Hanna Brooks Olsen

Writing, reporting, policy, dog stuff.

Curious gadabout, in Seattle by way of Oregon.
Smitten with a small dog and a well-crafted sentence.

I'm a freelance writer and reporter. I write about poverty and access, Seattle-area politics, sports, A&E,
health and beauty, lady issues, and basically anything that interests me.

Get at me. We'll probably be fast friends.

Portfolio

Clips

In The Land Of Bill Gates, A Standoff Over Money For Schools
Zachary Warren spends a lot of his time thinking about chairs. Desk chairs, to be more specific. Though there's a range of chair sizes in the classroom where he's taught for...
Why Do Most Orca Pregnancies End in Miscarriage? Look Upstream.
Writing in 1916, conservationist John Muir noted that "there is not a 'fragment' in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself." A...
Seattle's Creative Campaign Finance Reform
During the 2017 election cycle, which included races for City Council, school board, and the Mayor, the City of Seattle sent every registered voter-442,316 people in total-four...
Single-Payer Health Care Must Come With Reproductive Coverage
If a single-payer plan doesn't protect abortion, we cannot call it universal. I n the wake of the GOP's recent and unflagging attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act -  an...
STEVE BANNON WEEK: Closing Time with Steve Bannon
I worked behind a bar long enough to know the difference between the fun ones and the mean ones. It's something in their posture-shoulders, elbows, the cock of the head-but...
For Female Football Players, It's Pay to Play (and Pray Someone Sees)
On a drizzling day last winter, Rebecca Samuelson drove from her job at Redfin, a technology startup in Seattle, about an hour south to a high-school football field in the city...
It's A Soda Tax, But It's Not A Sales Tax
by Hanna Brooks Olsen Seattle's new tax on sugary beverage has critics on all sides-but many of them have the basic taxing authority wrong. Beginning on January 1, consumers in...
If Body Positivity Makes You Feel Worse, You're Not Alone
My body and I have had a tense relationship. But we're working on it! And part of that ~bonding process~ includes accepting it for what it is and not what I think it could be if...
Welcome to the Bliss Jungle | Seattle Weekly
Illustration by Joshua Boulet There's a dead end street in Shoreline with a construction site at the end. Like a lot of plots in the area, contractors are working to replace the...
The Double Bind of Free School Breakfast
Getting up before 8:00 a.m. wasn't something that came easily for my mom, so many mornings between kindergarten and the third grade, my older brother and woke to our own alarms,...
Happy 42nd Birthday to the Quiet Hero of the American Household
My mother's pocketbook was always massive. In addition to carrying checks, it was also stuffed with receipts, change, and numerous forms of payment for groceries. Specifically,...
America is for the rich: How we became a nation of "have nots"
This article originally appeared on The Daily Dot. After the #BlackMonday panic sent westward shockwaves last week, the stock market seems to be rebounding even further...
4 Critical Reasons Why Unions Are a Feminist Issue - Everyday Feminism
The decline is due to a variety of factors (including anti-union policies, trade agreements, and the decline of the manufacturing industry, among other things) and has impacted...
Why women smile at men who sexually harass us.
She does it because she has to ... but she just shouldn't have to.
Homelessness and the Impossibility of a Good Night's Sleep
Sleeplessness contributes, popular science preaches, to obesity, diabetes, poor diet, and unproductiveness. And yet, even those of us who should have no problem logging a solid...
The Etiquette of Purchasing Pot
Despite the apocalyptic warnings of anti-legalization activists and organizations, in the almost three years since Washington voters opted to decriminalize the sale of...
There's Always Room on the Bandwagon
The Ultimate 12th Man Guide I'm a fan and you're a fan. Can we stop fighting and hate the 49ers together?
Service Work Is Skilled Work. Get Over It. - Plz Pay Up
Factory jobs are gone. Barista jobs are here to stay. It's time to recognize that and pay people accordingly.
One Little Way The Tax Code Sucks For Student Loan Borrowers - The Billfold
Student debt is a hot issue—but what if we could help millions of students with their loans just by changing the tax code?
How the GOP's Anti-Poverty Plans Ignore the Rural Poor
Despite their best attempts to burn Quicken Loans Arena to the ground with white supremacy, plagiarism, and fog machines, the Republican National Convention continues to bumble...
Depression And The Privilege Of Just Staying Home - The Frisky
When a woman who lived in my college apartment complex became overcome by her depression, took a hiatus from school, and went to stay with her parents a few hours away, I...
Ballard's Macefield house: A lot of symbolism for a little house
One of my favorite pieces I've written, this examination of Ballard's famous Macefield House allowed me to probe a local folktale and find out what the real story was.
How One Artist Memorializes Female Reporters Killed in Action
While newspapers at home struggle to stay relevant and profitable, reporters abroad struggle to stay alive. Dedicated to exposing the truth, protecting their sources, and...
An Open Letter to the Intern Who Sits In The Cubicle Behind Me And Watches Me Shop Online
The one time I was on McSweeney's.

Appearances

This List Ignited a Serious Debate Over How to Help Your Employees Not Go Hungry
A list instructing employers on how to help workers who struggle to afford food has spurred a fiery debate on social media. The term food insecurity refers to people whose eat...
Impostor Syndrome: Being Two Kids In A Trench Coat
The time I gave a talk!
Topping This Week's News: '$70,000 NOW!'
A Seattle CEO cuts his own pay so he can double his employees' salaries - is this a new model for capitalism? Should Washington state tax the megarich? Does Woodland Park Zoo...
Sound Effect, Episode 6: Vice
"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show will explore a different theme. In...

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