Margaret

A friend of mine has just been priced out of her long-time apartment in Capitol Hill. After close to a decade in the neighborhood, this year’s rent hike was too much for the family budget. She’ll be moving to Lake Forest Park in a few weeks, taking on a longer commute, which will leave her less time to spend with her family.

Last week Dupre+Scott, a local research team focused on apartment and housing issues in Puget Sound, made a presentation to Seattle’s City Council. The duo parsed out the region’s housing trends behind this all-too-common story. Their presentation slides, available here, are info-packed graphics that put Seattle’s housing crunch in perspective, both historically and geographically. One slide showed that rent hikes across Puget Sound last year were among the highest of the last 25 years.

Much of their presentation centered on a remedy to the housing squeeze: focused growth in Seattle’s housing stock over the next four years. Most interesting to me: the region’s two previous building booms, in the late 60s and late 80s, both surpassed existing plans for new building, when adjusted for the size of the economy during each period.

Capitol Hill, you are losing a great community member. Let’s hope this new housing push will keep you from losing many more.

Kristin

Happy people aren’t blind to bad things; they are attuned to good things.

I liked these behavioral science tips for eating better.

And these tips for surviving and thriving in midlife.

  • Why should people in Rutland, Vermont get four times as much taxpayer money as people next door in Washington County, NY? Because the US Senate is one of the most undemocratic institutions in the world. The Senate gives disproportionate power to people in small states, and they gleefully wield that power to take a disproportionate share of taxpayer money and to unfairly block policies that the majority of Americans want.

    Is the 2016 presidential election season getting you down? It’s not just you: America’s two-party system is less democratic, and our mental health is worse, than countries with more effective, more representative, multi-party systems.

    Tarika

    The Harvard Business Review published findings this week indicating that white women and people of color are penalized for promoting diversity within their organizations. Authors Stefanie Johnson and David Hekman surveyed 350 executives on “diversity-valuing behaviors” including whether they respected cultural, religious, gender, and racial differences; valued working with a diverse group of people; and felt comfortable managing people from different racial or cultural backgrounds. Johnson and Hekman found that “[white] women and nonwhite executives who were reported as frequently engaging in [diversity-valuing] behaviors were rated much worse by their bosses, in terms of competence and performance ratings, than their female and nonwhite counterparts who did not actively promote balance.” Further, they found that “white and male executives aren’t rewarded, career-wise, for engaging in diversity-valuing behavior, and nonwhite and female executives actually get punished for it.” Johnson and Hekman then asked 307 working adults to review a hiring decision made by a fictitious manager, and showed them a picture of the manager. The participants rated nonwhite managers and white female managers as less effective if they hired a nonwhite or white female job candidate instead of a white male candidate. The participants also judged a manager harshly if they hired someone who looked like them, except for when white male managers hired another white male.

    Another Harvard study confirmed this week what some scientists have been saying for years: that natural gas infrastructure is leaking massive amounts of methane into the air, increasing the impact of global warming by actually trapping heat in the atmosphere much more efficiently than CO2. The data, collected by both satellite and ground observations, shows that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent between 2002 and 2014, “accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.” Bill McKibben summarizes the findings in an article for The Nation, explaining why natural gas is merely a clean energy illusion. The facts show that if natural gas is the “bridge fuel” to a sustainable energy future, then it is a bridge to nowhere.

    Serena

    The New Yorker’s Comma Queen discusses gender-neutral pronouns and how to use them, her bottom line being, “I think you should call people what they want to be called… period.”

    The Atlantic is taking a new strategic tack in addressing controversial issues like climate change, gun violence, and immigration: asking more questions.