Why leaders are hopeful the Seattle community can remerge better than ever after the pandemic

GeekWire’s Civic Conversations panel on Thursday, clockwise from top left: Jane Broom of Microsoft Philanthropies; Kris Hermanns of the Seattle Foundation; Monica Nickelsburg of GeekWire; Gordon McHenry Jr., United Way King County CEO; Chris Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle and former Washington State Governor.

The Seattle area was already facing a massive homelessness, mental health and economic inequality crisis before the COVID-19 hit.

The pandemic has only exacerbated the problems. Although the region has been brought to its knees, several leaders in Washington are hoping that the lessons of the pandemic and racial justice reckoning of the past 12 months can lead to a connected, vibrant and inclusive community.

It will take every ounce of strength and will to drive the change, but it can happen, they say. Hear why they’re hopeful on this special episode of the GeekWire podcast, taken from GeekWire’s new Civic Conversations event on Thursday.

Listen to the special episode below or subscribe to GeekWire on any podcast app. And read excerpts from their messages of hope below.

Here’s what our panelists said about the upcoming opportunity emerging from the 53 minute conversation.

  • “People came together in different ways (over the past 12 months) and that principle and sense of the common good has been crucial for us to get to where we are and it will be even more important to move forward. ” – Kris Hermanns, Chief Impact Officer at the Seattle Foundation.
  • “When you think about what we’ve been through and now you think about what’s most important, it’s a great stepping stone when we do it in an inclusive way to really empower our region.” – Gordon McHenry Jr., United Way of King County’s CEO
  • “I think we showed that we can lead the nation. We led the nation. And we can do it again on any matter that worries us if we all work together. So I’m very optimistic about the future and what COVID has taught us about working, listening and learning because I think this will be the success for everyone in this region and throughout our state. – Chris Gregoire, Former Washington State Governor and CEO of Challenge Seattle.

To read all of GeekWire’s coverage of the intersection of politics, business and technology, visit our Civic Channel here. You can also read the full recap of the event from GeekWire here or watch the session on YouTube here.

Podcast edited and produced by Curt Milton. Themed music by Daniel LK Caldwell.

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