By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asia Weekly
The price of evil
In the past four decades, I’ve never seen the most destructive city council member in my publishing career. Kshama Sawant led protests against the city and former mayor Jenny Durkan outside her home.
She encouraged protests of all kinds. She told people to go to CHOP and opened the entrance to City Hall for protesters during COVID. Still, she got away with all of her bad deeds, including the recall campaign for her dismissal.
The most devious price
Seattle City Council Member Andrew Lewis introduced a bill “to extend the power of the council over the city attorney’s office.” The bill was passed before city attorney Ann Davison began her term.
Going behind someone’s back on the pretext of creating more transparency was a devious and misogynistic move.
Extreme weather conditions
Rarely does Seattle witness a snowstorm twice a year. 2021 gave Seattle two big snowstorms in February and December. Climate change has impacted Seattle with double snowstorms and extreme summer heat with temperatures reaching 106º.
The championship trophy
Bruce Harrell, of Japanese and African descent, won his election as the first Asian American and second black mayor in Seattle’s 152-year history. He beat all 14 candidates and ended up winning big with 59% of the vote.
The Frontline CEO Award
Uwajimaya CEO Denise Moriguchi put bags of groceries on December 31 when the store was filled with queues of customers. What an example she made! It was not the first time that she had worked with her hands at the store as she had grown up with the family business. Just like the other members of the Moriguchi family.
The biggest loser
Lorena Gonzalez ran for mayor, but was severely beaten even with over $ 900,000 in union donations and deceptive attack ads against Bruce Harrell. But voters were much smarter and saw through the bogus messages.
City attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Seattle City Council candidate Nikkita Oliver were heavily promoted by progressives in the election. Although they both won big in the primary elections, they lost a good chunk of the vote in the general election.
Unexpected winner award
Governor Jay Inslee appointed Steve Hobbs as the new Secretary of State last November. out of six candidates. A former senator, Hobbs of Japanese descent, is the first person of color to serve as secretary of state in Washington state. He was surprised to have been chosen.
Welcome price of the organizers
Nora Chan, Benjamin Lee and David Leong had organized two Welcome Back events in Chinatown-International District. These two different events brought many families and visitors back to the neighborhood.
Savvy political fundraisers
Tony Au single-handedly hosted up to eight fundraising events for multiple nominees including Dow Constantine, Bruce Harrell, Toshiko Hasegawa, Jimmy Matta, Ann Davison, Sara Nelson, and more.
James Wong and his team were the primary organizers of Mayor Bruce Harrell’s fundraising dinners, raising over $ 20,000 for his campaign.
The price of the rising star
Nella Kwan recently won a two-year term on the International District Special Examination Board. A graduate of the University of Washington Business School, Kwan has served on the Kin On Board of Directors and has volunteered with the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce Active for many years.
Kwan is also a popular host for community events, including political events, for seniors and children.
Most Wise in Politics Award
Leader and activist, Elaine I Ko is one of the most politically sophisticated organizers in the Asian community. She knows the connections and the inner workings of Asian and non-Asian politicians. She has earned the respect of many because she gets things done without making a lot of noise.
Dedicated patrol groups
Susan Lee Woo’s CID Night Watch and Chinatown Block Watch volunteered their time to keep the community safe. This is not a fun voluntary experience as groups have to deal with homelessness, potential criminals and challenges while on patrol.
Senior Contributor Award
Nora Chan, founder of the Seniors in Action Foundation, and its current president, Anna Hou, have worked tirelessly for the elderly in Chinatown-International District. Chan led the elderly to the vaccination sites. Hou held mid-autumn festivals delivering around 500 boxes of moon cakes to elderly residents.
Newly Created Best Role Award
Matt Chan has been appointed Special Advisor on Public Engagement by Mayor Bruce Harrell. Chan’s job is to deal with the media. These days, fake news has created quite a bit of trouble for government officials. He’s going to have his arms full of it.
Kendee Yamaguchi has been chosen to be the new Deputy Mayor to Mayor Bruce Harrell. Yamaguchi has a distinguished career, most notably as executive director of the Commission on Asian-American Affairs, a stint for Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Executive Director of Snohomish County. She was very excited for this new job.
National pride award
Asian American stamps featuring Chien-Shiung Wu, one of the most influential nuclear physicists of the 20th century, and Go for Broke, about Japanese American soldiers in World War II, are now for sale.
Actress star Anna May Wong will be the face of an American mint district in 2022. She would be the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood to wear the honor. His film career spanned both America and Europe.
Best Intercultural Female Athlete Award
Emma Raducanu won her first US Open tennis tournament at the age of 18. Of Chinese and Romanian descent, she was born in Canada and her family immigrated to England. Its fame has generated pride in all these countries and continents.
Best New Asian Hollywood Star Award
Simu Liu, who starred in the blockbuster “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” has been hailed as Marvel’s first Asian superhero.
The film grossed $ 432 million worldwide, making it the eighth highest grossing film of 2021.
The worst part of the neighborhood
Abandoned by government officials, South 12th Avenue and South Jackson Street have been in decline for so long. A horror in the CID, infested with crime and sanitation issues, why is this allowed in our backyard?
The most resilient neighborhood
The Chinatown-International District suffered during the pandemic and even before COVID. Prior to this unfortunate virus, the CID endured the 1983 Wah Mee massacre, the neighborhood Amazon exodus and Black Lives Matter splinter groups, increasing car raids, thefts and destruction since 2020, leaving the companies in difficulty.
Several companies did not survive COVID, but the majority of them remain strong. Its remarkable resilience is incomparable to many other neighborhoods.
The best community event
The AAPI Unity Dinner for Bruce Harrell took place on December 10 at Joyale Restaurant. Over 400 AAPIs from many different Asian ethnic groups joined in the celebration.
Assunta can be contacted at [email protected]