Citizens agenda is at the heart of Crosscut voter guide

Not sure who you’re voting for in Seattle and King County elections? A voter guide from a nonprofit newsroom might be what you’re looking for.

A sign in front of a ballot box reads "You gotta vote"

A sign encouraging voting in front of a ballot drop box at Beacon Hill Library on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Seattle, Wash. (Jovelle Tamayo for Crosscut)

Intuition is highly respected in journalism circles. If a reporter has a hunch about a story or feels a source isn’t telling her the truth, an editor will often say: “Trust your gut.” But it’s possible to become overreliant on intuition to the point of arrogance. 

Strangely for me — because I’ve been in this business for a long time and was definitely taught to trust my gut — I have learned that listening to other people’s ideas can be as important as my own perspective. But my gut isn’t necessarily more finely attuned than that of the readers of  stories I edit.

This year, instead of just trusting our intuition about what our readers need to know to make informed choices about the Seattle election — because everyone at Crosscut had ideas about what you need to know — we took a different approach and decided to trust our readers instead, an approach inspired by the “citizens agenda.” Four times this year we have asked you to share the issues and questions you wanted the candidates to speak about and you have delivered. 

Each time we asked, more than 200 people shared their perspectives. Your questions, which covered homelessness, policing, the economy and more, were insightful, and you made it clear that many of you shared the same concerns about Seattle and our region. So instead of asking the candidates for mayor, city council and city attorney the standard questions every news organization is asking, we forwarded your questions to the candidates and made sure they knew these were the voters’ questions. 

Their answers are posted in our Seattle and King County Voter Guide and, although I think the coverage of the election by our reporters has been especially insightful and informative, the candidates’ answers to your questions are uniquely helpful. 

I hope you will read our stories and the candidates’ answers to your questions and let me know whether Crosscut has helped you vote this year. We’re planning to create a voter guide for the next election, and we want to keep improving. Happy voting and stay in touch.

This story was first published in Crosscut's Weekly newsletter. Want to hear more from journalists like Donna Gordon Blankinship? Sign up for the newsletter, below.

Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors