Coffee or Tea: Seattle's Happy Coffee Culture Versus Nation's Angry Tea Parties

The tea parties took hold across the US in this week's election but not in the far Northwest corner of the country. We re-elected Patty Murray for god's sake. The local pundits are calling it the Coffee Party movement. I think it has everything to do with the Seattle attitude.

Happiest place on Earth?

It's not Disneyland or LA LA Land or a Caribbean island. It's Seattle. A recent survey of Seattleites conducted by Weber Shandwick confirms what I had suspected, most people that live here are really happy. Living in Seattle makes people happy (66%), relaxed (50%) and optimistic (36%). Ninety percent of Seattleites describe themselves as happy, and they think that the rest of the people in Seattle are happy too. The majority of Seattleites want to stay here and retire in Seattle (sorry Florida) as they think it is one of the best places to raise a family, to make friends and to stay physically active. Is it the something in the water? The coffee? All that rain? That's what the rest of the world thinks of when they think of Seattle. Rain and coffee. We excel in both for sure. But Seattle also reigns in innovation across everything from software and health/bio science to retail.

I grew up in Seattle. I left for over 30 years and returned three years ago. What I found was a vibrant, intellectual, creative community that has a mind of its own. That was made clear once again in this week's election. While a great deal of power is coming from those who are angry this year, it turns out that there is power in being happy too.