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

Redmond proclaims Sept. 21 as Mayor’s Day of Concern Food Drive

This year’s food drive will be held Sept. 21-22 at the Bella Bottega QFC.

OnRedmond is hosting the World’s Largest Simon game from Sept. 13-14 at the Downtown Park. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond community invited to participate in attempt for world’s largest Simon tournament

The goal is for the tournament to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Record as the first world’s largest digital memory game.

Eastside Welcoming Week will be hosting over 30 events to support diverse communities and build relationships among neighbors. File photo
Eastside cities join together to celebrate Welcoming Week

Eastside Welcoming Week to take place Sept. 13-22.

Bond to speak at Redmond Historical Society event Saturday

Are salmon doomed? Nick Bond will examine this question.

John Flemming’s Erratic art installation will be moved from its current site at the southwest corner of 166th Avenue Northeast and Cleveland Street by March 31, 2020. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond’s ‘Erratic’ art installation to be relocated

The installation will be relocating to Gilman Landing.

Resident Julia Hardwick and educator Lucy Nesse all smiles as they plant a daisy flower in the mobile garden. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
Eldergrow offers Overlake Terrace residents a therapeutic connection to nature

Their indoor therapy gardens help stimulate residents’ five senses, memory and improves motor skills.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Barryman 
                                Sugartime Trio will be performing at a private home in Redmond this Saturday. From left: Kim Maguire, Caitlin Frances and Meg McLynn.
Sugartime Trio to perform at Redmond house party

Sugartime Trio is a dynamic pop/jazz three-part harmony group.

Coffee with a Cop and King County Councilmember

Redmond residents gathered Aug. 9 at Cypress Coffee for King County’s Coffee… Continue reading

A night out with Redmond cops

This year’s annual National Night Out event saw dozens of block parties throughout Redmond.

Redmond chiropractor publishes book

Andrew “Dr. Andy” Marrone, D.C., is the author of “America’s Health Crisis.”

APex July meeting at SoulFood CoffeeHouse. Photo courtesy of Marko Coady
APex serves as safe haven for Redmond-area artists

APex is a place for inspiration, collaboration and community building for local artists.

Applying mindfulness into your daily life

Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment.