As an American who now lives overseas, if I ever returned to live in American (which is highly unlikely), the only cities I would ever consider living in are liberal cities. As a past resident of Texas, living in a right-wing state, it felt like purgatory, and something I would never repeat. Living in one of these three liberal, progressive and left-wing cities though would be a good choice for any liberal like me, looking for a majority of like-minded people, as these liberal cities afford nice places to live with great communities and interesting culture.
Lawrence, Kansas – A secret paradise to many outside its city boundaries, Lawrence, Kansas is one of the most liberal cities in America, yet surrounded by some of the most conservative. Lawrence, Kansas is the sixth largest city in the state, is a college town and has less than 100,000 inhabitants. It has a nice mix of ethnicities as, although 83% are white, there are still 5% African American, about the same number of Latinos, American Indians, Asians and Pacific Islanders. Almost 50% of the population are non-families too, which definitely helps with its liberal makeup.
Lawrence is one of only three counties in Kansas that voted for Barack Obama in 2010, the rest predictably voting Republican.
Lawrence, Kansas also provides for typical liberal values. It has an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and has a domestic partnership registry. Lawrence has lots of liberal-style businesses, independent coffee shops and book stores, an incredible organic foods restaurant, theater groups, art galleries, and an amazing college radio station. Lawrence even has a four-day music festival for independent bands and artists that, in just a few years since its inception, now attracts almost 100,000 concertgoers every year.
If you’re a liberal looking for a friendly liberal town to live in, populated by mostly left-wing people who vote the way you do and believe everyone has the right to live their lives the way they choose, then Lawrence, Kansas could very well be for you.
Berkeley, California – For years, Berkeley, California was my dream liberal city. Close to San Francisco and choosing to herald the liberal values San Francisco holds dear, Berkeley has the added attraction that it’s smaller, so a bit easier to get around, yet close enough to San Francisco you can still take advantage of everything it has to offer.
The attraction to me of Berkeley is that so many of its residents are highly-educated people, who are intellectuals, environmentalists, activists, pro-gay rights folks, people who live the green way and on and on – basically people who simply have better moral values than the majority of Americans.
Berkeley has hippie-style stores, organic co-ops and restaurants, vegetarian eateries, art galleries, independent book stores and coffee shops – basically chock-full of businesses any respecting liberal would salivate over. It has gorgeous botanical gardens, a jazz festival, incredibly beautiful walks, bike paths, street fairs – even a kite festival every year.
For any left-leaning American, particularly one who enjoys intellectual conversations and being around people who really think about the best way to live their lives, instead of just joining the ‘norm’, Berkeley, California is one of the top liberal cities in the country.
This liberal California city is expensive, but I don’t mind paying for the right place to live and for the chance to be around people who believe what I believe. I doubt you do too.
Ann Arbor, Michigan – The only think that would stop me moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan are the extremely cold winters and the hot, humid summers. Otherwise, Ann Arbor, Michigan is a wet dream for any right-minded liberal. Voted year after year as one of the best cities to live in the United States, Ann Arbor also happens to be predominantly Democrat. With just over 100,000 residents, it’s also a large enough city to get lost in and a small enough one to make lots of liberal-minded friends.
Ann Arbor is known for its enormous involvement in the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war protests. It’s the home of the University of Michigan, has a good mix of ethnicities, 52% of residents are non-families, and its crime rate is far below the national average.
Ann Arbor is also a city that is supportive of technology and is home to many internet companies. The downtown area is alive with bookstores, coffee shops, galleries, a theater group, and the university campus has museums, art galleries, performing art groups etc. You’ll also find street festivals and even the Ann Arbor Film Festival – an annual movie festival that attracts films from all over the world.
As a book lover, one thing I absolutely adore about Ann Arbor is that its number one in the country for the number of books sold per capita, far out-selling more conservative cities close by. Add onto these a huge percentage of left-wing intellectuals and Ann Arbor is one of the top liberal cities in the country for any liberal American to live in.