Hello? Yes, I have a question for you. What comes to mind when you hear "Spokane, Washington"? Farmers? Conservatives? Rachel Dolezal? The buzzy neon lights of fast food restaurants flickering by as you cruise down I-90 back toward civilization, aka Seattle? OK, that's fine. Please continue to hold these associations close to your heart so we can keep the population of my glorious city down, since I like being able to go wherever I want to without having to worry about traffic. Spokane may not have the be top-of-the-list of desirable cities for Millennials, but frankly, I kinda think it should be. I love it here. And more importantly, I love raising my kid in Spokane. I've called it home for nearly five years (not consecutively, but more on that later), which I think is long enough to understand the pros and cons. It's not perfect (we have a ways — a long ways — to go when it comes to diversity) and my own personal politics don't always agree with my fellow Spokanites, but I can deal. I like it here.
For context, I've lived in some great places, like Western Washington (Seattle and Tacoma) and Southern California (Orange County, to be exact), and I've been fortunate enough to have visited a number of other states and a handful of other countries. So, while I'm no expert on geography, I'm not a hermit either. I've ventured out enough times to have a decent grasp of what I like, and what I want for my young family. And right now, Spokane is it.