election 2020

Cascadia College is committed to educating and supporting our community of students, faculty, and staff during this election season. Tune In & Turn Up is intended to help us make sense of the election, election-related issues, and first amendment rights and responsibilities through a series of online events and resources.

This education campaign will take place during the month leading up to the November elections in an effort to give people tools for better understanding issues and engaging in civil discourse. And it will continue after the elections to help us to process the results.


Past Events

Pie & Politics

Date and Time: Thursday, November 19

Pie and Politics offers a safe space for students to ask questions to understand the results of the upcoming election while also providing them the opportunity to learn how to engage in healthy discourse regarding politics. Students will be able to learn more about political implications from Cascadia's Political Science Professor, Erin Richards. They will also explore ways to engage in meaningful discourse from Philosophy Professor, David Shapiro. All students who attend will receive prizes and pie!

Moving Forward After the Presidential Election

Date and Time: Thursday, November 12

The recent federal election and ongoing transition of the Presidency has added to the general stress level of all during this time. The social distancing that is in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for people to process the stress caused by the political transition. This session, hosted by Cascadia’s Counseling Center and the Elections Taskforce will focus on moving participants toward hope and agency. This will be done through guided individual self-reflection with “next steps” from how we continue to grow and change within the Cascadia community.

What Happens Next?

Date and Time: Thursday, October 29    l    2020 Presidential Election (and Beyond) Resources

What happens after November 3rd? What does it mean that there might be a delay in hearing election results? What if the popular vote and electoral vote are different?  Learn what different scenarios are possible after election day with instructors Erin Richards and Heather Fralick.

Climate Dialog for Climate Justice

Date and Time: Wednesday, October 21    l    A recording of the event is available with captions through YouTube.

Climate justice involves proper planning and discussion about how vulnerable communities are most affected by climate change. In order to become more climate just, we need to better understand our impacts and provide resiliency resources for our communities. By opening discussions about how climate impacts can be mitigated, we can have a positive influence and potentially change the outcome of climate change. Learn more about climate change and local climate justice at the after events climate change resources pages.

Featured speakers:

  • Dr. Nick Bond, Washington State Climatologist, University of Washington Seattle 
  • Susan Wagshul-Golden, Director of Campus Safety & Security at University of Washington Tacoma 
  • Jamie Stroble, Climate Equity & Community Partnerships Lead, King County
  • Sameer Ranade, Civic Engagement and Policy Manager, Front and Centered 

Elections 2020 & Academic Freedom: A conversation with our AAG

Date and Time: Friday, October 16    l    A captioned recording of the event is available.

Alan Smith, Assistant Attorney General, answers our questions about what we are allowed to do and say and teach in classrooms and on campus. This event will be recorded for those who cannot attend live event. Recommended reading: The Fight Against Words That Sound Like, but Are Not, Slurs by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic

Teach In on Oppression & Activism

Date and Time: Friday, October 9

A space for inquiry and conversation with Cascadia faculty about what’s going on with oppression and activism -- all students welcome (part of a continuing series).

Working Across the Aisle

Date and Time: Monday, October 5    l    A captioned recording of the event is available.

U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) discuss how to engage in civil discourse in what is such a polarized climate in Washington, D.C. and the country. Cascadia President Eric Murray will introduce our guests and moderate during the Q&A section.

Election Letter from Dr. Murray

November 2, 2020

Dear Campus,

Tomorrow is Election Day. It’s a day we hold dear in our democracy because it is a time for our nation’s citizens to exercise their rights to choose officials to represent us. The majority voices of our communities differ geographically, and influence whom we elect. Many times the people we want to fill this role don’t succeed in their bids. However, whether the person we want to serve us is elected or not, we have a civic responsibility to support each other and our Cascadia Community. We have a responsibility to care about our families, neighborhoods, and colleagues.

Tomorrow’s results, contested or not, set us on a path for the next four years. It is my goal to continue serving this college to assure that, no matter the outcome of our election, equity is preserved. Our students and employees will always be treated with respect and fairness. They will always have a voice in our college governance. Equity and Inclusion will continue to be our mantra. And we will follow the law as prescribed nationally and locally.

Despite the differences that divide us, we remain stable by our ability to accept differences, listen to others, and work towards a common good. Even if the nation cannot do this as a whole, we can strive to do this locally. We can interpret, modify, and find ways to help our students succeed.

Despite what result is apparent tomorrow, it is important to remember that not everyone in our community will be happy with the outcome. It is a time for respect, for resiliency, and for perseverance. The political spectrum of the nation continually swings and, at some point, it will swing in a direction aligned with your outlook on life.

And, despite racial injustice and a pandemic, despite working from home and supporting family, and despite an unstable economy and uncertain futures, we know that Cascadia is a place where we can reliably turn to friends and colleagues for support. We need each other because even the most introverted of us are social beings. Our ability to move forward is dependent on that mutual support.

I ask that we approach the coming days with positivity. I ask that we respect, learn, and listen to our colleagues and students who may be disappointed with the outcome. Create space for caring, for humility, and for personal reflection.

Thank you for being a Cascadian and for caring.

With Respect,


Local Elections

National elections


  • The Flip Side is a blog opinion page covering mulitple sides of policy issues
  • Pro-Con is another website covering multiple sides of policy issues
  • A Starting Point is a video-based civic engagement platform highlighting interviews with political officials on various policies and legislation

Ethics Information

College Policies

Political Discourse

History and social dynamics

Managing Election Related Stress and Anxiety

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions below are geared towards cascadia faculty and staff.  Answers have been provided by the state ethics board.  Have a question that isn't answered or need clarification on something? please contact martin logan, Vice president of administration & finance,

  • Q: As a Cascadia faculty or staff member, can I hang banners, signs or use virtual backgrounds supporting a specific political candidate during official Cascadia meetings or classes?
  • A: No, this would be misuse of state facilities.
  • Q: As a Cascadia faculty or staff member, can I wear clothing, hats, pins, etc. supporting a specific political candidate during official Cascadia meetings or classes?
  • A: Personal clothing and personal vehicles, however, would not be considered an agency facility. Therefore, depending on agency policy, an individual may be able to wear political buttons on their clothing or affix a political bumper sticker to a personal vehicle. If employees interact with the public they are urged to exercise caution because wearing political buttons while interacting with the public or displaying political signs in public areas, could result in prohibited campaigning or violate their agency policy.
  • Q: As a Cascadia faculty or staff member, can I share my personal political opinion on a topic during official Cascadia meetings or classes?
  • A: No, this must be done on your personal time.
  • Q: If a student asks a faculty or staff member what they think about a (candidate/personal belief on an issue) personally vs. as a teacher can we tell them?
  • A: You would want to be cautious. Generally, the state’s ethics law prohibits the use of state facilities and resources for the “purpose of assisting a campaign for election of a person to an office or for the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition.” RCW 42.52.180(1).
  • Q: Can you use your Cascadia email to help campaign for a particular candidate?
  • A: No, this would be a misuse of state resources.
  • Q: For classes outside of the humanities that don’t directly engage with politics, can they discuss politics or the election results during class?
  • A: Not if it is not related to the curriculum.
  • Q: Can faculty and staff participate in a protest, can they have political discussions with employees off work time?
  • A: Yes, if they are doing so on their own time.
  • Q: As a state employee can we discuss our political beliefs, affiliations, and candidates at work?
  • A: No, this should be done on your own time.
  • Q: Can employees post things on their personal social media accounts?
  • A: Yes, if it is not affiliated with the College.
  • Q: Where is the boundary between personal and work life with respect to being interviewed on a news outlet, radio, or internet media that asks for political opinion as an individual?
  • A: You would want to ensure you are not affiliated with the college while doing this and on your own time.
  • Q: What line has to be drawn in class discussions? Can faculty share political beliefs with students?
  • A: This should only be discussed in regards to relevant curriculum.