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Primary ELECTION: August 1st, 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. We will continue to add more candidates, ballot measures, and endorsements as we get closer to the election. Please share this guide with your friends and family!

This guide only contains races that will be on your August 1st Primary Ballot. We will update the guide for the general election.

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 Sen. 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
Nate Lowry is a landscape architect and Edgewood city councilmember who has been a strong progressive voice in Edgewood. 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. Lowry is the progressive choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Port of Tacoma

Port Commissioner, Position #1

John McCarthy

John McCarthy photo
John McCarthy is running for Position 1 for Tacoma Port Commissioner against Jim Jensen and Eric Holdman. McCarthy served as a Tacoma Port Commissioner Port Commissioner from 1983 to 1992, and a Pierce County District Court judge for 22 years. While McCarthy is not the most progressive candidate recommended in this guide, it is critical to vote against Jensen, who was outed for pro-Trump, misogynist, and racist tweets. McCarthy is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Tacoma - Pierce County Black Collective, Tacoma Firefighters IAFF Local 31, Pierce County Central Labor Council

Campaign Information

City of Tacoma

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

Tacoma Mayor

There are three progressives running to be Mayor of Tacoma: Victoria Woodards, Evelyn Lopez, and Jim Merritt. While Woodards and Lopez have both earned broad support, Woodards has earned the most endorsements from our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations.

Victoria Woodards

Victoria Woodards photo
Victoria Woodards was a member of the Tacoma City Council for 7 years and resigned her seat to run for mayor late last year. She is a U.S. army veteran and president of the Tacoma Urban League. She will focus on family-wage jobs, public safety, responsible budgets, local businesses, and a lasting solution to the homelessness and mental health crisis. We lean toward Woodards because of her broader support from our progressive partner organizations.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii
Economic Justice: UFCW 21
Other: Teamsters Local 117

Campaign Information

Evelyn Lopez

Evelyn Lopez photo
Evelyn Lopez previously worked as Assistant Attorney General and Executive Director of the Washington Public Disclosure Commission. Lopez's campaign seeks increased neighborhood density to lower infrastructure cost, limit sprawl, attract small businesses, and make public transit more efficient. She advocates for mixed-use centers where residents could procure affordable housing and be near jobs, schools, and shopping. Lopez deserves credit for her outspoken opposition to the LNG development in Tacoma.

Jim Merritt is another progressive running who lost a close race to Mayor Strickland in 2009. This year, our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations are lining up behind Woodards and Lopez.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Pierce County Democratic Central Committee, Washington Education Association - Tacoma

Campaign Information

Tacoma City Council, Position #6 (At-Large)

Meredith Neal

Meredith Neal photo
Meredith Neal served on the YWCA Pierce County Board, City of Tacoma Planning Commission, and the Forterra Regional Leadership Council. Neal's campaign priorities are increasing living wage job opportunities, incentivizing affordable housing development, upgrading Tacoma's stormwater infrastructure to protect the Puget Sound, and increasing the tree canopy.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Other: UFCW Local 367

Campaign Information

Gregory Christopher

Gregory Christopher photo
Pastor Gregory Christopher is the President of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP, a member of the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective, and vice chairman of the Tacoma Urban League board. He was a part of the mayor's minimum wage task force and a leader of Project P.E.A.C.E., an action plan to improve relations between Tacoma Police Department and the community. Christopher is an advocate for living wage jobs, housing affordability, and police accountability. He does not have the financial backing of Neal or Hunter because he entered the race later, but he is well-respected among the activist community.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Economic Justice: SEIU 775, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Other: Teamsters Local 117

Campaign Information

Lillian Hunter

Lillian Hunter photo
Lillian Hunter is a teacher at Lincoln High School who has garnered support from both sides of the aisle. Her family immigrated to Tacoma from Denmark. She has served two terms on the local library board and was appointed by the Governor to serve as a Trustee for Bates Technical College. If elected, she would focus on collaborative efforts to reduce homelessness, community policing and liaison programs, providing job training, and equitable infrastructure development that protects the environment. Also running for this race is Sarah Morken, a socialist candidate who has worked with Occupy Tacoma, South Sound Jobs with Justice, and $15 Tacoma. She supports tenant-run public housing, community control of policing, and shutting down the North West Detention Center.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Tacoma City Council, District #4

Catherine Ushka

Catherine Ushka photo
Catherine Ushka is President of the Tacoma School Board. She has served in the U.S. Navy and as Vice President of the Tacoma Charter Review, Commissioner for the City of Tacoma Human Services, and on the Executive Team and Steering Committee for the Eastside Community Center. Her campaign is focused on public safety, housing, and sustainable career paths. She advocated against state initiative 1515, which would repeal non-discrimination protections for transgender people in housing, employment, schools.

Ushka is facing progressive Shalisa Hayes and real estate developer Kevin Grossman. Hayes founded the Billy Ray Foundation and Mothers of Magnitude, organizations aimed at providing positive spaces and engagement for youth, and for mothers who have lost children. Hayes is also the lead organizer behind the creation of the Eastside Community Center, which will provide youth programming and a safe space for local youth to learn and play. Grossman is a former Shoreline City Councilmember and former Vice Chair of the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board.

Ushka has earned the broadest support from our Progressive Voters Guide partners and is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Tacoma City Council, District #5

Chris Beale

Chris Beale photo
Chris Beale is the best candidate for Position 5. He is Chair of the Planning Commission, and has also served as Vice Chair of the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council, a member of Pierce Transit’s Citizen Advisory council, and as Board President of the local non-profit ForeverGreen Trails. Beale is advocating for more affordable housing, storm water quality maintenance, support for Safe Routes to Schools, the Neighborhood Councils, and equitable road improvements. His campaign gives specific attention to South Tacoma to "address historic inequality of public investments." Beale is running against Janis Clark, Justin Van Dyk, Joanne Babic, and Brian Arnold. Beale is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Environment: Washington Conservation Voters
Reproductive Freedom: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii
Economic Justice: UFCW 21
Other: Teamsters Local 117

Campaign Information

Other Ballot Measures

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

East Pierce Fire and Rescue Proposition #1

Vote Yes to Lift the Levy Lid

YES
East Pierce Fire and Rescue has put forth Proposition Number 1, a four-year, $1.8 million per year property tax levy. The proposition would maintain the current levy rate of $1.50 per $1000 on your property taxes for the first year. For the subsequent three years, any increase in the annual rate would be capped to no more than 6% of the previous year. East Pierce Fire and Rescue states that the levy will maintain the current level of fire suppression, rescue, and fire prevention services, and hire an additional paramedic unit. Your YES vote will help East Pierce Fire and Rescue maintain its high levels of fire and emergency medical services.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue Proposition #2

Vote Yes on Proposition 2

YES
East Pierce Fire and Rescue has put forth Proposition Number 2, a four year, $160,000 per year EMS levy. The proposition would maintain the current levy rate of $0.50 per $1000 on your property taxes for the first year. For the subsequent three years, any increase in the annual rate would be capped to no more than 6% of the previous year. East Pierce Fire and Rescue states that the levy will help maintain and operate emergency medical aid vehicles. Your YES vote will help East Pierce Fire and Rescue and emergency medical staff to effectively carry out their duties.

Pierce County Fire Protection District 18 Proposition #1

Vote Yes on Proposition 1

YES
Pierce County Fire Protection District 18 has put forth Proposition Number 1, a four-year, $1.2 million per year renewal of the maintenance and operations expense levy. The levy rate will be between $0.89 and $0.92 per $1000 on your property taxes. Your YES vote will help Fire Protection District 18 continue providing fire and emergency medical service at current levels for the next four years.