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City of Seattle

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. ...

King County Ballot Measures

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

37th Legislative District

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

State Senator

Rebecca Saldaña

Democrat
Rebecca Saldaña photo
Sen. Rebecca Saldaña is running unopposed for re-election to the Senate seat in Legislative District 37. She previously worked as the Executive Director for Puget Sound Sage, a nonprofit tackling issues such as environmental justice, affordable housing, and workers' rights. In her first term in the Senate, Saldaña has pushed for full education funding and an end to Washington's regressive tax system. Her first bill signed by Governor Inslee expanded HOV lane access for blood donation vehicles, and she has co-signed bills to protect internet privacy and prohibit criminal record check-boxes on job applications.

Campaign Information

King County

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

King County Council

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

King County Council, District #1

Rod Dembowski

Non-Partisan
Rod Dembowski photo
Rod Dembowski has played a key role on the King County Council promoting responsible regional development that balances environmental protections and job growth. Dembowski has prioritized improving domestic abuse services, green transit, and voting access in King County. He has strong stances on progressive issues like affordable housing and homelessness, but it is worth noting that he did take some questionable votes on revenue and health and human services issues during his most recent term. Dembowski is running unopposed for reelection.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

King County Council, District #5

Dave Upthegrove

Non-Partisan
Dave Upthegrove photo
As the former chair of the House Environment committee in Olympia, Councilmember Dave Upthegrove is a strong environmental champion who has prioritized restoring salmon habitat on the Green River and cleanup for the Duwamish. However, he has recently disappointed progressives with his positions on the Veterans and Human Service Levy and safe injection sites. He is running unopposed in this race and deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

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

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals, Division One, District One: Judge, Position #2

Michael Spearman

Michael Spearman photo
Judge Michael Spearman is running for re-election to the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1, District 1, Position 2. Appointed by former Governor Christine Gregoire in 2010, Spearman has more than three decades of legal experience including 14 years as a Superior Court judge. Spearman has also been rated as "exceptionally well qualified" by more than 5 Washington state bar associations including the King County Bar Association and QLAW, the LGBT Bar Association of Washington. He is opposed by attorney Nathan W. S. Choi, who lacks Spearman's depth of judicial experience. Spearman has earned another term on the appellate court.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Other: King County Democrats

Campaign Information

Court of Appeals, Division One, District One: Judge, Position #5

David Mann

David Mann photo
Judge David Mann is unopposed in this race. With more than three decades of experience, Judge Mann was appointed to this seat in 2016 because of his extensive judicial track record. He is a former board member of Conservation Northwest, the Northwest Fund for the Environment, and the Washington Environmental Council. He also successfully argued before the Supreme Court in the case of Milner v. Dept. of Navy, which improved government transparency through the Freedom of Information Act. Mann has earned your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

City of Seattle Mayor

Seattle Mayor

There are two strong and well-qualified progressive candidates for mayor. We’re presenting information from our research to help you make your decision.

Cary Moon

Cary Moon photo
Cary Moon is an urban planner, engineer, and civic activist who is best known for her leadership in the People’s Waterfront Coalition that opposed the deep-bore tunnel. She laid out a vibrant alternative vision for Seattle’s waterfront and was named the 2009 “Citizen of the Year” by the Municipal League. Moon is running to improve housing affordability by cracking down on real estate speculators, expanding renters’ rights, and expanding alternative housing options for working people, like duplexes and co-ops. Moon is campaigning as an innovative, big-picture thinker who can organize coalitions and solve the root problems Seattle faces rather than just addressing the symptoms. Her analysis of racial justice and equity issues is also thoughtful and impressive.

While Moon and Durkan agree on many issues, they have shown differences on a few key proposals:

Housing Affordability: Moon has proposed a tax on out-of-state real estate speculators and corporate investors as a way to slow housing costs and fund affordable housing. She largely supports the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda but wants to improve outreach to communities of color and revisit some upzone proposals. Moon would also invest more in public housing to reduce the dependence on private developers to address affordability. Learn more here.

Homelessness: Moon would end the sweeps of homeless encampments and allow people to sleep in parks while the city improves services to help people find permanent housing.

Youth Jail: Moon opposes the county’s plans to build a new youth jail in Seattle because she thinks it undermines efforts to reduce youth incarceration.

Taxes: Moon supports a statewide capital gains tax on households earning more than $250,000 per year to fund affordable housing, education, and transit.

From the campaign trail: Moon is running as the reform-oriented change candidate in this race. She is very smart and offers thoughtful policy responses to the complex challenges facing our city.

For more reasons why people are supporting Moon, you can read this op-ed by three Seattle union workers in The Stranger.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Sierra Club, Washington Bikes, Washington Conservation Voters
Economic Justice: SEIU Local 6, SEIU Local 925, UFCW 21
Media: The Stranger, The Urbanist
Other: King County Democrats, Seattle Education Association

Campaign Information

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan photo
Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan is running for mayor on a platform of police accountability, housing affordability, and justice for all. She was the first openly gay U.S. Attorney in our country’s history. At the U.S. Department of Justice, she pushed to improve accountability for the Seattle Police Department, created a civil rights unit, and was an advocate for criminal justice reform. While Durkan’s support from business groups has raised questions among some progressives, she does not shy away from progressive positions and emphasizes that she is willing to stand up to anyone to make the right decisions when necessary. With a long track record of working on complex political and policy issues, Durkan is positioning herself as a consensus-building candidate with executive leadership experience who can work with advocates on all sides.

While Moon and Durkan agree on many issues, they have shown differences on a few key proposals:

Housing Affordability: Durkan would implement the current Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda to create 20,000 affordable units over 10 years by increasing density and requiring developers to build more affordable housing in exchange for upzoning. Durkan also wants to offer rent vouchers for low-income families and increase the number of tiny houses. Learn more here.

Homelessness: Durkan would continue sweeps of homeless encampments and opposes allowing people to sleep in public parks because of health and safety concerns. She also wants to build 100 new shelter beds in each city council district.

Youth Jail: Durkan supports building a new youth jail because she thinks conditions in the current facility are harsh and inhumane.

Education: Durkan has proposed offering up to two years of free college tuition for high school graduates to attend a public community college in Washington.

From the campaign trail: Durkan has a very confident presence, focuses on issues, and emphasizes that she is willing to make difficult decisions. She focuses on her extensive experience and track record in politics.

For more reasons why people are supporting Durkan, you can read this op-ed by Gary Locke, Ron Sims, and Norm Rice in the South Seattle Emerald.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

 

Seattle City Attorney

Seattle City Attorney

Pete Holmes

Pete Holmes photo
Two-term incumbent Pete Holmes is running for re-election as Seattle City Attorney. A former business litigation attorney, Holmes also previously worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington D.C. Holmes is a critic of the war on drugs–he dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases when he took office and sponsored Initiative 502, which legalized and regulated marijuana use in the state. Holmes has also stood for police reform as a member of a police civilian oversight board and advocated for gun safety as a founding member of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence and Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration. He also lowered the misdemeanor sentence to 364 days to avoid the potential for federal deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Holmes is running against Scott Lindsay, the former public safety advisor and special assistant for police reform for Mayor Ed Murray. Lindsay is an architect of the city's "9 1/2 Blocks" plan, which aimed to reduce crime and stop the "open-air drug markets" downtown. He is aiming to reduce low-level crime by implementing drug addiction treatment programs and piloting the country's first safe consumption program.

We recommend Holmes because of his track record and support from progressive partners.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Economic Justice: SEIU 775, Teamsters Joint Council 28, UFCW 21
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Media: The Stranger

Campaign Information

Seattle City Council

Seattle City Council, Position #8 (At-Large)

Teresa Mosqueda

Teresa Mosqueda photo
Teresa Mosqueda is the Political and Strategic Campaign Director at the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and a former Fuse board member. She was a leader in the statewide campaign to raise the minimum wage in 2016 and has also worked to expand health care access and promote environmental justice. She is running for city council to improve housing affordability and support working people. Her experience advocating at the state and local level has given her an impressive depth of knowledge about both policy details and the legislative process.

Mosqueda is running against Jon Grant, the former Director of the Seattle Tenants’ Union. He is prioritizing housing affordability and is emphasizing a grassroots approach to campaigning and policy development. Grant is running as a Democratic Socialist with a very bold platform. Although Grant earned the endorsement of The Stranger newspaper, several editorial board members wrote a strong dissent in support of Mosqueda.

Mosqueda is the best choice for Seattle City Council Position 8 because of her extensive track record implementing paid family leave, fighting for living wages, and securing health care for all.

Campaign Information

Seattle City Council, Position #9 (At-Large)

M. Lorena González

M. Lorena González photo
Lorena González has been a truly impressive leader in her two years on the Seattle City Council. González is a civil rights attorney who runs a bilingual legal clinic for low-income residents and is the President Emeritus of OneAmerica, a Seattle-based immigrant advocacy organization. She supports police reform for bias-free and just policing, paid parental and family leave for all workers, and supports much of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) for more equitable housing policy and as a part of the solution to homelessness in the city. If reelected, González wants to create a legal defense fund for immigrants and to fix our city's upside-down tax code. She is running against challenger and small business owner Pat Murakami who is not running as progressive of a campaign. González is the clear choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Seattle School District No. 1

Seattle School Board DIrector, District #4

Eden Mack

Eden Mack photo
Eden Mack is the co-founder of Washington’s Paramount Duty, a relatively new group that has rapidly become a major force in Olympia advocating to fully fund public schools. Prior to that, Mack was the Legislative Chair of the Seattle Council of Parent, Teacher, and Student Associations. Mack is now running for Seattle School Board in District 4 on a platform of giving every school, teacher, and student the support and resources they need to succeed. She has three kids in Seattle Public Schools and is focused on ensuring schools keep up with the city’s rapid growth.

Also in this race is Herbet Camet Jr., who is not running a viable campaign. Mack has earned the broadest support from progressive advocates and is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Media: The Stranger
Other: Seattle Education Association, King County Democrats

Campaign Information

Seattle School Board Director, District #5

Zachary Pullin DeWolf

Zachary Pullin DeWolf photo
Zach DeWolf is the president of the Capitol Hill Community Council and has been a prominent community activist, particularly for affordable housing and LGBTQ causes. DeWolf is running for Seattle School Board in District 5 to close the opportunity gap and reduce inequities in the school system for students of color, LGBTQ students, and others facing institutional barriers. DeWolf wants to use his background as a community organizer to engage and include families who are frequently left out of the school board decision-making process.

DeWolf is running against Omar Vasquez, a young lawyer who wants to increase accountability on the Seattle School Board and identify policy solutions to close the opportunity and achievement gap. Unlike DeWolf, Vasquez spent six years in the classroom teaching high school math and two years as chair of the department.

DeWolf has solid support from our progressive partners and is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Social Justice: Equal Rights Washington
Media: The Stranger
Other: Seattle Education Association, King County Democrats, King County Young Democrats

Campaign Information

Seattle School Board Director, District #7

Betty Patu

Betty Patu photo
Betty Patu is a longtime education advocate with deep ties to her community. She is the only incumbent running for re-election on a school board that has struggled with frequent turnover. Patu brings a strong equity focus to her work and if re-elected will continue to work to address barriers to education for students of color.

Patu's opponent is Chelsea Byers, a former 7th grade math teacher who wants to put her skills to work improving the district’s finances and budgeting. She is committed to improving graduation rates and closing the achievement gap for students of color.

While Byers is a smart, up-and-coming candidate, Patu has earned the most support from progressive advocates in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Media: The Stranger
Other: Seattle Education Association, King County Young Democrats

Campaign Information