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Articles by Aiko Schaefer

Aiko Schaefer has worked for 20 years to promote economic justice and elect good people to office. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.

Featured Article

“Where are you from?”  I was often asked that question while growing up in Southern Indiana in the 1970s.  I didn’t look like anyone else in my white hometown and people had a hard time believing I belonged there. I hated the question, but for them it was a polite way of dealing with their confusion over how the hell a biracial Asian girl ended up in their community.

“Where are you from?” is the question I thought people were thinking when I sat through a Western Climate Initiative stakeholder meeting last spring, once again in a place where I didn’t look or sound like everyone else. Sitting next to me was a white guy in a starched, button-down shirt representing the petroleum industry.  Then there were other corporate types right out of central casting vying for their stakeholder interests. And finally a small cadre of passionate environmentalists who spoke in terms I didn’t yet understand, like “greenhouse-gas emissions,” “carbon offsets,” and “cap and trade.”     

I had spent most of my career fighting for economic justice, working with people of... Read more