The Central District (the CD) has been the center of African American and African diaspora life in Seattle for over 130 years. In the face of racist housing policies that pushed families of color into the neighborhood and limited access to economic mobility, the community responded by building up powerful neighborhood businesses and institutions.
In the 1970s, the CD was nearly 80% Black; today that figure is less than 20%. Families, businesses and institutions that have lived and operated in the CD for decades are being forced out by surging rents and taxes, as well as a loss of community. Areas of high need identified by the community include affordable housing, commercial affordability, economic development and cultural preservation.