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About

The WA State Debate Coalition (WSDC) was founded in 2016 by Seattle CityClub and has served thousands of live debate attendees and over 3 million people through broadcast, print and online platforms. The WSDC is a public service made possible through the joint efforts of civic leaders, nonpartisan organizations, civic groups, colleges and universities, donors, sponsors, and a strong group of media partners.

All Coalition members are committed to ensuring free, public access to live, moderated debates between candidates holding and/or seeking elected office. This program demonstrates Seattle CityClub’s commitment to providing civic information, fostering civil, non-partisan engagement and enabling access to candidates for statewide offices such as Governor, Attorney General, and U.S. Senate.

 

An Annual Seattle CityClub Commitment

As part of Seattle CityClub’s 2021 Dialogue Across Differences initiative, local or state-wide debates will be held annually, according to the needs of the community. Thank you to our generous supporters for helping the WSDC address polarization through civil, public debate.   

 

Frequently Asked Questions >>

WSDC Media Coverage >>

Join the Coalition

Committee 

Role 

Steering Committee  Leads the strategy and implementation of the WSDC which functions as cabinet of sub-committee chairs. Nathan Hambley serves as our 2022 Chair.
Media Relations Sub-Committee  Builds ongoing relationships with media partners and maintains communication with all media and external audiences. 
Outreach/Education Sub-Committee Guides outreach and collaboration across the state with civic organizations and ensures diverse representation from political parties. Oversees public education and higher education involvement; develops debate curriculum.

 

Does your organization believe that making public debates available to all voters is crucial to a functioning democracy?  Click the button below and share why you want to become a member: 

Expanding Across the Nation

In 2019, the Washington State Debate Coalition partnered with Indiana, Ohio , and Utah to create state debate commissions to create the State Debate Coalition, which collaborates on state-wide debates and promotes the creation of state debate commission across the country.

2021 Seattle Mayoral Debate Coverage

Seattle mayoral candidates Bruce Harrell, M. Lorena González debate approaches to policing, public safety

Seattle Times

October 17, 2021

González, Harrell trade barbs on homelessness, policing in televised Seattle mayoral debate

Seattle Times

October 14, 2021

Seattle mayoral candidates square off in debate

Fox 13

October 15, 2021

Seattle mayoral candidates debate city’s future, talk Amazon, taxes and corporate responsibility

GeekWire

October 14, 2021

Homelessness, Police, Amazon Top Seattle Mayoral Debate

U.S. News

October 14, 2021

What M. Lorena González and Bruce Harrell Said in First TV Debate

Seattle Met Magazine

October 18, 2021

DEI Commitment

We are committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In all debates, we are integrating five elements to maximize access and inclusion: 

Distance – Shrinking the physical distance between communities and those that represent them so the people can hold elected officials accountable. 

Discussion – Ensuring the topics of conversation and contestation reflect the needs of diverse communities. 

Design – Recognizing that what it means to “debate” sounds different to different cultures and creating the spaces to recognize that plurality. 

Debrief – Ensuring we have diverse perspectives contextualizing the conversation for our audiences. 

Resources – Supplementing the debates with educational resources that respect different backgrounds. 

Presenting Sponsor

Signature Sponsors

Premier Media Partners

TVW

Supporting Media Partners

 

710 ESPN Seattle Kirkland Reporter Redmond Reporter
Arlington Times/Marysville Globe Kitsap Military Times Renton Reporter
Auburn Reporter Kitsap Weekly Seattle Weekly
Bainbridge Island Review KNKX Sequim Weekly
Bellevue Reporter KXLY TV Sequim Gazette
Bothell/Kenmore Reporter KPQ 560 AM Snoqualmie Valley Record
Bremerton Patriot/Central Kitsap Reporter KREM South Beach Bulletin
Converge Media KSPS-TV South Seattle Emerald
Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond Reporter KTTH South Whidbey Record
Eastside Scene Magazine La Raza 102.3/107.1 Tacoma Daily Index
Federal Way Mirror Mercer Island Reporter Tacoma News Tribune
Forks Forum NCWLIFE TV, Wenatchee The Olympian
Homes – Land Islander Newsradio 610 KONA The Peninsula Gateway
Homes – Land Olympic Peninsula North Coast News Tri-City Herald
Islands’ Sounder North Kitsap Herald Tukwila Reporter
Islands’ Weekly Northwest Asian Weekly Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber
Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter Northwest Publishing Inc. Wenatchee World
Journal of the San Juan Islands Northwest Progressive Institute Whidbey Crosswind
KAPP-KVEW Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune Whidbey News-Times
Kent Reporter Peninsula Daily News Whidbey TMC
KHQ Port Orchard Independent
Kingston Community News Rainier Avenue Radio

Education Partners

 

American Forensic Association Olympic College
Bellevue College Pacific Lutheran University
Big Bend Community College Seattle University
College Success Foundation South Puget Sound Community College
Eastern Washington University Spokane Falls Community College
Gonzaga University The Evergreen State College
Independent Colleges of Washington University of Washington
Lower Columbia College Washington State University
Northwest University Washington State University Foundation
  Western Washington University
  Whitworth University

Civic & Community Partners

 

African Community Housing & Development Leadership Tomorrow
Association of WA Business in Olympic Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle
Bellingham City Club sea.citi
CAIR Washington Seattle Chamber of Commerce
Center for Women & Democracy Seattle Foundation
City Club of Tacoma Seattle/King County NAACP
Columbia Basin Badger Club Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Democracy Voucher Program Slade Gorton International Policy Center
Downtown Seattle Association TACID
Global to Local UW Impact
Henry M. Jackson Foundation Washington Coalition for Open Government
  Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council
  Washington Nonprofits

Advisory Partners

Former Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant

Former Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess

Former Seattle City Council Member Sally Clark

Former Washington Governor Gary Locke

Former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Monro

Former Attorney General of Washington Rob McKenna

Former Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed

Contact

 

For questions about hosting a debate or joining the Washington State Debate Coalition: 

Contact: cityclub@seattlecityclub.org

For media inquiries: 

Contact: cityclub@seattlecityclub.org

Watch the 2021 Tacoma Mayoral Debate

Watch the 2022 Seattle Mayoral Debate