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Gary Locke and Rick Steves kick off Civic Cocktail, Oct. 7

Civic Cocktail is back for a third season of smart talk with a twist! Join host Joni Balter and two homegrown guys with international ties for a wide-ranging conversation that spans local to global issues.

Gary Locke, former governor, U.S. commerce secretary and U.S. ambassador to China, offers insights from his long career in public service and what’s next. Rick Steves, a famed travel writer with a political agenda, talks about his latest adventures, 5:30 p.m., Wed., Oct. 7 at the Palace Ballroom, 2100 Fifth Ave.


Gary Locke

Locke will weigh in on this week’s Chinese delegation visit to Seattle. He helped organize Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the city with a busy itinerary of political and business meetings. China is Washington’s top export destination, receiving more than $15 billion in Washington-state produced goods, which support close to 90,000 jobs in the state. Will a proposed Boeing factory in China lead to job losses in Seattle? What will Xi’s stop in Seattle mean for Chinese-Northwest relations?

Back from a busy season of travel, Steves offers travel tips and discusses how globetrotting helped shape his world view, social activism and political work, including his advocating for the reform of marijuana laws. The nationally known guidebook author and host on public radio and television, says there is more to travel than good-value hotels, great art and tasty cuisine. The author of “Travel as a Political Act,” maintains we can better understand our country by leaving it and returning with a broader worldview and understanding of how our nation fits in.


Rick Steves

A journalist panel, including Crosscut’s Drew Atkins and Knute Berger, freelance journalist and former editorial page editor of The Herald Peter Jackson and The Seattle Globalist’s Sarah Stuteville, will weigh in on the discussions.

Civic Cocktail offers an evening of networking, civic conversation, Tom Douglas appetizers and a no-host bar. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. Advance registration is recommended as these events sometimes sell out. Register at or call 206-682-7395. Advance ticket prices are $20 for CityClub and Crosscut members and $25 for non-members and at the door.

Seattle Channel presents Civic Cocktail in partnership with Seattle CityClub and Crosscut. The conversation is rebroadcast on Seattle Channel cable 21 and is available online. The October Civic Cocktail will air at 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8 with additional broadcast times to follow.

Here’s what’s coming up next on Civic Cocktail:
Wed., Nov. 4 – Election recap with campaign managers Christian Sinderman and John Wyble
Wed., Dec. 2 – Restaurateur Tom Douglas