Cascadia in the 19th Century via upload.wikimedia.org
The Land of Falling Waters. Ecotopia. State of Jefferson. The idea of Cascadia has a long history, in ways being connected to Thomas Jefferson. It is a recognition that the political boundaries separate us, but that our community is broader. It is a community that is 15 Million people strong, a region that is defined by rain, the Columbia River, by mountain ranges and volcanoes, by the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.
With our top notch universities, science centers, museums and music there is a recognition internationally of the region being amongst the best for higher culture. In other musical strains, in beer, in wine, in coffee and on television, pop-culture also unifies us. Major international business choose this as their home either on paper, or in their center of hiring.
Major athletes in every sport have settled here after their brief stays. They choose here as home. Jeff Nelson, Bill Russel, Nick Collison and others call this home long after they need to do so for their contracts. This Cascadia is more than a place to live. It is more than a home. It is our country.
Cascadia would be one of the world's most powerful economies (22nd). It would be energy independent. It would be a land with sports in every major North American league, but oddly dominated but the least popular of these. Cascadia would be, and is, great.
But is clear that one city dominates. Seattle is the capital.
In sports it is Seattle that has the titles, and the teams. Specifically in soccer with the Seattle Sounders, but aided as well with the now absent Supersonics. The two most popular North American sports are based in Seattle, while Portland has the NBA and the Portland Timbers. The Vancouver Whitecaps are joined by the Canucks. Seattle actually has as many Stanley Cup titles as Vancouver.
Seattle has more Fortune 500 companies, the more popular brand of coffee, the more popular brand of wine and is more walkable. Seattle has a multitude of farmer's markets, and with the U-District earning top 10 in USA. Local restaurants regularly win national awards and dominate regional rankings. The Seattle metro area has more millionaires, more billionaires, more money.
Sure, there are great things about Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC. Particularly things like public transportation in both. The variety of quality beer in Portland is great. The ability to get to top notch ski resorts in Vancouver is incomparable in the world for a major metro area.
But Seattle is the capital of this fictitious country. It is the cultural hub, the economic power, the current heart of the region.
Sure it would be great to live anywhere in Cascadia from Medford up through sparsely populated Stikine BC, but there is a reason why most of us Cascadians live in the Greater Seattle Metro Area - because we are the capital of Cascadia.