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This Changes Everything
38 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 6 - When Defunding the Police Meets Political Reality (Season 2)
More than 6 months after first pledging to rethink public safety, city leaders face opposition. What’s next? As anti-racism protesters filled city streets this past summer with calls for a radical rethinking of public safety, a majority of Seattle City Council members responded by committing to cut the city's police budget by 50%. But making good on that promise has been difficult. In this, the final episode of This Changes Everything’s focus on efforts to defund the police, Sara Bernard and David Kroman discuss the political pain and potential ramifications that have come since the council members committed to those cuts. So far, the council has made cuts to the city police budget amounting to nearly 20%. Will they make those additional cuts? Will oppositional forces prevent them from doing so? What comes next? One thing about the future is known: The hard work of reforming the police force is still to come. This six-part podcast. produced by Bernard and reported by Kroman, takes a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Read the full transcript here.
34 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 5 - Defund, Then What? Activist Ideas for Police Dollars (Season 2)
Many activists leading the call to defund the police say the answer to disproportionate policing is to take money from the cops and give it to communities. But change is never as easy as writing new lines in a city budget. In this episode of This Changes Everything’s look at efforts to defund the police, Sara Bernard and David Kroman examine emerging community programs that are seeking to take the place of police as a way to dismantle the systemic racism that has long been part of the American criminal justice system. These Seattle programs look to keep members of the city’s Black and brown communities, in particular, out of the criminal justice system by redirecting at-risk community members with various forms of support. This six-part podcast, produced by Bernard and reported by Kroman, takes a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Read the full transcript here.
34 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 4 - A Ride Along With a Police Alternative (Season 2)
As cities have searched for non-police options for crisis response, many have arrived in an unlikely place: Eugene, Oregon. In this episode of This Changes Everything’s focus on efforts to defunding the police, host Sara Bernard heads to Eugene for a virtual ride along with CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), an inventive and unique effort to respond to crisis calls with social workers instead of police. In the calls to defund police and invest in alternatives, CAHOOTS has become the model. We get the real story about how it works and what problems it faces and consider the question: Is the program scalable from a small city like Eugene to a bigger metropolis like Seattle? This six-part podcast, produced by Bernard and reported by David Kroman, takes a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Read the full transcript here.
33 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 3 - Who’s to Blame When Crisis Calls Go Wrong (Season 2)
Seattle police have undergone additional training to better respond to people in crisis, but still things go wrong and people die. Why? Seattle police, more than many police departments, have extensive training to improve their response to people in crisis — but people are still dying. In this episode of This Changes Everything’s focus on defunding the police, we look at what happens when things go wrong. Reporter David Kroman revisits the case of Charleena Lyles, a young Black mother who was killed by Seattle police in one of the department's most controversial incidents. There is little doubt that Lyles' death was the result of a failure, but there is disagreement over where the blame for that failure lies. To understand what happened and what it can tell us about the complicated role of police in crisis calls, Kroman explores the choices made by officers on the day of Lyles' death, as well as those made within the system before the encounter. This six-part podcast, produced by Sara Bernard and reported by David Kroman, takes a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Full transcript available here.
34 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 2 - Cops, Crisis Calls and Conflict Over Who Should Help (Season 2)
The debate over public safety is filled with disagreements, but almost everyone agrees on one thing: We need another option for people in crisis. In this episode of This Changes Everything’s focus on defunding the police, reporter David Kroman rides along with Sandlin Grayson, a member of the Seattle Police Department Crisis Response Team, to observe how the police approach crisis calls. Kroman then speaks to the team at the Downtown Emergency Service Center, one of Seattle’s largest nonprofits serving the homeless. Although they have some appreciation for cops like Grayson, they argue that there must be a better way to help people in crisis. This six-part podcast, produced by Sara Bernard, takes a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s even possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Full transcript available here.
29 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 1 - How Reform Gave Way to ‘Defund the Police’ in Seattle (Season 2)
The city spent a decade working to reform its police department. Then, the turmoil of 2020 started a new movement. In the midst of the anti-racism protests that followed the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police last spring, a new cry went out: "Defund the police!" And in the weeks that followed, Seattle city leaders appeared to be listening. Members of the Seattle City Council, responding to strong advocacy from inside and outside government, pledged to cut the police force by 50%. Cuts did come, but in the end they were less than revolutionary and the debate became muddled and complex. For the second season of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard and reporter David Kroman are seeking to bring clarity to that debate. Over the course of six episodes, the podcast will take a close look at challenges of policing today and whether it’s even possible to downsize the police force and create a new public safety regime that is more equitable and safe. This first episode starts by looking back, about a decade, to Seattle’s previous efforts toward reform and examines how the events in June led many city leaders to decide the earlier reform efforts were the wrong solution. --- Credits Host, producer: Sara Bernard Reporter: David Kroman Story editor: Donna Gordon Blankinship Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten Full transcript available here.
28 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
Ep. 10 - Bringing a New Life Into a Strange New World (Season 1)
For most parents, giving birth is a stressful and anxiety-inducing undertaking. Navigating a complicated health care system and the unrealistic expectations of friends and relatives can be challenging. Then there are the mental gymnastics that accompany the act of actually bringing a new life into the world. But what happens when that world is in a state of crisis, when the health care system you rely on is preparing to be overwhelmed by a global pandemic and when loved ones can't be there to meet this new person? For this week's episode of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard talks with Crosscut reporter Melissa Santos about the first few months of her son's life, which coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and societal upheaval. She shares the difficulties and concerns that these events have brought to an already life-changing event, as well as new hopes for the world awaiting her son.
25 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Ep. 9 - What We Lose When Small Businesses Close (Season 1)
Running a small businesses is already rife with difficulties. But since the coronavirus pandemic arrived and governments placed restrictions on gatherings and commerce to help stave off an influx of infections, survival has become impossible for some. Even as the state begins easing the restrictions, the path back to solvency for those that have survived is harrowing, and the threat of a second wave of infections looms. Host Sara Bernard speaks with Crosscut changing region reporter Manola Secaira about the difficulties small businesses have faced and the prospect of a future filled with a lot more corporate consolidation and a lot less character.
27 minutes | Jun 10, 2020
Ep 8 - Caring for the Dead in a Pandemic (Season 1)
Over the last three months, Americans have made drastic changes to almost every aspect of their lives to limit the spread of the coronavirus. They have transformed the way they work, the way they relax, the way they eat, the way they worship. At the center of all of this change is death, the singular thing that those changes are intended to forestall. So, naturally, death has changed as well. On this week's episode of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard contemplates what happens in this moment when a loved one passes away, whether from the virus or another cause. She speaks with reporter Margo Vansynghel who tells the story of Jessica Henry, a woman whose life was upended by the virus and who is now a part of the death-care industry. Henry shares her experiences with the changing procedures and rituals that surround death during COVID-19 and how being face-to-face with death everyday is changing the way she thinks about life.
28 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Ep. 7 - Vote-by-Mail Is the Future — and It’s Already Here (Season 1)
When President Donald Trump focused his ire on mail-in ballots late last month, Twitter did something unusual. It fact-checked him. His claims that moving away from in-person voting during the pandemic would lead to widespread fraud was unsubstantiated, the company said. His tweets, and that unprecedented tweetback, were just the latest in a spirited debate over the adoption of mail-in balloting brought on by the pandemic threat. But in the state of Washington, the debate is over. For almost a decade, voters in the Evergreen state have elected their leaders and weighed in on initiatives without ever setting a foot in a polling place, all while avoiding any whiff of widespread voter fraud. For this episode of This Changes Everything, Crosscut news and politics editor Donna Blankinship speaks with host Sara Bernard about the fight over mail-in ballots and the lessons that Washington state has been sharing with other states that are weighing their options as they prepare for election season.
28 minutes | May 26, 2020
Ep. 6 - How Much Need Can Our Safety Net Hold? (Season 1)
The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a host of new problems, but it has also taken some longstanding problems and made them considerably worse. Homelessness was already considered an emergency in the Seattle region before the current crisis, but the threat of infection and the massive economic contraction have put those without shelter at greater risk while moving many low-income workers living paycheck to paycheck to the edge. Government has stepped in with assistance that has kept the unemployed afloat and, in some cases, provided homes to the homeless. What happens, though, when that assistance runs out? And how will we all think about our societal safety net once we have all known, or been, someone who has benefited from it? For this episode of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard speaks with Crosscut reporter David Kroman about this unprecedented response and how it has changed the political calculus when addressing the problems facing the most vulnerable among us.
29 minutes | May 6, 2020
Ep 5 - How Coronavirus Is Upending the Arts and Inspiring New Work (Season 1)
When the coronavirus came to Washington, almost every working artist saw their plans evaporate. Theater, dance and musical performances were canceled, while galleries and bookshops were temporarily shuttered to adhere with the social distancing measures put in place in states throughout the nation. But the artistic impulse, as well as the need for a steady income, did not subside. With the help of digital media, Seattle artists pivoted quickly to reframe their existing works as digital experiences, or to create wholly new works inspired by the pandemic. This Changes Everything host Sara Bernard speaks with Crosscut arts and culture editor Brangien Davis about the blow dealt to the arts industry and how the new methods of creating and sharing art could change the way artists and audiences interact after the virus has passed. Artists and events that appear in this episode: The Argument's Covid Covers, Marcy Stone Francois's Going Viral series, Erin Jorgensen, Tomo Nakayama, Café Racer Sessions, Dance Church from Velocity Dance, Silent Reading Party, SIFF, Hugo House.
29 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
Ep. 4 - Keeping Faith While Keeping a Safe Distance (Season 1)
Community is at the core of almost every organized religion the world over. So what happens to the faithful and their leaders when gathering is potentially deadly and forbidden by government? As all things in this era of coronavirus, the answer is complicated. Many religious leaders are finding new ways to conduct the rituals of their faith, from the most intimate to the necessarily communal, while adhering to public health guidelines. Then there are others standing in opposition to government orders and encouraging their followers to gather in person. The challenges to the faithful posed by COVID-19 are not unique to the United States, but in a country that considers religious freedom a cornerstone they are certainly more pronounced. For this episode of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard talks with Crosscut Report Lilly Fowler about the efforts of Catholic priests to administer sacraments while staying safe, the resistance that is cropping up among some of the faithful and the impact that the virus could have on the future of religious life in America.
28 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
Ep. 3 - What the 1918 Flu Can Tell Us About Life After COVID-19 (Season 1)
As the world grapples with the spread of the novel coronavirus, another event from history has been invoked again and again: the so-called Spanish flu of 1918-19. While that pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people, took hold at a very different time in world history — the First World War was winding down — the similarities are striking. From a public contending with draconian public health measures to charlatans peddling unproven cures, both the Spanish flu and the novel coronavirus are tests of society’s ability to respond to a force that doesn’t easily bend to human will. But what happened after the earlier pandemic ended? Crosscut’s resident historian Knute Berger looks past the initial epidemic and talks about how the flu changed the culture of the United States, and Seattle in particular, for years afterward and what that might mean for a future after COVID-19.
27 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
Ep. 2 - Sorting Fact From Propaganda in a Pandemic (Season 1)
Misinformation is nothing new. In the past few years, the spread of convenient fictions and damaging distortions has become ubiquitous in American life, as trolls and propagandists seek to confuse and mislead the American people. What is new, in the era of coronavirus, is the deadly impact of that misinformation. From the beginning of the outbreak in the United States, public health recommendations were questioned at the highest levels while doubts spread about the intentions and efficacy of social distancing. Crosscut engagement editor Mohammed Kloub talks with TCE about the current hunger for information and the troubling trends he is seeing as everyone from Fox News hosts to the president of the United States to our own relatives promote and magnify misinformation about the virus.
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
Ep. 1 - A New Kind of Anxiety and the Early Days of COVID-19 (Season 1)
In the weeks since the novel coronavirus claimed its first American victim in late February, COVID-19 has come to consume every facet of daily life in the United States, as it has in countries around the globe. As the number of cases rise, many Americans have been ordered to stay at home, bringing the economy to a near standstill. But in the days before that first death, Americans were largely unaware of the virus and for six weeks it quietly spread throughout Western Washington, the first epicenter of the American outbreak. As it did so, Crosscut reporter Hannah Weinberger was tracking the story of the first reported case, growing more anxious and, it turned out, getting sick. For this first episode of This Changes Everything, host Sara Bernard talks with Weinberger about those early days, what she learned about our health care system's preparedness and what it was like to grapple with a new kind of anxiety before it swept the nation.
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