Ho, ho, ho, yes, yes, yes!
I looked back on 2010 to see if our blessings exceeded our losses. Indeed, they did
1. Welcome, Cobalt, our new neighbor
So Amazon moved out last summer, and we lost a lot of business in the Chinatown/International District. Cobalt, which provides digital marketing services, has signed in as the new tenant to use up some of the space that Amazon occupied in the Vulcan buildings. Cobalt might not have as big of a crowd as Amazon. But having 800 additional bodies in our community is nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully, Cobalt folks like to dine out as much as the Amazon people did.
2. Park vs. Garden
Is it better to have a park or a garden? Well, we are lucky to have both.
The Chinese Reconciliation Park (CRP) in Tacoma has completed its initial phase. Visitors can stroll through the park. Visitors can also stroll through the Seattle Chinese Garden (SCG) in West Seattle. After years of personal rivalries inside the SCG board, things finally started moving. The board has new leadership and great supporters. The garden’s entrance was completed last summer by 27 Chinese artisans. It is a miracle that the garden has finally come together, said a fan.
For years, some immigrants complained about the lack of facilities for tourists. Well, these two sites should be added to the list of attractions for your out-of-town friends.
3. Washington state earns one more seat
Who would have thought that Washington state would gain more clout? We will never be geographically big, but the Census shows that we are the 13th largest state in the United States in terms of population. Therefore, we will get an additional congressional seat. Our big brothers like New York and other East Coast states will lose some seats, unfortunately.
Apparently, people of color are attracted to Washington state! Together, we can build a stronger voice and get things done.
4. Achievers of the Asian community
The obvious one is Phyllis Wise, the interim president of the University of Washington. Appointed in July, she is the first Asian American female president of a major university in the country. This year, Mark Mitsui became the president of North Seattle Community College. Sharon Prill, of Filipino descent, is the new publisher of the Yakima Herald Republic. Newly-elected Rep. Cindy Ryu, will be the first Korean American female state legislator in Washington state starting in January. And Rich Cho, a Burmese American and former Seattleite, is now the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Other rising stars include Hyeok Kim, executive director of InterIm, who was appointed to Obama’s advisory team for Asian American affairs, and Mika Rothman, daughter of Ruthann Kurose and Nate Rothman, who works for the White House’s communications department.
These are just a few examples, but hopefully they will inspire people to aim for the impossible.
5. IDEC gets good news
When Mayor Mike McGinn planned to cut $18,000 from the International District Emergency Center (IDEC)’s budget, the community felt doomed. IDEC is staffed by one man, Donnie Chin, who patrols the ID at night and provides first aid and help in emergency situations. After much lobbying from the Asian community leaders, IDEC’s funding got reinstated. Not only that, but IDEC received a donation of $10,000 from Qwest.
Jane Nishita, Qwest community relations manager, received the company’s Spirit Award, which came with a cash prize of $10,000 for a nonprofit of her choice, IDEC!