It all started four days after the 2016 presidential election, when Seattle’s Eric Liu gave his first “civic sermon.”
“Many of you feel not just shocked but betrayed. Not just sad but grief-stricken,” Eric said then, sounding like a pastor in church. “So we gather today in search of a spirit of fellowship and common purpose.”
It happened at the first Civic Saturday — an event that responded to that urge to be in a room together, and connect to a civic purpose that seemed strained, confused, or shattered. People reflected and shared ideas. And there’s been Civic Saturdays in Seattle every couple months or so since.
“I’ll admit initially, words like ‘sermon,’ and [the idea of] Civic Saturday as an ‘analogue to church’ — in Seattle, in particular, it’s really provocative to use language like that,” said Kristin Leong, a former teacher who’s now the community engagement producer at KUOW.
But after Kristin went to a Civic Saturday herself, the language made sense. Americans aren’t just motivated by the issues they care about, she said, but by the personal principles behind them.
“No other time in my life have I seen people wanting that, and wanting political leadership to align with their values,” Kristin said.
Kristin and a fellow Seattleite — Tamara Power-Drutis — just wrapped a week of training in Citizen University’s new training program, Civic Seminary. One goal of the program? To pass on the skills and practice from Seattle’s Civic Saturdays and see what develops. Tamara and Kristin joined eight other “seminarians” from around the country to learn about American civic rituals, reflect on the ethical foundations of their beliefs, and practice delivering their own “civic sermons.”
“There’s been variations of disbelief, of anger, of urgency with forced optimism, and through all that, there’s a weight that everyone seems to share of too many battles being fought on too many fronts,” said Tamara, who was most recently chief of staff at Amplifier, a nonprofit design lab for political movements.
“I need my patriotism to be rekindled in the way that that can only be done by having a variety of perspectives and a variety of ideas and people in a room finding what our common ground is.”
What’s next for Kristin and Tamara? They’re working on some ideas, and we’ll keep you posted. If Civic Seminary sounds like something you’d be into, stay tuned. Citizen University will be recruiting new seminarians beginning in the fall and you can sign up to get notified here. As for Seattle’s next Civic Saturday (they’re all over the country now!), that’ll happen on October 20 at the Fremont Abbey.
Not cool. You’d hope our city’s nightclubs would want to steer clear of bad news at the bar. But at Foundation Nightclub in Belltown, police did an undercover narcotics investigation, arrested 12 people, found everything from cocaine to date-rape drug GHB, and said the management knew. “The music community feels like an intimate network where we find happiness and safety,” reader Chloe Lloyd wrote to us. “We were all particularly shocked about the use and volume of GHB.” A lawyer for the club said many of the allegations are “absolutely false.” (KIRO)
We got big mamas. King County’s first-time moms are among the oldest in the country. The seventh oldest, to be exact — with 57 percent of ‘em baking their first little muffins while in their 30s or older. 🍼 This varies a lot around the country, and tracks pretty closely to women’s income and education level. For context: In El Paso County, Texas — where almost a quarter of people live under the poverty line — 85 percent of first-time moms are under 30. (The Seattle Times)
Your questions about homelessness. Ever wondered what percentage of our homeless neighbors had jobs before they lost their homes, or whether many people who are retired or aging end up living homeless? GeekWire and RealChange have answers to two more of the hundreds of questions about homelessness that you asked eight local media orgs to help you understand. “The short answer is yes,” Real Change’s Ashley Archibald wrote to the question about aging. “The long answer is dark.” We’ve answered one of your questions ourselves — is there an influx of homeless folks from other cities? — and will check back with the answer to another question soon. (GeekWire, Real Change)
Restaurants you can actually park at. Finally — a list of 20 foodie hot spots you can pull up to without circling the neighborhood for 15 minutes. 🎉 Admit it. If you drive, it matters. (Infatuation Seattle)
🤔 TOMORROW: Should you spend time on that, or money? Learn to navigate this tricky trade-off at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)
👨🍳 TOMORROW: Make your kitchen a big dill at Foundation’s and MAKERS’ Pickling 101 class. (Belltown)
🌶 Saturday: Spice up your weekend with fellow heat-seekers at Hot Sauce Fest (Ballard)
🖋 Wednesday, August 22: Get tips to take charge of your content strategy at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn. (Pioneer Square)
🍺 Wednesday, August 22: How do you make gluten free beer? Watch and learn at Ghostfish Brewing — and make new friends in the process — at this fun Foundation event. (SoDo)
💃 Get dipped at a tango dance in the park (Downtown)
🗣 Tell the world why you want to #SaveTheShowbox with a pic (Queen Anne)
🎈 Take the kids to see Lego-fied replicas of U.S. landmarks — through August 19 (Bellevue)
💡 Learn the legacy of “the Forrest Gump of the Northwest” (South Lake Union)
🎟 Hear the music of the night at Phantom of the Opera — through August 19 (Downtown)
💡 Learn how to navigate time and money tradeoffs at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)
💪 Get dillighted at a Pickling 101 class at this Evergrey partner event (Belltown)
🍸 Sip all kinds of craft gin (Bellevue)
🎟 Learn what the moon wishes for at a cabaret performance (University District)
🍴 Make prints, eat tacos, and hear a band called Terror/Cactus (Belltown)
🍷 Meet winemakers and bid on giant wine barrels (Woodinville)
🎈 Check out drag and a sex positive workshop for NW Black Pride – through August 19 (All over)
👋 Light one up to celebrate global cannabis culture at Hempfest (Queen Anne)
🎨 Peruse street murals drawn in chalk by international artists (Redmond)
🎨 See awesome ink at the Seattle Tattoo Expo – through August 19 (Queen Anne)
🎶 Head to the Ballard locks to hear Microsoft’s Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra (Ballard)
🎈 Take the fam to kayak tours and noms at the Duwamish River Festival (South Park)
🍴 Taco your time eating your way through a Taco Takeover (Queen Anne)
🍺 Sample tasty brews and BBQ at the Washington Beer BBQ (South Lake Union)
🗣 Check out an arty weaving installation while talk about the homelessness crisis (Belltown)
🍴 Get heated (in a fun way) at Hot Sauce Fest, an Evergrey partner event (Ballard)
👋 Live your nosy neighbor dreams at this neighborhood garage sale (Capitol Hill)
🎈 Hang out with “tech enthusiasts, crafters, homesteaders” at the Mini Maker Faire (Queen Anne)
🎈 Get the whole fam covered in mud at the Kids Obstacle Challenge (Issaquah)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.
We’ll see you tomorrow. — The Evergrey