It demands that I reckon seriously and humbly with how much I didn’t see, how much I didn’t listen, how much I didn’t understand.
While there is so much about our political present that confounds me, I am certain in my conviction that my own privilege and living in an America so siloed has undermined my civic intelligence and power. Along with doing more now, I want to amplify the ways I learn about American life—my news sources, networks and cultural landscape. To become a more effective citizen, I want to connect to people with diverse life experiences and beliefs that challenge me.
For 34 years, Seattle CityClub has provided a safe, civil and respectful place to talk about the issues that matter most in our lives. We have hosted thousands of conversations, but our approach doesn’t vary. We examine the complexity of current affairs by showcasing differences of opinion and perspective, differences across politics, profession, race, gender and generation. This election reaffirms the relevance of that mission and charges us to work even harder to fulfill it: to present more diverse speakers, to showcase more divergent views, to welcome and represent the community more inclusively, to create more impactful partnerships, to support citizens seeking solutions and pathways for action.
I’m excited about the forums CityClub is curating this winter, but they are only as valuable as the dialogue they generate and the knowledge, connections, trust and actions they prompt. So please join us. We need one another as listeners and leaders at the table.