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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Nov 6, 2017

In November 2013, little-known progressive Bill de Blasio stunned the elite of New York City by capturing the mayoralty by a landslide. De Blasio’s promise to close the growing wealth divide resonated with a city struggling to recover from the recession, and his election marked the beginning of the most progressive NYC government since the 1930s. We felt the reverberations of his victory–and the movement behind it–on the opposite coast here in Seattle.

Legendary journalist and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, explored this connection in his new book, Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities. González will made the case that de Blasio’s election heralded not just a routine change of government, but a popular rebellion against corporate-friendly policies that had dominated New York for decades. Reflecting this change, we saw mayoral elections of liberal Democrats in major cities within just one year of de Blasio taking office.

González is joined by David Rolf (President of northwest labor union SEIU 775) and Frank Blethen (Publisher and CEO of The Seattle Times). They took an unblinking look at America’s “resistance” cities and discussed Seattle’s place in a national progressive movement on issues such as a living wage, affordable housing, sustainable development, and racial equity.

Juan González is one of this country’s best-known Latino journalists. He was a staff columnist for New York’s Daily News from 1987 to 2016 and has been a co-host since 1996 of Democracy Now! He is the author of Harvest of EmpireNews for All the PeopleFallout (The New Press), and Reclaiming Gotham (The New Press).

Recorded live at Impact Hub by Town Hall Seattle Friday, October 27, 2017