Panel luncheon audience members predict survey results in regard to what Eastsiders consider to make up the American Dream. From left: James Whitfield, Dr. Amy Morrison, Anne Morisseau and Anne-Marie Diouf. Madison Miller / staff photo

Panel luncheon audience members predict survey results in regard to what Eastsiders consider to make up the American Dream. From left: James Whitfield, Dr. Amy Morrison, Anne Morisseau and Anne-Marie Diouf. Madison Miller / staff photo

Leadership Eastside hosts panel discussing the American Dream

The panel consisted of Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Anne Morisseau, Planning Commissioner for the City of Bellevue, Residential Real Estate Agent, LE Board of Directors, and Anne-Marie Diouf, VP Human Resources for Symetra.

Leadership Eastside (LE) recently held its State of the Eastside and the American Dream panel at Cascadia College in Bothell.

The panel consisted of Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Anne Morisseau, planning commissioner for the city of Bellevue, residential real estate agent, LE board of directors, and Anne-Marie Diouf, VP human resources for Symetra.

The panel was moderated by LE president and CEO James Whitfield.

The purpose of the panel discussion was to provide an opportunity for community leaders to come together, discuss and better understand the issues and trends that will affect the future of people living and working on the Eastside.

The panel was organized around two main questions: “What is it that an Eastsider considers the American Dream?” and “How can/should we, as leaders, work together to help make the dream a reality?”

Prior to the panel discussion, an American Dream Survey was open to anyone to answer with their thoughts on what constitutes the “American Dream.” The panelists engaged with the American Dream Survey and the audience to uncover today’s definition of the American Dream in the community.

From each of their positions, they shared their perspectives on education, jobs, housing and immigration on the Eastside.

On the subject of education, Morrison said one thing she wants to see change is the negative stereotype of people earning degrees from technical colleges.

“There’s this stigma around professional technical education, and people feel shame,” she said. “People need to know it’s a perfectly viable option for those who don’t want to go to a four-year college or university… We need people in technical fields.”

On the subject of housing, Morisseau said the Eastside has made great improvements in recognizing affordability as an issue, but it’s still a problem.

“There are some things that are working…between zoning for multi-family homes and nonprofits, such as Imagine Housing, and legislation changing, steps are being taken,” she said. “But the need is so great that the infrastructure is struggling to catch up.”

On the subject of jobs, Diouf said there’s been a large growth in technology jobs on the Eastside and it’s only going to continue. However, many jobs are looking to bring in people with technology skills to teach those who are not as strong in those skills.

In terms of immigration, all three panelists said the Eastside has improved with the growing diversity population.

“Diversity provides so much for the community,” Morisseau said. “It promotes a global perspective.”

“Over 20 percent of our student population are English language learners,” Morrison said. “These people are here to thrive in our communities and get a job and be successful.”

In closing, all three panelists said one thing they would most want to change in order for the American Dream to become more attainable for Eastsiders.

Madison Miller / staff photo
                                James Whitfield, Leadership Eastside president and CEO, moderates The State of the Eastside and the American Dream with Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Anne Morisseau, planning commissioner for the city of Bellevue, residential real estate agent, LE board of directors, and Anne-Marie Diouf, VP human resources for Symetra.

Madison Miller / staff photo James Whitfield, Leadership Eastside president and CEO, moderates The State of the Eastside and the American Dream with Dr. Amy Morrison, president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Anne Morisseau, planning commissioner for the city of Bellevue, residential real estate agent, LE board of directors, and Anne-Marie Diouf, VP human resources for Symetra.

More in Life

Ananda Mela, Joyful Festival of India, returns to Redmond

The 10th annual Ananda Mela will take place July 27-28.

Festival goers at Redmond’s Derby Days enjoy carnival games on July 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond celebrates its 79th Derby Days

The annual summer festival’s theme was Game On!

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ screening at Marymoor Park rescheduled due to cool, wet weather

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has been rescheduled from tonight to July 30 due to weather.

Photo courtesy of Redmond Senior Center Facebook 
                                Redmond Senior Center will use the funds to expand a SAIL program, hire a new fitness specialist, purchase equipment, and to add more classes.
Redmond organizations receive Get Active Stay Active grants

Redmond Senior Center was among the recipients.

LWSF announces Reach for Success Grant recipients

Funded grants ranging from social-emotional learning to bilingual activity classes.

Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration comes to Marymoor Park on Aug. 21. Courtesy photo
Iration grooves into Marymoor Park on Aug. 21

Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration will bring its “Live From Paradise!” tour… Continue reading

Derby Days: A decades-long Redmond tradition

The 79th year of Derby Days will be July 12 and 13.

King County’s local food celebration returns to Marymoor Park on Aug. 17. Photo courtesy of CHOMP! Facebook
CHOMP! returns to Marymoor Park

King County’s local food celebration returns Aug. 17.

Tesla STEM graduate Daniel Goto excels at technology and robotics. Courtesy photo
Tesla STEM alum excels at technology and robotics

Goto is among three WSU undergraduates to receive national Goldwater awards.

Most Read