked and are very dried out.
I am hoping for better.
Judith M. Hansen, Seattle