Shaun poses by a land use sign. (The Urbanist)

We’re nearing the end of our Spring Subscriber Drive, and we need your help. Our editor and board treasurer Shaun Kuo explains why he subscribes and volunteers at The Urbanist:


The work of advocates past has granted me the privilege to be born and raised in Seattle. Without civil rights activists winning hard-fought victories, my now Chinese American family couldn’t have gained entrance into the United States and settled in the neighborhoods we did. The 1943 Magnuson Act and 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act relegalized and expanded Chinese immigration to the US. The 1968 Civil Rights Act banned racial covenants. In fact, the home my parents live in right now had an enforceable racial covenant in its deed. I wouldn’t be a North Seattleite without the blood, sweat, and tears of civil rights champions.

As a kid, I walked to and attended Olympic View Elementary School in Northgate. In 2021, I was able to participate in the festivities around the opening of the Northgate Station mere blocks away from my elementary school and navigate the rest of the city easier thanks to light rail’s expansion. I remain in North Seattle today.

The Urbanist’s work strives to expand this ability to remain/return and thrive in blossoming urban environments to past, present, and future residents of our region. A legacy of racial segregation in the form of restrictive land use policies remains for us to strike down.

The Urbanist is the product of countless volunteer hours. However, with the generosity of our supporters, we’ve been able to assemble the beginnings of a sustainable and just structure for The Urbanist to solidify its beacon of journalism on the state and future of our built environments. Approaching my fourth year at organization, I’ve had the honor of seeing the exciting evolution of the organization as a pro bono writer, editor, and board member. I’ve helped hire employees and written around 100 articles now. Please join me in making a gift to #GrowTheUrbanist.

Note: The Urbanist is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization and donations are not tax deductible. To help us avoid processing fees, donors sending in large gifts (e.g., $500+) are encouraged to mail a check to PO Box 31196 Seattle WA 98103. Alternatively, you can add 3% to your gift to cover our fees. We have a new tax-deductible 501(c)3 options for those giving large gifts or seeking to use corporate matching.

Spring 2023 Subscriber Drive

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Donation Total: $25 Monthly

Article Author

Shaun Kuo is a junior editor at The Urbanist and a recent graduate from the UW Tacoma Master of Arts in Community Planning. He is a urban planner at the Puget Sound Regional Council and a Seattle native that has lived in Wallingford, Northgate, and Lake Forest Park. He enjoys exploring the city by bus and foot.