Crosscut Talks
Safe and Sound: A Conversation with Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Community Leaders on Public Safety

Safe and Sound: A Conversation with Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Community Leaders on Public Safety

May 27, 2022

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.

Subscribe to the Civic Cocktail podcast now to receive future conversations in your podcast feed earlier. 

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Credits

Host: Mónica Guzmán

Podcast production: Mark Baumgarten

Event production: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Video Production: Stephen Hegg

Audio support: Sara Bernard

The Fight to End Homelessness with Marc Dones, Karen Salinas and LaMont Green

The Fight to End Homelessness with Marc Dones, Karen Salinas and LaMont Green

May 25, 2022

King County outreach leaders say an approach informed by lived experience can help solve the worsening crisis.

In January, the King County Homeless Authority issued a report stating that more than 40,000 people had experienced homelessness in the county in the past year. It was a much larger number than any previously reported, in part a result of using new methodology, but it was not necessarily surprising. 

Now seven years after the city and the county declared a state of emergency to help address homelessness, the problem has become so widespread in the greater Seattle area that it is nearly impossible to ignore. It can also seem nearly impossible to address in a meaningful way. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we listen in on a conversation with three people who are nonetheless attempting to do just that: King County Regional Homeless Authority CEO Marc Dones, outreach provider Karen E. Salinas and the CEO of the Racial Equity Action Lab, Lamont Green.

In conversation with Crosscut city reporter Josh Cohen, these three outreach leaders discuss why the homeless population has grown so large, where leadership has gone wrong in the past and how an approach informed by the lived experience of those living in a state of homelessness could help them get things right.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The Crisis in Education with Chris Reykdal and Uti Yamassee Hawkins

The Crisis in Education with Chris Reykdal and Uti Yamassee Hawkins

May 22, 2022

The state's top education official and a Seattle teacher’s union leader discuss lessons learned and the path forward.

Concern over America’s students predates the pandemic. Education — and public education, especially — is always in some form of crisis for someone. Gaps in student opportunity and achievement, for instance, existed long before anyone had heard of COVID–19.

What the pandemic did, though — and this is a well-worn idea for anyone who has been tracking reports or has parented a student through this period — is that it made the problems in America’s schools impossible to ignore. And it also may have presented some solutions. 

Those persistent problems and unlikely solutions are the subject of this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, which features Washington state’s superintendent of public instruction, Chris Reykdahl, and Uti Yamassee Hawkins, vice president of the Seattle Education Association, which represents the teachers in the state’s largest school district. 

In their conversation with Crosscut news editor Donna Blankinship, which took place on May 3, 2022, as part of the Crosscut Festival, both draw on their perspectives as leaders, as well as their classroom experience, to help examine an education system at a crossroads. 

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

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Notes

If you enjoyed this conversation, you'll want to listen to the latest season of This Changes Everything, a six-episode examination of the impact of the pandemic on public education in Washington state, told through the experiences of students, teachers and families. Search "This Changes Everything" on your podcast player or listen to all episodes here

The Pursuit of Justice with Bob Ferguson

The Pursuit of Justice with Bob Ferguson

May 19, 2022

Washington's attorney general discusses his post-Trump workload and the future of reproductive rights in the state.

For many Americans opposed to the policies of then-President Donald Trump, the litigation brought by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson was an essential part of their resistance. By the time Trump left the White House, Ferguson’s office had won 50 out of 52 decisions in cases against the administration, a record highly touted at the time. 

But with Trump’s departure from the White House, Ferguson’s star turn on the national stage has ended, for the time being. His work hasn’t. 

Under his direction, the Office of the Attorney General made headlines recently for successfully taking prescription opioid distributors to trial and for battling the Biden White House, which is challenging a state law that seeks to protect workers at Hanford. The office has also helped shape state legislation that impacts gun sales and police accountability.  

This episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast features a May 7, 2022, conversation from the Crosscut Festival in which the attorney general spoke with former KIRO-TV journalist Essex Porter about the reasoning behind these decisions, as well as the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The Powers of a Governor with Jay Inslee

The Powers of a Governor with Jay Inslee

May 17, 2022

For the first in a series of conversations with statewide leaders, the governor discusses how he has used his office to address mounting crises.

For much of his three terms as governor, Jay Inslee has remained a relatively popular politician, a Democrat leading a blue state through an era of deep partisanship. More recently, though, his approval ratings have sagged under the weight of historic crises. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has become a defining event for the Democratic governor, who early on used his executive authority to issue some of the most severe restrictions in the nation, including masking requirements, vaccine mandates and business closures. 

Now the governor finds himself at a crossroads where patience for such measures has waned, even as the virus remains a threat. Meanwhile, Inslee has mounted a full-throated defense of reproductive rights in the state and continued to trumpet climate policy he believes will stave off future disaster. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, the governor talks about all of these issues with KUOW’s Bill Radke. The interview, which was conducted on May 7 as part of the Crosscut Festival, is the first of three with statewide leaders that we will be publishing over the next week.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Nikole Hannah-Jones on 1619’s Success, Backlash and Future

Nikole Hannah-Jones on 1619’s Success, Backlash and Future

May 15, 2022

The New York Times journalist discusses how the 1619 Project has become a source text for America’s racial reckoning — and the subject of major backlash.

That slavery is a part of the American story is no secret. But until a few years ago, the question of how central slavery has been to American life has rarely been considered beyond academic circles. 

That all changed with the publication of The 1619 Project, a work of journalism created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the guest on this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast. Launched by the New York Times in 2019, the project puts Black Americans at the center of the American story, starting with the arrival of the White Lion, a ship that in 1619 carried captive Africans to the shores of what would become the United States. 

The project has become a major text for the racial reckoning that has unfolded in the past few years, and it has been met with severe resistance from some quarters, and it’s not done. Hannah-Jones published a book version of the project last fall and is currently at work on a documentary series based on the project.  

In this conversation with University of Washington professor Christopher Sebastian Parker, which took place in early May as part of the 2022 Crosscut Festival, Hannah-Jones discusses the project’s aims, what it has achieved and how she views the backlash it has received.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Power, Politics and Partisanship with Robert Gibbs and Rick Wilson

Power, Politics and Partisanship with Robert Gibbs and Rick Wilson

May 12, 2022

The former Obama strategist and the Lincoln Project co-founder discuss upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race.

The revelation that the U.S. Supreme Court may very well overturn Roe v. Wade this summer turned up the heat on what was already a period of intense partisan division in the United States. With continued fallout from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and the upcoming midterm elections, there is little indication that Democrats and Republicans will come together any time soon. 

Still, while partisan rancor may pose a threat to American democracy, politicians in both parties are leveraging it in their own attempts to build support, raise money and get things done. 

Former Republican strategist Rick Wilson and former presidential adviser Robert Gibbs are both familiar with the calculus involved in turning partisanship into political gain. But they are also aware of the threats that severe partisanship can bring. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, the two political strategists discuss the fight for Congress in 2022 and the White House, detail missteps in their own parties that helped create the current landscape and consider why some Americans may prefer authoritarianism to democracy.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Ezra Klein on Roe, Ukraine and Hope

Ezra Klein on Roe, Ukraine and Hope

May 10, 2022

The New York Times columnist and popular podcast host discusses what he pays attention to and why.

Ezra Klein makes a living paying attention. As a columnist for the New York Times and the host of the Ezra Klein podcast, he must decide what to focus his attention on, how long to focus it and when to move on. And, given the unforgiving churn of the modern newscycle, that is no small task.

Klein’s journalism is expansive enough to effectively respond to that news cycle. He delves into topics as divergent as white nationalism, science fiction, abortion rights and cryptocurrency. But he is no dilettante. Klein comes to each of these topics deeply researched and with well-developed ideas and questions. And when he really wants to understand something, he goes all in and takes his listeners with him.

That was the case earlier this year when, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Klein decided to go deep into the conflict. Over the course of a few months, he committed 11 episodes of his hourlong interview podcast to the conflict, investigating numerous aspects of the conflict with expert guests.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, recorded as part of the 2022 Crosscut Festival, we invited Klein to discuss the thinking that went into his coverage of the war in Ukraine and what understanding he gained from that deep dive. And because we couldn’t focus all our attention on one thing, we asked him about the recent leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court and what hope there is for an end to the partisan rancor that defines our national conversation.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The Full Fauci Interview with Judy Woodruff

The Full Fauci Interview with Judy Woodruff

May 8, 2022

In a conversation with the PBS NewsHour host, the president's chief medical adviser discusses recent data on the pandemic and the future of variants.

At the beginning of the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many things that public health officials know about the virus that they didn’t know before: how it spreads, for one, and how effective vaccines are against many of the current variants. But there is still much that is unknown. 

After a difficult winter dealing with the highly transmissible omicron variant, Americans are heading into another pandemic summer not knowing what new variants are around the corner and, ultimately, when the pandemic will shift into an endemic phase.

As the chief medical adviser to the president and the face of the federal pandemic response, Dr. Anthony Fauci holds the unenviable role of guiding a politically fractured nation through this uncertainty.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we are featuring the full interview between Fauci and PBS Newshour host Judy Woodruff, which took place on April 26, 2022, as part of the Crosscut Festival. In this conversation, Fauci discusses the possibility of new variants, the emergence of new therapies and the political divide that has been a defining aspect of the fight against the virus.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The End of Roe and the Future of Abortion with Dahlia Lithwick

The End of Roe and the Future of Abortion with Dahlia Lithwick

May 4, 2022

The Amicus host and an expert panel discuss the “shocking, but not surprising” draft opinion leaked from the Supreme Court this week suggesting an end to Roe v. Wade.

Since a conservative majority of justices assumed their seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, many have wondered about the future of Roe v. Wade, the controversial ruling that has protected the right to abortion in America for the past half-century. 

On Monday, May 2, those questions were (nearly) answered. A draft of the court’s majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked to Politico, suggesting that a 5-4 decision officially overturning Roe is indeed likely to be released in June.  

As part of the Crosscut Festival, Crosscut invited journalist Dahlia Lithwick, host of Slate’s Amicus podcast, to lead a panel of experts in a discussion about what officially overturning the 1973 ruling could lead to — and what it portends about a court willing to take on the most divisive issue in generations.

In this week’s episode of Crosscut Talks, Lithwick and her guests discuss the potential legal ramifications of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion as written and the ways in which we are already living in a post-Roe America.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Producer: Sara Bernard

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph