Editor’s note: After polls found folks east of Lake Washington generally feel much better about their quality of life and local government, we asked readers to share their thoughts on Seattle and Bellevue. Here are some of their responses.
Cuisine, crime, homelessness, housing
I love the culinary diversity in Seattle compared to Bellevue. I am particularly fascinated with Japanese, Vietnamese and Mediterranean food. I love how safe Bellevue is. The low crime rate in the city makes it one of the safest places I’ve ever lived and one of the best to raise a family.
One thing that I feel Seattle should fix is the problem of homelessness, on which it is the third worst city in the country. One thing that Bellevue should fix is the rising cost of living and housing. Apartments and houses are terribly expensive. With its median income, it’s challenging to find appropriate housing unless one chooses a long commute.
Shiva Bhusal, Bellevue
A life/work perspective
I have lived in Seattle and worked in Bellevue for 22 years, so I know both cities pretty well.
I enjoy Seattle for its more vibrant restaurant and bar scene with fewer national chains. Also, for the arts it has more to offer.
Bellevue, though, has much better roads, which as a cyclist I do enjoy and also fewer issues with homelessness due to a city council that addresses the issue in a more practical way.
Matthieu Marescaux, Seattle
Swanky, diverse downtown scene
I’m a lifelong Seattle resident who has gotten more familiar with the Bellevue scene in recent years. Every time I am in the swanky downtown Bellevue district for some night life, I’m taken by one thing: diversity. Downtown Bellevue on a Saturday night brings people together from all over the world, dressed well and having a good time. To a much greater degree than anything we typically see in Seattle, on both fronts, especially compared to the Ballard/Fremont scenes. There is some irony to this.
Andrew Percival, Seattle
Detroit’s cautionary tale
The future of Bellevue is not dependent on Seattle’s success. Detroit demonstrates how the substantial wealth created by local industry can flow to affluent and vibrant suburbs and bypass a central urban core.
Families in Seattle who compare their public schools to those across Lake Washington are hard-pressed to wait for a revival that, even if it comes, will do so too late for their own children.
Bellevue takes no joy in Seattle’s decline, but it’s naive to think they don’t compete for residents.
Ravi Moonka, Mercer Island
The difference between Seattle and Bellevue is governance.
Seattle has demonstrably bad governance centered on any leftist idea that comes along. Seattle City Council unanimously passes taxes that are unconstitutional by Washington law — and pursues them to the hilt. It virtue-signals on every leftist idea — such silliness as banning plastic straws and banning natural gas in buildings. Public safety and getting value to taxpayers for tax dollars are ignored in Seattle.
Seattle’s focus is leftist ideology, not workable government.
Tom Gumprecht, Seattle
Seattle: What I like is the beauty of the city.
What I dislike is the fractured politics and the inability to govern a great city. The populace seems to be stuck in a 1950s mindset and can’t solve the problems of the present and future, including bad schools.
Bellevue: I like the modern, clean, clear direction and progressive feeling of the city, and good schools. What I dislike is the congestion and the feeling of affluence.
Stanley Wanless, Kent
Bellevue acts on its constituent poll responses, Seattle does not. Government is elected by the people to govern as we wish. Government does not govern as government wishes.
The people, the majority, wish for safe cities and the rule of law. We all are willing to abide by the laws equally, and government must enforce them equally. (The Capitol Hill riots are an example of selective, agenda-driven, political enforcement.)
Seattle government selectively enforces the law depending upon its political aspirations. People don’t want to hear an “agenda” from their government. They want government to do what we elected them to do.
Mike Griffith, Kirkland (formerly of Bellevue)