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Town Hall Seattle Civics Series


The Civics series at Town Hall shines a light on the shifting issues, movements, and policies, that affect our society, both locally and globally. These events pose questions and ideas, big and small, that have the power to inform and impact our lives. Whether it be constitutional research from a scholar, a new take on history, or the birth of a movement, it's all about educating and empowering.


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The Civics series at Town Hall shines a light on the shifting issues, movements, and policies, that affect our society, both locally and globally. These events pose questions and ideas, big and small, that have the power to inform and impact our lives. Whether it be constitutional research from a scholar, a new take on history, or the birth of a movement, it's all about educating and empowering.







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359. Maxwell Stearns with Mark Smith: Transforming America's Democracy

Can a parliamentary democracy end America’s constitutional crisis? It’s starting to feel to some people that American elections aren’t offering us much choice, instead compounding the continued issues of our outdated voting system and showing our lack of capacity to face common issues together. In Parliamentary America, Maxwell L. Stearns argues that the solution to these complex problems is a parliamentary democracy. Stearns considers alternatives such as ranked choice voting, the national popular vote, and congressional term limits, showing why these can’t solve our constitutional crisis. Instead, three amendments—expanding the House of Representatives, having House party coalitions choose the president, and letting the House end a failing presidency based on no confidence—will produce a robust multiparty democracy. These amendments hold an essential advantage over other proposals: by leaving every member of the House and Senate as incumbents in their districts or states, the amendments provide a pressure-release valve against reforms threatening that status. Stearns takes readers on a world tour—England, France, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, and Venezuela—showing what works in government, what doesn’t, and how to make the best features our own. Genuine party competition and governing coalitions, commonplace across the globe, may seem like a fantasy in the United States, but Stearns offers an optimistic vision, explaining in accessible terms how to transform our troubled democracy into a thriving parliamentary America. Maxwell L. Stearns is the Venable, Baetjer & Howard Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. He has authored dozens of articles and several books on the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the economic analysis of law. Before joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 1997, Mark Alan Smith completed his undergraduate degree in economics at M.I.T. and earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Minnesota. He is Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Communication and Comparative Religion at the UW. Smith’s research and teaching focuses on American domestic politics, including religion, public opinion, political communication, political parties, and public policy. He is the author of four books, most recently Right from Wrong: Why Religion Fails and Reason Succeeds. He is a regular commentator on national and state politics for various media outlets. Buy the Book Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy


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358. Sasha Issenberg with Austin Jenkins: The Lie Detectives

As we head into another presidential election year, few issues feel as pressing as the spread of political misinformation. How can political campaigns fight back against the barrage of lies and disinformation? As time, tension, and technology all progress in our world, we’re not always prepared for the acceleration and its impact on the political climate. The public can often be left to weed through a seemingly endless digital news cycle and the task of differentiating between fact, misinformed fictions, and intentional disinformation. As the population faces the high-stakes election season once again, Sasha Issenberg turns a critical lens toward the complicated landscape of the American political institution, rising incentives, and the ever-expanding social media landscape. A decade after his last dive into social science and modern political analysis in his book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, Issenberg returns to expand more on the behind-the-scenes mechanics of politics. His newest book The Lie Detectives: In Search of a Playbook for Defeating Disinformation and Winning Elections urges readers to understand more from a range of high-level journalists, strategists, critics, and political operatives in their efforts to grapple online misinformation. From digital forums of anonymous amateurs to high-visibility government and party officials, the challenges and tactics at play throughout cyberspace have expansive reach and real-world consequences. The Lie Detectives pulls to the forefront the political class striving to tackle these issues as they emerge, and what the threat of disinformation could mean for democracy, especially at pivotal times. Sasha Issenberg is a journalist and author who has been published in New York, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and George, where he also served as a contributing editor. He teaches at the UCLA Department of Political Science and is a correspondent for Monocle. His previous books include The Sushi Economy and The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. Austin Jenkins is a staff writer at Pluribus News, covering tech policy and other issues in state legislatures. He is also the longtime host of “Inside Olympia” on TVW, the state’s C-SPAN network. Previously, Austin spent nearly two decades as the Olympia correspondent for Northwest NPR stations. Buy the Book The Lie Detectives: In Search of a Playbook for Winning Elections in the Disinformation Age Third Place Books


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357. Susannah Fox with Sally James: Rebel Health

Anyone who has fallen off the conveyor belt of mainstream health care and into the shadowy corners of illness knows what a dark place it is to land. Where is the infrastructure, the information, the guidance? What should you do next? In her new book, Rebel Health, Susannah Fox draws on twenty years of tracking the expert networks of patients, survivors, and caregivers who have come of age between the cracks of the healthcare system to offer a way forward. Covering everything from diabetes to ALS to Moebius Syndrome to chronic disease management, Fox taps into the wisdom of these individuals, learns their ways, and fuels the rebel alliance that is building up our collective capacity for better health. Rebel Health shows how the next wave of health innovation will come from the front lines of this patient-led revolution. Join us for an event that is both proactive and innovative, as Susanna Fox paves the way for a collective capacity for better health and a patient-led revolution in medical care. Susannah Fox helps people navigate health and technology. She served as Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she led an open data and innovation lab. Prior to that, she was the entrepreneur-in-residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed the health portfolio at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. Sally James is a writer whose curiosity about people has taken her from jails to hospitals to schools to research labs. Once a staff member on daily newspapers, she has been an independent writer on medicine and science for many years. She has reported stories for the South Seattle Emerald, Parentmap, Seattle Business, and other outlets. She is a former president of the Northwest Science Writers Association, a nonprofit supporting science communication. Buy the Book Rebel Health: A Field Guide to the Patient-Led Revolution in Medical Care The Elliott Bay Book Company


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356. Dr. Rajiv Shah with Eric Liu: Charting a Course for Change

Ever wondered how a leader orchestrates large-scale change on a global scale? In his new book, Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens, Rajiv J. Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former administrator of USAID unveils his model for driving large-scale change. Drawing on his experiences, from vaccinating 900 million children with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to combating the Ebola outbreak, Shah reveals the secrets behind executing seemingly impossible endeavors. Through behind-the-scenes stories and reflections on personal growth, Shah shares his philosophy of big bets, emphasizing problem-solving over incremental improvements. Gain strategic insights into the power of bold visions, learning how these approaches attract support, collaborations, and fresh ideas. Trace Shah’s remarkable journey from an Indian-American immigrant family to the Rockefeller Foundation, and be inspired by the global efforts that define his mission to create a better world. Dr. Rajiv Shah is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution committed to promoting the well-being of humanity around the world through data, science and innovation. Under his leadership, the foundation raised and deployed more than $1 billion to respond to the COVID pandemic at home and abroad, launched a $10 billion Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet to help secure a just and green recovery, and is currently seeking to advance human opportunity even while reversing the climate crisis. Raj serves on President Biden’s Defense Policy Board and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Buy the Book Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens The Elliott Bay Book Company


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355. Barbara McQuade with Jenny Durkan: In Search of Truth

The subject of disinformation is a well-known part of political rhetoric, but it has implications even outside of the sphere of democracy. From the electoral system to schools; from the workplace to hospitals, the consequences of it are far-reaching and dire. A legal analyst at MSNBC and former U.S. Attorney, Barbara McQuade’s decades of experience in law help inform her authorship of Attack From Within: How Disinformation is Sabotaging America. The book asserts that disinformation has been used deliberately and strategically to polarize, pushing voters to extremes, and disempowering legal structures while empowering a select few. Technological advancements, including rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) exacerbate the issue by amplifying false claims and manufacturing credibility. From historical examples of disinformation in dictators such as Mussolini and Hitler, to contemporary examples of the tactics alleged of former Presidents Trump and Bolsonaro, Attack From Within seeks to help readers – and voters – recognize disinformation, and offers suggestions on how to combat it. McQuade’s talk at Town Hall may interest those who have concerns about the reality and future of truth in a civil society. Barbara McQuade is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, her alma mater, where she teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, national security, and data privacy. She is also a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and a co-host of the podcast #SistersInLaw. From 2010 to 2017, McQuade served as U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and was the first woman to serve in her position. Earlier in her career, she worked as a sports writer and copy editor, a judicial law clerk, an associate in private practice, and an assistant U.S. attorney. Jenny A. Durkan was the 56th Mayor of Seattle and previously served as US Attorney under President Obama. As mayor, she worked to make Seattle more equitable, by investing $2.5 billion in affordable housing, providing free transit for youth and two years free college for every Seattle’s high school graduate, and investing millions of new funding in communities of color. Durkan served in leadership positions for the US Conference of Mayors and the C40 Mayors, a global organization focused on fighting climate change. As US Attorney, Durkan increased enforcement of civil rights laws. She served as an advisor to former US Attorney General Eric Holder and chaired the US Department of Justice subcommittee on cybercrime and intellectual property enforcement. Durkan is a fellow in the American College of Trial lawyers and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law. Buy the Companion Book Attack from Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America The Elliott Bay Book Company


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354. Michael J. Gerhardt: The Law of Presidential Impeachment

Have you ever wondered how impeachment really works? As a witness and consultant in the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, legal scholar Michael J. Gerhardt has collected a lifetime of scholarly research and firsthand experience. But despite his proximity to such high-profile cases, Gerhardt doesn’t advocate for or against the impeachment of specific presidents. Instead, he illuminates the legal and procedural aspects that govern the process, providing a comprehensive overview of impeachment from its origins to present-day practice. His new book, The Law Of Presidential Impeachment, is a nonpartisan exploration that aims to break down the process and offer readers a deeper understanding of how the Constitution holds presidents accountable. In The Law Of Presidential Impeachment, Gerhardt guides us through the historical roots of presidential impeachment, tracing it back to the nation’s founding when American colonists, still reflecting on past grievances with their former king, embedded the process in the Constitution. Impeachment recently returned to the forefront of American political discourse during Donald Trump’s presidency, but Gerhardt’s expertise goes beyond contemporary events to provide a timeless perspective on the constitutional mechanism. If you’ve ever wanted the chance to peek into the process of presidential impeachments, join us as Gerhardt helps to deepen understanding of our executive branch and the overarching governmental system that shapes our democracy. Michael J. Gerhardt is the Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the foremost scholar on impeachment in the United States. He is one of only two legal scholars to testify in three different presidential impeachment hearings and served as Special Counsel to the Presiding Officer in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. He is the only legal scholar to address the entire House of Representatives on the law of presidential impeachment was the Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor in 2020-22 (an honor given only to one legal scholar each year in recognition of their scholarship) and received University of North Carolina’s highest award given to a faculty member in recognition of their public service in 2023. Buy the Companion Book The Law of Presidential Impeachment: A Guide for the Engaged Citizen Third Place Books


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353. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández: Redefining the Borders — How to Shape Inclusive and Just Immigration Practices

Is it possible to reshape immigration practices to align with the values of inclusivity, justice, and the historical promise of the United States as a welcoming haven for all? Law professor and immigration lawyer César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández presents a powerful case for divorcing immigration law from criminal law in his book, Welcome the Wretched. He challenges the status quo by advocating for the abolition of so-called immigration crimes, questioning the criminalization of border crossings, and proposing a shift towards allowing migrants, even those accused or convicted of crimes, to remain in the U.S. as residents or citizens. Delving into the historical context, García Hernández reveals that the perception of immigrants as criminals is a relatively recent development, pointing out that until the late 20th century, crossing the border into the United States did not make one a criminal. Drawing on his own family’s immigration stories, García Hernández explores how immigration law and criminal law became entwined and contends that immigration policies are shaped more by politics than a sense of morality. García Hernández sheds light on the personal stories of individuals whose lives changed due to a single decision and challenges the perception of “criminal aliens” as overblown, inaccurate, and rooted in racism and bias. Join us for an essential discussion as García Hernández advocates for a reevaluation of immigration policies, calling for a decoupling of immigration and criminal legal systems, and urging America to uphold its promise as a safe and welcoming haven for all. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and an immigration lawyer. He has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Guardian, and many other venues. The author of Crimmigration Law as well as Migrating to Prison (The New Press). You can read more at Buy the Companion Book Welcome the Wretched Third Place Books


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352. Boldt at 50

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision, a pivotal moment in civil rights history and tribal sovereignty. Centered around Charles Wilkinson’s posthumously acclaimed work, Treaty Justice, a panel will discuss the significance of the Boldt Decision and its enduring impact on the tribal sovereignty movement in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Three panelists and a moderator will delve into the historical significance of the ruling, reflecting on its implications and the work that still lies ahead. The panelists include Jeremiah “Jay” Julius, a fisherman, Lummi Nation Tribal member, and advocate for the Salish Sea; Coll Thrush, a noted historian and author of Native Seattle; Lynda V. Mapes, an author and Seattle Times reporter specializing in environmental and Native American issues; and Nancy Shippentower, a respected Puyallup elder. The event is set to open with Native drummers; remarks from Darrell Hillaire, executive director of the Native-owned production company, Children of the Setting Sun Productions (CSSP); and will also feature a short film clip from CSSP showcasing the treaty tribes as an integral part of the program. Additional Related Books Treaty Justice: The Northwest Tribes, the Boldt Decision, and the Recognition of Fishing Rights Jesintel: Living Wisdom from Coast Salish Elders


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351. Ijeoma Oluo with Michele Storms: Be a Revolution

Ijeoma Oluo’s #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want To Talk About Race (book tour event at Town Hall in 2019), offered a vital guide for how to talk about important issues of race and racism in society. In Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, she discussed how white male supremacy has had an impact on our systems, our culture, and our lives throughout American history. But now that we better understand these systems of oppression, the question is this: What can we do about them? In her new book, Be A Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World — and How You Can, Too, Ijeoma Oluo aims to show how people across America are working to create real positive change in our structures. Looking at many of our most powerful systems — like education, media, labor, health, housing, policing, and more — she highlights what people are doing to create change for intersectional racial equity. She also illustrates how readers can find their own entry points for change in these same areas or can bring some of this important work being done elsewhere to where they live. Oluo aims to not only educate but to inspire action and change. Join us at Town Hall for a discussion on how to take conversations on race and racism out of a place of pure pain and trauma, and into a place of loving action. Ijeoma Oluo is a writer, speaker, and internet yeller. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race and, most recently, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Her work has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among many other publications. She was named to the 2021 Time 100 Next list and has twice been named to the Root 100. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association. She lives in Seattle, Washington. Michele E. Storms is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU of Washington), former Deputy Director of the ACLU of Washington, and previous Assistant Dean for Public Service and executive director of the William H. Gates Public Service Law program at the University of Washington School of Law. Preceding those roles she served as a statewide advocacy coordinator first at Columbia Legal Services and later at the Northwest Justice Project where over a combined five-year period she coordinated civil legal aid advocacy in the areas of family law, youth and education, housing, elder law, Native American and right to counsel issues. She was also previously on faculty at the University of Washington School of Law where she founded what is now the Child and Youth Advocacy Clinic and taught several other courses. In addition to her service on numerous boards and guilds both locally and nationally, Michele served on the Washington State Access to Justice Board for six years and the board of One America. Michele is concerned with equity and justice for all and has dedicated her professional and personal attention to access to justice, preservation of freedom and democracy for all and ensuring that all humxns safely reside in the “circle of human concern.”


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350. Tamara Payne with Glenn Hare: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

In 1990, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Les Payne embarked on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. Following Payne’s unexpected death in 2018, his daughter Tamara Payne heroically completed the biography. Presented by the Seattle Opera and Town Hall Seattle, Tamara Payne returns to the Town Hall stage (following her virtual appearance in 2020) to share from the final biography, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews — with all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world — she traces his life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965. Payne explores how her father corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations with a biographer’s unwavering determination. She discusses the intensive research process and introduces a riveting biography that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle. In a moment of renewed vigor for the struggle in Black freedom, this presentation is essential viewing. Tamara Payne is Les Payne’s daughter and served as his principal researcher. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and the Seattle Opera. The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X The Elliott Bay Book Company


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349. Tim Schwab with Ashley Fent: The Problem with Philanthropy

Journalist Tim Schwab is no stranger to investigative journalism that scrutinizes power structures and questions how private interests intersect with public policy. With funding from a 2019 Alicia Patterson Fellowship, Schwab pursued an investigative series specific to Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, and his work was published by The Nation in 2020 and 2021. Now Schwab expands on his reporting in a new book, The Bill Gates Problem. Schwab provides an in-depth analysis of Bill Gates’ philanthropic trajectory, tracing his evolution from a prominent figure in the tech industry to a globally admired individual. Drawing from years of investigation, Schwab highlights concerns related to undue influence on public policy, private markets, scientific research, and media narratives. Are such philanthropic endeavors truly democratic? Or even effective? By facilitating an open dialogue, Schwab seeks to empower participants to critically evaluate the role of philanthropy in society, encouraging constructive discussions about its impact and implications. Tim Schwab is an investigative journalist based in Washington, D.C. His groundbreaking reporting on the Gates Foundation for The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, and The British Medical Journal has been honored with an Izzy Award and a Deadline Club Award. The Bill Gates Problem is his first book. Ashley Fent is a former research director of AGRA Watch, a campaign of Community Alliance for Global Justice. She co-founded CAGJ’s AGRA Watch campaign while still an undergraduate at University of Washington. She has ten plus years’ experience as a social-environmental researcher, writer, and multimedia content producer. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA and a M.A. in Anthropology and African Studies from Columbia University. Daniel Maingi is a science and development practitioner in Kenya with a 15-year career helping to bring learning on appropriate and sustainable technologies to Civil Society Organizations in Eastern Africa. Daniel is a policy campaigner for CSOs at the Inter-Sectoral Forum on Agrobiodiversity and Agroecology. He is currently researching the digitalization of agriculture in Kenya as a Stanford University Fellow (2023-24) with the Digital Civil Society Lab & The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). Stephen Gloyd, MD, MPH, is a family practice physician who has been a University of Washington faculty member since 1986. Dr. Gloyd is Director of the Global Health MPH Program in the UW’s Department of Global Health where he directs efforts to expand curricular options to address global workforce needs. His work with Health Alliance International is designed to improve approaches to global health assistance and to strengthen primary health care with the Ministries of Health of Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, and Timor-Leste. Jesse Hagopian has been an educator for over twenty years and taught for over a decade Seattle’s Garfield High School–the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test. Jesse is an editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools, is the co-editor of the books, Black Lives Matter at School, Teaching for Black Lives, Teacher Unions and Social Justice, and is the editor of the book, More Than a Score. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Community Alliance for Global Justice. The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire The Elliott Bay Book Company


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348. Ganesh Sitaraman with Paul Constant: Why is Flying so Miserable?

It is among the most classically joked about modern grievances, air travel. Between flight cancellations, delays, lost baggage, increased prices, crammed planes, and the general downtrodden gloom that accompanies flying, there is plenty left to be desired when it comes to the quality of airline service. The truth is that bankruptcies and mergers have meant that competition has come to a critical ebb. In his new book, Why Flying is Miserable, policy entrepreneur and law professor, Ganesh Sitaraman, identifies the core issues in aviation as he sees them. He points out that the lone four, too-big-to-fail airlines, still are failing to offer reliable services even after receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts during the pandemic. Sitaraman explains how the 1978 experiment in deregulating airlines ultimately turned out to be the cause of our current discontent. What resulted from deregulation was consolidation, higher prices, loss of service to smaller communities, fewer direct flights, and a more miserable experience overall. But perhaps it’s not all cloudy skies ahead. Sitaraman expresses hope in abandoning the old systems of regulation, instead choosing to learn from the American tradition of regulated capitalism. The entrepreneur champions new solutions with the aim of increasing the reliability and resiliency of commercial air travel. Come to Town Hall where we can all complain about air travel together! But stick around for expert Ganesh Sitaraman to offer some words of consolation, and deliver actionable plans to better the experience of air travel in the future. Ganesh Sitaraman is a law professor at Vanderbilt Law School and the director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Political Economy and Regulation. He is the author of several books, including The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution and The Great Democracy. Sitaraman serves on the board of The American Prospect, and is a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. He was previously a senior advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren on her presidential campaign. He lives in Nashville. Paul Constant has written about books, economics, and politics for The Seattle Times, Business Insider, the New York Observer, the LA Times, and many other publications. He is a fellow at Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator in Seattle, and contributes to the Pitchfork Economics podcast. Why Flying Is Miserable: And How to Fix It Phinney Books


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347. Betty Houchin Winfield: Pioneering Women in Academia

Starting in 1967, when fewer than 1% of women completed any education beyond four years of college, the Washington State University (WSU) Sociology Department dared to hire three female faculty members who became lifelong friends. Lois B. DeFleur, Sandra Ball-Rokeach, and Marilyn Ihinger-Tallman were role models for many women and paved the way for those who followed. Four decades later, volume editor Betty Houchin Winfield, who in 1979 was a new assistant professor in communications at WSU, prompted her former mentors to tell their stories, she had benefited immensely from their support and encouragement. In Winfield’s book, We Few, We Academic Sisters: How We Persevered and Excelled in Higher Education, the three women discuss their childhoods, educational and research efforts, personal lives, and career advancements. Though all married professors, they fought to be known as individual scholars, overcoming sexual discrimination and harassment as well as intense societal pressure to follow traditional female roles. Their impressive careers parallel larger national events and the onset of increasing opportunities for women. Initially, associate or assistant professors, all three became full professors when it was exceedingly rare. Dr. DeFleur later held positions as dean, provost, and university president. Dr. Ball-Rokeach gained international status as a major media sociologist, and Dr. Ihinger-Tallman became WSU’s first female Chair of the Sociology Department. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate their inspiring narratives that highlight the importance of community and offer invaluable guidance to the current generation of academics. Betty Houchin Winfield has deep ties to Seattle, where she raised her children and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington. While teaching at various universities, including those in Missouri, North Carolina, and Poland, she maintained her Eastlake condo for summer and holiday stays. Throughout her academic career, Winfield achieved remarkable milestones, such as post-doctoral work at Columbia and Harvard, along with receiving prestigious teaching and research awards. She shares similarities with the subjects of We Few, We Academic Sisters by breaking gender barriers, becoming only the second woman to receive the University of Missouri system’s Thomas Jefferson Award and the first to hold the Curators’ Research Professorship in the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Following her retirement in 2012, she has made Seattle her permanent residence and remains actively engaged in civic projects, including leading the pre-COVID luminaire art project on the Pier 86 Grain Terminal waterfront. We Few, We Academic Sisters: Our Stories of Persisting and Excelling in Higher Education The Elliott Bay Book Company


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346. Shaun Scott with Jesse Hagopian: A Look at Urban History through Seattle Sports

For many people in the Emerald City, sports may be seen solely as entertainment. We watch the Kraken on the ice, climb the stands for the Seahawks and Sounders, and hold out hands out for a soaring Mariners ball. But what if something came along to challenge the idea of athletics as mere leisure? In his new book Heartbreak City: Seattle Sports and the Unmet Promise of Urban Progress, author Shaun Scott takes readers through 170 years of Seattle history, chronicling both well-known and long-forgotten events. Examples include the establishment of racially segregated golf courses in the 1920s or the 1987 Seahawks players’ strike that galvanized organized labor. Scott explores how progressives in urban areas across the U.S. have used athletics to address persistent problems in city life: the fight for racial justice, workers’ rights, equality for women and LGBTQ+ city dwellers, and environmental conservation. In Seattle specifically, sports initiatives have powered meaningful reforms, such as popular stadium projects that promoted investments in public housing and mass transit. At the same time, conservative forces also used sports to consolidate their power and mobilize against these initiatives. Heartbreak City seeks to uncover how sports have both united and divided Seattle, socially and politically. Deep archival research and analysis fill the pages, guiding us through this account of our city’s quest to make a change, both on and off the field. Shaun Scott is a Seattle-based writer and organizer. He is the author of Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982-present. Jesse Hagopian has been an educator for over twenty years and taught for over a decade at Seattle’s Garfield High School, the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test. Heartbreak City: Seattle Sports and the Unmet Promise of Urban Progress The Elliott Bay Book Company


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345. Schuyler Bailar: He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why It Matters

Schuyler Bailar didn’t set out to be an activist, his very public transition to the Harvard men’s swim team put him in the spotlight. His choice to be open about his transition and share his experience has touched people around the world. As Anti-transgender legislation is being introduced in state governments around the United States in record-breaking numbers Schuyler’s plain-spoken education has evolved into tireless advocacy for inclusion and collective liberation. Schuyler Bailar’s new book, He/She/They clearly and compassionately addresses fundamental topics, from why being transgender is not a choice and why pronouns are important, to more complex issues including how gender-affirming healthcare can be lifesaving and why allowing trans youth to play sports is good for all kids. With a relatable narrative rooted in facts, science, and history, Schuyler helps restore common sense and humanity to a discussion that continues to be divisively coopted and deceptively politicized. Schuyler Bailar (he/him) is an educator, author, and advocate. He is also the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. In addition to being one of the top LGBTQ+ educators and advocates, Schuyler is a leading DEI speaker and advisor who has been featured in countless media outlets. Schuyler also hosts the hit podcast Dear Schuyler on gender and culture and is the creator of the groundbreaking gender literacy online learning series. He holds a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology from Harvard, and works in four research labs focusing in clinical psychology and public health. He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why It Matters The Elliott Bay Book Company


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344. Fei-Fei Li with Todd Bishop: Using AI to Empower Humans

Depending on who you overhear, conversations surrounding the controversial AI Chat Bot, Chat GPT, may be punctuated with terms like, “groundbreaking!” “paradigm-shifting!” “innovative!” or conversely might be filled with calls of “terrifying!” “mistake!” or “too far!” But peering through either lens, it is hard not to imagine that AI will diminish the necessity for human involvement, human experiences, or human ideas in some sense. Dr. Fei-Fei Li is a computer science professor at Stanford University and founding director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. If “Human-Centered AI” sounds like an oxymoron to you, you probably maintain a strong conceptual divide between what is considered “human” and what is “machine.” Yet Li is of a group of scientists who envision a future where AI is designed with the intent to enhance the abilities of and empower real human beings. Li’s own story is one of struggle, passion, and resilience. Immigrating from China, her family faced the difficult transition from their home country’s middle class, into American poverty. Despite struggling to care for her ailing mother, who worked tirelessly to establish a foothold in their new land, Li maintained a passion and natural aptitude for physics. Now Li is releasing her new book entitled, The Worlds I See. In this reflection on life and AI, the Stanford professor presents a clear explanation of the term artificial intelligence, as well as a personal saga that demonstrates the ardor and creativity involved in producing even the most technical scholarship. Join Dr. Li at Town Hall Seattle, where the AI expert will make a case for human-centric approaches in developing this new technology. Fei-Fei Li is a computer science professor at Stanford University and founding director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI as well as a founder and chairperson of the board of the nonprofit AI4ALL. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Todd Bishop is GeekWire’s co-founder, a longtime business and technology journalist who reports on subjects including AI, the cloud, startups, and health technology, plus Amazon and Microsoft, in addition to hosting GeekWire’s weekly podcast. A native of Orland, Calif., he has worked as a reporter for publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Puget Sound Business Journal, and the Seattle P-I. The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI The Elliott Bay Book Company


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343. Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio with Oriona Spaulding: Investing in Inclusion

Can leaders strive for more inclusivity in the workplace and improve outcomes in the process? Employers invest in and manage their key asset — talent — to be as high-performing as possible. Like a winning stock, it can be argued that successful diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) actions likewise pay back over time: that dividend is paid to the company through higher performance, talent acquisition, training, and other savings — as well as to society in general. How can leaders make informed choices at the right moments to create lasting change? In Diversity Dividend, scientist, attorney, and Harvard Professor Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio uses a combination of data and real-world application to create a new view of gender and racial equity in the workplace. Aiming to be both empowering and comprehensive, Diversity Dividend seeks to remove the guesswork that naturally arises when some methods work and others fail, thereby giving leaders the tools they need to make more impactful choices. Joined in conversation by Oriona Spaulding, Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft’s Venture Fund, M12, the two leaders discuss ways to remove the systemic barriers that prevent women and underrepresented groups from advancing in their organizations. Dr. Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio is a behavioral and data scientist (Big Data and AI), as well as a lawyer. As a decision science, organizational behavior, and gender specialist, she is advising some of the largest for-profit and non-profit organizations in the world by enabling organizations to tap into insights from behavioral science and related fields, allowing senior leadership to make better and more inclusive decisions for themselves and their companies. She works with executives from Fortune 500 firms, governments, and top professional service firms, including Magic Circle law firms and AmLaw 100. She has developed several software and SAAS tools and owns several patents. As Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft’s Venture Fund, M12, Oriona Spaulding leads the fund’s operating team, including portfolio development, marketing and communications, strategy, and fund operations including finance. Prior to joining M12, Oriona spent 14 years in various capacities within Microsoft after joining as an antitrust attorney. Most recently, she served as Chief of Staff for the EVP of Business Development, Strategy, and Ventures overseeing organizational strategy, operations, and communications and helping manage several international partnerships and market expansions. Her roles have allowed Oriona to spend a great deal of time working closely with Microsoft’s field teams around the world and some of Microsoft’s largest and smallest customers. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Seattle Arts & Culture for Anti-Racism (SACA). Diversity Dividend: The Transformational Power of Small Changes to Debias Your Company, Attract Diverse Talent, Manage Everyone Better and Make More Money Third Place Books


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342. Washington’s Leadership in the Global Climate Movement: Setting Examples for Progressive Climate Policies

Washington is leading the nation as a model for the transition to a climate-safe future. People, movements, and politicians across the state have been able to pass landmark policies that benefit local communities, as well as inspire other regions to follow suit. From Seattle’s commercial energy codes, to Whatcom County’s first-ever ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure, to the statewide Climate Commitment Act, Washington continues to set examples for how progressive climate policies can support a thriving region. As we build on nationwide momentum to reduce carbon emissions, protect our environment, and build community resilience, let’s take stock of our successes and determine the most impactful and equitable pathways forward: Who is leading real climate progress in Washington, and how can we support them in climate action that leaves no one in our state behind? State Representative Alex Ramel will moderate a panel of activists and experts who are supporting Washington’s diverse communities to build a shared, climate-safe future. Panelists: Todd Paglia, Executive Director, Todd Paglia began his career as an attorney for Ralph Nader, focusing on the environment, consumer protection issues, and holding corporations accountable. As Executive Director of since 1999, his commitment to conservation led a winning campaign to drive Fortune 500 companies including Staples, Williams-Sonoma, 3M, and more to purchase and use recycled paper, and immediately preserve millions more old growth and endangered forests. An avid fisher and skier, Todd’s love for the planet drew him to Washington State. He has called Bellingham home for 16 years. Nicole Grant, Director of Government Affairs for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 46 in Seattle Nicole joined 350 Seattle in November 2021 after gaining tremendous strategic grounding and practical knowledge in her 20 years in the labor movement. In her time as Executive Secretary at the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, she led a transition that helped to make the organization more focused on racial, gender, and climate justice — while also invigorating its commitments to the need for working people to have a “great life in greater Seattle.” Nicole is a journeyman electrician with IBEW 46, where she also served as the Executive Director of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. Jay Julius, President and Founder, Se’Si’Le Jay is the former Chairman of the Lummi Nation, a full-time fisherman, and a father. Jay was a leader in the fight to protect Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) and has organized and executed Tribal, local, regional, and national campaigns. A bridge-builder, he uses empathy and storytelling to bring people together. Principal at Julius Consulting LLC, he is also the Founder and President of the organization Se’Si’Le, which offers strategies for integrating ancestral knowledge into policies, projects, and partnerships with the will of right and respectful relations. Moderator: Alex Ramel, Washington State Representative for the 40th District Rep. Alex Ramel joined the Washington legislature in January of 2020. Last year he was elected by his colleagues to the leadership role of Majority Whip. A single parent, he was called to public service to help address the climate and housing crises facing current and future generations. He has served as President of the Kulshan Community Land Trust which helps build and preserve affordable housing. He also led the development of the Community Energy Challenge which brings businesses, utilities, non-profits, and government together to help conserve energy, reduce costs, and create good paying jobs. Rep. Ramel has called Bellingham home for over 20 years. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and


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341. Amanda Montei and Kristi Coulter with Gemma Hartley: Ambition, Women, and Work

Many parents struggle with the physicality of caring for children, but even more with the growing lack of autonomy new moms may feel in their personal and professional lives. Join us for an evening with Amanda Montei, author of Touched Out: Motherhood, Misogyny, Consent, and Control, and Kristi Coulter, author of Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career. Moderated by Gemma Hartley, author of Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward, Montei and Coulter will discuss the state of ambition for women, the often hidden labors of both parenthood and gender, emotional labor in the workplace and mental loads at home, and much more. Amanda Montei is the author of Touched Out: Motherhood, Misogyny, Consent, and Control, out now from Beacon Press, as well as the memoir Two Memoirs, and a collection of prose, The Failure Age. She has an MFA in Writing from California Institute of the Arts and a PhD from the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo. Amanda’s work has been featured at New York Times, Elle, The Guardian, The Cut, Slate, Vox, HuffPost, Rumpus, The Believer, Ms. Magazine, and many others. She lives in California. Kristi Coulter is the author of Exit Interview: The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career and Nothing Good Can Come From This, a Washington State Book Award finalist. Her work has also appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, Elle, Glamour, The Believer, and many other publications. She teaches writing at Hugo House and lives in Seattle and Los Angeles. Gemma Hartley is a freelance journalist, speaker, and author of Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women and the Way Forward. She has spoken on the topic of invisible labor around the world, from corporate conferences to festivals at the Sydney Opera House. Her writing has been featured in outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health, Glamour, The Washington Post, CNBC, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Teen Vogue, and The Huffington Post. She is passionate about creating a more equitable world in which invisible labor is valued and supported by both personal partners and public policy alike. Touched Out: Motherhood, Misogyny, Consent, and Control Third Place Books


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340. Heather Cox Richardson with Marcus Harrison Green: Notes on the State of America

Although social media may not be a typical source of enlightenment, historian Heather Cox Richardson decided to become an exception to the rule. It all started during the 2019 impeachment when Richardson launched a daily Facebook essay providing historical background for the daily torrent of news. It soon morphed into a popular Substack newsletter, Letters From an American, and a readership that swelled to more than two million readers dedicated to her take on both past and present. In Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America, Richardson’s narrative explains how over time a small group of wealthy people have, in her view, made war on American ideals and created a disaffected population. She argues that taking our country back starts by remembering the elements of the nation’s true history and principles that marginalized Americans have always upheld. Richardson condenses the content of news feeds into coherent stories. She aims to pinpoint what we should pay attention to, what the precedents are, and what possible paths lie ahead. Through her rich historical knowledge, Richardson can pivot from the Founders to the abolitionists, from the New Deal to Mitch McConnell, and anywhere in between. Some topics reverberate throughout history, like the lingering fears of socialism, the death of the liberal consensus, and movement conservatism. Democracy Awakening offers an explanation for how we arrived at this point, what our history really tells us about ourselves, and how this history serves as a roadmap for the nation’s future and shows us what democracy can be. Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College and an expert on American political and economic history. She is the author of seven books, including the award-winning How the South Won the Civil War. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. Her widely read newsletter, Letters from an American, synthesizes history and modern political issues. Marcus Harrison Green is a columnist for The Seattle Times. A long-time Seattle native, he is the founder of the South Seattle Emerald, which focuses on telling the stories of South Seattle and its residents. Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America The Elliott Bay Book Company