Inspire Seattle: whither progressives?

How can we meet basic community needs during difficult (if not desperate) economic and political times?

This was the question addressed at a meeting of Inspire Seattle on Saturday night, at the home of David and Shamah Gamrath in West Seattle.

During the first hour or so, people networked and ate the pot-lucked food. (It was an odd feeling to be networking in person, instead of online.) The next hour was spent on comments by the panelists in response to questions from the host, David. During the last half hour there was time for questions and answers from the audience.

The three panelists were:

  1. Julia Sterkovsky, Executive Director of the Seattle Human Services Coalition, a multi-racial, multi-cultural group of human service providers and concerned community members committed to helping Seattle-King County residents meet their basic human needs
  2. Richard Conlin, President of the Seattle City Council and founder of Sustainable Seattle.
  3. Eric Oemig, former Washington State Senator for the 45th district, who served from January 2007-2011. Eric has been called one of the most liberal senators. His defeat last November was due, in part, to funding by the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. Eric was also a founding member of Inspire Seattle.

Of the 40 or so attendees, there were maybe two or three people who appeared to be conservatives. Everyone else was progressive or apolitical.

BTW, the next meeting of Inspire Seattle will be on May 21, when the topic will be the Washington Investment Trust (state bank).

David began by asking: are we entering a stage in American history in which there is a new “normal” for what government is expected to provide? In other words, will we just have to make do with fewer  government services and a smaller safety net?

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