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Welcome to the 2019 Fuse Progressive Voters Guide! The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Please share this guide with your friends and remember to vote by November 5!
Referendum 88 is a public vote on I-1000, the affirmative action ballot measure signed by nearly 400,000 Washingtonians and approved by the Legislature this spring.
I-1000 would allow affirmative action policies in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting. It will restore fairness for veterans, small business owners, women, and people of color seeking to succeed in public employment, contracting, and university admissions – without the use of caps or quotas. Affirmative action, which is legal in 42 other states, will increase business contracts and college enrollment for women and people of color in Washington.
It's long past time to restore affirmative action in Washington. Vote to approve Initiative 1000.
Initiative 976 is Tim Eyman's latest attempt to cut billions of dollars in funding from badly-needed transportation projects across the state. I-976 would derail our ability to fix dangerous roads, retrofit outdated bridges and overpasses, complete voter-approved light rail, provide transit for riders with disabilities, and more. More than $12 billion would be slashed from state and local projects with no plan for replacing any of the funding.
Every city and county in Washington depends on transportation infrastructure that would be impacted by the cuts from I-976. Vote NO on I-976!
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. The Legislature had a historically productive 2019 session, resulting in a record number of advisory votes on the ballot. We hope the Legislature will change the law to remove these meaningless measures in the future.
Washington's senior population has doubled since 1980 and will double again by 2040. Most seniors cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for the long-term medical care they need. A bipartisan group of lawmakers moved to build upon the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave program through Second Substitute House Bill 1087. This legislation created a new long-term insurance benefit that will address the looming crisis of seniors who cannot afford the care they need. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 20.
Legislators passed Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324, also known as the Washington Rural Development and Distressed Opportunity Zone Act, which extends a business and occupation tax preference for timber companies. While this bill was intended to create jobs and support investment in rural areas, in practice it will primarily serve as an unnecessary tax cut for timber companies. Vote “Repealed” on Advisory Vote No. 21.
Washington is the latest state to adopt a recycling program for leftover architectural paint. The Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 1652 to add a small recycling fee to the price of paint to fund the program. This law will ensure that hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint will be disposed of responsibly and no longer pollute our environment. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 22.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of vape products have not been paying regular tobacco taxes. The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1873 to remedy this and create the Essential Public Health Services Account. Electronic cigarettes, electronic devices, and vape pens will now be classified and taxed as tobacco products. This account will fund health services, tobacco and vape product control and prevention, and enforcement by the state liquor and cannabis board to prevent the sale of vape products to minors. This legislation is even more important after several reports of lung injuries linked to vaping in Washington state as well as hundreds around the country. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 23.
The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2158 to increase funding for higher education, including financial aid, raises for community college faculty, and a student loan program for middle-class students called the Washington College Grant. The Washington College Grant would replace the State Need Grant, which runs out of money every year and leaves thousands of eligible students without any money. The Workforce Education Investment Act is designed so that businesses that benefit the most from a highly-educated workforce will contribute to the cost of higher education. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 24.
Washington's low-income families pay six times more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. To begin to balance our tax code, the Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2167 to increase the business and occupation tax on financial institutions that reported a net income of $1 billion or more during the previous calendar year. We think it's reasonable for these extremely profitable companies to pay a little more in taxes to support the services working families rely on. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 25.
Washington legislators have moved to update our tax laws in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that forced internet retailers to charge sales tax in all states. would Among other things, Substitute Senate Bill 5581 eliminates a tax advantage that out-of-state sellers long enjoyed over local companies. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 26.
Washington state has more than 13,000 known or suspected contaminated sites. The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) became law in 1989 and has supported efforts to clean up more than 7,000 contaminated sites. The MTCA is funded by a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances such as petroleum products and pesticides. This year, the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5993 to update the law to improve transparency and increase funding for clean air, clean water, and toxic cleanup programs. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 27.
Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5997 closed a longstanding loophole that allowed many out-of-state shoppers to avoid paying sales tax in Washington. Visitors from states without a sales tax can still request a remittance from the Washington Department of Revenue. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 28.
This legislation is one step towards balancing our upside-down tax code by making Washington's real estate excise taxes (REET) progressive. Instead of a flat rate of 1.28 percent, property sales of less than $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent tax rate, sales between $1.5 and $3 million would be taxed at 2.75 percent, and properties sold for more than $3 million would be taxed at 3 percent. All the funding from Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5998 will be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 29.
This legislation eliminates a tax break for travel agents and tour operators for businesses who earn $250,000 or more per year. Businesses that earn less than $250,000 will continue to pay the lower rate. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6004 will bring more revenue to the state and ensure that large out-of-state and online businesses pay their share. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 30.
This legislation passed Engrossed Senate Bill 6016 to reauthorize and narrow a sales tax exemption for certain international investment management companies. In order to receive the tax exemption, a business must have more than 25 percent of employees in the state, at least 500 full-time employees worldwide, and gross revenue of more than $400 million. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 31.
This measure would allow the Legislature to temporarily fill vacant public offices during an emergency by including "catastrophic incidents" like earthquakes or tsunamis in the definition of emergency powers. As Washington has been on high alert for an earthquake for years, legislators want to ensure governmental continuity in the event of massive damage from a natural disaster. While it is not pleasant to think about, Washington state needs to be prepared for a catastrophic event. This measure passed with bipartisan support. Vote "Approved" on Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200.
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is running for mayor. Stuckart has been a champion for working people and the environment. He led the charge in passing a quality jobs package that encouraged the use of local contractors for city contracts and increased access to family-wage jobs through apprenticeship opportunities. Stuckart has also been a leader on protecting clean air and clean water, paid sick and safe leave, and protecting immigrants in our communities.
Stuckart is running against former news anchor Nadine Woodward, a conservative candidate who would put business interests first as mayor. Big developers are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Woodward because she is open to supporting sprawling new development outside the city borders that would make traffic even worse. In addition, Woodward has made a series of inflammatory and extreme statements about homeless people in Spokane that have fueled fear in the community.
Stuckart is the clear progressive choice in this race and will be a great next mayor of Spokane.
Economic Justice: SEIU 775, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21, Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE) Rating: 4.25 stars
Social Justice: Housing Action FundOther: Spokane County Democrats, Spokane Regional Labor Council, Spokane Fire Fighters IAFF Local 29
Spokane City Councilmember Breean Beggs is a strong champion of smart justice and criminal justice reform. He has a long track record of holding corporations accountable and protecting the rights of low-income residents. Beggs is the former Executive Director of the Center for Justice in Spokane and has recently pushed to increase safety protections for coal and oil trains that run through downtown Spokane. In his time on Spokane City Council, Beggs updated Spokane's Title 18 (Freedom from Discrimination) ordinance, established civilian oversight of police actions, expanded the Multi-Family Tax Exemption to increase opportunities for housing for every income level, and increased funding for traffic-calming projects, including the construction of new sidewalks and paving unpaved streets.
Beggs is facing Cindy Wendle in this race. Wendle is co-owner of Northtown Square and was on the advisory board of the Washington Policy Center, a right-wing think tank that has attacked workers and denies climate science. Wendle is running on a conservative campaign platform and has failed to provide policy solutions to address the root causes of homelessness in our community.
Beggs is a progressive leader and the best choice for Spokane City Council President.
There are no good choices in this race for Spokane City Council, Position 1. Minnehaha neighborhood leader Tim Benn and political consultant Michael Cathcart are both conservatives seeking to replace Mike Fagan, another conservative.
We suggest writing in the name of a more progressive candidate for Spokane City Council in District 1.
Lori Kinnear is running for re-election to Spokane City Council in District 2. She was first elected in 2016 and has focused on repairing and maintaining streets, adding more fire and police personnel, and supporting environmental protections. Kinnear also sponsored legislation to prevent human trafficking.
Kinnear is being challenged by Anthony "Tony" Kiepe, a Republican small business owner running on a platform of fiscal responsibility and public safety.
Kinnear is the clear choice for Spokane City Council in District 2.
Karen Stratton is running for re-election to Spokane City Council in District 3. In her time on the council, she has served on the board of the Spokane Regional Health District, the Spokane COPS board, the board of Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs (SNAP), the Community, Housing and Human Services Board, the Spokane Arts Board, and the board of Priority Spokane. Stratton is running to continue her work advocating for residential street and alley repairs, as well as increasing affordable housing for all income levels and services for low-income families, seniors, and veterans.
Stratton is running against Andy Rathbun, a navigator in the U.S. Air Force and the Washington Air Guard who served as Vice President on the West Central Community Center's Board of Directors. He is running a "safety-first" campaign and has failed to articulate a detailed plan for increasing affordable housing in our community.
Stratton is the clear choice for Spokane City Council in District 3.
Proposition No. 1 is a misleading effort by anti-worker groups that want to undermine labor unions. It would needlessly expose sensitive bargaining discussions involving pay, benefits, and workplace safety issues to the public and undermine the crucial bargaining process. Far-right groups have been pushing these measures locally as a way to make it more difficult for workers to negotiate a good contract by interjecting themselves into workplace bargaining.
Don't let conservatives attack labor unions and working families. Vote NO on Spokane Proposition No. 1.
Washington has the most regressive tax code in the nation—low-income people pay seven times more than the wealthy. Spokane Proposition 2 would severely restrict efforts to balance our upside-down tax code and make the wealthy pay their share.
While proponents want to focus on an income tax, Proposition 2 would go much farther than that. This far-reaching proposition would prohibit a capital gains tax on the profits from the sale of stock and bonds. In addition, it would prohibit a B&O tax on corporations operating in Spokane.
We need more options to balance our tax code, not fewer. Vote NO on Spokane Proposition 2!
Nikki Otero Lockwood is a public schools advocate and community activist running for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 1. She has served as chair of a Montessori parent group, as well as a member of the Human Growth and Development Committee and the Superintendent’s Work Group on Restorative Practices. She currently works as an organizer for the ACLU trying to reform the school to prison pipeline. As a mother of two, including a child with autism, she has advocated for special needs children as a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee. As part of her commitment to equitable policies and fully-funded education, she would push to reform school discipline, address systemic racism and inequality in schools, and ensure the accessibility of mental health workers for students.
Lockwood's opponent in this race is former elementary school teacher Katey Randall Treloar. Treloar is running to address budget shortfalls, hold principals and administrators accountable for their conduct, and support community nonprofits that support students. However, Treloar has also expressed support for arming security officers in schools, which increases fear among students without making classrooms safer. In our local council interview, we were disappointed in her equity analysis and belief that solutions that worked for most kids should be supported instead of designing solutions that worked for the kids who are struggling the most.
Lockwood is the best candidate for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 1.
Jenny Slagle is running for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 2. She is the Director of Community Services at Better Health Together, where Slagle advocates for healthier communities and improved Medicaid access. She has served on the Spokane School District Diversity Advisory Board. A member of the Yakama tribe, Slagle states that she wants to be bold in her equity work by strengthening relationships with regional tribes and other communities of color. Slagle wants to see appropriate school and class sizes, increase the number of mental health professionals in schools, and institute social-emotional learning programs.
Slagle is running against educator Kellilin "Kelli" MacFarlane, who works as a substitute teacher in Spokane and has taught since 2005. She is running to get teachers’ voices heard. Unfortunately, MacFarlane did not return an election questionnaire and does not have detailed platform information. One of her more recent posts on social media is a photo of herself with a Donald Trump cutout at the Spokane GOP Booth at the Spokane county fair.
Slagle is the best choice for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 2.
Erin Georgen is running for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 4. She is prioritizing the expansion of resources and interventions for struggling students, training staff in de-escalation techniques, and ensuring that students get more practical-skill and project-based education, including preparing kids to work in the clean energy economy. As someone who has worked at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation for many years, Georgen does not support arming campus resource officers because she doesn't believe it makes students or staff safer when dealing with behavioral issues. Georgen also has a background in physical therapy, worked as an assistant with high needs patients, and has strong experience in mental health and discipline issues in schools.
Georgen's opponent in this race is Kevin Morrison, who has worked in Spokane Public Schools for sixteen years and served seven years in the superintendent’s cabinet. He is prioritizing working with the city’s legislative partners to find budget solutions and advocate for additional funding for special education and youth mental crisis care. While he is progressive on some issues, in our volunteer interviews he was evasive on the issue of arming school resources officers and he is not as strong on racial equity as Georgen.
We believe Erin Georgen is the best choice in this race because of her thoughtful analysis of equity in Spokane Public Schools and she deserves your vote for Spokane School Board, Director, Position 4.
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