By Mandi Donohue

As I sit here at Cafe Racer in the University District of Seattle, ironically with a car that needs a jump, I’m thinking a lot about responsibility. I want to point fingers. I want to be angry at someone other than myself but the truth is, I got to this cafe early, turned off my car and left the headlights on until the ignition wouldn’t turn. My responsibility. 

Last night was also the second presidential debate and I can safely say most citizens of this country would find great relief to put this political circus in a trunk, fill it with cement and send it off the end of a pier. We want to point fingers. We want to be angry but the truth is, the citizens of this country, due to a variety of reasons, allowed this to happen. Our responsibility.

My sisters came up from Southern California for a long weekend and we spent our time seeing the sites. As we toured around the city we got an earful from our various Lyft drivers about the growth and expansion of Seattle. Apparently Amazon is bringing another 8,000-10,000 jobs to the region. After having read an article in Seattle Met about the work force of Amazon being 73 percent male, learning that much of the remaining female 27 percent are primarily administrative positions and how this company is actually contributing to the overall gender imbalance of Seattle, it was interesting information. Good or bad, whether we’re discussing gender in the work place or just expansion in general, the city of Seattle allowed this. Their responsibility.

I am not anti-Amazon, by any means. There is truth, however, in the fact that the presence of that corporation, and many others, has directly impacted Seattle in a way that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of some local Seattleites who “remember when.” And while growth is a natural progression for an overpopulated world I, for one, am tired of feeling hopeless or feeling that I have to have the money in owning 126 corporations to have a say about my own life, let alone Seattle. Today, I am being reminded that I have a responsibility. And even more so, an opportunity. We have power.

About a month back, Don Nelson wrote an editorial about the growth of our own community.  He talked about the potential plans for the four-way stop in Winthrop and how our community is dependent on tourism. Long story short, folks, is that if Seattle is going to continue to grow, so is our little community. My point is: This is our opportunity to grow responsibly.  

Whether this is the four-way stop or the potential of a new parking lot in Mazama, we need to be involved. To ourselves, our children, this amazing wilderness, it is our responsibility to wake up and start paying attention. Let’s not wait for a mine to move in before we start to have an opinion on this valley. Let’s not wait for another year of fires to prove our resilience. Let there not be another hut that needs moving to remember that we are capable of taking action. The biggest hypocrite of all, I have to work Oct. 15 but if you have the opportunity to go to the meeting at the Mazama Community Club at 5:30 p.m., why not? Midge Cross is psyched about it! The biggest battle we have to fight is the one within that demands we care. Taking ownership is real power.