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Margaret T. Gordon, Hubert G. Locke, Laurie Mccutcheon & William B. Stafford

In: Big City Politics in Transition

Chapter 14: Seattle: Grassroots Politics Shaping the Environment

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Seattle: Grassroots Politics Shaping the Environment
Seattle: Grassroots politics shaping the environment
Margaret T.Gordon, Hubert G.Locke, LaurieMccutcheon, William B.Stafford

IN 1965 EDWARD BANFIELD wrote that Seattle politics, far from being radical, corrupt, or bitter, were “downright dull.” He described Seattleites as “busy making money, rearing children, trimming lawns and boating.” Banfield saw prosperity and a high rate of single-family home ownership “giving Seattle a suburban quality.” The populace, which then included 8.4% minorities, usually elected Republicans with business backgrounds to the weak-mayor, weak-council form of city government. Banfield portrayed the decision-making process at the time as a luncheon of the “Big Ten” business/civic leaders who reigned through citizen committees, causing him to ask whether there was really anyone in charge (Banfield, 1965, pp. 133–146).

Since by 1965 Seattle ...

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