40 episodes

Civic Cocktail - presented by Seattle Channel and Seattle CityClub - offers a night of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar.

Civic Cocktail Seattle Channel

    • News

Civic Cocktail - presented by Seattle Channel and Seattle CityClub - offers a night of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar.

    Civic Cocktail: Naomi Ishisaka + Kurt Streeter + Jasmyne Keimig

    Civic Cocktail: Naomi Ishisaka + Kurt Streeter + Jasmyne Keimig

    George Floyd's murder sparked a movement, forcing this nation to acknowledge and confront systemic racism. But how much has changed in the year since Floyd was killed? Seattle Times Assistant Managing Editor Naomi Ishisaka tells host Joni Balter, "this is part of an arc of work that's been ongoing... and while momentum has slowed, progress has been made." New York Times columnist Kurt Streeter warns, "Any movement for change that specifically regards African Americans can expect a pushback, and of course that's happening." And Jasmyne Keimig, staff writer for The Stranger says, "The defund conversation has pushed the center of gravity... but there's still an overwhelmingly uphill battle to implement real change." All three journalists also agreed the flood of misinformation coming from various news outlets is troubling since it allows false narratives to take hold which are then accepted as fact. 

    • 44 min
    Civic Cocktail: Downtown Seattle: Rebuilding a Troubled Superstar

    Civic Cocktail: Downtown Seattle: Rebuilding a Troubled Superstar

    After struggling through the pandemic, social unrest, and an ongoing homelessness crisis, what is the state of downtown Seattle? Bob Donegan, president of Ivar's restaurants tells host Joni Balter that 2020 was grim, but he's encouraged by the crowds returning to the city. The number of visitors to Pike Place Market is a good example. Donegan says, "In April and May it had none. Last month, Pike Place Market was averaging 10,000 to 12,000 visitors a day." And more people coming downtown will help battle the perception the area is unsafe. Brian Surratt, the former director of Seattle's Office of Economic Development and current Vice President of Alexandria Real Estate says, "Downtown has been vacant for so long when you don't have bodies walking through and interacting with each other, you're going to notice a lot of these issues." He also blames national media reports for doom and gloom descriptions of Seattle after last summer's protests. But both men agree one thing could help jumpstart the recovery, and they say the City of Seattle could actually play a pivotal role.  

    • 44 min
    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Pramila Jayapal & Suzan DelBene

    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Pramila Jayapal & Suzan DelBene

    The President and Congressional Democrats are moving fast to work through a list of major projects demanded by the American public. Two U.S. House members from Washington state, helping to lead the way, speak to host Joni Balter about the challenges ahead. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Progressive Caucus, says "I just watched the American Rescue Plan go through with not a single Republican vote when 76% of Americans believe it was the right thing to do." Democrats hope the multi trillion-dollar plan to revamp the nation's crumbling infrastructure will have more bipartisan support. Rep. Suzan DelBene, chair of the New Democrat Coalition, which includes 94 congressional moderates says, "We have great needs across our country...long-term going forward we want to make sure we are getting things done for the American people." Other subjects discussed include gun control, the future of the filibuster, immigration policy, and what each congress member believes is the biggest threat to democracy. 

    This episode of Civic Cocktail is the third in a multi-part series on "The State of Our Democracy."

    • 44 min
    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Bridging the Political Divide in WA

    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Bridging the Political Divide in WA

    A new president has established a different tone, but politics nationally remains as contentious as ever. Is the same true in this state? The leaders of Washington's two major political parties join host Joni Balter to discuss bridging the political divide. The conversation revealed there's still work to be done. "I think Republicans, at this point, have zero, none, nada ground to stand on when talking about bipartisanship" said Washington state Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski. Her counterpart for the Republican Party, Caleb Heimlich, responded, "If the Democrats viewpoint is that you have to abandon all your principles, you have to give up on the people that voted for you... than our country is never going to come together." Heimlich did agree the election is over and that Joe Biden is clearly the president. Despite their differences, each party chair was given the opportunity to say something positive about the other person. And it was more than just, "no comment." 

    This episode of Civic Cocktail is the second in a multi-part series on "The State of Our Democracy." Watch January's conversation with Rick Wilson and Bill Bryant.

    • 43 min
    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Rick Wilson + Bill Bryant

    Civic Cocktail: State of Our Democracy: Rick Wilson + Bill Bryant

    After losing both the White House and control of the U.S. Senate, even longtime Republicans are wondering, what's the future of the GOP? Lincoln Project Co-founder Rick Wilson and 2016 GOP nominee for Washington governor Bill Bryant share strong opinions with host Joni Balter on what they see on the road ahead. Wilson says the Republican party is at a juncture, and warned, "they're going to be the Whig Party and die, or they're going to take a very difficult step and say we're not a party about the dear leader." Bryant agrees, saying it's time to move past the Trump era. He says Republicans must "focus on the real reasons we lost and why we're not responding to the needs of people and neighborhoods all around the country." Both guests say the country is in desperate need of a center-right party. Wilson summed it up this way, "offer a vision that is optimistic, prospective, big, inclusive, smart, and forward-looking." This episode of Civic Cocktail is the first in a multi-part series on "The State of Our Democracy."

    • 44 min
    Civic Cocktail: 2020 Election: Analysis & Healing

    Civic Cocktail: 2020 Election: Analysis & Healing

    One day after Americans cast their ballots in record numbers, we are joined by a prominent Democrat and Republican who share their perspectives on our divided nation. Congressmember-elect Marilyn Strickland tells host Joni Balter, no matter who becomes president, we must find a way to come together to begin solving problems. She says she'll start by listening to those who don't share her point of view. Former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna says, "The people of our country need to see their elected leaders accomplishing something." He urges they start with an effective response to the pandemic. But even after the ballots are counted and winners declared, it's clear this country will remain bitterly divided. Two of the three founding members of the Interfaith Amigos admit healing will be difficult, but doable. Imam Jamal Rahman advises we, "Listen, respect, connect, so there's no need to talk about politics or religion, let's start by sharing stories." Pastor Don Mackenzie agrees saying people need to be heard, especially right now. But he adds, "...in order to have the difficult conversations, we come back to the need to trust each other."  

    • 59 min

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