Portland, Seattle and Vancouver represent the largest urban centers on the Pacific edge of a bioregion being pressured and strained by many different issues – from rapid population growth, transportation issues and climate change. It made sense then that more than 1000 people turned out for the first ever Crosscut Festival, hosted at Seattle University over the weekend of February 2nd and 3rd that had more than 50 speakers at four stages. The event, sponsored by the online magazine and more than a dozen other journalist organizations, included such notables as current Gov. Jay Inslee, former Gov. Slade Gorton, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and Nikkita Oliver.
Progress in our nation happens when caring and engaged individuals come together to speak out and hold us accountable to our highest ideals. It’s that uniquely American Character – enhanced by a rich diversity of beliefs and a deep reservoir of ideas – that has always propelled us forward.
Presenters discussed issues such as legal marijuana, police reform, the #MeToo movement and the role of the tech industry in the regional development were just some of the topics discussed. As part of the conference, the keynote discussion hosted by Crosscut editor Knute Berger was the first time that the mayors of the three largest cities, Portland’s Ted Wheeler, Seattle’s Jenny Durkan, and Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, had ever sat down together. It made sense then that the three mayors met together to discuss these challenges, and what it might mean for the future of Cascadia region.
You can watch the entire Crosscut Festival Live Stream here:
A Cascadia Mayors Council
The meeting of the three mayors was reminiscent of the Cascadia Mayors Council, in which mayors and governors of the west coast states met and organized together in the late 1990’s.