June 10, 2010; Source: Northwest Asian Weekly | The zip code for the Ranier Valley is 98018 and it is home to the most diverse population in the country. This article describes the way the area nonprofits together with local government help enliven the scene and knit a whole community out of so many cultures, many of which are newly immigrated. Described are the street fairs, the public art and the scents of the world’s cuisines . . . and the planning that goes into making the neighborhood work. From the article: “Ten years ago, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods had a dilemma on their hands. City plans for the Rainier Valley, which were drawn as intended guidelines for the next 40 years, had become outdated after 10 years. The Department of Neighborhoods returned to the drawing board, but this time, with the company of the actual neighborhood. It worked with outreach liaisons, planning groups, and community groups to engage 3,000 local citizens in discussions about social and urban planning. The languages represented at the roundtable included Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Somali, Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Spanish, Khmer, and others.” Of course the neighborhood is far from perfect, but you get from the article the hard work that is going into creating a full slice of America in a relatively small community.—Ruth McCambridge
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