Lethuel Kirkegard will put his progressivism up against anyone.
“I view myself as the most progressive man in the Pacific Northwest. And it is something I am proud of, not ashamed. I compromise on nothing.”
The Seattle area wakes up with Lethuel Kirkegard 5 days a week on Cafe Progress from 5am-8am, the flagship morning program of Public Radio Seattle.
“I believe our program Cafe Progress is very important as it sets the tone for the day. People wake up and tune in to us, so we must be ready to offer up progressive viewpoints to start the day off right.”
Kirkegard says this role was especially important on the dark morning of November 9, 2016, when people citywide were waking up to reality, not a nightmare. “I know there were several who woke up that morning hoping Drumpf’s win was a bad dream, but it wasn’t. I was devasted too. We were ready to celebrate that morning, but instead had to change plans. While it was very somber and depressing, Seth and I knew that it was no time to wallow, and instead set the table for the resistance movement right then and there. It was the first media many would consume that morning, so we had to make sure the audience was being equipped right away.”
Kirkegard graduated from Evergreen College in 2005 and immediately got involved in community and progressive groups after that. “A lot of people go to college to get a degree to help them make money. I wanted to go to college to get a degree to help those without money make money. It’s not a glamorous lifestyle, but its the only way I could go.”
Kirkegard was heavily involved in Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016, but when he knew Sanders was not going to win, Kirkegard immediately embraced Hillary Clinton. “I did not view Clinton as a bad candidate, just not my most preferred. But she still checked off most of my boxes, and I was honored to work on her outreach campaign and would take a bullet for her.”
While not behind the microphone or working with his community groups, Kirkegard doesn’t unwind. “I don’t believe in downtime, or unwinding, or relaxing. There is always something that can be done. My activism never sleeps”.