Photo Credit: Emilio Chavez
Seattle CityClub is a local nonprofit that provides members with political programs designed to engage residents of the Puget Sound region in topics related to civil health. Content is provided at meetings and via their website and social media platforms. Recently, CityClub opened up their programming to non-members through a scholarship program.
One of the events that CityClub hosts is called Civic Cocktail, where the Seattle Channel films panel discussions about critical topics that are discussed through questions from the audience members. Ronnie Davis, the Development Coordinator, said that he noticed that there wasn’t enough diversity at the Civic Cocktail events; not enough young people, students and people of color. “We know that economic circumstances should never be a barrier to civic engagement,” said Davis. The Seattle Central Office of Strategic Partnerships reached out to scholarship recipients on campus to give them the opportunity to attend the most recent Civic Cocktail event, which was held on November 7th, the day after the Midterm Elections. Davis also said that Seattle Central students should expect to see more invites to future events with the intent of expanding diversity in civic engagement. If you’re a scholarship recipient here at Seattle Central, be on the lookout for email invitations to free CityClub events in the weeks to come. Seven students from Seattle Central College were in attendance at this event, several of whom had the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Jayapal.
— We know that economic circumstances should never be a barrier to civic engagement – Ronnie Davis, Development Coordinator for Seattle CityClub
The scholarship recipients were invited to an early reception, where the event was explained in more detail and information was given on how to submit questions to the panelists via Twitter. The theme for the panel discussion was Protecting Orcas & Election Review. The discussion was hosted by Joni Balter, and panelists for the deep dive election review included re-elected Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, KTTH radio host Jason Rantz and Seattle University Political Science Professor, Marco Lowe. CR Douglas, political analyst for Q13 and Linda Mapes, environment reporter for the Seattle Times were the journalists on hand to assist with moderation. Nate Tyler, Chairman of the Makah Tribal Council along with Stephanie Solien the Co-Chair of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force were there to discuss the current plight of the Puget Sound orca whale population.
While the overtone of the evening was generally positive, the election review panel discussion saw some mildly heated debates between Democrat Jayapal and Republican Rantz, where the two clearly did not see eye to eye about a question posed by Douglas in regards to the possibility of bipartisanship in the near future. “You’re not gonna have bipartisanship and I don’t think anyone actually wants bipartisanship,” said Rantz. “They think it’s gonna get some nice little coverage […] It gets their base really engaged in their races.”
“Absolutely we want to do anything we can in a bipartisan way,” retorted Jayapal, “and I actually think there is an opportunity for that. I think there are a lot of us who really want to get some work done for the American people.”
You can watch the entire panel discussion here, or for more information on upcoming Civic Cocktail events or Seattle CityClub memberships, go to www.seattlecityclub.org. If you’re an SCC scholarship recipient, keep your eyes open for future email invitations to upcoming events.