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Welcome to the Fuse Progressive Voters Guide to the 2019 primary election! The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information you need to make decisions about the races on your ballot based on your values.
Remember to return your ballot by Tuesday, August 6, and share this guide with your friends!
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.
Erik Paulsen is a Vancouver native, banker, and former Planning Commission member who was unanimously appointed to Vancouver City Council, Position 2. He’s committed to family-wage job growth, safe and accessible transportation for all, increased affordable housing options, and protecting our public spaces.
Paulsen is running against Maureen McGoldrick and Justin Forsman. McGoldrick is a perennial candidate and former computer programmer who supports strict anti-littering ordinances and additional patrols, cameras, and traffic lights around public areas and schools. She isn't running a viable campaign. Justin Forsman ran in 2016 for the 49th Legislative District Senate seat and in 2015 for the Vancouver City Council on a platform of removing fluoride from the municipal water supply. He claims we are under attack by the media and "the ones we elected to safeguard our liberties." Forsman supports lowering taxes and still wants to remove fluoride from the water supply.
Erik Paulsen is the clear choice in this race.
There are two good progressives in this race: Diana Perez and Adam Aguilera.
Diana Perez is a progressive U.S. Forest Service worker who serves on the Washington State Parks Commission and is running to fill the open seat on Vancouver City Council, Position 6, which is being vacated by longtime conservative Councilmember Bill Turlay. Perez founded the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens and is running to bring more voices to the table as Vancouver continues to grow. Committed to being a champion of the Vancouver Climate Action Plan and fighting oil terminals, Perez has been outspoken on a number of progressive issues, including gun safety, transgender equality, and welcoming members of the Sikh community to Vancouver.
Adam Aguilera is a progressive teacher and former Secretary/Treasurer of the Evergreen Education Association who led strikes to gain salary increases for teachers last fall. Both he and Perez were finalists for the open Position 2 seat that ultimately went to Erik Paulsen. Aguilera is supporting a slate of policies that includes community partnerships to provide affordable childcare, a housing-first approach to unsheltered residents, developing a new sustainability plan for Vancouver, and encouraging the growth of small and micro-businesses.
Aguilera is facing off against a large field of candidates, including newcomer Mike Pond, a marketing specialist and progressive, and moderate Sarah Fox, a military veteran and urban planner. Conservative pastor and business owner Dorel Singeorzan is running on a pro-business platform that's harshly critical of homeless people in our community. The last candidate in this race is 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. 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.
Both Perez and Aguilera are good choices in this race.
Caressa Milgrove is a hospitality auditor who is running to bring back more community events and meetings with the school board. As a parent advocate concerned that her son only had fifteen minutes to eat lunch, she worked with child nutritionists and state representatives to pass a bill through the state legislature that will help districts across the state create better lunchtime practices. Milgrove also seeks to improve the district's environmental practices, increase recess time, and expand project-based learning.
Milgrove is running against Thomas Higdon, incumbent Dale Q. Rice, and Kyle Sproul. Higdon, a retired promoter and essayist who does not have experience with Vancouver schools, is seeking a "tradition-rich education" which emphasizes English so that schools can "dramatically reduce such illiteracy as has characterized so many contemporary graduates." Board Vice President Rice is an investment advisor representative who has served on the board since 1990. He is running to continue leveraging his financial background into fiscal responsibility and budget management. Sproul is a business professional who is running to close the achievement gap and to support dual language education in the district.
Milgrove has been widely endorsed by the community and is the best choice in this race.
There are two strong candidates for Vancouver School District Director, Position No. 4: teacher Lisa Messer and student Lindsey Luis. They both earned endorsements from local Democrat groups and our Progressive Voters Guide partners.
Messer has been a teacher in Evergreen Public Schools for 14 years and is very focused on metrics. She wants to update the district to meet the needs of modern students, collaborate with the community, and honor the hard work educators do. Regarding the teachers' strike last year, Messer believes administrators should have been more proactive in seeing changes coming and adapting to them.
Luis recently graduated from Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies and will be attending Washington State University: Vancouver this fall. Luis is first-generation Latinx and is running because she understands the problems facing students, having just been a high school student herself. She was on the picket lines with teachers during the strike last year supporting stronger wages, smaller class sizes, and more resources for schools. Luis is very involved in her community, including hosting voter registration drives and serving as a High School Changemaker for elementary schoolers.
Messer and Luis are facing teacher Kathy Decker and Columbia Credit Union financial advisor Robert Stewart. Decker is running to be a champion for every child and bring district parents easy access to decision-makers like administrators, board members, and department heads. Stewart is running a finance-centric campaign and wants to balance the needs of students and teachers with the current funding the district receives.
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