New UW alumni group wants louder voice in Olympia

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By Katherine Long
Seattle Times higher education reporter

With state funding for higher education on the chopping block again, the University of Washington’s alumni have formed a group to try to harness Husky power to fight for higher-education support.

The new group, UW Impact, hopes to mobilize a “sleeping giant” — the 300,000 alumni of the UW — to get more involved in state politics.

UW Impact has also hired two heavy hitters, one from each side of the political aisle: Chris Vance, former chairman of the state Republican Party, and Christian Sinderman, a well-known Democratic consultant. The two (who are not UW grads) are paid political consultants, as well as members of the organization’s leadership team.

UW Impact is a nonprofit, not a political-action committee. It won’t back candidates or lobby the Legislature. And although it’s concerned about the state budget, “our vision is much bigger than the next legislative session,” said Eddie Pasatiempo, a past president of the UW Alumni Association.

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