The “Grandma Test” says “speak up”

Seattle is adding jobs and, as a result,  people who want to live here faster than it is adding new homes.

For some–particularly those who have lived here a long time–change is a source of fear.

A very smart community organizer suggested that when talking with them we ought to use a “grandma test:” imagine you’re discussing concerns about growth or parking or density or whatever with your grandmother.

I accept the wisdom of showing empathy and meeting people where they are.

But  I immediately knew any such conversation with my grandma would start like this: “I learned from you that however hard things might be for us, it’s never OK to hurt those who are worse off.”

Until or unless things change in a big way, people need to work to live.  And making it harder for people to live near jobs hurts individuals, hurts families and kids, hurts the environment, and hurts the type innovation only cities catalyze, making us all worse off.

We have policies in Seattle on zoning and housing that are inflicting preventable suffering on lots of people.  This blog is a place for anyone not OK with that to add “tools to their toolbox” for explaining how, why, and what ought to change.




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