Have you ever done something in your life that involves taking a countless number of risks in a short amount of time?
The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward and thrill, I say. That was our motto at the Northwest Asian Weekly with our Diversity at the Top dinner on Dec. 4. We tied our fate with the election on Nov. 3 by honoring its winners. Little did we know that the result of the Seattle mayoral election would be unknown until Nov. 10.
When Mike McGinn was finally declared the winner, his campaign said he was too busy to attend, even though we had requested it to be on his schedule earlier. He showed up!
Friends thought I lobbied hard to change McGinn’s mind. This is not true. Instead, others advocated for us.
Folks got upset when I relayed the message to two table captains and committee members that McGinn wouldn’t show up.
McGinn’s team was probably surprised to be bombarded by whites, Blacks, and Asians alike. By the time I went to his town hall meeting at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on Dec. 1, McGinn was positive that he would attend the event. His staff confirmed it on Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. This was right before the Asian Weekly went to press, and we barely managed to put the new information on the event advertisement.
On Dec. 3, we changed the whole program to fit McGinn in. This included redesigning the full-colored program, writing a full-length story about him, getting a new plaque, and rearranging the seating chart.
Everything clicked magically at the event due to the amazing teamwork of the planning committee members and my staff.
Someone walked in to the dinner and complained that he received no invitation cards. We did not print any because the events unfolding right before the dinner were so unpredictable. Inspired by McGinn, the Weekly set a new policy. From now on, there won’t be any printed invitations for our annual dinners. All information will be communicated through e-mails, our website, or our papers. This helps our operation to save money as well as be greener.
Sharon Okamoto, whose husband John was being honored, told us what our prize really was. “You not only bring life to the community, you rally the community together,” she said. What a revelation! ♦