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Washington legislature one of the most polarized?

The Foley InstituteIt seems this legislative session has seen one surprise and standoff after another, from fallout over the DOC early release debacle to the Friday afternoon ouster of WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson.

“Poppycock. Bullfeathers,” said Governor Jay Inslee in a news conference the following week. “This is an election year stunt.”

Politics and polarization that feels more like Washington, D.C., but it turns out the other Washington suffers from its fair share, too. » More …

Oct. 28: Irish activist-turned-peacemaker lectures

Jon McCourt
Jon McCourt

As a young man in Northern Ireland, Jon McCourt joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1969, intent on promoting civil rights on his home soil.

On what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” Jan. 30, 1972, in his hometown of Derry/Londonderry, he narrowly escaped death when an armed British soldier stared him down then walked away with a shrug. Nearby more than a dozen young people had been shot to death that violent day.

McCourt, who left the IRA in the mid-1970s, is now a community peace activist working with victims of violence, youth in criminalized areas and community relations. He will share his experiences in two free, public events at WSU Pullman on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, McCourt will lead a Foley Institute discussion at noon and deliver the Honors College’s Bhatia Lecture at 7:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Find out more

Hanauer sees danger of rising economic inequality

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Dickens could have written about the United States today. Some 46 million Americans – 15 percent of the population – live below the poverty level, including one in four American children.

Meanwhile, since 2008 the stock market’s value has doubled, CEO salaries are at record highs, and according to the Commerce Department the after-tax profit of corporations topped $1.7 trillion last year, the highest ever (in both absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP).

Nick Hanauer, a successful Seattle venture capitalist, civic activist and self-described plutocrat, is raising the alarm about the economics of ever-rising inequality. Hanauer argues that capitalist economies only function with a virtuous cycle: Rising consumer demand requires businesses to hire workers and raise productivity; productivity leads to higher worker incomes; higher worker income leads back to more consumer demand. Break any part, and the cycle collapses.

Hanauer will present this year’s Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Foley Institute at Washington State University. On Thursday he will speak at 2 p.m. on WSU’s Pullman campus and at 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Theater in Spokane. Both are free and open to the public.

Read more in the Spokesman-Review

Foley distinguished speaker Nick Hanauer offers insights for saving U.S. capitalism

Seattle business owner, economics activist, and one of the Northwest’s most ardent advocates for income equality, Nick Hanauer will present the 2014 Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Lecture “Saving American Capitalism: The Truth about Jobs, Prosperity, and Economic Growth” in two events Oct. 2 in Pullman and Spokane, Wash.

Hanauer will speak and take questions from the audience at 2:30 p.m. in the Compton Union Building (CUB) Auditorium at WSU Pullman and at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Thomas S. Foley Institute at WSU provides public-affairs programming and education, supports student engagement in public service, and fosters scholarly research on public policy and political institution in a nonpartisan setting.

Learn more about Nick Hanauer’s Foley lectures:
WSU News
The Spokesman-Review

Former House Speaker Thomas Foley leaves profound public service legacy

Bush (left) and Foley
Bush (left) and Foley
After three decades of distinguished public service, former Washington State Congressman and 57th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas S. Foley leaves a powerful legacy in public policy and education throughout Washington and nationwide. Widely admired for his quiet commitment to respectful leadership, Foley died Oct. 18 at age 84 at his home on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Foley’s extensive work history and dedication to political and educational ideals are embodied in two resources at WSU: the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service and a collection of his Congressional papers (1964-1995) housed in the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, both available to the public on the WSU Pullman campus.

“He was an inspirational politician whose commitment to civility and to honor in politics and public service underpins the philosophy of the institute that bears his name here, in the College of Arts and Sciences at WSU,” said Cornell Clayton, director of the Foley Institute.

Read more at WSU News