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Politics [clear filter]
Friday, May 3


Eric Liu Festival Convocation
As the founder and CEO of Citizen University, Eric Liu has committed much of his life’s work to teaching “powerful citizenship,” earning acclaim as an author and racking up millions of TED Talk views. To open this year’s Crosscut Fest, he will be delivering a convocation encouraging and exploring the idea of civil discourse.

avatar for Eric Liu

Eric Liu

CEO, Citizen University
Eric Liu is the co-founder and CEO of Citizen University, which works to build a culture of powerful and responsible citizenship in the United States. He also directs the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity Program. He is the author of several books, including The... Read More →

Friday May 3, 2019 8:00pm - 8:10pm
Saturday, May 4


Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson Fireside Chat
The Washington state Attorney General first made national headlines after filing suit against the Trump administration over the travel ban in January 2017. Since then, Ferguson has sued the federal government 33 times, including challenges to the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the institution of the military transgender ban. Expect a revisitation of the first two years of Trump and look ahead at two more, at least.

avatar for Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon

Author & Journalist, New York Times & Slate Political Gabfest
Emily Bazelon is a staff  writer at The New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law, and a lecturer at Yale Law School. Her previous book is the national bestseller  Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power... Read More →

avatar for Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson

Attorney General, Washington State Attorney General's Office
Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, a graduate of the University... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am


Socialism’s Role in American Politics
Socialism may ignite the ire of Republicans and many baby boomers, but it is gaining broad acceptance from millennials with politicians like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Bernie Sanders urging the country to adopt some of its tenets. We bring together Seattle’s socialist council member, the Democratic Socialist who challenged veteran Democratic representative Adam Smith and the state’s Democratic party chair to talk about what socialism is, what it isn’t and how it will play into the future of the Democratic party. 

avatar for David Plotz

David Plotz

CEO, Atlas Obscura
David Plotz is the CEO of Atlas Obscura (www.AtlasObscura.com), the Brooklyn-based media and travel company. He is also host of the popular Slate Political Gabfest podcast. Before joining Atlas Obscura in 2014, Plotz was Editor in Chief of Slate, where he won two National Magazine... Read More →

avatar for Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant

Seattle City Councilmember, Seattle City Council
Kshama Sawant is not a career politician. An activist with Socialist Alternative, she brings a passion for social justice to her work as elected representative of Seattle’s working people. An outspoken socialist who has won election and reelection to the City Council, Kshama has... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Former Washington Congressional Candidate
Sarah Smith is a former Congressional candidate for Washington's 9th District. She ran a small dollar grassroots campaign from 2017-2018 and challenged longtime incumbent Adam Smith, a fellow Democrat. Since the election, Sarah's campaign has been credited with moving Rep. Smith on... Read More →
avatar for Tina Podlodowski

Tina Podlodowski

Chair, Washington State Democratic Party
Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski is the daughter of two naturalized U.S. citizens who fled post-WWII Europe as refugees. As a first generation American and lifelong Democrat, Tina has spent her life fighting for equality and a level playing field for all. Tina’s... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:05am


Has the Next Civil War Already Started?
In America,  Civil War as long been relegated to history books and Ken Burns films. But recently it has become a live topic. This panel of political experts and journalists will discuss the deepening tribalism of extreme partisan politics, identifying root causes, discussing the platforms that have encouraged this divisiveness, and exploring what can be done to prevent it.  

avatar for Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie

Columnist, New York Times
Based in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington D.C., Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times and political analyst for CBS News. He covers campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Prior to the Times, Jamelle was chief political correspondent for Slate magazine... Read More →

avatar for Oren Cass

Oren Cass

Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Oren Cass is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where his work on strengthening the labor market addresses issues ranging from the social safety net and environmental regulation to trade and immigration to education and organized labor. Cass is the author of The Once and... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Edsall

Thomas Edsall

Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times, New York Times
Thomas B. Edsall has been teaching political journalism at Columbia University since 2006. His column on strategic and demographic trends in American politics appears every Thursday. He has been a weekly contributor to The Times online Opinion Pages since 2011. He covered politics... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Parker

Christopher Parker

Professor of Political Science, University of Washington
Professor Christopher Sebastian Parker is an expert on the ways in which race and racism impact Western democracies. In doing so, he challenges conventional explanations for the persistence of racism, while explaining the nature of the movements that have proven capable of making... Read More →
avatar for Tay Wiles

Tay Wiles

Journalist, High Country News
Tay Wiles is a freelance journalist based in California and a correspondent for High Country News. Her work also appears at The Guardian, Mother Jones, Pacific Standard, Range podcast and KQED. She has served as associate editor at HCN, the editor of Mission Local, a media fellow... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 11:30am - 12:20pm


Upper-Left and to the Right: How Republicans plan to take back power in Olympia
Washington State is often characterized as true blue. It has been 35 years since the state voted for a Republican president or a governor and almost two decades since the state sent a right-leaning senator to the other Washington. Currently the state capitol is ruled by Democrats. But the state is more purple than national profiles would have people believe and with an open gubernatorial race around the corner, Republicans are working on ways to turn the tide. We will discuss the prospect of the state’s red future.

avatar for Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Columnist, Crosscut
Knute “Mossback” Berger is senior writer and columnist at Crosscut and host of the Mossback’s Northwest TV series on KCTS 9. He writes about politics and regional heritage. Previously he served as Editor-in-Chief of Seattle Weekly, Editor & Publisher of Eastsideweek, and as... Read More →

avatar for Robert McKenna

Robert McKenna

Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Robert M. McKenna, partner in Orrick's Seattle and Washington, D.C. offices, leads the state Attorney General team in the firm's Public Policy Group is a and member of the Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation practice. A former Washington State Attorney General and President of the National... Read More →
avatar for Maia Espinoza

Maia Espinoza

Entrepreneur, Pierce County
Maia is Executive Director and Founder of the Center for Latino Leadership, a civic-engagement focused non-profit based in Washington State. Maia is also a for-profit small business owner, school music teacher, youth soccer coach, community liaison, wife, and mother of two children.Maia... Read More →
avatar for Kim Wyman

Kim Wyman

Washington Secretary of State, Washington Office of the Secretary of State
Kim Wyman is Washington’s 15th Secretary of State. First elected in 2012, she is serving her second term and is only the second female Secretary of State in Washington’s history. Prior to being elected to this office, Kim served as Thurston County Elections Director for nearly... Read More →
avatar for JT Wilcox

JT Wilcox

Republican Leader, WA State House of Representatives
Representative JT Wilcox grew up on his family farm in rural Pierce County, where he still lives today. He is a graduate of Washington State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in history. JT was first elected in 2010, and currently serves as House Republican Leader... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 1:30pm - 2:20pm


Covering the Trump White House
Run by a president who thrives on the conventions of reality television, the White House has become defined by confessionals, also known as “leaks,” and a litany of former officials who have been voted off the island. Correspondent, past and present, tells us how they keep track of it all and how covering the Trump White House compares to previous administrations.

avatar for Adam Levine

Adam Levine

Founder & CEO, Words Matter Media
Adam L. Levine is Founder and CEO of Words Matter Media and Executive Producer of the Words Matter Podcast. From 2001-2003 Adam served as Assistant White House Press Secretary and Director of Television News for President George W. Bush. Before joining the White House, Adam was a... Read More →

avatar for Darlene Superville

Darlene Superville

Newswoman, Associated Press
Darlene Superville is a White House reporter for The Associated Press. She was assigned to the White House in January 2009 to cover President Barack Obama. She was reassigned in 2012 and returned to the beat in 2013. Before the White House assignment, Ms. Superville was an enterprise/features... Read More →
avatar for Ashley Parker

Ashley Parker

White House Reporter, Washington Post
Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at the New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things. She was part of the Washington Post team that won a Pulitzer... Read More →
avatar for Philip Rucker

Philip Rucker

White House Bureau Chief, The Washington Post
Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief at The Washington Post, leading its coverage of the Donald Trump presidency. He and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for their reporting on Russia‚Äôs interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential... Read More →
avatar for John Fund

John Fund

National-Affairs Columnist, National Review
John Fund is National Affairs Columnist for National Review magazine and a contributor to FoxNews.com. He is an often-quoted  expert on American politics, economics and legal issues. He previously served as a columnist and editorial board member for The Wall Street Journal. for 27... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 2:45pm - 3:35pm


Dictators & Democracy
Dictators are experiencing a renewed role in American political discourse as President Trump publicly engages with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, attempts to disengage with the Assad regime in Syria and openly challenges Maduro in Venezuela. Meanwhile, the governments of global powers China and Russia have taken steps toward more authoritarian rule. Experts on Russia, Africa and Central American discuss these dictatorships and the threats that they pose to our democracy.

avatar for Enrique Cerna

Enrique Cerna

Senior Correspondent, Crosscut
Enrique Cerna is senior correspondent for Crosscut and KCTS 9. He joined KCTS 9 in January, 1995. Since then, he has anchored current affairs programs, moderated statewide political debates, produced and reported stories for national PBS programs as well as local documentaries on... Read More →

avatar for Michael Camilleri

Michael Camilleri

Rule of Law Director, Inter-American Dialogue
Michael Camilleri is Director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. An international lawyer and former diplomat, he served in the Obama administration from 2012 to 2017 as the Western Hemisphere adviser on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning... Read More →
avatar for Jackie Miller

Jackie Miller

President & CEO, World Affairs Council
Jacqueline has led the World Affairs Council of Seattle since May 2014. She held senior positions in policy organizations and non-profits on the east coast before moving to the Pacific Northwest. In Seattle, she also serves on the Mayor’s International Affairs Advisory Board; is... Read More →
avatar for Connie G. Anthony, PHD

Connie G. Anthony, PHD

Professor, Political Science, Seattle University
Connie Anthony's expertise is in international relations and comparative development with a focus on the developing world. She has written on the politics of international aid, technology transfer, refugees, intervention, and resource development. She has worked in social constructivist... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 2:45pm - 3:35pm