Activism History

Went to The History of Exclusion on the Eastside

We invite you to take a deep dive into the history of East King County through a racial equity, transportation, and affordable housing lens.

The past and the present are connected; we will explore the ways that past practices, policies, and laws have contributed to the housing struggles and inequities communities face today in Eastside cities.

We’ll learn about ACTIONS we can take together to advocate for equitable solutions in land use, transportation, and affordable housing policy.

  • Japanese immigrants began farming in Bellevue in 1890s — cleared a lot of spaces that had been forested for farming and future development — book Strawberry Days
  • Black workers at the Kirkland shipyards weren’t allowed to live in Eastside housing and had to take the slow ferry from Seattle
  • Washington State 1921 Alien Land Law banned the sale of land to Japanese people and Asians
    • I see echoes here in banning Chinese people  from buying real estate “here” / Vancouver if they’re not going to live in it — housing should be made available to rent but they should still be allowed to buy
  • Japanese people sent to internment via trains on Eastrail 😬
    • I had thought it was all through the Puyallup / Auburn fairgrounds
  • Race covenants across the Eastside, exclusionary zoning keeps housing costs high and encourages suburban development patterns
  • Community Councils keeping veto power over land use laws to “maintain community character” — YES THE HOUGHTON CC IS FINALLY GONE!!! 👏👏👏
  • In 2019, 44% of Bellevue residents spoke a language besides English! That’s compared to 14% in 1990.

Eastside for All

Livable Kirkland

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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