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City of Auburn

General ELECTION: November 7th, 2017

The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you 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 family.

Statewide Ballot Measures

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #16

Vote Maintained on Advisory Vote 16

MAINTAINED
A bipartisan group of legislators passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1597, which included a small excise tax in order to increase environmental protections for regional fish and wildlife. 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 16.

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #17

Vote Maintained on Advisory Vote 17

MAINTAINED
Our state has been under Supreme Court order to fully fund education for several years. This June, Republicans and Democrats came together to approve a bipartisan package of revenue increases for public schools, including expanding the Business and Occupation tax. While this does not solve the education funding problem, the package goes a long way towards providing a quality education for all students. ...
MAINTAINED
Our state has been under Supreme Court order to fully fund education for several years. This June, Republicans and Democrats came together to approve a bipartisan package of revenue increases for public schools, including expanding the Business and Occupation tax. While this does not solve the education funding problem, the package goes a long way towards providing a quality education for all students. This non-binding advisory vote is required thanks to a Tim Eyman ballot measure. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote 17. ...

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #18

Vote Maintained on Advisory Vote 18

MAINTAINED
In addition to the legislation covered by Advisory Vote 17, a strong bipartisan majority of state legislators voted to increase local property taxes to fund schools. We have concerns about raising regressive property taxes that disproportionately impact working families and make our upside-down tax code even worse. However, we are optimistic about retaking the state Senate this fall and working with progressives in Olympia next year to reduce this tax and instead make the wealthy pay their fair share. ...
MAINTAINED
In addition to the business taxes covered in Advisory Vote 17, a strong bipartisan majority of state legislators voted to increase local property taxes to fund schools. We have concerns about raising regressive property taxes that disproportionately impact working families and make our upside-down tax code even worse. However, we are optimistic about retaking the state Senate this fall and working with progressives in Olympia next year to reduce this tax and instead make the wealthy pay their fair share.

Like the other advisory votes, this is a non-binding measure required by a Tim Eyman ballot initiative. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote 18. ...

County Ballot Measures

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

King County

King County Proposition #1

Vote to Approve Proposition 1: Veterans and Seniors Levy

YES
The King County Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy expands our commitment to strengthening communities by providing vital services like job training, employment opportunities, and housing stability to veterans, seniors, domestic violence survivors, and more. The levy extends existing efforts that have proven effective in reducing unemployment, homelessness, and emergency medical costs.

The levy, which is up for voter renewal after 12 years of success, provides $350 million over six years in investments in programs that support veteran employment and empowerment, housing stability and homelessness programs, and services like Meals on Wheels to aide seniors, the fastest-growing segment of the county's population. It will cost the median King County homeowner approximately $45 per year, or $3.75 per month. Vote to approve King County Proposition 1.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Pierce County

Pierce County County Charter Amendment #46

Vote YES on Charter Amendment No. 46

APPROVED
Voters should vote YES on Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 46. This charter amendment clarifies the appointment process by outlining two processes for filing vacancies in Pierce County elected offices. It would enable the County Council to solicit applications for all non partisan vacancies, thereby increasing the pool of qualified applicants. For partisan vacancies, the charter amendment stipulates that the county political party nominates three qualified candidates for the council to pick from. Voters should vote YES on this charter amendment.

Pierce County County Charter Proposition #No. 47

Vote YES on Charter Amendment No. 47

APPROVED
Voters should vote YES on Pierce County Charter Amendment No. 47. Pierce County is one of the few counties in Washington state with term limits for county councilmembers. Charter amendment number 47 would allow councilmembers to serve one additional term for a total of three consecutive 4-year terms in office. The goal is to strike a balance of allowing councilmembers to gain experience so they can better serve their constituents, while maintaining term limits for elected officials.

31st Legislative District

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below districts on your ballot.

State Senator

Michelle Rylands

Democrat
Michelle Rylands photo
Michelle Rylands is an Army veteran and PTA president running against incumbent Senator Phil Fortunato. She is strongly in favor of fully funding K-12 education, and also advocates for fixing our state's upside-down tax code and helping local small businesses.

Fortunato was chosen by Republicans to replace long-time senator Pam Roach. While he is very conservative on many issues, he deserves credit for playing a key role in breaking the final state budget impasse this year by pushing his Republican colleagues to fund the contracts of state employees. Nevertheless, Rylands is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #2

Nate Lowry

Democrat
Nate Lowry photo
Edgewood City Councilmember Nate Lowry is a landscape architect who has been a strong progressive voice in the community. He's running for the 31st District House seat to fix Washington's upside-down tax code and fund Head Start and STEM education. He is running against Republican Morgan Irwin, who was recently appointed to this seat and has not demonstrated progressive values. Lowry is the better choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington

Campaign Information

King County

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

King County Executive

Dow Constantine

Non-Partisan
Dow Constantine photo
Incumbent Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for King County. Throughout his two terms in office, Constantine has improved King County Metro transit service and promoted the health of our natural environment. Constantine is leading efforts to protect King County from the Trump administration by proposing to triple the Veterans and Human Services Levy and offering regional support for the Paris climate agreement.

He is running against retired engineer and light rail opponent Bill Hirt, who is not running an effective campaign. Constantine has clearly earned another term as King County Executive.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

King County Sheriff

Mitzi Johanknecht

Non-Partisan
Mitzi Johanknecht photo
Mitzi Johanknecht has worked in law enforcement for 32 years and is running to "restore honor and integrity to the Office of Sheriff." She believes the controversies surrounding the Sheriff’s office have been demoralizing for the department and a distraction for officers in the community. Johanknecht is against safe injection sites but has pledged to uphold any local laws surrounding these sites. She says she has never reported anyone to ICE and is a strong proponent of restorative justice. Johanknecht earned the support of staunch progressives such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal and The Stranger newspaper.

Johanknecht is challenging Sheriff John Urquhart, who was first elected in 2012 after serving 23 years as a sergeant and department spokesperson, where he was twice named Officer of the Year. As Sheriff, Urquhart has been an ally on a wide range of progressive issues. He supports sanctuary cities and protecting immigrant communities, and he was an outspoken critic of two anti-transgender ballot measures. He has been endorsed by a number of progressive organizations.

However, Urquhart has also been plagued by very troubling ethics issues in recent months. Late last year, reports surfaced that Urquhart was accused of raping a colleague 15 years ago. The FBI, Seattle Police Department, and the King County Prosecutor’s office investigated the allegations and did not find grounds to pursue criminal charges against him. However, the county ombudsman’s office faulted Urquhart for blocking an internal investigation into his behavior. You can read a lengthy description of the events here. In the closing days of the election, Urquhart has faced renewed criticism for attempting to bully and intimidate people who accuse him of wrongdoing and because a representative of his campaign threatened to release one accuser’s medical records to discredit her charges.

We expect our leaders in law enforcement to uphold the highest ethical standards and maintain the trust of the community they are sworn to protect. For this reason, we cannot recommend Urquhart and believe Johanknecht is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Media: The Stranger

Campaign Information

Port Commission

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

Port of Seattle

Port Commissioner, Position #1

Both Ryan Calkins and incumbent John Creighton have earned the support of progressive advocates. We lean toward Calkins in this race because of the need for fresh leadership at the Port of Seattle.

Ryan Calkins

Ryan Calkins photo
Progressive Ryan Calkins is challenging the incumbent, John Creighton, to bring new leadership to the Port of Seattle. Calkins is a small business owner who supports a $15 minimum wage and wants to improve environmental protections at the Port. He has proposed electrifying port vehicles to reduce pollution and the carbon footprint of the port.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Sierra Club
Economic Justice: SEIU Local 6, SEIU Local 925
Media: The Stranger, The Urbanist

Campaign Information

John Creighton

John Creighton photo
John Creighton is running for his fourth term on the Port of Seattle Commission. He has sought to increase public accountability and protect family-wage jobs at the port. Creighton also helped create the Northwest Seaport Alliance so that Seattle and Tacoma work together collaboratively instead of competing with each other.

We were extremely disappointed that Creighton voted in 2015 to allow Shell Oil to base its arctic drilling operations in Seattle. While Creighton has earned the endorsements of some progressive advocates, we lean toward Calkins in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Port Commissioner, Position #3

Both Ahmed Abdi and incumbent Stephanie Bowman have earned the support of progressive advocates. We lean toward Abdi in this race because of the need for fresh leadership at the Port of Seattle.

Ahmed Abdi

Ahmed Abdi photo
Ahmed Abdi is a Somali immigrant who fled a civil war to start a family here in Seattle. He worked as an organizer on the campaign to raise the SeaTac minimum wage to $15 per hour and other workers' rights issues. Today, he provides trainings to low-wage workers about their labor rights through the Fair Work Center. Abdi has been endorsed by many progressive groups and Representative Pramila Jayapal.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: SEIU Local 6, SEIU 775, SEIU Local 925
Media: The Stranger
Other: Teamsters Local 117

Campaign Information

Stephanie Bowman

Stephanie Bowman photo
Stephanie Bowman has an extensive background in economic development, transportation, and community planning. Prior to joining the Port of Seattle, Bowman was the Manager of Federal Governmental Affairs for the Port of Tacoma and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Bowman has focused on jobs and trade as Port Commissioner, including connecting students in Seattle Public Schools with internships at the Port.

We were extremely disappointed that Bowman voted in 2015 to allow Shell Oil to base its arctic drilling operations in Seattle. In addition, she voted to use taxpayer money to file a legal challenge against SeaTac's $15 per hour minimum wage. While Bowman has earned the support of some progressive advocates, we lean toward Abdi in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Port Commissioner, Position #4

There are two good candidates in this race: Preeti Shridhar and Peter Steinbrueck. We lean towards Shridhar in this race because of her support from our progressive partners and the need for new leadership at the port.

Preeti Shridhar

Preeti Shridhar photo
A devoted environmental advocate, Preeti Shridhar would bring decades of public affairs experience to the Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position 4 seat. Shridhar has worked in a variety of relevant government positions throughout King County. She is passionate about ensuring that the interests of all King County communities are represented. Shridhar is focused on building regional partnerships and increasing port transparency so residents can be informed of important decisions. Because of her track record of balancing environmental protections with the need for robust development, we lean towards Preeti Shridhar in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Peter Steinbrueck

Peter Steinbrueck photo
Former Seattle City Council member Peter Steinbrueck is running to ensure that the Port of Seattle balances job growth and development with environmentally friendly environment platforms. He aims to make the Port of Seattle a leader in reducing emissions and restoring habitats. While Peter has a proven track record on supporting workers' rights, living wages, and environmentally responsible policies, we lean toward Shridhar for Port of Seattle, Position 4.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Teamsters Local 117, King County Democrats

Campaign Information

Port of Tacoma

Port Commissioner, Position #1

John McCarthy

John McCarthy photo
John McCarthy is running for the Tacoma Port Commissioner Position 1 against army veteran and port security specialist Eric Holdman. McCarthy served as a Tacoma Port Commissioner from 1983 to 1992, and a Pierce County District Court judge for 22 years. While McCarthy is not the most progressive candidate, his previous experience and community involvement makes him the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Sierra Club
Economic Justice: WA Federation of State Employees
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Other: Tacoma - Pierce County Black Collective, Tacoma Firefighters IAFF Local 31, Pierce County Central Labor Council

Campaign Information

City of Auburn Mayor

Auburn Mayor

Nancy Backus

Nancy Backus photo
Elected in 2014, financial manager Nancy Backus is the first female mayor of Auburn. Prior to her first term, she served on the city council for 10 years as Chair of the Finance Committee and the Planning & Community Development Committee. Backus' first term is backed by an impressive list of accomplishments. Backus has made economic development a priority, including welcoming new small businesses to the downtown area, launching a downtown facade improvement program, and seeking additional expansion from Boeing. As a result, unemployment in Auburn is among the lowest in the state. In 2016, the mayor led the charge for a homelessness task force and the city is currently working on 40 of the 56 recommendations issued by the task force, including extending availability at the emergency shelter.

Backus is running against city councilmember and deputy mayor Largo Wales. Wales' campaign is focused on public safety and funding local infrastructure, but her platform also includes anti-homeless measures such as moving all care and housing programs away from the central areas and into industrial zones.

Backus' leadership has earned her another term.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Washington Conservation Voters
Economic Justice: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Other: 47th LD Dems

Campaign Information

Auburn City Council

Auburn City Council, Position #4

Yolanda Trout-Manuel

Yolanda Trout-Manuel  photo
Yolanda Trout-Manuel is running unopposed to retain her seat in Position 4. She serves as Chair of the Finance Committee and she is a well-known advocate for traffic safety and for her domestic violence work. She received a 2015 Outstanding Award from the local Domestic Violence Task Force and an Outstanding Citizen Activist Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety from the Washington Traffic Safety Commissioners for her work on Washington's Highway 12. Trout-Manuel serves on several regional and national boards, including the Puget Sound Latino Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Elective Legislative Officials, and the National League of Cities. She plans to focus the upcoming years on homelessness, public safety, and the economic health of Auburn.

Auburn City Council, Position #6

Larry Brown

Larry Brown  photo
U.S. Navy veteran Larry Brown is the Legislative and Political Director for the Aerospace Machinists District Lodge 751. A strong advocate for workers, Brown has worked on the Governor’s Unemployment Task Force and the labor caucus for the Labor and Industries Workers Comp Advisory Committee. He is running on a jobs agenda that seeks to reduce commute times for workers, emphasize education and workforce training, and bring in more technology jobs.

Brown is opposed by Mike Kahler, a manager at the Auburn Valley Humane Society’s Thrift Store. Kahler promotes an enforcement of the city's anti-loitering and panhandling laws to force the homeless from storefronts.

Brown's experience and commitment to progressive values makes him the clear choice for Auburn City Council Position 6.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Economic Justice: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, SEIU 775, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21
Other: Teamsters 117, 31st Legislative District Democrats

Campaign Information