Person of the Year 2017: The Unexpected Activist

Seattle Magazine presents the Most Influential Seattleites of 2017.

By Virginia Smyth November 1, 2017

most-inf-person-crop

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Seattle magazine.

It’s been a year in which locals have taken to the streets time and time again—so frequently that barely a week or weekend has gone by without a protest, march or event spilling into Seattle streets and filling public spaces.

From anti-Trump and pro-Trump rallies to Block the Bunker events, immigration rights walks, a tax march, a climate march, a science march and anti-hate gatherings, the city has hosted them all and many more.

And while it’s likely that there are seasoned activists behind many of these events, the more than 100,000 participants in the Womxn’s March on Seattle are emblematic of this year’s person of the year. When you have that many people participating in an event, you can bet that many of them are new to the role of activist.

Of course, the current wave of activism didn’t start this year—Trayvon Martin’s killing, the Dakota Access Pipeline, the $15-an-hour minimum wage—in Seattle and across the country, these events and many others galvanized citizens to take action. But there’s also no doubt that the unexpected election of Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office (almost all national polls had predicted a different outcome) brought out many new locals to become activists, not surprisingly given Seattle’s liberal leanings.

Whatever position our unexpected activists hold, we salute their involvement in our democracy. As one 78-year-old participant in the Womxn’s March on Seattle noted in a Seattle Times interview: “It’s important to back a democracy by your physical presence.” Or to quote a slogan oft used by activists: “The world is run by those who show up.”

In 2017, that’s just what many Seattleites did. Maybe you did too?

Read about the rest of the Most Influential Seattleites of 2017 here.

 

Follow Us

Canlis Goes Pink For KENLIS

Canlis Goes Pink For KENLIS

Upscale restaurant gets a colorful makeover

Canlis is going pink. The Seattle fine dining restaurant is ditching its dark colors in favor of a bold pink for a Barbie-themed event called “KENLIS” Aug. 9 and 10. The restaurant is now painted a flashy bright pink. The event is a dance party at “the Canlis dream house” that benefits breast cancer research…

Remembering Amazon’s First Prime Day: ‘Intimidating as Hell’

Remembering Amazon’s First Prime Day: ‘Intimidating as Hell’

Former Executive Creative Director Michael Boychuk recalls secrecy, pressure

Back in 2014, Michael Boychuk began his career as the executive creative director of Amazon’s in-house creative agency...

Proof of Washington’s Retail Muscle

Proof of Washington’s Retail Muscle

National Retail Federation ranking showcases an often-overlooked strength

A prominent business executive new to town once told me he loved shopping at Nordstrom’s. He was sheepish when he discovered that the upscale retailer’s headquarters are based in Seattle...

MOD Pizza To Be Acquired By Elite Restaurant Group

MOD Pizza To Be Acquired By Elite Restaurant Group

The sale may have staved off a potential bankruptcy filing

MOD Super Fast Pizza LLC has agreed to be acquired by Elite Restaurant Group. Terms were not disclosed. Bellevue-based MOD was founded in 2008 and until recently had been on a growth tear. It now operates more than 500 locations across the United States and Canada, but had reportedly closed more than two dozen this…