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Is Amazon good for Seattle? 'That’s Debatable'

You don’t have to score tickets to Hamilton to know that debate played a crucial role in U.S. history. When it comes to charting the course of a nation, there is no substitute. The same is true in planning for the future of cities like Seattle. So, here’s a query for a modern debate: Is Amazon, the behemoth internet retailer, good for Seattle?

The first installment of a new KUOW live series, That’s Debatable, addresses that question. While there is nuance in unpeeling the layers of argument and defense, pro and con, one side wins a debate. In this case, we polled the audience about where they stood on the proposition, before and after the debate. The results may surprise you.

The team arguing in favor of the proposition — Amazon is good for Seattle — included former Seattle Chamber of Commerce president Maud Daudon and current Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Marilyn Strickland. The team arguing against the proposition included former Seattle mayoral candidate and urban planner Cary Moon and artist, attorney and former mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver.

KUOW’s Ross Reynolds, Lisa Wang and Zaki Hamid co-produced this first That’s Debatable event at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian on March 7, 2018, together with Carolyn Adolph and Joshua McNichols of KUOW's podcast Primed: What happens when Amazon comes to your town. Reynolds served as moderator.

Year started with KUOW: 2006