The Rainier Valley Communities of Opportunity (RVCOO) partnership has conducted a series of interviews with community members & coalition staff to bring awareness to the pressures of gentrification and the resulting displacement, and to highlight the important work of RVCOO organizations in anchoring the communities of Rainier Valley. These interviews resulted in a series of profound narratives about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of living with roots in Rainier Valley.

redlining and gentrification have had a massive impact

It’s important to understand that both redlining and gentrification have had a massive impact on the Rainier Valley, a place that many have called home for decades.Originally, redlining boxed Black and Brown folx into the CD, and then decades of gentrification began pushing them further South into the valley.

Only 50 years ago, the population of that area was 75% Black. Today, that number is down to 15%.

The CD remains a stark example of gentrification nationwide. Only 50 years ago, the population of that area was 75% Black. Today, that number is down to 15%. Twelve years ago, 98118 was the most diverse zip code in the country, and, while still rich in diversity (currently #18), many residents of Rainier Valley have also felt pressure to relocate.

The collection of stories that we will be releasing over the next several weeks are based on interviews done with members of our staff, and other residents of Rainier Valley. We hope their accounts resonate, and we encourage residents of Rainier Valley to share their stories with us

The Interviews

Mariam Bayo

it’s important to be aware, because if you’re not aware, you’re just sleep

Jerrell Davis

the fear of being shoved out of this city is one of the main things that drives any young person’s decisions.

Danielle Jackson

Our voices matter and we need to make sure that we’re at the forefront of what happens in our community.

Gregory Davis

Having neighborhood anchors that aren’t constantly under threat of being uprooted would mean everything to me.

Marisol Santos-Perez

I’m doing everything that I can so one day my future kids don’t have to worry about being displaced.

Faduma Ahmed Fido

You see displacement way before you feel it.


…the first Ethiopian Youth Day…was our way of connecting with the youth and giving them space that we felt we didn’t have growing up. 

Njuguna Gishuru

I don’t personally feel that…only building affordable housing will be sustainable because … ultimately, the factors of life will…probably take you outside of the city.

Philip B

I think people would be able to thrive more knowing that at least one thing in their life, their house, the roof over their head, could be stable.