A year ago this week, I stepped into the role of Executive Director at the Seattle CityClub. I was excited to lead an organization that combines my love for civic engagement, civil discourse and relationship building. That excitement also came with its challenges, as many organizations are, in navigating the increased needs of programming, services and connection across the region while having fewer human and financial resources to utilize. We spent the latter part of 2022 brainstorming ways to bring back community engagement and activities that were both educational and interpersonal.
2023 has been an audacious year for Seattle CityClub so far, in the best ways possible! From relocating to a new location for our Civic Cocktail events to keeping accessibility top of mind in how we deliver our programming and content, it has been an exciting time engaging with all of you in-person and virtually.
In January, we had our first in-person Legislative Preview since 2020, which we livestreamed for our virtual audience. Our panel included Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (D), House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox (R), Senate Republican Leader John Braun (R), Senate Deputy Majority Leader Manka Dhingra (D), along with our moderators, Drew Mikkelsen, KING 5 News South Bureau Chief and Angela King, Journalist & News Host, KUOW.
From February on, we gave a new look and feel to our Civic Cocktail events, by relocating to The Collective Seattle and introducing a rotation of moderators to lead the discussions. With community and civic engagement at the core of our topics, we have dived into conversations around immigrant and refugee contributions to our region, the unique issues when it comes to women and housing insecurity, opportunities to encourage and promote youth and BIPOC in outdoor sports and activities, as well as a fireside chat with Mayor Bruce Harrell. For the month of June, it seems appropriate to talk about education, specifically how we can improve accessibility to higher education in Washington State. You can find our Civic Cocktails and other programming On-Demand via our YouTube channel.
Speaking of field trips, we delivered our first Civic Field Trip of the year last month for the Gates Foundation. With remote work and non-traditional work schedules, we recognize that civic engagement cannot be “one size fits all”. The Foundation’s team members were able to engage with several nonprofits they philanthropically support, with a focus on volunteer engagement. We look forward to doing more of these in the Fall. Reach out to us if you’d like more information in setting one up for your company.
As we go into our summer break, with ten events so far, Seattle CityClub is already moving full speed ahead with several more events in the works. While Civic Cocktail will return in September, we will also host Seattle City Council debates in October for Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5.
- Civic Supporter Club: We have a goal of having 100 supporters join our Civic Supporter Club with a donation of $1,000. Supporters would have this distinction for a year, and would have special access to speakers at events, recognition on our website and digital collateral, along with other customized perks. Join the Club by making your donation here.
- Re-Engage!: A smaller version of our annual Engage! fundraiser of the past, Re-Engage! will be three (3) smaller events across the region in a more intimate, reception style setting that will lend to more interpersonal connections. Stay tuned for more information!
- Make A Gift: Your support creates space for critical discourse on issues that matter. Take a stand for an informed community, respectful civic dialogue, and leader access and accountability. Learn more about the various ways you can make a gift by clicking here.