Brought to you by Fuse WA
Return Ballots by Tuesday, November 5th
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 I-976 would derail our ability to fix dangerous roads, retrofit outdated bridges and overpasses, complete voter-approved light rail, provide transit for riders with disabilities, and more.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.
Adrian Cortes is an educator and public policy official running for Clark County Council, District 4. Cortes is currently serving on the Battle Ground City Council as well as the Clark County Disabilities Advisory Board. Cortes is running his campaign on protecting property rights, keeping taxes low, and securing funding to increase high-speed broadband service. Cortes has vocally opposed an increase in property taxes until the county does a better job of involving citizens in their decision-making process.
Cortes is challenging incumbent Clark County Councilmember Gary Medigy. He is a veteran who spent 33 years in the U.S. Army Reserves as well as a retired California Superior Court Judge and prosecutor. Medigy is running his campaign promising a stronger commitment to traffic safety, providing more behavioral health supported housing, and effective economic development.
While Cortes is not progressive, he would be a voice of reason on the conservative Clark County Council. Cortes is the best choice in this race.
Anne Cruser is running to retain Position 2 on the Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 3. Cruser was appointed to this seat by Governor Inslee earlier this year after previously being appointed to the Cowlitz County Superior Court in 2017. She has also served as a supervising attorney for the Appellate Division at the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Cruser worked as a judge pro tempore for 5 years in the Cowlitz County District Court as well as owned her own law firm for 7 years, where she focused on appellate law including criminal trial litigation and public records. Cruser's presence on the court means the backlog of cases (including crucial domestic and criminal) can be addressed. Cruser's experience makes her the best choice for the Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 3, Judge Position 2.
Erik Paulsen is a Vancouver native, banker, and former Planning Commission member who was unanimously appointed to Vancouver City Council, Position 2 in January. He’s committed to creating family-wage jobs, providing safe and accessible transportation for all, increasing affordable housing options, and protecting our public spaces.
Paulsen is running against Maureen McGoldrick, a former computer programmer who is once again running a low-profile campaign with no social media, website, or available campaign information. She ran in a similar fashion in 2017 and 2018 for Vancouver City Council.
Erik Paulsen is the best choice in this race.
Ty Stober is the former board chair of Equal Rights Washington and a current board member of Daybreak Youth Services, which helps fight youth drug and alcohol addiction in the Vancouver-area. Stober is a progressive who believes in investing in all forms of transportation, ensuring that police and fire departments have the funding to do their jobs, and a “housing first” approach to solving homelessness. He has previously been endorsed by a large number of our progressive partners.
Stober faces incumbent conservative pastor and bail bonds business owner David Regan, who wants to lead with "faith in action" and see the city hire more police officers. He does not have a detailed policy plan on homelessness or affordable housing on his site aside from a statement that subsidized housing "doesn't have to involve an increase in crime."
If you're looking for a passionate social justice voice on the Vancouver City Council, Stober is the best choice in this race.
Moderate Sarah Fox is an Army veteran and urban planner running for Vancouver City Council, Position 6. If elected, she would focus on staffing the police and fire departments, supporting businesses, and replacing the I-5 bridge. She wants to protect neighborhood character by opposing housing policies that are "overwhelmingly focused on multi-family" and instead support only duplexes that are indistinguishable from surrounding homes.
Fox is running against Jeanne Stewart, a conservative with an independent streak who previously served 12 years on the city council before being elected as a Republican to the Clark County Council. She lost to Democrat Temple Lentz in 2018 and is now running for Vancouver City Council. Stewart was removed from the C-Tran board while serving on the council because of her opposition to expanding light rail and bus service options.
While neither candidate is progressive, Fox is less conservative and local Democratic groups issued a "Do Not Vote" for Stewart. Fox is the best choice in this race.
Lisa Messer has been a teacher in Evergreen Public Schools for 14 years and is running for Vancouver School District No. 37, School Director, Position 4. She wants to update the district to meet the needs of modern students, collaborate with the community, and honor the hard work educators do. Messer also supports increasing racial equity across the district and supporting the emotional needs of students, specifically mentioning LGBTQ students. Regarding the teachers' strike last year, Messer believes administrators should have been more proactive in seeing changes coming and adapting to them. She has two daughters in Vancouver Public Schools and is uniquely qualified for this position as both a parent and an educator. Messer has a strong campaign presence and is endorsed by several of our progressive partners.
Messer is running against Kathy Decker, who is a teacher as well as a classroom volunteer. She does not have a strong campaign presence but believes families need to be fully involved in the education of their children, including access to administrators, board members, and department heads and that successful schools must provide "comprehensive assistance for children with high needs."
Messer's experience and support from our progressive partners make her the best choice for Vancouver School District No. 37, School Director, Position 4.
Sign Up to get Future Guides
Progress means voting in every race and every issue. Thank you for your contribution to a more progressive state.