"Sam Smith mentored George Fleming, who mentored Ron Sims," McKinney
"Back in the day, some people said we were out on the street because we didn't have any phones to call with," adds McKinney
..."The things that have happened in Columbia City are absolutely spectacular, and it's impacting Rainier Valley at large," says Herman McKinney, a Breakfast Group committee chair and executive director of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce's Urban Enterprise Center.
Ex,Rice aide Griffin differs with Herman McKinney
former boss on the turn of events in Columbia City, saying that the neighborhood's renaissance has contributed to displacement of lower- and middle-class blacks.
"When I lived in Madrona, I told people not to sell because they were sitting on a gold mine," says McKinney
"A lot of youngsters got excited by basketball when they felt baseball was too slow," says McKinney
."So I'm not sure people have rejected politics or baseball, they've just gone where they can better utilize their talent."
Couple that with what Gossett and others see as a current lull in grassroots efforts, and Seattle's African-American power base appears to be in a bit of a quandary.But as McKinney and Sims point out, whatever apathy exists may be eroding quicker than a Gulf Coast levee in a storm.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina really exposed the underbelly of this nation," says McKinney
"Politics might not be on the front burner," McKinney