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37th Legislative District

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

YES
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

NO
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

 

Federal

U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell

Democrat
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

Congress

Depending on where you live, you will have one of the below candidates on your ballot.

U.S. Representative, 7th Congressional District

Pramila Jayapal

Democrat
Pramila Jayapal photo

Representative Pramila Jayapal has a long history of civic leadership on immigration reform, economic fairness, and civil liberties. She founded OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone) in 2001 and built it into the largest immigrant rights organization in the state and a national model. Rep. Jayapal also played a key role on the Mayoral Advisory Committee that created Seattle’s $15 minimum wage.

In her first term in Congress, Rep. Jayapal has fought the Trump administration at every turn and provided a voice for progressives across the country. She has supported the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Dream Act that would provide a path to citizenship for young DACA recipients. She has also fought back against the Trump administration's inhumane policy of separating families seeking asylum and she introduced legislation that paves a pathway towards a universal health care system.

Her opponent Seattle resident Craig Keller is most well-known as the founder of an anti-immigrant organization that tried to repeal the City of Burien's sanctuary city ordinance. His organization has been recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Rep. Jayapal is by far the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 9th Congressional District

Adam Smith

Democrat
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

37th Legislative District

State Senator

Rebecca Saldaña

Democrat
Rebecca Saldaña photo

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña is running for re-election to the Senate in the 37th Legislative District. Prior to entering public office, Saldaña worked as the Executive Director for Puget Sound Sage, a nonprofit tackling issues such as environmental justice, affordable housing, and workers' rights. Throughout her first term, Sen. Saldaña has stood steadfast in her mission to serve communities of color and the working families of Washington. She was selected to serve as the Majority Whip and pushed for full education funding and for progressive reforms to strengthen our democracy like automatic voting registration. Most notably, Sen. Saldaña sponsored the Washington Voting Rights Act and co-signed bills to protect net neutrality.

Sen. Saldaña is being challenged by Republican Beth Broadway, a Hebrew teacher with no elected experience. She is running on a fiscal responsibility platform and does not support reforming our state's regressive tax laws.

For her commitment to progressive values, Sen. Saldaña deserves your vote.

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #1

Sharon Tomiko Santos

Democrat
Sharon Tomiko Santos photo

Democratic Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos is a moderate Democrat and longtime representative of the 37th Legislative District. As Chair of the House Education Committee, she has been an advocate of opportunity for all kids, including her sponsorship of an education opportunity gap bill that passed this past session. Rep. Santos has also stood with progressives in support of gun safety, funding for education, and other progressive revenue reforms. She supports a capital gains tax on the wealthy to fund schools and she introduced legislation this session that would allow parents to sue if their children are wrongfully killed.

Rep. Tomiko Santos is running unopposed and has earned your vote.

State Representative, Position #2

Eric Pettigrew

Democrat
Eric Pettigrew photo

Democratic Representative Eric Pettigrew is the Majority Caucus Chair. He has worked to promote affordable housing and economic development, though progressives have been sometimes surprised in the past to find him uncommitted to working family issues such as paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage. However, he sponsored a bill in 2018 that would revise the asset limits for public assistance, making it easier for families to qualify.

Pettigrew is opposed by John Dickinson and real estate agent Tamra Smilanich, neither of whom are running competitive campaigns. Overall, Rep. Pettigrew is a reliable progressive vote in the Legislature and deserves your support.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information