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Crosscut: A key ingredient in our local political brew

A homegrown media voice that ignites conversation, spotlights arguments across the political spectrum and occasionally stirs the pot.
Chris Devore, tech entrepreneur and investor.

Chris Devore, tech entrepreneur and investor. Credit: Xconomy.com

Publisher's Note: For our Spring Member Drive, we asked several supporters to help us make our case. Here's tech entreprenuer and investor Chris DeVore on why Crosscut is worthy of your support. C'mon. Become a member.

Seattle is a city of contradictions.

Home to two of the biggest entrepreneurial success stories in the history of capitalism (Microsoft and Amazon), we also just elected one of the few declared socialists in mainstream politics to our City Council.

We have a proud history as a center for blue-collar work in logging, shipping, fisheries and aircraft manufacturing, and have also become a global center for the kind of education-intensive “knowledge work” that traditional blue-collar workers feel is leaving them behind.

But as our national politics become ever more polarized and contentious, Seattle has been remarkably successful at holding its civic fabric together.

It’s not always pretty, but rather than talking past each other, leaders from across the political and economic spectrum keep showing up to cajole, haggle and, most importantly, listen to each other. In so doing, they've forged a remarkably inclusive consensus on how to move the city forward.

Crosscut is a critical ingredient in our local political brew, a homegrown media voice and conversation starter that brings people together, shines a light on arguments from across the political spectrum and occasionally stirs the pot in the interests of getting us all to the right answer.

I know this from personal experience. As an entrepreneur and early stage investor in software startups, I’m passionate about the future of Seattle as a global hub for knowledge work. But as a Seattle native who moved back to the city after a long career in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m equally passionate about making sure our rapid growth and global impact aren’t won at the expense of the inclusive and egalitarian culture that makes Seattle such a great place to live and raise a family.

As a volunteer supporter of the City’s successful Startup Seattle initiative and Chair of its Economic Development Commission, I’ve had a chance to witness the sausage-making of local politics up close. And whenever those conversations turned contentious — like when Councilmember Nick Licata publicly challenged the logic of using public funds to support private entrepreneurship — Crosscut was there to tease out the arguments on both sides. It did this, not just by running articles and editorializing, but also by going the extra mile, convening a live debate where Nick and I could represent our views — and listen to each other — in the public eye.

I’m grateful to live in a city where the center still holds, where citizens from every political, economic and cultural community still have a voice and a stake in the future we’re building together.

Crosscut is a critical part of the glue that makes Seattle what it is.

Chris DeVore is a founder and General Partner at Founders’ Co-op, the Pacific Northwest's leading seed-stage venture capital fund. A Seattle native, Chris also chairs the City of Seattle's Economic Development Commission and serves on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association. Chris holds a BA from Yale and attended the MBA program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.


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