|90 percent black Detroit, that is, plans bankruptcy|
Even as the state Treasury prepares to begin another financial review of Detroit's books, a plan is being solidified in the governor's office that would guide Michigan's largest city through what is being called a managed bankruptcy.
The working concept, still evolving, assumes that the state's financial review would find severe financial distress in Detroit, that Mayor Dave Bing and City Council would be unable to push through overdue restructuring, and that the process would culminate in appointment of an emergency financial manager under Public Act 72.
A Chapter 9 filing for Detroit may be increasingly likely given the dysfunction and infantile posturing atop City Hall. But bankruptcy is not yet certain, provided three obstacles can be removed or settled outside of court: pending litigation designed to slow the process; pension debt of $1.4 billion and $440 million in outstanding swap contracts; and liabilities for retiree health care.
An African-American blues performer, Anita White often finds herself the only minority at her performances around Seattle.
"You get used to it," she said with a laugh.
A lot of people have had to.
Compared with other large U.S. cities, Seattle is pretty white.
Along with Portland, Seattle is among large U.S. cities in which the highest proportions of residents describe themselves as non-Hispanic white, based on 2010 census data.
In Seattle, 66 percent of all residents fit that category — the fifth-highest rate among the nation's 50 largest cities — higher even than Wichita, Kan., and Minneapolis.
Seattle rose two notches in the ranking from a decade ago, in part because other cities experienced higher growth in their Latino populations.
Portland's 72 percent white population was the highest in the country, a position unchanged from 10 years ago.
None of this comes as a surprise to people who move to the Pacific Northwest from other cities or who have lived elsewhere and come back home.
While Seattle has one of the highest concentrations of Asians in the U.S., the proportion of blacks and Latinos is among the lowest.
The absence is visible on the city's streets, in restaurants and at many cultural events.
"It's always been this way," said White, 52, who works for the city of Seattle and lives in Renton. She spent eight years in Florida in the 1980s and '90s before coming back to this region.
"People think because we are a large city that somehow we should be more diverse," she said.
In a separate measure, which calculates the probability that two people chosen at random in the city would each be of a different race or ethnicity, Seattle also shows up as less diverse than other places.
It had the eighth-lowest diversity index among the 50 cities.
In fact, among Washington cities with at least 10,000 people, Seattle was ranked 19th, after cities such as Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood and Mount Vernon.
In the ranking of big U.S. cities, Portland remained unchanged at No. 3.
Detroit, with its overwhelmingly black population, was the least diverse.
|72 percent white Portland, Oregon... thriving|
Following a four-hour closed door meeting Monday, the leaders of four African-American advocacy groups emerged looking pleased to announce a collective wish list they plan to deliver to President Barack Obama for his second term.
The "black agenda," as the groups have called their wish list on Twitter, starts with ensuring the fiscal cliff doesn't disproportionately hurt black Americans.
That's something Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, has worried about before. But Morial also listed five new priorities that came out of what he called Monday's "historic gathering." Those include: working for parity for blacks in education, health care and the economy; reforming the criminal justice system; and protecting and defending voting rights.