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City of Kent

Primary ELECTION: August 7th, 2018

Welcome to the the 2018 Progressive Voters Guide! The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information you need to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please return your ballot by August 7 and share this guide with your friends and family.

This guide only contains races that will be on your August 7th Primary Ballot. We will update the guide for the general election.

King County Ballot Measures

King County Proposition #1

Proposition 1 has recently emerged as a somewhat controversial measure with progressives on both sides.

The King County Council is proposing Proposition No. 1, a renewal of a six-year levy that raises $21 million annually for the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). AFIS is the primary tool that law enforcement officers in King County’s 39 cities and unincorporated areas use to conduct investigations. AFIS allows law enforcement to identify perpetrators and release innocent people, as well as help victims of identity theft clear their name. The controversy stems from a non-binding amendment that was added by the King County Council that permits AFIS to explore the use of advanced bio-metric technology. This year's levy renewal would replace an expiring levy that expires this December. The levy rate is 3.5 cents per $1,000 of property value, or $25.03 per year for the owner of a median $715,000 home, to fund the AFIS program through 2024.

Yes on Proposition 1

Proponents including King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci argue that renewing the levy would maintain the basic, essential services provided to every law enforcement agency in King County. The levy has existed since 1986 and has been approved by voters six times. The council approved the bio-metrics amendment so that AFIS funding could be used to help alleviate the backlog in rape kits waiting to be tested. Advocates worry that if the levy fails, staff and services would be cut and the responsibility for fingerprinting could be left to individual police departments and agencies. This would reduce the efficiency of the program and negatively impact law enforcement's ability to identify criminal suspects or clear those wrongfully accused of crimes. AFIS also says they have no plans or funding to pursue facial recognition technology.

Campaign Information

No on Proposition 1

Some community organizations and The Stranger newspaper have raised concerns about giving AFIS the ability to pursue advanced biometric technology. Opponents of the levy renewal worry that it could empower law enforcement to misuse invasive technologies like facial recognition. They argue that the lack of comprehensive state regulation around the use of facial recognition could lead to the technology being used to target protesters or other groups who practice civil disobedience. Additionally, anti-racist community groups in Seattle have raised concerns about the potential for the technology to be used to profile and discriminate against people of color.

Progressive Opponents



U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell

Maria Cantwell photo

Senator Maria Cantwell was first elected in 2000 and continues to represent our state's progressive values in our nation's capital. Sen. Cantwell has been a leader on a wide range of issues, including reproductive rights, supporting the Children's Health Insurance Program, defending net neutrality, passing oil spill legislation to protect our water, working on clean energy policies, and much more.

There are 29 challengers in this race, but the most serious is Republican Susan Hutchison. Hutchison is a former news anchor and past chair of the state Republican Party. She ran for King County Executive in 2009 and lost by twenty points. Hutchison is well-known for being a party-line Republican and for her fierce defense of President Trump. Also running in this race is Joey Gibson, a far-right advocate who founded Patriot Prayer, a conservative "free speech" group that attracts largely white nationalists.

Sen. Cantwell has been a tireless advocate for the people of Washington state and is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

9th Congressional District

U.S. Representative, 9th Congressional District

Adam Smith

Adam Smith photo

Representative Adam Smith is a moderate Democrat who has been a reliable vote on progressive taxation and immigration reform. He represents Washington's first majority-minority district, a community with 30 percent foreign-born residents and large Asian, Hispanic, and African-American communities. Rep. Smith is an advocate for greater equality, supports a path to citizenship for immigrants, reforming the tax code, and making health care accessible to all. Rep. Smith has used his position on the Armed Services Committee to introduce and support legislation that tempers Trump's belligerent foreign policy moves, including a bill that states the U.S. will not strike a country with nuclear weapons first.

Smith is running against Republican Doug Basler and Democrat Sarah Smith. Basler is the owner of a TV advertising production company who is running again after losing his 2014 race against Smith. Basler is also the Senior Vice Chairman of the King County Republican Party and is running a campaign against H1-B and guest worker visas, as well as against "career politicians." Sarah Smith is challenging Rep. Smith from the left on a comprehensive progressive platform, including raising the federal minimum wage and making tuition free at public colleges. Her anti-war sentiments represent the biggest difference between her and Smith.

Rep. Adam Smith has earned your vote in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

33rd Legislative District

State Senator

Karen Keiser

Karen Keiser photo

Democratic Senator Karen Keiser is a longtime progressive champion for working families and gender equality. Sen. Keiser has served in the state Senate since 2001 and has fought for consumer protections, affordable health care, and workers’ rights. During this past legislative session, Sen. Keiser worked with fellow Democratic senators to pass the Reproductive Parity Act and the Gender Pay Equity bills.

Sen. Keiser is opposed by Libertarian candidate Charles Schaefer and Republican Kun Wang, who is running to get "tough on the homelessness crisis." Neither candidate is running a visible campaign. Senator Keiser is the clear choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #1

Tina L. Orwall

Tina L. Orwall photo

Democratic Representative Tina Orwall is a reliable vote on most progressive issues. In Olympia, she sponsored legislation to prevent truancy issues for students and a bill to help fight human trafficking. Unfortunately, Rep. Orwall has a mixed record on gun safety legislation. She played a lead role in defeating an earlier gun safety bill that would have allowed families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others.

Rep. Orwall is the lead on a suicide prevention taskforce, and has sponsored a bill that would provide suicide prevention training and messaging in firearm literature. She is also spearheading a campaign for funding to process the state's 6,000 to 10,000 rape kit backlog. She is running unopposed and deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #2

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson photo

Democratic Representative Mia Gregerson has long been a transportation advocate for South King County, where she has fought for light rail infrastructure, safe and complete streets, and transit-oriented development. She wrote two important pieces of legislation to hold corporations accountable. One would have closed a tax loophole for oil companies and invested the money saved into K-12 education, and another held companies accountable for job performance if the state issued the company a tax break. This year, Rep. Gregerson was the prime sponsor of the House version of the Washington Voting Rights Act.

She is running against Anthony Lamb, who is running against taxes on business like Seattle's head tax, supports charter schools, and is campaigning to make Good Friday a state holiday. Rep. Gregerson is the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Other Ballot Measures

Depending on where you live, you may have the following ballot measures on your ballot.

South King County Fire and Rescue Proposition #1

South King Fire and Rescue Proposition 1

When a loved one is having a heart attack, the last thing to be worrying about is whether firefighters and ambulance services have the training, equipment, and staff they need to arrive quickly. South King County Fire and Rescue - serving the cities of Federal Way, Des Moines, and surrounding unincorporated areas - is putting forth Proposition No. 1 to keep up with the growing demand for fire and emergency services. The rapid population growth and development in recent years has placed a strain on the limited funding sources available. Since 2013, call volume for emergency fire and medical services in South King County has increased by 24% and now exceeds 20,000 calls a year.

Since most calls received are for emergency medical services, reinstating this levy is critical for maintaining current 24/7 emergency service levels. Proposition No. 1 would increase the current levy level to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2019 and limit the rate of increase to 6 percent while capping the levy at $1.50 through 2024. If the levy fails, the fire district could lose more than $1.2 million annually, which would lead to cutbacks in services, layoffs, and the potential elimination of services like specialized rescue teams.

Vote YES to give our local first responders the support they need to keep us safe.