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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 I-976 would derail our ability to fix dangerous roads, retrofit outdated bridges and overpasses, complete voter-approved light rail, provide transit for riders with disabilities, and more.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.
Incumbent Dave Somers is running unopposed for re-election for Snohomish County Executive. Somers has supported measures to create parks and open spaces, ushered in commercial air service to Paine Field, invested in alternative fuels, and worked on salmon recovery. He also supported working with nonprofits to “un-develop” land in the county and restore it to its natural state with native plants. This year, Somers announced that he would be developing a Snohomish County Housing Task Force to help meet the affordable housing needs of the community through new policies or incentives, including middle-income, subsidized, and alternative housing.
Somers deserves your vote.
Ty Trenary is running for re-election for Snohomish County Sheriff on his record of finding alternatives to incarceration. He states that the Snohomish County Jail should not serve as the largest mental health facility in the county, and that traditional policing is not effective against the county's opioid and mental health issues. Instead, Trenary has created the Office of Neighborhoods program, which pairs social workers with police officers to help those struggling with addiction on the streets. The program also helps those who are struggling to find work. If re-elected, he will continue to focus on community policing and accountability.
Trenary is being challenged by his sergeant, Adam Fortney, who is focusing on increasing arrests and enforcement. Trenary has been endorsed by a broad slate of Democratic state representatives and elected officials and is the best choice in this race.
Brian Sullivan is running for Snohomish County Treasurer after being term-limited from running again for the Snohomish County Council. A small business owner and former chair of the Finance and Economic Committee, Sullivan has worked to promote the economy of Snohomish County and support living wages for all. After first being elected to public office at the age of 23, Sullivan has served in a variety of roles including in the state House, where he was recognized as an environmental champion, as Mukilteo's mayor, and as a Mukilteo City Council member. A strong advocate for rainy day funds while on the county council, Sullivan is running to bring his decades of budget experience to the treasurer’s office while making it more transparent and better suited to serve vulnerable residents like seniors and working families.
He faces Marysville City Councilman Rob Toyer, who previously ran as a Republican for Legislature against Hans Dunshee. Sullivan is the best choice in this race.
Megan Dunn, the program director for the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, is running for Snohomish County Council, District 2. She led the successful effort to create districts for the Everett City Council and recently served on the Everett Community Streets Initiative Task Force, which helps address homelessness in downtown Everett. While serving as a Democratic precinct committee officer, she helped develop a platform for environmental protections, voting rights, a resilient economy, and healthcare access for all. Dunn also worked with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to help secure a citywide contract which includes the first-ever guaranteed sick days.
Dunn is running for Snohomish County Council in District 2 to continue her work on community-building and environmental sustainability. She has received a number of endorsements from community leaders and members of the Everett City Council.
Dunn's opponent is current Mukilteo City Councilmember Anna Rohrbough. She is a Republican who is running on a conservative platform that includes putting homeless people in jail instead of addressing the root causes of homelessness.
Dunn is by far the best choice in this race.
Incumbent Stephanie Wright is running for re-election to the Snohomish County Council in District 3. She has worked with community organizations like the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood throughout the years. If re-elected, she will continue to work on jobs, water use, balancing transit with bike lanes and roads, protecting parks, and increasing affordable housing.
Wright is running against Willie Russell, a former Democratic precinct officer who is choosing to run as a nonpartisan candidate. Russell is a registered sex offender due to three convictions in 1989, including second-degree rape. He has submitted no information about his campaign to the general county voters' guide or anywhere else.
Wright is the clear choice in this race.
Edirin Okoloko was appointed to the Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 7 by Governor Inslee and is running to retain his position. Okoloko dedicated his career to cases involving homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Before his work as a prosecutor, Okoloko was a judicial law clerk for former Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes. He has numerous endorsements from Snohomish County, including the Snohomish County Democrats, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Cornell. Okoloko is running to retain Position 7 to maintain a sense of dignity, civility, and courtesy in the courts.
Okoloko is running against Everett lawyer Anna Alexander. Alexander is most known for defending persons accused of serious crimes. She is the president of Snohomish County Washington Women Lawyers but is not running a robust campaign.
Okoloko deserves your vote for Snohomish County Superior Court Position 7.
Paul Thompson was appointed to Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 14 by Governor Inslee in 2018 and is running to retain his position. He has worked as a Public Defender in Eastern Washington and a trial attorney with the Snohomish County Public Defender's Office. Thompson has been a leader in the legal community by serving as president of the Washington Defender Association and a board member of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Thompson is determined to use his judicial position to make a difference in the lives of those who have struggled with lack of access to justice, and is calling for the thoughtful collaboration of Snohomish County stakeholders on improving the high cost of litigation, funding the mental health system, reforming the bail system, and tackling outdated mandatory sentencing restrictions. Thompson is endorsed by numerous progressive elected officials and organizations.
Thompson is being challenged by Cassandra Lopez-Shaw, a lawyer who has operated her firm since 2011. Lopez-Shaw has previously worked in the Whatcom Public Defender's Office and the Snohomish County Public Defender's Association.
While Lopez-Shaw does have impressive past experience, we believe Judge Thompson is the best choice for Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 14.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below races on your ballot.
Mason Thompson is a City of Bothell Parks and Recreation board member running to replace retiring Position 2 council member Andy Rheaume. Thompson is running to create Complete Neighborhoods, a concept which puts all basic amenities within walking distance to downtown and Canyon Park. He also wants to bring a dog park and mountain bike trails to Bothell. Thompson has been endorsed by a number of Democratic local leaders as well as six of seven current city council members.
Thompson is running against Leigh Henderson, a small business owner of Alexa’s Cafe and member of the Bothell-Kenmore Chamber of Commerce. According to her website, she is running to preserve the city’s character, be a good steward of local tax dollars, and be accountable to the people.
We recommend Thompson for Bothell City Council, Position 2 for his progressive values and community support.
James McNeal is a construction manager who is running for re-election to the Bothell City Council Position 4. McNeal was one of the founders of One Bothell, a grassroots effort to protect the 89-acre Wayne Golf Course, which was purchased by the council through a unanimous vote in 2017. During his time on the council, he has advocated for preserving parkland, increasing transit options, and supporting public safety officers.
McNeal is running against Matt Seymour, who ran as a Libertarian in 2018 for Legislative District 1. He does not appear to have a political or civic record and states on his Facebook page he says that his main focus is to fight against taxes.
McNeal is the better choice for Bothell City Council, Position 4.
Endorsed By: 1st Legislative District Democrats
Davina Duerr is an architect running for re-election to Bothell City Council, Position 6. Duerr currently serves as deputy mayor and was formerly the chair of the Landmark Preservation Board in Bothell and as well as a board member of the Northshore Schools Foundation. During her first term, she served on the Puget Sound Regional Council's transportation policy board and focused on transportation issues facing the city, including advocating for bus rapid transit options for Bothell residents. Duerr has advocated for environmental protections with her vote to approve the acquisition of North Creek Forest and the 89-acre Wayne Golf Course, which will become a park. She has also voted for a local affordable housing ordinance for workforce housing.
Duerr is running against Sean Palermo, a business development representative who has worked as an activist for Inslee for America and Friends of Bernie Sanders. Palermo, who is 24, states that he's running to bring a younger perspective to the city council and address affordable housing, the cost of education, infrastructure, and protecting the environment. Palermo wants to see rent control, stricter environmental protections, and a bolder progressive agenda instituted in the city council.
Duerr's experience and community support make her the best choice in this race.
Two-term Edmonds City Councilmember Mike Nelson is running for mayor of Edmonds. He's a strong proponent of making the city more affordable for all families, improving pedestrian safety, and protecting Edmonds’ natural environment. He also serves as chair of the Public Safety Committee and on the city's Youth Commission, which he created to help young people get involved in the community. Nelson's vision for Edmonds includes childcare tax credits, property tax relief for senior and disabled citizens, small business incentives, and federal and state grants to improve infrastructure.
Nelson is running against Neil Tibbott, a fellow city council member, management consultant, and the chair of the planning board. However, Tibbott hasn't released a detailed campaign platform to push the city forward and instead wants to focus on keeping the community "authentically Edmonds".
Nelson is the best choice in this race because of his progressive values, track record of public service, and strong support from community leaders.
There are two good candidates in this race: Diane Buckshnis and Jenna Nand. Buckshnis has earned the endorsement of more of our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations.
Diane Buckshnis is a banker and longtime progressive member of the Edmonds City Council running for re-election. Buckshnis, who chairs the finance committee after many years serving the U.S. overseas in various regulatory capacities for U.S. Aid and the Air Force, currently runs the nonprofit Off-Leash Area Edmonds, a volunteer group that stewards the local dog park. She supports a number of environmental organizations and programs, including the Sierra Club and the Humane Society, and helped start the Edmonds recycling program in 2005. Buckshnis has endorsements from several progressive partners as well as elected officials.
Attorney Jenna Nand, the vice-chair of the 32nd Legislative District Democrats, is also running for Edmonds City Council, Position 4. She is running to make Edmonds an easier place to start a business, increase walkability and disability access for residents, and maintain its green spaces. Nand credits Washington state Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens as a mentor and has admirable policy ideas, including the preservation of the Edmonds Marsh and starting business incubators for small businesses.
We lean slightly toward Buckshnis because of her support from progressive partners and years of experience.
Alicia Crank, the vice-chair of the Snohomish County Airport Commission and a three-year member of the Edmonds Citizen Planning Commission, is running for the open Position 5 seat vacated by Dave Teitzel. She is running to make the council more accessible to the people, address the affordable housing crisis, and bring more commuters into Edmonds to patronize local businesses. Crank wants to diversify the city's housing stock to allow seniors to age in place and help middle-class families thrive, and encourage business growth across Edmonds, not just in the downtown area.
Crank is running against Vivian Olson, an Air Force Academy graduate and independent businesswoman who is running to "codify charm" to preserve the character of downtown Edmonds as the city continues to grow. She has been endorsed by former Republican elected officials such as former GOP state senator Gary Nelson.
Crank's experience and progressive support make her the best choice in this race.
Susan Paine, a former Edmonds School Board member and founding member of Sustainable Edmonds, is running for the open Position 6 seat on the Edmonds City Council. Paine brings more than 20 years of city and nonprofit experience, including her time working for the City of Seattle in land use and planning. She is running to balance Edmonds' need for new development and affordable housing with its need for parks and open spaces.
Paine is running against Diana White, the current School Board president and a founding member of the Edmonds Diversity Commission who led the creation of the Teachers of Color Foundation for Edmonds schools. She is running on a somewhat more generic platform of financial stewardship, transparency, and problem-solving.
Paine is the best choice in this race because of her experience and strong support from local progressive advocates.
Founding member of the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition Laura Johnson is a progressive champion running for Edmonds City Council, Position 7. She is the current chair of the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission as well as a leader of the local Moms Demand Action group. She is running to increase business and retail opportunities for all of Edmonds, expand transparency and accessibility in local government, and protect the Edmonds Marsh.
Johnson is running against city planning board member and civil engineer Nathan Monroe. He has some ideas about affordable housing solutions, such as allowing accessory dwelling units, but overall Johnson's platform and community involvement is deeper than Monroe's. Johnson is the best choice in this race.
Liz Vogeli is a community activist running to retain Position 4 on the Everett City Council to which she was appointed in November of 2018. Vogeli organized the 2017 south Everett March in Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees and continues to be involved locally after reviving the Westmont-Holly Neighborhood Association. As a person who experienced homelessness in her younger years, she is uniquely qualified to offer empathy to those facing economic struggles in Everett. She is running to ensure public safety officials are trained to serve all community members, increase affordable housing options, and to balance the city budget.
Vogeli is running against Marian LaFountaine, a small business owner who says first first step to address housing affordability would be to learn about the issue.
Vogeli's experience and progressive values make her the best choice in this race.
Joseph Erikson is a public school teacher and union member running for Everett City Council, Position 5 to make the city more affordable for working families. As a teacher married to a social worker, Erikson has long been an advocate for more representation in elected office by younger people who do not own homes. His priorities for Everett are building more affordable housing, increasing transit options, and finding new solutions for people suffering from addiction.
Erikson's opponent, longtime conservative incumbent Scott Bader, has been on the city council since 2012 and has been an obstacle to progress on important reforms. Erickson is the best choice in this race.
Brenda Stonecipher is running unopposed for re-election to Everett City Council, Position 6. She works as a Chief Financial Officer in the private sector and uses that experience to manage the budget and maintain city services. Stonecipher wants to focus on building infrastructure that will attract both businesses and residents, improve Everett's transportation system, expand amenities in local parks, public safety, and strong economic policies. She is running unopposed and deserves your vote for Everett City Council, Position 6.
Judy Tuohy is running unopposed for re-election to Everett City Council, Position 7. She is the executive director of the Schack Art Center and wants to ensure Everett residents have a tremendous quality of life. Tuohy has endorsements from progressive groups, including the 38th Legislative District Democrats, and is the best choice for Everett City Council, Position 7.
Jon Nehring is running for re-election for Mayor of Marysville. Nehring has served as mayor since 2010 and spent eight years on the Marysville City Council, including four years as mayor pro tem. He has emphasized improving transportation and public safety in his time as mayor, including starting a partnership between the City of Arlington and Snohomish County to partner social workers and police officers to connect with individuals in encampments.
Nehring is being challenged by Michael Patrick, who is running largely because Nehring was unopposed in his previous campaign, not because they disagree on the issues.
While Nehring is not extremely progressive, we believe he's the best choice in this race.
Planning Commissioner Kelly Richards is running for Marysville City Council, Position 5. He is a pro-growth candidate supportive of creating well-paying jobs by expanding the Manufacturing Industrial Center in North Marysville. Richards says Marysville has been a leader in finding solutions to challenges in their community and wants to continue efforts to make the city a great place to “live, work, shop and raise a family.”
Richards is running against former Marysville City Councilmember Jeff Siebert. His previous experience on the city council was marked by ending talks with the Regional Fire Authority (RFA) overpayment for fire equipment as he was exiting the council in 2017.
Richards is the best choice in this race.
There are no great choices for Marysville City Council, Position 6. Incumbent Councilmember Stephen Muller was first elected in 2012 and previously served on the Marysville Planning Commission for 12 years. He does not have a strong campaign presence and appears to be a moderate Republican who prioritizes financial sustainability and public safety. Muller's challenger is Katherine Iverson, a libertarian who wants to remove city code restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and supports "reduction in the size and scope of our city code where ever possible". We recommend writing in a more progressive candidate for Marysville City Council, Position 6.
Richard Emery is running for re-election to Mukilteo City Council, Position 4. In his time on the council since 2008, Emery has prioritized preserving property in Japanese Gulch for recreation, increasing police and fire staffing, and improving school crosswalks. He also authored a gun safety resolution.
Emery is running against Scott Whelpley, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who currently holds Position 5 on Mukilteo City Council. He wants to promote responsible spending, public safety, and expand businesses in the area.
Emery is a supporter of sustainable communities and has earned your vote.
Riaz Khan is running for Mukilteo City Council, Position 5. Khan is the president of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo, the group attacked by Peter Zieve's racist campaign for wanting to build a mosque in Mukilteo (see Mukilteo City Council, Position 6). Khan's campaign is focused on neighborhood safety, strong economic development, and transparency in Mukilteo’s finances.
Khan is running against IT manager Christopher Maddux, a veteran and political newcomer who does not have a robust campaign presence. Khan has proven his dedication to being a community leader in the face of bigotry and deserves your vote for Mukilteo City Council, Position 5.
Elisabeth Crawford is an occupational health and safety specialist running for Mukilteo City Council, Position 6. She was appointed to the Parks and Arts Commission by Mayor Gregerson in April 2019. Crawford is running to plan for the future of Mukilteo and promises to bring "private sector urgency and experience to our community and prioritize the concerns of residents."
Crawford is running against Peter Zieve, who is notorious for funding a racist mailer campaign to oppose the construction of a mosque in Mukilteo. Zieve also funded false and misleading political campaigns against progressive candidates in 2018. Crawford is the best choice for Mukilteo City Council, Position 6.
Kristina Melnichenko is a data analyst running for Mukilteo City Council, Position 7. Her campaign is very focused on revisiting the budget and financial sustainability of the city's economy. She states that she does not "believe residents should bear the cost of increased business activity," that small and new businesses pay a disproportionate amount of business revenue, and that businesses pay for low taxes in the end by high fixed costs like permits.
Melnichenko is facing self-identified Republican Joe Marine, who served on the Mukilteo City Council from 1998 to 2001 and was mayor of Mukilteo from 2005 to 2013. He has stated that he's disappointed that the city has not built a park-and-ride lot and wants to see more progress on the waterfront. Marine has endorsed Peter Zieve, a Mukilteo candidate who spearheaded a postcard campaign against the building of a mosque in Mukilteo and who was fined by the attorney general's office for shocking religious harassment and refusing to hire Muslim applicants at his aerospace company.
Melnichenko is the better choice in this race.
A former fire chief in Alaska, Judith Kuleta is running for Snohomish City Council to prioritize parks, public safety, and affordable housing. If elected, she would focus on preserving the city's small-town character, maintaining public safety, supporting the youth council, and supporting walkability for pedestrians and cyclists. City Councilmember Karen Guzak, who is leaving Position 1 this year, has endorsed Kuleta.
Kuleta is running against Elizabeth Larsen, a member of the Public Safety Commission. Larson has worked for Snohomish County for nearly 15 years and is currently a project manager for the county's public works department.
Kuleta is the strongest choice for Snohomish City Council, Position 2.
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