Civic Cocktail

Crosscut

Civic Cocktail offers a lively look at big events and important issues facing the Puget Sound region. Hosted by Mónica Guzmán read less
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Episodes

The Year in Review: A Special Episode of Civic Cocktail
Dec 15 2022
The Year in Review: A Special Episode of Civic Cocktail
Converge Media’s Omari Salisbury, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison, Plymouth Housing CEO Karen Lee and Rep. Jamila Taylor share highs and lows of the year. Twists and turns defined 2022 in Seattle and beyond. On the national level, inflation surged as pandemic cases waned and the overturning of a landmark abortion law helped fuel a surprising result in the midterm elections. Locally, a new city attorney and mayor came to power as public safety concerns continued their rise and homelessness remained a perennial concern. There was some good news we could all agree on, too: The Mariners finally made it back to the playoffs, though their journey was also filled with thrilling twists and turns.   Yet what do all of these events lead up to? Are we seeing more political progress and more lasting solutions for the city, or is there just more of the same in store for the new year?  For this episode of the Civic Cocktail podcast, we have invited a panel of elected and community leaders to help us understand where 2022 brought us and where we might be headed. Host Monica Guzman sits down with Converge Media’s Omari Salisbury, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison, Plymouth Housing CEO Karen Lee and Rep. Jamila Taylor for some serious talk, mixed with questions that are a little fun. This conversation was recorded on Dec. 7, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host: Mónica Guzmán Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara
The Power of Politics: How to Win the Game and Get Things Done
Nov 17 2022
The Power of Politics: How to Win the Game and Get Things Done
As the midterms draw to a close, two strategists and an elected leader discuss how our two major parties gain — and wield — political control.  As the region and the nation continued counting votes from the midterms, a brief period of reflection has descended on local and national politics. Candidates and incumbents who won must decide what forward path to chart. Those who came up short, meanwhile, are left to reassess their political prospects.  As part of this examination, Civic Cocktail invited political insiders to consider the lessons of the midterms and a general question that animates American politics: When so much about our political process feels so messy, divisive and volatile, what does it take to win a race, bring about a new policy or just lead?  In the episode’s first segment, host Monica Guzman sits down with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay to talk about the practical considerations of power and policy at his level of government.  "I think people are really disillusioned with the federal government and how hard it is to create change at the federal level," said Grimay. "It's much easier, relatively speaking, to create change at the local level." Then, in the second segment, Republican consultant Alex Hays and Democratic consultant Crystal Fincher discuss how the challenges of running for office and winning on policy look different, yet the same, through red and blue lenses.  This conversation was recorded on Nov. 9, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host: Mónica Guzmán Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara
Testing Education: Are We Ready for the New School Year?
Sep 14 2022
Testing Education: Are We Ready for the New School Year?
We sit down with a teacher, a superintendent and a student to discuss how they plan to meet the challenges ahead. This month school is back in session in Washington after the most turbulent and disrupted years in our lifetimes. The pandemic is easing, we hope, but in its wake are gaps in academic achievement and opportunity, challenges with hiring and retaining teachers and staff, teacher strikes, questions about safety and security, debates about the curriculum, and calls for more support around anxiety and mental health in the classroom. For this month's episode of the Civic Cocktail podcast, host Monica Guzman discusses how to tackle these challenges with three local leaders: 2021 Washington State Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown, Tacoma Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Garcia, and Pavan Venkatakrishnan, the student representative for the Washington State Board of Education. Our guests attempt to answer the difficult questions: Are we ready for this academic year? What have the past couple years taught our educational leaders that they can apply to better educate our kids? And what is next for a strained public education system that we increasingly expect not to just teach our kids, but to care for them too? "We have the kids one-third of the time and they are in the community two-thirds of the time," says Superintendent Garcia. "And so we keep putting more and more pressure on what happens in that one-third of the time." This conversation was recorded on Sept. 7, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host: Mónica Guzmán Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara
Keeping Art Alive: The Essential Role of Creative Culture in Seattle
Jul 21 2022
Keeping Art Alive: The Essential Role of Creative Culture in Seattle
The city’s arts industry is returning to some semblance of normalcy. Four leaders survey the damage done and chart a path forward. In the spring of 2020, many artists and arts organizations were already struggling to maintain a place for themselves in Seattle. The future of creative expression in the city was uncertain, but the challenges were well-defined. Then the pandemic hit and scrambled everything. Audiences shifted to experiencing their arts and entertainment through screens as artists pivoted to a new digital reality. Many arts organizations, meanwhile, had to rely on philanthropy, government assistance and their own creativity to survive.  Now, as a vaccinated and exhausted world presses on through year three of the pandemic, the arts are in the midst of a slow return to venues across the city. But the world that artists and arts organizations are encountering is very different from the one they faced when the arts shut down two years ago.  For this episode of the Civic Cocktail podcast, we speak with four community arts leaders – Arté Noir founder and president Vivian Philips, Museum of Museums founder and director Greg Lundgren, Artist Home founder and owner Kevin Sur, and Northwest Folklife managing director Reese Tanimura – about the state of the arts now. They share their experiences leading organizations and businesses through the pandemic, outline new challenges of this late-pandemic era and offer prescriptions to keep the arts alive in Seattle.  This conversation was recorded on July 13, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host/podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara Video Production: Stephen Hegg
Safe and Sound: A Conversation with Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Community Leaders on Public Safety
May 26 2022
Safe and Sound: A Conversation with Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Community Leaders on Public Safety
At a live Civic Cocktail event, panelists discussed how city law enforcement might navigate short-term solutions and systemic reforms. What does it mean to be safe in Seattle, to be shielded from danger or threat so you can live your life fully, without fear, no matter where or who you are?  It's a big question, as Seattle wrestles with rising crime, an overwhelmed police department, a strained legal system and neighbors fed up and frustrated by everything from distrust around racial disparities to what feels like inaction, bordering on neglect. All with this nagging sense that, after the reckonings of the past few years, we're still not seeing the bigger picture.   For this episode of Civic Cocktail, host Mónica Guzmán explores how we define and address public safety over the course of two conversations with four guests close to the issue.  The show begins with three local leaders whose community advocacy gives them each a critical lens on what public safety is all about. Then, Guzmán sits down with the man in charge of the most powerful local institution officially charged with supporting safety in our city, Seattle Police interim Chief Adrian Diaz. This conversation was recorded on May 19, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host: Mónica Guzmán Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara Video Production: Stephen Hegg Audio support: Sara Bernard
Looking Back to Look Forward: Reflecting on Seattle’s Evolution
Apr 11 2022
Looking Back to Look Forward: Reflecting on Seattle’s Evolution
In its season debut, Civic Cocktail hosts a discussion with local historians and a futurist on what was and what will be in the Emerald City. There is a lot to talk about in this present moment. The pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life, while news of clashes on battlefields virtual and actual meet us every morning. Here in Seattle, meanwhile, we continue to struggle with homelessness, growth, inequality and public safety. As we try to better understand this moment, the inclination is to zoom in. But we’re doing something different for this first episode of the new season of Civic Cocktail and the inaugural episode of Crosscut's Civic Cocktail podcast. We will be taking a step back. First, by taking stock of where we’ve been. And then, where we may be going — after some of the most tumultuous years we’ve ever known. How do we do that in just 60 minutes? With the help of four experts, including Leonard Garfield, executive director of Museum of History and Industry; Jerry Large, president of blackpast.org; and Ron Chew, founder of Chew Communications, as well as Glen Hiemstra, founder of futurist.com.  From well before the city’s founding in 1851, through war, migration, innovation, and incredible growth, ours is a story of conflict and collaboration, of heartbreaking exclusion and steps toward more meaningful inclusion. In this episode we discuss where we’ve been so we can know better where we ought to be going. This conversation was recorded on April 6, 2022. Civic Cocktail is a production of Seattle City Club and Crosscut. --- Credits Host: Mónica Guzmán Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara Video Production: Stephen Hegg Audio support: Seth Halleran