Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Public affairs

Achilles tang
Summer 2012

Managing Nemo

The island of Hawaii, lest it be confused with the state of Hawaii, is often referred to as the Big Island. In fact, it is the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands. But in many ways, it is like a small town, as Brian Tissot has once again realized upon returning earlier this year.

On short notice, he has scheduled a talk in the Kealakehe High School Library in Kailua-Kona, the largest town on the island’s west coast, also known as West Hawaii. And in the days leading up to the talk, most everyone he meets has heard he will be speaking. Even an old acquaintance … » More …

Spring 2012

Video: Creator of The Wire David Simon’s speech at WSU

David Simon, creator of gritty urban HBO drama The Wire, received the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice in September 2011. The award is named after eminent Harvard sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson ’66 PhD.

When accepting the award at WSU, Simon spoke about building a just and equitable society, and the difficulties in achieving that goal.

You can read more about Simon’s visit to campus in The Wire: Urban drama, gritty reality, and Soc 496 ‘textbook’”

Time: 1 hr. 57 min.

Note: The video contains expletives.

Video courtesy KWSU

Ruckelshaus with Nixon
Winter 2011

Bringing history and historian together

Historian Douglas Brinkley recently visited Seattle to interview William D. Ruckelshaus, the founding head of the Environmental Protection Agency and advisor to a variety of Northwest clean water and community groups.

Ruckelshaus first made the connection between the environment and public health shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School when he returned to Indiana as a young lawyer. In the office of the Indiana attorney general, Ruckelshaus was assigned to the Indiana Board of Health, where he noticed that many of the state’s health issues were tied to air and water pollution, he says. It was a foundation for his work a decade later defining … » More …

Summer 2011

Arun Raha ’91—The good, the bad, and the budget

When Arun Raha ’91 started work as the state of Washington’s chief economist three years ago, his new staffers welcomed him with a gift: an official Magic 8 Ball.

“I said ‘OK, great! Now I have a forecasting tool,’” he recalls.

If only it were that easy.

At 51, Raha is the E.F. Hutton of state government: When he talks, people listen. He speaks at more than 100 events a year, from universities to small-town chambers of commerce. His quarterly revenue forecasts are broadcast live on TV.

That’s because the forecast, once approved by a bipartisan council that Raha reports to, frames the state budget. … » More …

Spring 2011

George Nethercutt Jr. ’67—Knowing our nation

George Nethercutt Jr. ’67 may not be in Congress anymore, but he still yearns to shorten the distance between Washington, D.C., and his home state of Washington.

The effort has kept the Spokane native busy since he left the House of Representatives in 2005, when he transformed a project from his office into the George Nethercutt Foundation, a nonprofit organization to promote civic literacy and foster leadership qualities.

“We as Americans just don’t know the story of our country. And it troubles me. As a citizen, it bothers me,” says Nethercutt as we meet one afternoon last fall in Seattle, where he’s visiting on business. … » More …

Gallery: Washington’s First Women in Government

The Washington Secretary of State’s office and the Washington State Heritage Center presented an exhibit on Washington state’s first women in state government.

View the posters from the “Moving Forward, Looking Back” exhibit in the state capitol building.

Read Civility in Politics and Campaigns

swfobject.embedSWF(
“../stories/2010/Winter/2010Winter-wa-women.swf”,
“slideshow-women”,
“680”,
“800”,
“9.0.0”,
“expressInstall.swf”
);

Winter 2010

Opinions: Sam Reed and Sam Hunt in the 1966 Daily Evergreen

Opinion articles written by students Sam Reed and Sam Hunt for the November 4, 1966 issue of WSU’s student newspaper the Daily Evergreen represent their opinions of that year’s national and state elections from the perspective of the WSU Young Republicans and the WSU Young Democrats. Sam Reed ’63, ’68 is now Washington’s Secretary of State, and Sam Hunt ’67 is a state representative for Olympia and surrounding areas. Read more about them in “Civility in Politics and Campaigns.”

You can also view the original page from the 1966 Daily Evergreen in PDF format.

Daily Evergreen, November 4, 1966
A Republican Speaks

(Editor’s Note: … » More …

Winter 2010

An Election for the Ages: Rossi vs. Gregoire, 2004

election

Trova Heffernan
WSU Press, 2010

Every couple of years, we engage in the most basic of democratic activities: voting. Elections typically run smoothly and uneventfully. Sometimes they whip up a tornado of controversy, such as Washington’s whisker-thin gubernatorial election in 2004, following on the heels of Bush vs. Gore in 2000, with Florida’s hanging chads and legal wrangling.

Dino Rossi and Chris Gregoire faced off to be Washington’s next governor in 2004. After the ballot-counting … » More …

Winter 2010

Mary Kaufman-Cranney ’78—Call of the wild

Last summer Mary Kaufman-Cranney culled a batch of black dresses from her closet and replaced them with hiking boots and trail shoes. Having left her job with the Seattle Opera, where she was director of development, she has less use for the dresses. But now she requires the shoes for her new role at The Nature Conservancy leading fundraising for the nonprofit’s Washington State chapter.

Instead of organizing galas, she’s trekking across mudflats and into rainforests to learn the details of preserving our state’s natural resources.

“I’m really enjoying this work,” she says. “Northwesterners are so passionate about their natural resources.”

Kaufman-Cranney’s office is … » More …

Winter 2010

Mieko Nakabayashi ’92—Making policy public

Growing up in late 1960s Japan, Mieko Nakabayashi had an unlikely goal. The eldest daughter of a farmer-turned-land-developer, she dreamed of living overseas.

“I was so curious about the world,” she recalls.

Four decades later, that Saitama Prefecture schoolgirl has grown into a power player with a résumé spanning the Pacific Rim and two nation’s capitals. Nakabayashi, 50, has worked as a television reporter, think tank researcher, and professor. For a decade, she worked as a U.S. Senate budget staffer.

Her biggest move came last year, when she was elected to Japan’s House of Representatives. Long acquainted with the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C., … » More …