I was inspired by our community’s demonstration of solidarity with immigrants and refugees when we came together for the Shine a Light event. Seattle will continue to speak out for what we believe in, and we are proud to be a welcoming city.
As threats to withhold funding from fellow welcoming cities are issued not only at the federal level, but at the state level too, I want to point out some important facts about what these cities contribute to our nation.
Reuters identified the top 10 largest metropolitan areas at risk of losing federal funding over their commitments to welcome immigrants, regardless of their documentation: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, and Washington D.C.
The combined gross metropolitan product of those ten cities was more than $5.6 trillion in 2015, according to the U.S. Council of Mayors. That’s nearly one-third of the U.S. GDP.
What’s more, these 10 cities together comprise the third largest economy in the world, after the United States and China.
These powerful economies are of course driven by a mighty workforce. Seven of the 10 cities returned to their pre-recession employment peak before the U.S. as a whole did, and from 2009 to 2016 these cities created almost one-third of all new U.S. jobs.
It’s not hard to understand that making threats to the cities that together comprise a massive proportion of our country’s economy is a bad move. Still, we will not be bullied into abandoning our core values – our welcoming city stands united in defense of the rights and dignity of all.