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City of Tacoma

General ELECTION: November 6th, 2018

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 share this guide with your friends and remember to vote by November 6!

Statewide Ballot Measures

Initiative #1631

Vote YES for Jobs and Clean Energy

YES
Initiative 1631 is our best opportunity to accelerate clean energy solutions and build healthier communities for everyone in Washington.

This initiative will charge our state’s largest corporate polluters a fee that will be used to create local jobs by investing in clean energy, healthy forests, and clean water. I-1631 is essential to pass a clean and healthy Washington on to future generations. It will create 40,000 jobs by investing in water and forestry projects, energy efficiency, and clean transportation. These investments are a practical first step to ensure clean air and clean water for everyone in Washington. These will look different in every community, from energy efficiency upgrades for our homes and businesses to keeping our forests healthy so they clean our air and investing in cleaner transportation options for more communities.

The oil industry is spending tens of millions of dollars to confuse voters about I-1631 so they can continue polluting for free and raking in record profits. We can't wait any longer to act. Vote YES on I-1631.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Initiative #1634

Vote NO on I-1634

NO
Initiative 1634 would prevent cities and counties in Washington from passing new taxes on sugary beverages. Such taxes are aimed at discouraging people from buying sweetened drinks that have been linked to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and tooth decay.

I-1634 is backed primarily by millions of dollars from a handful of big soda companies. It also has support from some labor unions that represent workers whose jobs could be impacted by soda taxes. The campaign’s highly deceptive ads focus on grocery taxes despite the fact that groceries have been exempt from sales taxes since 1977.

Progressive advocates oppose efforts like this to use state laws to prevent localities from taking action that’s right for their communities. In recent years, Republican legislators have sought to use similar legislation to reverse Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and progressive paid sick leave laws in Tacoma and Spokane.

We’re sympathetic to the concerns of union workers in the beverage industry and we agree that our tax system is upside-down and disproportionately hurts low-income families. However, we don’t think that preempting local legislation that taxes sugary drinks is the way to fix it.

Don’t be fooled by Big Soda’s misleading ads. Vote NO on I-1634.

Progressive Opponents

WA Federation of State Employees, The Stranger, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Children’s Alliance, El Centro de La Raza

Campaign Information

Initiative #1639

Vote YES to Reduce Gun Violence

YES
Initiative 1639 is the most comprehensive gun violence prevention measure put forward in Washington state history. It's a commonsense initiative that will reduce gun violence and keep our schools and communities safe. I-1639 would raise the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles from 18 to 21 and require enhanced background checks and safety training for purchasing these particularly lethal weapons. It will also incentivize secure storage of all firearms by holding gun owners accountable if a child or other legally prohibited person uses their weapon to harm themselves or someone else.

Someone is killed with a gun in Washington state every 14 hours and more than 200,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine. Unfortunately, the gun lobby has prevented our elected officials from acting to prevent it, so we'll do it ourselves. Vote YES on I-1639 to keep our schools and communities safe.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Education: American Federation of Teachers - WA
General Progressive: Fuse WA
Reproductive Freedom: Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii
Social Justice: OneAmerica Votes
Media: The Stranger
Other: Washington Education Association

Campaign Information

Initiative #940

Vote YES for Police Accountability

YES
Last year, more people in Washington were killed in encounters with law enforcement than in 45 other states, and almost one-third of them were experiencing a mental health crisis. Initiative 940 would improve de-escalation, first aid, and mental health crisis training for law enforcement and help save lives.

Currently, officers are only required to receive eight hours of "crisis intervention training." Initiative 940 would ensure that every officer receives extensive training and continuing education in de-escalating potential confrontations. The primary goal is preventing tragedies in the first place, but when a tragedy does occur Initiative 940 would also create a fair and independent investigation process and bring our use of force standard in line with 27 other states.

Vote YES on Initiative 940 to improve training for law enforcement and help save lives.

Campaign Information

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #19

Maintain Funding for Oil Spill Prevention

MAINTAINED
A bipartisan group of legislators passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6269 to fund oil spill prevention and cleanup. The legislation directs the Department of Ecology to improve prevention for oil spills in Puget Sound, as well as around oil refineries, railroads, and pipelines. This bill was funded by a $0.05 tax per 42-gallon barrel of oil used by boats and marine terminals.

Because of a Tim Eyman initiative the Legislature is required to submit any bill it passes that closes tax loopholes or raises revenue to a non-binding advisory vote. Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 19.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Media: The Stranger

Pierce County Ballot Measures

Pierce County County Charter Amendment #48

Say YES to a Two-Year County Budget

APPROVED
The Pierce County Council has put forth County Charter Amendment No. 48 to transition from an annual budget process to a biennial (two-year) process beginning January 1, 2020. This move would enable the county council to model the county's budget cycle after the state Legislature and most other major cities. This amendment also allows for more time to debate important budget policy decisions related to funding for constituent services, county agencies, and initiatives. Vote YES on Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 48.

Pierce County County Charter Amendment #49

Say YES to Clear Charter Language

APPROVED
The process for filing and processing county ballot measures is confusing, which has led to redundancies in the filing process and confusion for filers. Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 49. would require that all initiatives, referendums, and charter amendment petitions follow the state style guidelines and would add clarifying language by defining terminology used to set procedural time and to certify signatures. Vote Yes on Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 49.

Pierce County County Charter Amendment #50

Say YES to a Coherent Appointment Process

APPROVED
Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 50 clarifies the appointment process for filling partisan vacancies in instances when the previous office holder doesn’t belong to a major party. It would enable the Pierce County Council to fill a vacant partisan seat by publicly soliciting applications for the vacancy and selecting from a pool of qualified applicants. This charter is mirrored after the same voter-approved process for filling non-partisan vacancies. Vote to approve Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 50.

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 many more.

Sen. Cantwell is opposed by 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 Donald Trump, including calling fellow Republican Ted Cruz a "traitor" for not supporting the president's campaign.

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

Campaign Information

Congress

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

U.S. Representative, 6th Congressional District

Derek Kilmer

Democrat
Derek Kilmer photo
Representative Derek Kilmer is a moderate Democrat who is a reliable supporter of job creation and infrastructure improvement. He has been a leader on small business development and protecting the Puget Sound during his three terms in Congress. A former state Senator, he previously worked as a business consultant and economic development official. Kilmer is a sponsor of a clean Dream Act in support of immigrants who arrived in the country as children with their undocumented parents. He supports commonsense gun safety legislation and cosponsored the Voter Empowerment Act, an online voter registration act that helps keep voting rights equitable. Rep. Kilmer has also worked on several environmental bills, including the Wild Olympics Wilderness and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Kilmer is running against Republican Douglas Dightman. Dightman is a family physician running on a platform of supporting national defense and the free market. He also supports legislation to weaken protections for workers in labor unions.

Kilmer is widely supported by our progressive partners and is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 10th Congressional District

Denny Heck

Democrat
Denny Heck photo
Representative Denny Heck is a moderate Democrat who has had a long and effective career in both the private and public sectors. In Olympia, he served as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, and chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and is the co-founder of TVW. In Congress, he has fought to make college more affordable, reduce health care costs, create middle class jobs, and ensure veterans get the benefits they have earned. He supports immigration policies that create a path to citizenship and has been working this year to help prevent health care premium increases due to Trump's policies.

Heck is running against Republican Joseph Brumbles, a self-described constitutional conservative. His campaign platform is undetailed and states that he is standing for "liberty." He suggests solving the issue of affordable energy with the free market and not taxing fossil fuels, and he wants to reduce the size of government by eliminating federal agencies.

Heck is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

29th Legislative District

State Senator

Steve Conway

Democrat
Steve Conway photo

Democratic Senator Steve Conway is the Vice President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Conway sponsored a bill this year that gives first responders compensation for PTSD suffered while on the job. A skilled negotiator and respected leader in the Senate, Sen. Conway has been endorsed by advocates for workers, the environment, social justice, and reproductive choice.

Sen. Conway is running against independent Pierre Malebranche, who is prioritizing crime rates and taxes, and is not running a competitive campaign. Conway is the best choice in this race.

State Representative, Position #1

Melanie Morgan

Democrat
Melanie Morgan photo
Melanie Morgan is a longtime community leader who is now running for state House in Legislative District 29. Morgan is a U.S. Army veteran and current Franklin-Pierce School board member who will work to close the achievement gap in our schools. Her campaign platform is focused on affordable housing and reducing traffic gridlock in Pierce County. If elected, she would also work to restore trust between the community and the Legislature by holding regular town halls with constituents across the district. As a school board member, she also recognizes the importance of good teachers and will work to increase pay for educators and ensure they have the resources they need in the classroom.

Morgan is running against Republican Terry Harder, who doesn't share Morgan’s progressive values and relationships with the community he is seeking to represent. Harder is campaigning on an anti-tax message, stating that "low-earners are burdened making it impossible to break free from the grip of government programs." We recommend Melanie Morgan for new leadership in the Legislative District 29.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #2

Steve Kirby

Democrat
Steve Kirby photo
Democratic Representative Steve Kirby is in his seventh term as representative for the 29th District and previously served four terms on the Tacoma City Council. Kirby has a long track record of public service and positive votes to ensure all workers have the opportunity to succeed. He is running unopposed for re-election and has earned your vote.

Campaign Information

Pierce County

Pierce County Auditor

Julie Anderson

Non-Partisan
Julie Anderson photo
Julie Anderson was elected by special election in 2009 and then re-elected to this position in 2010 and 2014. She is a former Tacoma city councilmember and has served in several community groups, including the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Rotary International. She is running unopposed.

Campaign Information

Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney

Two veteran prosecutors are running for Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney: Mary Robnett and incumbent Mark Lindquist, both of whom have received progressive endorsements. We lean towards the highly respected and experienced Robnett for a fresh start after years of controversies under Lindquist.

Mary Robnett

Non-Partisan
Mary Robnett photo
Attorney Mary Robnett has spent 18 years working in the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office. She worked in the office’s special assault unit before being promoted to Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor. Robnett now works as an Assistant Attorney General in the Sexually Violent Predators unit in Bob Ferguson’s office. As a dedicated community advocate, Robnett is the president of the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, a local non-profit organization that provides therapy, education, and advocacy services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

Robnett is running as a non-partisan candidate with a focus on de-politicizing and restoring integrity to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's office, and letting veteran prosecutors do their job. She has strong support in the legal and law enforcement communities.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Several local Democratic Party organizations
Pierce County Minority Bar Association rating: “Exceptionally Well Qualified”

Campaign Information

Mark Lindquist

Democrat
Mark Lindquist photo
Mark Lindquist is running for his third term as Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney. He has earned a reputation for being a hard worker, and his accomplishments include forming an Elder Fraud and Identity Theft team to prosecute targeted scams against the elderly and helping increase penalties against drunk drivers. He has earned the support of many local progressive organizations.

Unfortunately, Lindquist has also generated several high-profile ethics controversies. He faced a whistleblower investigation that found he ran a highly politicized office and retaliated against subordinates and critics who disagreed with him. Lindquist is facing a formal bar disciplinary hearing for discussing an active murder trial on a national cable television show while the jury was still deliberating, against the advice of his staff. If Lindquist loses the case, he could lose his license to practice law and be unable to carry out the duties of his office. In addition, Lindquist lost a long-running lawsuit over his refusal to release text messages in public disclosure requests, costing Pierce County taxpayers more than $1 million in fines and fees. We also have concerns about Lindquist's lack of progress toward reducing racial inequities in the local criminal justice system.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: WA State Council of Firefighters
Other: Pierce County Central Labor Council, several local Democratic Party organizations

Campaign Information

Pierce County Council

Depending on what district you live in, you may have one of the below races on your ballot.

Pierce County Council, District #5

Marty Campbell

Democrat
Marty Campbell photo
Marty Campbell is a community association manager and former Tacoma city councilmember of 8 years. His campaign is focused on fully funding mental health services and supporting family wage jobs and local businesses. He wants to add electric vehicle infrastructure and solar incentives to the county's plans. He also supports affordable housing measures like increasing housing density where appropriate and increasing tiny housing options.

Campbell is facing Republican and perennial candidate Justin Van Dyk. Van Dyk is running on a conservative platform focused on reducing government waste without any concrete policy solutions. Campbell is the clear choice for Pierce County Council District 5.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Sierra Club
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Other: Pierce County Democrats, Pierce County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 726, Tattosh group of Sierra Club, Washington Education Association - Tacoma Council

Campaign Information

Judicial Races

The Progressive Voters Guide may skip recommendations for unopposed judicial races.

State Supreme Court

State Supreme Court Justice, Position #2

Susan Owens

Susan Owens photo
First elected in 2000, Supreme Court Justice Susan Justice Owens brings more 40 years of legal experience to Washington's Supreme Court. Prior to serving on the court, Justice Owens served nineteen years as a District Court Judge in Western Clallam County. Justice Owens has been a leader in the judicial community on addressing the impacts of domestic violence on children. Nationally, Justice Owens is a judicial trainer on this topic and participated in the writing of the Northwest Tribal Judges Domestic Violence Manual. Justice Owens is running unopposed for re-election and has earned your support.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Economic Justice: Washington State Labor Council

Campaign Information

State Supreme Court Justice, Position #8

Steve Gonzalez

 Steve Gonzalez  photo
Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez has earned national recognition for his judicial expertise and work to increase access to the judicial system. Before serving on the Supreme Court, Justice Gonzalez served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and on the King County Superior Court for more than 10 years hearing criminal, juvenile, and family law cases. Justice Gonzalez is devoted to working for the people of Washington and serves as a board member for the Washington Leadership Institute, an organization that supports emerging community leaders from diverse backgrounds. As one of the few multi-lingual justices, he chairs the Interpreter Commission. Justice Gonzalez is rated "Exceptionally Well Qualified" by 10 independent bar associations in Washington state.

Gonzalez is being challenged by Bellevue-based attorney Nathan Choi, who ran unsuccessfully for a judicial seat on the Court of Appeals in 2016. Since then, Choi has faced numerous ethical controversies. In 2017, the King County Bar Association formally reprimanded Choi for violating KCBA's fair campaign practices guidelines by releasing misleading campaign materials and failing to follow state candidate rules. In February of this year, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson formally filed a lawsuit against Nathan Choi in a Thurston County Court. The case is still open.

Justice Steve Gonzalez is the best choice for Supreme Court Justice Position 8.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

State Supreme Court Justice, Position #9

Sheryl Gordon McCloud

 Sheryl Gordon McCloud photo
Washington Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud has been a fierce defender of constitutional rights and has written the decision in several consequential court cases. Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, she worked as an accomplished appellate court attorney for nearly three decades and was a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association. Her strong judicial track record has earned a rating of "Exceptionally Well Qualified" by 10 independent state bar associations, including Washington Women Lawyers and the newly-minted Veterans Bar Association.

Justice McCloud in running unopposed for Position 9 and deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Court of Appeals, Division Two, District One

Court of Appeals, Division Two, District One: Judge, Position #3

Linda Lee

Linda Lee photo
First appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee in December 2013, Acting Chief Judge Linda Lee was elected to continue serving in this position in 2014. Previously, Judge Linda Lee served 10 years as a Pierce County Superior Court Judge and worked as a private attorney for 13 years. She is a devoted community member and an avid supporter of the Chinese Reconciliation Park Foundation and the Pierce County Minority Bar Association's Youth and Law Forum. Judge Linda Lee has earned another term.

Pierce County District Court

Pierce County District Court, Judge, Position #3

Lizanne Padula

Lizanne Padula  photo
Attorney Lizanne Padula is running for the Pierce County District Court Judge Position 3. As a former prosecutor, private litigator, and reserve police officer, Padula has spent her career helping people navigate the court system. Padula aims to improve the criminal justice system by prioritizing the public safety needs of the community and only offering punitive sanctions that serve to rehabilitate offenders. Padula is running on a platform that supports work-release and re-entry programs for convicted individuals.

Padula is opposed by Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lewis. Lewis has spent more than 15 years serving Pierce County in the prosecuting attorney's office and is highly involved in the community. While Lewis has ample relevant experience, including serving as a pro tem (substitute) judge in Pierce and Kitsap County courts, a public allegation of misconduct has placed doubts on his candidacy.

Padula is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Pierce County Democrats

Campaign Information

Pierce County District Court, Judge, Position #6

Karl Williams

Karl Williams photo
Attorney Karl Williams is running for Pierce County District Court Position 6. With more than 30 years of legal experience, Williams is the most qualified candidate in this race. Williams has served as a judge pro tem for the cities of Fife, Puyallup, and Ruston, as well as on the Pierce County District Courts for more than 20 years. Williams is focused on keeping communities safe, ensuring that justice is administered fairly, and making the courts more accessible to underserved populations. He is passionate about serving the greater Pierce County community and volunteers with a number youth organizations including University Place Youth Court and the Pierce County Minority Bar Association. Williams has been rated "Exceptionally Well Qualified" by the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar, Washington Women Lawyers, and the Tacoma Pierce County Minority Bar Associations.

Williams is running a highly competitive race against current Assistant Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor John Sheeran, who has more than 22 years of legal experience. Sheeran is supportive of strengthening the mental health and drug courts in Pierce County. However, Karl Williams is the best choice in this race because of his judicial experience and ties with the community.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Pierce County Democrats, Pierce County Young Democrats

Campaign Information

Tacoma Municipal Court

Tacoma Municipal Court Judge, Position #3

Dwayne Christopher

Dwayne Christopher photo
Dwayne Christopher is running for Tacoma Municipal Court Judge, Position 3. Christopher’s professional background includes representing clients in civil cases, working nine years as a superior court judicial assistant, and serving as a pro tem (substitute) judge in Pierce County District Court. He is passionate about serving underrepresented communities and keeping communities safe. From volunteering as a mentor for high school and college students to serving as the current president-elect of the Palmer Scholars program, Christopher is dedicated to serving Tacoma's communities and youth. He also sits on the boards of the City Club of Tacoma, Tacoma Rescue Mission, and Paint Tacoma Beautiful.

Christopher is running against attorney Derek M. Smith, who has more than twenty years of experience in criminal and civil law. While Smith is qualified for this position, attorney Dwayne Christopher is the better choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Tacoma Ballot Measures

City of Tacoma Proposition #No. 1

City of Tacoma: Proposition No. 1

APPROVED
The City of Tacoma has put forth Proposition No. 1 to support local arts, culture, science, and heritage programs. Also known as Tacoma Creates, Proposition No. 1 aims to enhance accessibility and quality of life within the city limits by financing cultural programming in senior centers, schools, and community facilities, subsidizing tickets to cultural programs and venues, and supporting local small businesses. Proponents of Proposition No. 1 point out that this levy will also produce more than 3,600 jobs and generate approximately $14 million in revenue over the lifetime of the levy. This proposed 0.1 percent sales tax will cost the average Tacoma household a mere $13 a year from 2019 through 2025. Vote YES on Proposition No. 1.

Campaign Information

School District Ballot Issues

Depending on where you live, you may be voting on the below school district ballot measures.

Bethel School District No. 403

Bethel School District School Board School District Proposition #1

Say YES to Fully Fund Our Schools

YES
The Bethel School District is proposing Proposition No. 1, a $443 million bond to reduce overcrowding and improve school safety. Since 2009, the school district has increased by nearly 2,000 students, which has strained available resources for students. Proposition No. 1 would finance the building of a new high school and two new elementary schools, as well as modernize six older schools. Approving this proposal would maintain the current tax rate.

Our schools are the foundation of our children's futures. Vote to reduce overcrowding and approve the Bethel School District's Proposition No. 1.

Campaign Information