Crosscut Talks
Booming Economies and the People They Leave Behind

Booming Economies and the People They Leave Behind

October 15, 2019

There's no question that the thriving economies of wealthy west coast cities have left some residents behind. The gap between rich and poor is wider than ever. And although the market has cooled some, the cost of housing continues to rise, leaving more and more people unable to afford housing at all. So, what do we do? For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast we gathered urban leaders, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. They weighed in on what's worked, and what hasn't, to address issues of affordable housing and homelessness in their cities, and to explore what solutions might still be out there.

Inside a New Era of Activism With the Women Leading the Charge

Inside a New Era of Activism With the Women Leading the Charge

October 8, 2019

Grassroots activism has served a crucial role in American culture and politics throughout history. Getting out in the streets and marching in protest is still a valuable tool for the modern activist, but there are a lot of other ways activists spread the word and effect change these days, from social media campaigns to guerrilla marketing. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, Hashtag Feminism founder Tara Conley discussed these methods with three other activists: Shout Your Abortion's Amelia Bonow, Momsrising's Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner and Earth-Feather Sovereign of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Poets, Plumbers and Robots: The Future of Work in America

Poets, Plumbers and Robots: The Future of Work in America

October 1, 2019

Artificial intelligence and other forms of automation are on the horizon for a lot of different industries. From self-driving cars to robot factory workers, AI is coming, and it could have a huge impact on jobs in this country. That, combined with global trade and the changing face of the American labor union, creates a lot of uncertainty for the future of work. What does labor look like in 21st century America? For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we invited a panel of labor leaders, scholars and disrupters to offer insights and predictions. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Two Working Musicians Take on Sexism and Racism in Their Industry

Two Working Musicians Take on Sexism and Racism in Their Industry

September 24, 2019

he #MeToo movement has hit every corner of the U.S., and there have been public accusations of sexual harassment and assault in almost every high profile industry, from Hollywood to politics to the news media. The music industry is no different. Sexual abuse allegations against R&B singer R. Kelly and sexual harassment allegations against alt-rock star Ryan Adams have forced the music business to face a reckoning. For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we invited the hosts of the KUOW podcast Battle Tactics for Your Sexist Workplace to discuss the persistent imbalance of power in the music industry with two women who know it well: Flavr Blue lead vocalist and activist Hollis Wong-Wear and Black Tones lead guitarist and KEXP DJ Eva Walker. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Finding Hope in the Hopelessness of Climate Change

Finding Hope in the Hopelessness of Climate Change

September 17, 2019

The scientists charting the impacts of climate change continue to issue dire predictions about our planet's future. In late 2018, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report stating that some of the most devastating effects could be felt as soon as 2040. The National Climate Assessment, a federal report on climate impacts within the United States, also had some grim predictions, including more flooding in the East and more wildfires in the West. For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we gathered co-authors of those two reports, along with other climate policy experts, to help us understand what it all means, and where we can look for hope. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

What to Do About Wildfires in Washington

What to Do About Wildfires in Washington

September 10, 2019

There's no question that wildfires have been getting worse. They're bigger, stronger, and more destructive than ever before, and the fire season is longer than ever before, too. This is especially true in the western states. Last year, for instance, California experienced the deadliest wildfire in state history, killing at least 85 people, destroying fourteen thousand homes and burning an area the size of Chicago. The Pacific Northwest has escaped the height of its fire season without any major events, but there are long-term trends point toward more big fire seasons in the future. Crosscut gathered a panel of leaders — Including former Cal Fire chief Ken Pimlott, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and the natural resources director for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Cody Desautel — to discuss what can be done to manage this new normal. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Dictatorships, Democracies and the New Era of Global Unrest

Dictatorships, Democracies and the New Era of Global Unrest

September 3, 2019

Authoritarian regimes around the world are having a renewed impact on American politics. The nuclear threat from North Korea, the presidential crisis in Venezuela and the ongoing conflict in Syria have all driven news cycles this year and are all products of dictatorial regimes. Then there is President Donald Trump's stance toward Russia, a country with authoritarian tendencies that has interfered in our elections and is likely to do so again. At home, meanwhile, critics of the president draw parallels between his administration and the most destructive dictatorships of the 20th century. For this episode of Crosscut Talks we invited experts on Russia, Africa and Central America to discuss all this global unrest, the Trump administration's role in it and what threats it might cause to American democracy. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Separating Fact From Fiction in Trump’s Immigration Policy

Separating Fact From Fiction in Trump’s Immigration Policy

August 27, 2019

President Donald Trump has made immigration a cornerstone of his political agenda. And his rhetoric, while inflaming his critics and galvanizing his base, is not always based in fact. That makes it difficult for journalists, who are attempting to report accurately on everything from migrant caravans to family separation. And for advocates and activists, there's new urgency to counter the administration's narrative. Crosscut brought a few of those perspectives together, to talk about the president's rhetoric and his administration's approach to immigration policy. Sarah Stillman of the New Yorker and Aura Bogado of Reveal discuss their groundbreaking reporting work, while Jorge Baron of the Northwest Immigrant Right Project and Maru Mora Villalpando share tales from the realm of immigrant advocacy. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

The Power and Prejudice Behind Mass Incarceration

The Power and Prejudice Behind Mass Incarceration

August 20, 2019

The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. And a vastly disproportionate number of the people we lock up are people of color. A growing bipartisan movement wants reform, but how do we transform our nation's corrections system with an eye toward justice? For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we've invited two authors with expertise in the fields of criminal justice and racial bias to discuss the many ways our incarceration practices impact some communities more than others, and what it will take to change that system. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do. Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and the author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

A Journey Into the Queer Communities of Conservative America

A Journey Into the Queer Communities of Conservative America

August 13, 2019

The movement for LGBT rights has gained a lot of traction around the country, but there are still many places that remain unfriendly or unsafe for the queer community. Often, those places are in the more conservative parts of America. But transgender author and journalist Samantha Allen found something different when she traveled through middle America in 2017. She discovered thriving communities and havens for people of all genders and orientations. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we invited Allen to discuss her new book, Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States, as well as her journey from Mormon missionary to openly trans woman. She is joined by David Schmader, a Seattle-based writer and performer whose work often explores queer life. The conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Note: This episode contains adult language. To listen to a bleeped version, visit our episode page.