Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Geography of Opportunity for Olympia

If Opportunity for Olympia gets a little less than 5,000 people to sign a petition by the middle of June, we'll be voting on an income tax to fund at least one year free community college tuition.

The income tax would only be levied on households making more than $200,000 a year. So, my immediate reaction was wondering where those rich folks lived in Olympia.

Here is a map of median income  by neighborhood:


This map tells you what neighborhoods are richer, but not necessarily where the households above $200,000 are concentrated.

Here's a map of the top five percent of household incomes across the city.


Because this map slices away the bottom 95 percent and deals only with an average of the top five percent, I think this is a better map of how the geography of the initiative rolls out.

I'll admit, a lot of this map seems counter intuitive to me. While I get the South Capitol and Governor Stevens are obviously the dead center of the top 5 percent in Olympia, that East Bay Drive didn't do better was surprising. 

Also, Holiday Hills being the most rich? Driving through that neighborhood, it seems like a fairly unimpressive collection of split levels. But, at the same time, there might be a few lakeside or near lakeside households that drive that smallish neighborhood up.

Interestingly, if you slice the geography by block group, you come up BG 011710-2, where the highest proportion of plus $200,000 families live in Olympia (though it includes some streets outside Olympia). Again, this is the area surrounding Ward Lake in southeast Olympia.

But, again, the general trend of the south and east of Olympia being where wealth is concentrated.

The problem is being that these are also the neighborhoods where the most people vote

Granted, there's a reason why this initiative in in Olympia, we tend to support school levies (via property taxes). And, so even rich folks voted their pocketbook, they don't hold enough sway to defeat school levies.

I will say this though: I wonder about the psychology of voting for a school levy that supports the district itself and its operations against voting for individual students.

8 comments:

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Anonymous said...

What about Olympia

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