Return Ballots by Tuesday, August 6th
Remember to return your ballot by Tuesday, August 6, and share this guide with your friends!
The King County Council is seeking approval of Proposition No. 1, which would provide funding for local parks, open spaces, trails, recreation, public pools, zoo operations, and an aquarium capital project. Renewing and replacing the County Parks levy is crucial for protecting thousands of acres of forest, investing in parks of all sizes, and expanding access to recreation and learning for underserved communities.
All children in King County deserve fun and safe places to play, and preserving our open spaces now will help combat climate change as well as protect air and water quality for generations to come. Proposition No. 1: Parks for All will cost the average homeowner less than $3 per month and will ensure King County's parks and other open spaces will continue to thrive. Vote yes on Proposition No. 1.
Incumbent Joe McDermott first joined the council in 2010, and in 2016 was chosen to be council chair. He has advocated for civil rights, safe communities, and transportation. In the last few years on the council, he has introduced the King County Gun Safety Action Plan to address the public health crisis of gun violence, supported county efforts to increase shelter capacity and build more affordable housing, and is working to address racial disproportionality in King County’s juvenile justice system.
McDermott is running against Michael Robert Neher and perennial candidate Goodspaceguy. Goodspaceguy has run for various offices more than a dozen times and is not a serious candidate. Neher has no campaign information available as of early July and is not running a viable campaign. McDermott is the clear choice in this race.
There are several good progressives in this race, including Preeti Shridhar, Sam Cho, Dominic Barrera, and Grant Degginger. Shridhar and Cho have earned the most support from our progressive partners.
Preeti Shridhar is a devoted environmental advocate who would bring decades of public affairs experience to the Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position 2. Shridhar has worked in a variety of relevant government positions throughout King County and she is passionate about ensuring that the interests of all King County communities are represented. She helped launch the City of Seattle’s Climate Protection Initiative and worked to improve relations between immigrant communities and the City of Renton, where she works now. Shridhar is focused on building regional partnerships and creating good jobs at the Port while protecting the environment.
Sam Cho is the co-founder of an international export company who is now running for Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position 2. He served on Gov. Jay Inslee’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and previously worked on trade issues for a member of Congress. As the son of South Korean immigrants, Cho is running to make the Port of Seattle work better for all people in King County, from reducing congestion at SeaTac Airport to supporting low-income families south of the airport who are impacted by noise and air pollution. He also wants to use the Port as an economic engine to create opportunities for the county’s rapidly growing population.
Incumbent Fred Felleman is an environmental consultant and marine biologist. He is running to retain his seat on the Seattle Port Commission to continue fighting climate change and increasing the Port's green energy jobs. He has been a leader on the commission in protecting orcas, publicly opposing the dangerous Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and promoting transparency at the Port while advocating for well-paying jobs. The Port faced criticism following the Trump Muslim Ban when some protesters on the light rail were forced to skip the airport station. However, Felleman was among numerous leaders who released a statement condemning the ban and calling for an evaluation of the numerous government agencies’ response at the airport.
Felleman is being challenged by Garth Jacobson and Jordan Lemmon. Attorney Jacobson's priorities include pausing cruise line terminal growth until pollution cleanup efforts are further along, finding a way to eliminate the bus shuttles from the car rental facility, and installing availability lights in the airport parking structure. Lemmon is a theatre supervisor who was inspired to run to encourage voting and is using his campaign to engage the voter base prior to the 2020 election. He has no detailed campaign information available.
Felleman is the best choice for Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position 5.
Kevin Schilling is a third-generation Burienite running for Position 4 on the Burien City Council. Having worked on a number of local civic issues, including his time as a legislative intern in Governor Inslee’s office, Schilling is currently finishing up his dual master’s degree from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. He is running to increase public safety, support local businesses, empower union workers, and to "bring an end to divisive politics."
Schilling's main opponent in this race is conservative incumbent and former mayor Lucy Krakowiak. When she was mayor, Krakowiak spent $5,000 of her own money for anti-Seattle scare tactic postcards designed to promote her fellow conservative members. In 2017, she signed a petition to repeal her own city council's sanctuary city policy.
Also running are libertarian Charles Schaefer and Omaha Sternberg. Schaefer ran in 2017 for Burien City Council Position #1 on a platform of increasing the police force, transparency, and being an advocate for increasing "freedom." He has stated that he would bring back the youth council, but also espoused anti-government philosophies on his Facebook page. Omaha Sternberg has been active with the King County Democrats but in 2016 she also suggested moving homeless people to an island.
Schilling is the best choice for Burien City Council, Position 4.
Sofia Aragon is a progressive running for the open Position 6 vacated by Austin Bell on the Burien City Council. Aragon is a registered nurse and the Executive Director of the Washington Center for Nursing. Aragon serves on the board of the WA Low Income Housing Alliance and on the board of Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE). Aragon is running to ensure Burien is a safe, healthy, and inclusive place for all residents. She is also passionate about creating more affordable housing and reducing homelessness in our communities.
Aragon is facing conservative Debi Wagner, who is a former Burien city councilmember who lost her seat in 2017 to Mayor Jimmy Matta. Wagener was a previous supporter of Respect Washington, a group she was forced to disavow after they sent mailers to Burien residents with the names and addresses of allegedly undocumented immigrants. Her previous campaign platforms include fighting socialism, reducing airport pollution, and smart growth. Also in this race is Robert L Richmond III, a renewable energy enthusiast who also ran in 2013 and 2017.
Aragon is the best choice in this race because of her decades of community service and commitment to healthier communities for all.