Daring Women

The Fixer: Alicia Crank

Seattle CityClub executive director Alicia Crank wants to inject respect into civic discourse, one conversation at a time

By Edited and Condensed by Rob Smith January 29, 2024

Alicia Crank

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

Alicia Crank wants you to know this: She’s on a mission to elevate civic discussion in Seattle and beyond.

Crank, a long time fundraising executive who has worked at AtWork!, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, and CityYear Seattle, took the executive director role at Seattle CityClub 18 months ago. The nonprofit seeks to improve the “civic health” of Seattle through informative and educational live programs. Programs range from a “Civic Boot Camp” to legislative previews to cost-of-living discussions. Recent events included several Seattle City Council debates, and an emergency preparedness discussion.

Crank is also involved with several nonprofit organizations, including the Seattle Sports Commission, the GSBA Policy Council, and as treasurer at the Hazel Miller Foundation, an Edmonds-based organization that provides grants to community-based organizations.

Her civic work in Edmonds includes past stints as chairperson of both the Edmonds Planning Board and the Snohomish County (Paine Field) Airport Commission. Crank is also the founder of Edmonds International Women’s Day, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year.


Be an effective communicator, specifically, know how to communicate something more than one way to multiple people and groups. It’s also important to be a critical thinker, one that is also willing to take in new information and see a situation through more than one lens. Know how to delegate, and trust your team members to do the roles you’ve assigned them to. Finally, create a positive feedback loop where you can all share what’s working, and how we can improve one way or the other.


It’s going to sound weird, but always being available via phone or email is overrated.  I found that I learned the most and became a better communicator and critical thinker when I didn’t have someone available to answer a “quick question” for me, or to tell me how to do something. It’s too easy to have someone just tell you what to do or how to do it all the time.


Apply! It sounds simple, but as women, we can talk ourselves out of opportunities. Even if you are unsure of yourself or your qualifications, put yourself out there and apply for these roles. The worst that can happen is to be told “no.” The best that can happen is you end up making great impact and influence others.


The three lessons that stand out most are: Don’t make a decision you’re not willing to own. Make sure your conscience is clear in whatever you do. Love yourself, especially during difficult times.


Don’t be deterred by being the first and/or only one of “you” in a job, role, board, or commission. Acknowledge whatever fears you have, but don’t succumb to them.


I’m always in a constant state of networking, since my work life, personal life, and community life are intersectional. It’s the crux of everything I do and has been instrumental in any successes I have had. When someone can see you being consistent across different areas of your life, trust is built, and relationships grow.


I would have learned a second language fluently.


If it’s hockey season, I’m doing something Seattle Kraken-related. Otherwise, I’m either taking a scenic drive or engaging in some type of self-care.


I Never Look The Part: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.

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