06 You, Me, Us, Now - Campaign Edition - MONEY

Some people call it the "money primary," but Mike calls it the "perception primary." Candidates need a little cash on-hand to get their message out, but sometimes, a person's donor lists are as telling as their campaign promises. 

04 You, Me, Us, Now - Campaign Edition - The Interests

Politics in a city can fall into some well-established grooves, as the interests that care about city government work to find their candidates and shape them. What does that mean to candidates coming in who challenge the status quo? 

02 You, Me, Us, Now - Campaign Edition - The Announcement

Candidates only get two times when they are guaranteed coverage - the announcement and election night. Mike and Hanna have some fun talking about the prep that goes into it, and what it feels like to face the media at the front of a campaign. 

You, Me, Us, Now - Campaign Edition

We’re back, with irregularly scheduled updates on Mike’s 2017 run for Mayor of Seattle.  Joined by the inimitable Hanna Brooks Olsen, we will be talking about what it’s like to campaign for office. Stay tuned for more episodes.

Jerome and Amir, Janitors - "We're people too."

After everyone goes home, who are the folks who show up to clean the building? On Justice for Janitors Day, Mike interviews two long time janitors about how they chose the job, and the challenges janitors face. The boom times in Seattle don't extend to janitors - their average pay is $30,000 a year. And the workloads keep going up. Every night Amir cleans hospital square footage equivalent to 42 homes. How does that make them feel? Give a listen. Plus, Mike talks a little bit about his own experience as a janitor.

Clarence Eckerson, StreetFilms - "That article wasn't going to change anyone's mind."

A kid from upstate NY, with a video camera slung around his shoulder, decided to do his own public access cable TV show about how fun it was to bike around New York City. Which led to the phenomenally influential website "Streetfilms.org" that highlights walking, biking and transit innovations from around the globe. Mike and Clarence talk biking, the power of film, and whether Mike was followed around by a black SUV with his mayoral security watching him. Indeed, whether he actually biked anywhere! Two bike weirdos compare notes.

Sonja Trauss, YIMBY a.k.a. Yes In My Back Yard - "People need places to live!"

One day, Sonja decided to head down to City Hall to testify in favor of apartment buildings for the people who hadn't yet moved to San Francisco. She was a schoolteacher who had moved to the Bay Area from Philadelphia for economic opportunity and was shocked by the reflexive opposition to new housing. In the podcast, Sonja talks about why urban housing matters, but it's even more fascinating to listen to Sonja's intuitive, fearless, and funny take on how to organize on a controversial issue. And this YIMBY thing is taking off. She's been covered in the New York Times, activists are organizing in other cities, and there will soon be a National YIMBY Conference. 

Abby Brockway and Patrick Mazza, Oil Train Blockaders - "At some point it's an insane world."

Patrick and Abby, along with three others, blocked passage of an oil train in Everett for eight hours before being arrested. At trial they claimed "necessity" as a defense - hoping that the jury would acquit. Patrick has spent decades working in the system, but had enough. Abby was moved to action by the derailment of an oil train near her home that could have exploded and devastated her neighborhood. The climate movement has signaled that spring 2016 will see yet more civil disobedience, with further escalation on the way. Abby and Patrick share their thoughts on how they became rather unlikely activists - motivated by a political system that seems to leave them no other way to protect their families and communities - and how the jury responded to them.

Sonicsgate - Documentary Filmmakers: "It's not just a movie, it's a movement"

Jason Reid and Adam Brown met each other while fighting to keep the Sonics in Seattle. They formed a partnership to create the award winning documentary Sonicsgate. They're still making films on subjects as diverse as marijuana legalization, Mike Dukakis, K2, and rapper Nacho Picasso. And they are still fighting to bring back the Sonics. The episode looks at politics, culture, race and journalism as it intersects with the fan support for pro basketball. Jason and Adam bring their own special brand of activism to documentary film making. 

Zeke Spiers, Movement Funder - "Real change will come from a place none of us could have predicted"

The Social Justice Fund has been turning philanthropy on its head by putting the grassroots, not the elites, in charge of its donations, which has dramatic effects on which organizations get funded, and what work gets done. While other foundations reduced giving in the Great Recession, the Social Justice Fund raised and granted more than ever before! Zeke, their former director, is now working to enlist more foundations in this innovative approach. In an era when it seems billionaires on the left and right determine political agendas, Zeke talks about how organizing donors can help fund transformative change. Zeke has a pretty cool story too about how he went from confrontational protesting to philanthropy as a way to fund authentic community leaders, and not attempt to supplant them.

Danni Askini, Transgender Advocate, Candidate - "I was able to humanize an abstract issue."

Danni has had the unenviable job of arguing with the Washington State Legislature about who gets to use which bathroom - to date the achilles heel for transgender rights. Now she is running for the legislature! We talk current politics, but we also talk about her roots growing up in Maine, discovering who she was, dealing with bullying and homelessness, and then growing professionally into an amazing advocate. Years of work culminated in founding the Gender Justice League in Seattle which organized the transgender community to find its voice, build coalitions, and fight for themselves. We also talk about her decision to run for office, a potentially historic moment for transgender rights.

Robby Stern, Senior Advocate, Lifetime Activist - "Senator Sanders was really angry at me."

When Black Lives Matter activists Mara Jacqueline Willaford and Marissa Johnson took the stage in Seattle to prevent Bernie Sanders from speaking it created a national storm of media. Not covered so much was the guy trying to emcee the event - Robby Stern. About the same age as Bernie, Robby had a pretty amazing life of advocacy as well. At Syracuse University in the mid-60s he fought segregation and helped organize the second Vietnam War Teach-In in the nation. At UW he helped radicalize the SDS (precursor to the Weather Underground) was arrested multiple times and then kicked out of UW Law School. Drawing the attention of the FBI led to tense confrontations and a trial in San Francisco. Recovering from that, he became a union gardener, union pipe fitter, and then a lawyer for the labor movement. Now he heads Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA), which helped organize the event that was to feature Bernie Sanders. We close with his perspective on that day when PSARA’s rally was hijacked by activists, who, like him throughout the years, were ready to cause a ruckus. His perspective is informed by a lifetime of advocacy and activism. Give it a listen.

Chuck Marohn, Strong Towns - "I found I don't fit in our political spectrum."

Chuck, a conservative civil engineer, and Mike, a liberal activist who became Seattle's mayor, talk about the politics of growth and the trap it creates for cities. Chuck concluded that his work, and our grand auto experiment, was destroying the financial sustainability of our places. He started writing about it, which turned into "Strong Towns" a movement to return to traditional development patterns. Not for the environment or livability, but because it is the only way that makes financial sense. Mike and Chuck talk about how bad laws and public concerns with growth prevent traditional development. And that planners, politicians and the growth coalition aren't solving our problems - they're just pushing more cities to the fate of Detroit. 

Charles Mudede, writer - "Urbanism is the acceptance of the fact that life depends on strangers."

Charles tries to change things through the provocative power of words, which makes him an obvious podcast guest. Mike and Charles discuss the 'war on cars'(Charles is for it), social engineering (pro again), flaneurs (Mike opposes), strolling v. loitering, marxism v. capitalism, and 'what kind of animal are we?' Listen for a conversation that keeps veering into unexpected places, and just maybe, gets better it as gets going.

Bill McKibben, Climate Activist and Author - "Paris is not the game, it’s the scorecard."

Just a few days after returning from the international climate talks, Bill McKibben shares his thoughts on what the international treaty means and what’s next. After success as an author, he took up activism, recognizing it’s not just an argument, it’s a fight. It led him to ask a bunch of college kids to launch 350.org, which has helped spurred an international climate movement. Mike and Bill discuss the nature of organizing in the internet age as well as the the conflict between compromising politicians and uncompromising nature. Mike expresses his love for the millennial generation, and Bill praises the gray hairs who joined them to get arrested at the White House. Final prognosis, the game is about to get more intense.