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The Work You Fund

Our readers count on Crosscut to feature local stories they can’t find anywhere else. With teams focused on news and politics, arts and culture, and science and the environment, Crosscut goes in-depth to help people understand our corner of the world and how they can be a part of shaping it for the better. Learn more about the work that goes into the reporting you rely on.

Representing the full diversity of the Pacific Northwest

The Crosscut documentary The Rising is the result of a year of gaining the trust of a community whose stories are often mishandled or remain untold.

3 people are sitting on a stage and speaking to an audience.
Crosscut managing editor Mark Baumgarten listens as science and environment editor Ted Alvarez and producer Sarah Hoffman talk about their documentary. (James Pitts for Crosscut)
Sarah Hoffman
Ted Alvarez

Sarah Hoffman is a video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9, focusing on science and the environment. Find her on Twitter @SarahJHoffman or email at

Ted Alvarez is an editor at Crosscut and KCTS 9 focused on science and the environment. Find him on Twitter @Tedster or email at

On this podcast, Science & Environment producer Sarah Hoffman and editor Ted Alvarez talk about how they made The Rising, a new Crosscut documentary that chronicles one tribe’s efforts to escape the rising sea in a changing climate on the Olympic Peninsula.

Ted Alvarez: After a year of reporting, your first documentary, The Rising, is out in the world. How does it feel?

Sarah Hoffman: After spending so much time out there, it feels amazing to share it with everyone in the Quinault Indian Nation who was part of the story. For Washington and the Northwest as a whole, it was great to introduce them to a community that maybe they’ve driven by, or were vaguely aware of, without realizing what was at stake.

TA: What was the hardest part of the story to get?

SH: The hardest part was having patience, because there were certain spaces and places, like ceremonies, that weren’t for us. We wanted to earn permission and access to those sacred spaces where appropriate, so it took a long time.

Link to original articles:

Local public policies and holding elected officials accountable

Homelessness is often discussed in the abstract, but reporter David Kroman has been able to highlight the concrete human impact of our regions policies and economic changes in his “On the Margins” series.

A mother is holding her daughter while standing outside.
Kaylee Tessan Joseph and her daughter, Alaina, 4, outside of their Bellevue apartment on April 6, 2020. Joseph was laid off from Applebee’s because of COVID-19. She applied for unemployment and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help while she is out of work. SNAP applications have gone up 105% in recent weeks. Along with unemployment applications going up as people are losing work, three safety net benefits (TANF, SNAP and HEN) have seen big jumps in applications as many families already on the margins prepare for a longer-term struggle. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)
David Kroman

David Kroman is a staff reporter at Crosscut focused on local politics. Find him on Twitter at @KromanDavid or email at

It wasn’t supposed to be a series. I wanted to write one story about how Seattle’s homeless population was aging and becoming less healthy.

The idea was borne out of a conversation in City Hall about how the Seattle Fire Department should respond to “low-acuity” calls — 911 calls that maybe didn’t need to be 911 calls. Many of these fire department responses were going to the city’s largest shelters, and the mayor and city council wanted to find an alternative to sending a whole crew to answer a call.

But what I heard was larger than just the burden on 911. What I heard was that shelters were overwhelmed, increasingly tasked with looking after people who could not or should not be looking after themselves.

What this represented was a weakened safety net not set up to deal with what were really end-of-life issues. As the cost of living across the county has skyrocketed in recent years, we’ve seen a widening of the margins of who’s vulnerable to losing their housing.

Link to series page:


Highlighting the work of creators in our community

Through her connections in Seattle's art community, Arts & Culture editor Brangien Davis was able to report on the early stages of an exciting project from an emerging filmmaker.

Cast members perform kung fu flips
Cast members (left to right) Brian Le, Andy Le and Phillip Dang rehearse a fight scene for ‘The Paper Tigers’ set at an empty pool in Shoreline, Aug. 22, 2019.
Brangien Davis

Brangien Davis is the arts and culture editor at Crosscut. Find her on Twitter @brangien or email her at​

During the shoot for The Paper Tigers, local director Bao Tran’s forthcoming kung fu comedy, the haze machine set off alarms at the community center in Shoreline, where a critical fight scene was about to unfold. “I’m surprised Bao didn’t write that into the script,” joked Doug Palmer, a lifelong Seattleite and student of Bruce Lee. Palmer, who helped fund the film, was hanging around the set, thrilled to watch the work in progress. “I think Bruce really would’ve liked this,” he said.

The Paper Tigers has a ways to go — months of post-production, submissions to film festivals, trying to get picked up for distribution. And who knows where the cast and crew will be 40 years from now. But that day on set, possibility and promise hung in the air along with the manufactured haze.

Link to original article:

Hollywood wanted ‘fewer Asians’ in a new kung fu film. This Seattle director stuck to his script

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