Last year, during the opening of the Year of the Dragon, the Northwest Asian Weekly wished for a few things. We wished that the economy would improve. We wished that business would go up. We wished for less vacant properties in the International District.
Now, as the Year of the Snake opens, it’s safe to say that our wishes came true. Through the hard work of everyone, we’re making a slow but sure economic recovery. Vacant spaces in the International District are down, partly through work of organizations such as Storefront Seattle and the Massive Monkees and partly through the work of big companies such as Intel and Avvo, who both just recently moved into Union Station office space.
Just a week into the Year of the Snake and our prosperity is still increasing. Parking rates are going down in the International District, hopefully bringing restaurant business back up. On the very first day of the Year of the Snake, the Wing Luke was named one of the National Park Service’s affiliated areas, bringing honor to the International District. This distinction will only help them grow and prosper.
This year’s mayoral race is also looking to be a crowded one, which is good. More candidates means more issues being discussed, more ideas being offered, and more solutions being found. We welcome candidates to come to our community to have discussions on how they and we can both improve.
And finally, the biggest wish of all: immigration reform.
Immigration reform has long been a major issue, but now, Congress finally looks like it’s ready to do appreciable work on it. President Obama has been pushing on the legislature, and both houses now have bipartisan teams working on legislation. We know that there will be some opposition, but that’s okay — even more, it’s welcome. This is a democracy and in a democracy, you have to fight, you have to argue, and you have to negotiate to make change. This process is good. It will make the outcome more satisfactory for everyone involved.
There are a lot of questions and a lot of challenges, yes, but hope is coming. Recovery and success are coming in the Year of the Snake. (end)