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John Carlson will be writing regularly. More columnists planned.

For the past 11 years, Crosscut has been a place where you can find not just insightful Northwest news and analysis, but also a diverse collection of voices and opinions. We publish guest columns from a wide range of individuals, from academics and politicos to activists and members of our community who just have something worthwhile to say.

Our best-known commentator is Knute Berger, who writes the "Mossback" column and now stars in the video series "Mossback's Northwest." Now Crosscut is growing, and we're adding to the lineup, starting with the addition of John Carlson as a regular columnist.

Carlson, who has written occasionally for Crosscut over the past decade, will offer weekly commentary about politics, social issues and life in the Pacific Northwest.

We invited him to become a regular columnist for a number of reasons. Carlson is a longtime conservative commentator and policy entrepreneur, having co-founded the Washington Policy Center and leading the passage of three statewide initiatives. In 2000 he was the Republican candidate for governor. His alma mater, the University of Washington, picked Carlson as one of the 100 most influential grads of the 20th century.

Carlson authors the kind of well-researched articles from his own right-of-center perspective that we felt would be illuminating for our readers, especially in Seattle. Given the region's substantial challenges, we wanted to do more to challenge ourselves and our readers with thinking that doesn’t fit the liberal political orthodoxy.

At a time when the national political dialog sometimes devolves into a cynical shouting match, we believe in creating opportunities to understand one another. Those only come when we debate public issues on the basis of facts and clear reasoning.

Carlson’s a smart thinker who listens to people of all viewpoints and works from the facts. We know that while his columns will create disagreement, all of us will learn something. Like Berger, Carlson grew up in the area. He and his wife, who have two sons, live in Bellevue.

We plan to add two more regular columnists in the first half of next year, looking for new voices representing the rich diversity of views and communities in the Pacific Northwest.

We have some ideas for additional columnists but want to approach this opportunity with as wide a sweep of possibilities as we can. Especially in a region growing so fast, there may be someone who many of us have never heard of. And with many people exhausted with the two-party system, there may be fresh political or social thinking that jumps the normal boundaries of civic discussion.

Do you think you could produce weekly, well-researched commentary? Do you know someone whose writing would be a revelation to the Puget Sound region, Washington state and the Pacific Northwest? Let us know. The additional columnists will be on contract, but we offer competitive rates.

If you are interested, please email with the subject line: Opinion writer, including a resume and cover letter explaining how you would approach the writing and what you would bring in the way of new or deeper understandings of our civic life. We won’t begin the full review immediately — we will make other announcements as we get closer to starting — but we would love to hear ideas.

New Crosscut / Elway Poll out week of October 15

Partnership is latest step in Crosscut’s commitment to in-depth coverage and analysis of Northwest issues


crosscut elway poll logo

SEATTLE—Crosscut—the Pacific Northwest’s independent, nonprofit news site—today announced an exclusive partnership with the well-regarded Elway Poll of statewide voters. The new Crosscut/Elway Poll and corresponding data will be available the week of October 15, 2018.

The first release of the Crosscut/Elway Poll will be largely focused on November’s midterm elections. On the ballot are U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s seat, U.S. House seats in every district, local races, and initiatives on carbon pollution and gun ownership. Moving forward, Crosscut will publish Crosscut/Elway surveys quarterly. Crosscut reporters will provide insights and analysis of the data.

“Our partnership with Elway is another step in our commitment to providing the highest-quality journalism for residents of the Puget Sound region,” said Rob Dunlop, President and CEO of Cascade Public Media, Crosscut’s parent organization.

“I’m excited about the ways our collaboration will enhance public conversation in the Northwest,” said Stuart Elway, who has been providing independent, non-partisan analysis of public opinion in Washington and the Northwest since 1992. The Elway Poll is rated as one of the top six election pollsters in the United States, with an “A+” grade from

Crosscut is expanding its news coverage in a region that is undergoing dramatic change.

Since July, it has added 10 positions to its newsroom, which it shares with PBS member station KCTS 9, also part of Cascade Public Media. In February, it produced the inaugural Crosscut Festival, which drew more than 1,000 people to discuss pressing issues like immigration, housing and income inequality. The next Crosscut Festival will be held May 3-4, 2019 at Seattle University.

Crosscut will make the Crosscut/Elway Poll data and crosstabs available for other media outlets on Monday, October 15.  Questions related to the poll should be directed to Greg Hanscom, Executive Editor, at

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About Crosscut

Crosscut is the Pacific Northwest’s independent, reader-supported, nonprofit news site. We believe an informed public is essential to solving the challenges of our time. Crosscut strives to provide readers with the facts and analysis they need to intelligently participate in civic discourse, and to create a more just, equitable and sustainable society.


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