Typically, the “liberal” mindset is associated with progressiveness and acceptance of change and growth. Liberals are often in support of individual rights and freedoms. We have all the answers you need!
Seattle, Wa is considered the third most liberal city in the United States. Seattle residents tend to see politicians who are more “left” through elections. From voting statistics to policies put in place, Seattle has performed most often in correlation with the liberal side of politics.
The history and functionality of Seattle and its politics are intriguing. If you’re interested in learning how Seattle became so liberal, please continue reading!
The past five presidential elections dating from 2020 to 2004 have proven that the masses are highly loyal to the Democratic Party. In 2020, 88.45% or 386,570 people voted for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Only 9.11% or 39,834 people voted for the Republican Party while the rest were third-party voters.
The trend of overpowering support for the Democratic Party continues down through 2004. In 2012, 83.01% or 290,963 people voted in favor of the Democrats. The Republicans in 2012 got 13.74% of the votes which totaled 48,164 people. Finally, in the 2004 Presidential Election, 80.5% or 256,974 people voted for the Democratic candidate and 17.87% or 57,034 people voted for the opposite. It seems as though the liberal influence in Seattle, at least on a national level, has been on the rise since 2004.
For the August Primaries, there was a 41.91% voter outcome. When voting on the City of Seattle Mayor, Bruce Harrell acquired 34% of the votes, a nonpartisan affiliate. However, the second runner-up M. Lorena Gonzalez acquired 32.11% of the votes. M. Lorena Gonzalez has had a profound influence on the city of Seattle from 2015 to 2022 as the first Latina on the City Council. She is of the Democrat Party.
Also in the August Primaries, there was a vote held for the City of Seattle Council Position No. 9. Nikkita Oliver who identifies as multi-racial, queer, and non-binary won 40.18% of the votes. Those in the LGBTQ+ community are less likely to say they affiliate with the Republican Party. A more liberalistic view of the community is one of support and just rationalizations. Nikkita’s success in the August Primary highlights the liberal influence in the City of Seattle.
Although the current city council members are a bit different than the August Primaries projected, eight of the nine elected members affiliate with the Democratic Party. The ninth member that isn’t of the Democratic Party, is in close connection with such policies as she identifies with the Socialist Alternative Party, which strives for left-wing politics. The Party Affiliation that is recorded for these members is based on their own voluntary self-identification.
Needless to say, the Democratic Party has a massive influence throughout the City of Seattle and it is evident based on the leaders elected to serve and run the city.
As one might be able to conclude from the voting results, the majority of voters in Seattle are predominantly affiliated with the Democratic Party. According to a study based on political ideologies and associations, 82% of adults in the Seattle metro area identify as being liberal. The other 18% is dealt out as 13% to no particular lean (left or right) and only 5% associate their political identity with conservative views.
Major Policies and Procedures
Some of the biggest divisions that separate the liberals from conservatives have to do with “hot topics” or the controversial policies that have been circulating in the country as of late. These include abortion, LGBTQ+, etc.
Starting off with one of the most controversial areas for liberals and conservatives alike; abortion. In simple terms, abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy. There are 14 states that have explicit laws to protect the right to an abortion. In Washington, abortion is legal. There are three statements that the law abides by which include, you have a legal right to an abortion if you so choose, you have a legal right to choose to birth a child, and you have a legal right to make the choice for yourself and your circumstances regardless of age.
Washington doesn’t regulate the types of people who can get this procedure done. The law protects your legal right to an abortion for any given reason as long as it is performed before the fetal viability date. The fetal viability is around 24 to 25 weeks into a pregnancy which means that if the fetus was born, it could survive. In Washington, the only person that needs to consent to the procedure is yourself, even if you are under the age of 18.
Seattle houses many abortion clinics, around seven, that will help one needing that type of assistance. With abortion being a highly liberal concept, the lack of restriction and the openness and acceptance of it show the liberalistic views that grasp the city of Seattle.
In 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 states. Three years prior, Washington had legalized it. Washington had also been one of the first three states to enact same-sex marriage on voting ballots.
It is well known in Seattle, that the Capitol Hill neighborhood has been a hot spot for LGBTQ+ Pride. Not only that but there are several gay-friendly and gay-established businesses all throughout the city. They have Pride festivals and concerts and extravaganzas to show support and love towards this community. Seattle is also home to the largest LGBTQ+-identified choruses in the whole world!
Abortion laws and freedoms regarding the LGBTQ+ community are very much on the left in the world of politics. Without the support of the Democratic leaders and liberal citizens, Seattle could be a very different city than it is known as now.
There are a plethora of other policies and procedures that are allowed and supported in Seattle ranging from small, everyday tasks to national-level issues. However, the liberalistic ideas and views have a strong grasp on how the city runs things and it is evident when you look at the details of leadership and functionality.
History of Liberalism
There has been the question regarding Seattle’s most recent spike in extreme liberalism of whether or not it has always been this left-leaning. The answer is simple. No. Seattle and the whole of Washington for that matter have not always been as liberal as it is today. As we’ve seen from the Presidential Voting percentages from earlier in the reading, numbers supporting the Republicans, or the conservative ideas used to be higher. But how much more support did the conservatives used to have? Let’s take a look.
Back during the times of the Second World War, Washington was in favor of the Japanese internment camps. Residents of Seattle at the time did not want people of Chinese descent in the city and therefore tried to drive them out.
Seattle also used to partake in racist acts against the black communities. Seattle has a history of redlining the African American neighborhoods in terms of housing and living. What is redlining? Redlining is denying services such as housing, schooling, finances, etc. because the residents in a certain marked area are based on their race or ethnicity. Redlining in Seattle only allowed for people of color to live in 10% of the city.
The moral issues displayed by the majority to the minority populations in Seattle, and the entire country at the time, were nowhere near the principles of liberalism which surround the necessity for every man to have access and protection over his own personal rights.
The liberalistic nature of Seattle that is now known throughout the country did not come innately. It was fought for by those who realized that a change needed to occur. This is not to say that the conservative side of politics is wrong. This is simply saying that the idea of accepting one’s basic human rights was a necessary concept that needed to be grasped in the midst of all the discrimination that was occurring at the time. Those practicing the unjust acts on the minority groups were of both political parties. Neither of which was right. Being liberal has come to hold a different meaning today, which is why Seattle is now so distinct in its relation to the new definition of the word. The word now is associated strongly with the Democratic Party. Then, it was a bit different.
Despite the history of Seattle, today it is regarded and viewed as one of the most liberal cities in the United States. Based on the recent voting habits of the citizens and the policies that have been passed and approved lately. If you’re looking for a liberal city to move to, Seattle would be one of the best choices you could make. Seattle has a close and unified community because of its high association with the liberal side of politics. Accepting communities and strong political influence cause for everything that Seattle has been shaped into today.
If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!
Is There Public Transportation in Seattle, Washington?
12 Reasons Not to Move to Seattle, Washington