I currently live and attend university in Seattle, and like all others in this city, witness poverty and homelessness every day. Whether commuting to work, going out for dinner or walking in a local park, you are bound to see the consequences of poverty. People constantly spout out their opinions and disgust toward the very idea of homeless camps or safe-injection sites. However, like me, these people often have the privilege of not living in poverty or working paycheck to paycheck just for their next meal.

This city has an underbelly of economic and racial privilege too many fail to recognize. Many Seattleites or Washingtonians don’t view these issues through intersectional perspectives, and they simply expect a solution from political leaders without radical change or self-sacrifice. Poverty and homelessness won’t disappear in one day, and how can we expect these issues to disappear without giving wealth or time? Too few people act to end poverty or uplift the city they believe fails them. However, how can they expect positive change without working for it themselves?

Be the change, have empathy and listen to those with less privilege.

Mikey Redding, Seattle