The Urbanist

The Urbanist

The Urbanist was founded in early 2014 in order to examine and influence urban policies. We believe that cities provide unique opportunities for addressing many of the most difficult problems we face. Our website serves as a resource for sharing ideas, creating community, and improving the places we live.

Endorsements

Congress

10th Congressional District

Beth Doglio photo
Democrat


Progressive champion and current state Rep. Beth Doglio is running for the 10th Congressional District seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Denny Heck. Prior to running for office, Doglio worked as the Climate Solutions Campaign Director and was the founding executive director of Washington Conservation Voters. While in the Legislature, Doglio advocated for numerous climate and environmental bills, as well as legislation to protect sexual assault survivors and increase funding for affordable housing.

Doglio is running for Congress on a platform of climate justice, supporting working families, and gun safety. In her Fuse interview, she said she wants to work to pass progressive reforms like a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Overall, Doglio laid out the most progressive policy agenda among the leading candidates and has earned the sole endorsement of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Doglio's background in organizing and fighting for solutions to climate change would be a valuable addition to our congressional delegation.



9th Congressional District

Adam Smith photo
Democrat


Rep. Adam Smith has been a reliable vote in Congress on progressive issues from taxation to immigration reform. He represents Washington's most diverse district, which is home to 30 percent foreign-born residents and large Asian, Hispanic, and Black communities. Smith is an advocate for greater equality, and supports a path to citizenship for immigrants, reforming the tax code, and Medicare for All. Recently, Rep. Smith spoke out against President Trump's call for the military to intervene and stop the "insurrection" of demonstrators protesting police brutality. He supported the $3 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief package and is supporting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to dramatically increase accountability and transparency.

Also in this race are Libertarian Jorge Besada and Republicans Joshua Campbell and Doug Basler. Campbell believes that all Americans should "pick a side" and unite under one party while stating that voting for Trump was a good choice. Basler has challenged Rep. Smith before, making it to the general in 2014 and 2016 but losing to Sarah Smith in the primary in 2018. He does not have a strong campaign platform but has always run as a Republican and believes the Democratic caucus has "literally held Americans hostage" during the coronavirus pandemic. Besada is running on a platform including making taxes voluntary but does support reforming the criminal justice system.

Rep. Smith is the clear choice in this race and deserves your vote for Congress.



Statewide

Statewide

Jay Inslee photo
Democrat


Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington. Before he was elected as governor in 2012, Inslee represented both sides of the Cascades in Congress, opposed the Iraq war, and worked to increase accountability and oversight for Wall Street banks.

Inslee has established himself as a national leader on fighting climate change. He has invested more than $170 million into clean energy and energy efficiency projects, implemented the Clean Air Rule, and pushed for legislation that reduces pollution in Washington. In his 2020 bid for the presidency, Inslee brought a climate-centered focus to the race. Outside of his work on climate, Inslee has signed into law Washington's public option for health care, paid family leave, and the Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

Recently, Inslee has been a national leader in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. His proactive, decisive, science-driven efforts have saved countless Washingtonians from getting sick. Unfortunately, we've seen the flip side recently where states with governors who were slow or failed to act have seen dramatic increases in cases.

Inslee is facing 35 opponents this year, the most prominent of which are Republicans Sen. Phil Fortunato, Tim Eyman, and Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed. Fortunato is a social conservative who has abandoned working families while in the office. In past legislative sessions, he voted against protections for LGBTQ school children and against expanding access to reproductive health care for women. Freed believes we should be less cautious about COVID-19 protections and rapidly re-open the state, a faulty strategy in the face of death and difficult recoveries even for previously healthy coronavirus patients.

Eyman is one of the worst candidates for governor the state has ever seen. Eyman's legal problems range from fraudulently diverting funds from his ill-conceived initiatives into his personal bank accounts to wide-ranging campaign finance violations to stealing a chair from Office Depot. He is the face behind many of Washington's most damaging initiatives, including the most recent disaster that has cut tens of billions of dollars from state transportation projects. Eyman has lately been doubling down on his cringeworthy antics by comparing Gov. Inslee's COVID policies to George Floyd's murder.

As the coronavirus crisis continues and the gap in the state budget persists, we need real, experienced leadership at the helm of the state. Inslee is the clear choice for governor.



Marko Liias photo
Democrat


State Senate Floor Leader Marko Liias was first elected to the Mukilteo City Council in 2005 before being appointed to the state House in 2007 and finally the state Senate in 2014.

In the Legislature, Liias has been a strong progressive advocate for all families. As the Democratic Senate Floor Leader, Liias has led the fight on LGBTQ equality and created a student loan bill of rights. His past legislation includes a ban on the inhumane practice of conversion therapy. This year, Liias sponsored legislation requiring informed consent to perform a pelvic exam and creating a new state financial aid program for undocumented students.

In his interview with Fuse, Liias said he would use the bully pulpit of the office to connect with voters across the state about progressive issues, including fixing our upside-down tax code. In addition, he laid out a strong set of proposals for how to increase police accountability. If elected, Liias would be the first openly gay statewide official in Washington history.



Gael Tarleton photo
Democrat


Former port commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State, who serves as the state's chief elections officer, among other roles. First elected to the Legislature in 2012, Tarleton has been a strong advocate for environmental causes such as Governor Jay Inslee's initiative to reduce carbon pollution. She sponsored bills during her first term in the House to strengthen the maritime industry, improve access to health care, and ensure gender pay equity.

Tarleton is running for Secretary of State to expand access to voting in Washington while safeguarding our elections against attacks "foreign and domestic." She wants to improve digital security and increase funding for county auditors to safeguard local elections from hacking attempts in the wake of the 2016 election. She would also expand audits of the state and local systems to identify any weaknesses that could be exploited.

Tarleton is challenging incumbent Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who has faced a bumpy road during her time in office. Last year, Wyman's office released a new $9.5 million voter registration database that was riddled with errors and led to a backlog of tens of thousands of registrations. King County elections director Julie Wise described the release as "irresponsible" and "not even functioning." In addition, Wyman was slow to support the Washington Voting Rights Act, same-day voter registration, and postage-paid ballots, and she has failed to condemn the president's relentless attacks on voting by mail.

Also in this race are Independent Ed Minger and Progressive Party candidate Gentry Lange. Minger wants to prohibit candidates from running paid ads, which is blatantly unconstitutional, and Lange wants to end voting by mail in Washington, a particularly confounding position during a pandemic.

We need a progressive leader in the Secretary of State's office who is fully committed to protecting our elections and removing every barrier to participation in our democracy. Tarleton is the clear progressive choice in this race.



Mike Pellicciotti photo


Mike Pellicciotti has served in the Washington state House representing the 30th Legislative District since 2016 and is now running for Treasurer. Pellicciotti has never accepted corporate campaign donations and has led efforts to make the Legislature's records open for public view. He also wrote the Corporate Crime Act, which increases financial penalties for corporate crimes by 100 times, and has successfully supported laws reducing property taxes.

Pellicciotti is challenging incumbent Republican Duane Davidson. In 2016, incumbent Jim McIntire retired, leaving the seat open. Because of the crowded primary, two Republicans made it through to the general election, giving them control of the Treasurer's office for the first time since 1957. Davidson previously served as the Benton County Treasurer from 2003 to 2016. In his term, he has been a traditional Republican and has referred to the state Legislature "raiding" the Rainy Day Fund. He has also only attended 3 of 18 critical pension meetings since fall 2017.

Pellicciotti has been a solid legislator and is the best choice in the race for Washington State Treasurer.



Bob Ferguson photo
Democrat


Attorney General Bob Ferguson's accomplishments during his two terms in office are impressive. From delivering millions of dollars back to consumers who were wronged by fraudulent corporations and his ongoing battle with the federal government to clean up the Hanford nuclear waste site to successfully fighting two Tim Eyman initiatives, Ferguson has been a strong and effective advocate for people in Washington. He has sued the Trump administration 50 times as of October 2019 and won every completed case (22 by his own count). Some of Ferguson's biggest accomplishments from the past few years include protecting consumer medical data, protecting statewide water quality from Trump's erosive environmental policies, and fighting back against the Trump administration's child detention laws.

Ferguson is running against Republicans Brett Rogers, Mike Vaska, and Matt Larkin. Rogers states that with over 20 years of law enforcement experience, including time with the Seattle Police Department, he would be well-suited to research and set criminal justice policy. A member of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Vaska's priorities include reducing regulations for business and streamlining the permitting process. Larkin states that he's running to prioritize "the homeless situation" that "no one is doing anything about," and promises to empower law enforcement while making Washington more business-friendly.

Ferguson is the clear progressive choice for Attorney General of Washington.



Hilary Franz photo
Democrat


Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has been a proactive force for protecting our communities from climate change. As the head of the Washington Department of Natural Resources, she has focused on wildfire management and climate action.

This year, Franz released a climate resilience plan for rural Washington that includes expanding wind and solar farms and massive reforestation. Given the statewide threat and impact of wildfires with recent record-setting fire seasons, she has also worked on a 20-year forest health plan and a 10-year fire protection plan.

Franz is running against six other candidates: Republicans Cameron Whitney, Steve Sharon, Maryam Abasbarzy, and Sue Kuehl Pederson, Democrat Frank Wallbrown, and Libertarian Kelsey Reyes. Wallbrown and Abasbarzy have no campaign details available. Pederson is the former chair of the Grays Harbor Republican Party and says she's running to bring new leadership to the office and to balance the state's economy and ecology. Reyes works in the restaurant industry and has no concrete campaign details or website available. Finally, Sharon is running to investigate the effects of 5G towers and Whitney is running to follow Trump's suggestion of raking forests to stop forest fires.

Franz has the experience we need to guide and protect our state from increasingly dangerous fire seasons to the rising threat of climate inaction. Vote Franz for Commissioner of Public Lands.



Chris Reykdal photo
Non-Partisan


Chris Reykdal is running for re-election to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to continue his leadership of our state's public schools through this challenging time. Previously, Reykdal spent 14 years serving on local school boards and in leadership positions at community and technical colleges, as well as serving 6 years in the Legislature. In the state House, Reykdal had a strong progressive voting record and was a consistent champion for public schools.

In his first term as Superintendent, Reykdal has pushed the Legislature to fully fund K-12 education, increase teacher pay, and close the opportunity gap for students of color. More recently, Reykdal has worked closely with Gov. Inslee to help Washington's schools navigate the pandemic. He made the tough decision early to close schools for the year to keep kids and families safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. If re-elected, Reykdal will continue to advocate for these priorities and work with schools across the state as they make the transition back to in-person education.

Reykdal is facing a handful of opponents in this non-partisan race: conservative Ron Higgins, former Republican legislative candidate Maia Espinoza, Dennis Wick, Stan Lippman, and David Spring. Espinoza has garnered attention by publishing a false and inflammatory voters pamphlet statement attacking Reykdal. Lippman is a disbarred lawyer and anti-vaccination advocate, Spring doesn't think we should have closed schools during the pandemic, and Higgins wants to inject religious teachings into public education. Wick is a former member of the Snohomish School District Board of Directors who wants to modernize our school system.

Reykdal is the clear choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.



State Legislature

11th Legislative District

Bob Hasegawa photo
Democrat

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Bob Hasegawa is running unopposed for re-election to the state Senate. Since first being elected to the House in 2005, Hasegawa has distinguished himself through his social justice work. He is a labor advocate and founding member of several labor boards, including Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO and the Washington State Labor Council. Hasegawa has also been a strong advocate for reforming our state's regressive tax system and has pushed to established a state bank.

Hasegawa has earned another term in the state Senate.



G. David Hackney photo
Democrat

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Democrat G. David Hackney is a former federal prosecutor, senior attorney at The Nature Conservancy, and employee relations manager at Amazon. Hackney has a strong record of community service, including as a member of the Washington State Human Rights Commission and on the board of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. In his Fuse interview, Hackney laid out a bold progressive platform that prioritizes income inequality, health care, and education. He also wants to see more leadership from the 11th district on issues like gun safety, racial justice, and support for renters.

Tim Eyman supporter Jay Stark is also on the ballot but is not running a competitive campaign.



28th Legislative District

T'wina Nobles photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


T'wina Nobles is challenging Republican Senator Steve O'Ban. Nobles is the President and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League, an educator, and the University Place School Board Director. She has worked in education for 15 years as an instructor, PTA leader, School Board member and is endorsed by numerous Democratic elected officials. Nobles has three kids in public schools and one who graduated from Curtis High School. She wants to increase pay for teachers, reduce class sizes, and work to make schools more inclusive and equitable. Nobles knows more needs to be done to ensure families in the 28th are healthy and safe. She wants to reform our upside-down tax structure and fight for better wages and affordable housing for working people.

Sen. O'Ban is a notorious conservative who has previously sued the state to prevent Washington women from having access to birth control at some pharmacies. Likewise, he has fought against equality for the LGBTQ community, including leading the opposition to marriage equality. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, O'Ban pushed to re-open the economy long before it was safe. This year, he opposed establishing the Washington State Office of Equity and voted against prohibiting discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status.

Nobles is the clear progressive choice in this race and would make a great state senator.



29th Legislative District

Melanie Morgan photo
Democrat


Rep. Melanie Morgan is running for re-election for the 29th Legislative District, House Position 1. She was elected to the Franklin-Pierce School Board in 2015 and has been a strong advocate for representation and equity in Olympia. This year, Morgan sponsored legislation to prohibit race-based hair discrimination and supported gun safety legislation as well as establishing the Washington State Office of Equity. Morgan also worked with Young Life to create a mentorship group for young Black men, focusing on participation in STEM fields.

Morgan is facing a challenge from Republican Koshin Mohamed Fidaar, an Army veteran and executive director of Somali Community Services Coalition. He states that the district has a high amount of crime but fails to offer thoughtful solutions to address it. Fidaar also states that he will advocate for working families, but makes no mention of flipping our state's deeply regressive tax code. He has no detailed policy platform available as of late July.

Morgan is the clear choice in this race and has earned your vote.



Sharlett Mena photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Democrat Sharlett Mena is challenging incumbent Rep. Steve Kirby for the 29th Legislative District, House Position 2. Mena currently serves as Special Assistant to the Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, and has also worked in the Governor's Office. She previously worked on immigration policy in Congress and as a communications specialist in the Washington state Legislature, where she established Spanish language resources. She also worked in the Governor's Office and currently serves as Special Assistant to the Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Her impressive campaign platform includes bold action to equitably combat the climate crisis, reducing homelessness and increasing affordable housing, and reforming our upside-down tax code by cutting sales taxes and passing a capital gains tax to finally make the wealthy pay their share.

We are recommending Sharlett Mena for new leadership for the 29th Legislative District.



32nd Legislative District

Cindy Ryu photo
Democrat

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Rep. Cindy Ryu is running for re-election in the 32nd Legislative District, House Position 1. Formerly the mayor of Shoreline, Ryu was the first Korean American mayor in the country and the first to serve in the state Legislature. She is the Chair of the Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee. In this role, Ryu has been an advocate for affordable housing, including supporting the development of tiny homes and upzoning in urban areas, as well as proposing a bill to create "housing opportunity zones" near high-quality transit. She has also advocated for reforms to hold law enforcement officers accountable. This year, Rep. Ryu sponsored legislation prohibiting race-based hair discrimination and supported gun safety legislation.

Ryu is running against Democrats Shirley Sutton and Keith Smith. Sutton is a Lynnwood council member who does not have a strong campaign presence. Smith previously challenged Ryu as a "centrist" but is now running as a Democrat. He is a Lynnwood grocery clerk and community advocate who states that his goal if elected is to protect workers on the frontlines of COVID and streamline the unemployment system.

Rep. Ryu is the best choice in this race and deserves your vote.



36th Legislative District

Noel Christina Frame photo

Evergreen Future


Rep. Noel Frame is running for re-election for the 36th Legislative District, House Position 1. Frame has served the district since 2016 and has put her organizing skills to use as a strong advocate for funding public schools and reforming our state's regressive tax system. She previously served as the Washington State Director of Progressive Majority, where she worked to recruit and elect progressive candidates from underrepresented communities.

Rep. Frame's re-election platform includes continuing to fight for tax reform, funding our public schools, and moving our society towards a world that values all people through policies that remove discrimination and barriers to people of color. This year, Rep. Frame sponsored legislation to prevent race-based hair discrimination and requiring the state to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Rep. Frame is running unopposed and has earned your vote.



Liz Berry photo
Democrat

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Democrat Liz Berry is running for the 36th Legislative District, House Position 2 to replace Rep. Gael Tarleton, who is running for secretary of state. Berry is the director of the Washington State Association of Justice. She previously served as the president of the National Women's Political Caucus and on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

If elected, her priorities include rebuilding our economy so it works for everyone, affordable childcare, health care reform, and an end to systematic police violence against Black people. Berry has numerous endorsements from progressive partner organizations and elected officials including Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Berry's experience and strong support from progressive advocates make her the best choice in this race.



43rd Legislative District

Nicole Macri photo
Democrat


Rep. Nicole Macri is running for re-election to the 43rd Legislative District, House Position 1. Rep. Macri is a strong progressive who has worked as an advocate for those with mental illnesses and people struggling with homelessness. She is currently the deputy director at the Downtown Emergency Service Center and president of the board of directors of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. This year, Macri sponsored a bill to allow King County to tax corporations for the highly-compensated individuals they employ, a key first step in rebalancing our upside-down tax system. In addition, she supported requiring the state to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. She also supported gun safety legislation and establishing the Washington State Office of Equity.

Macri is running against Republican Leslie Klein and Brandon Franklin. Franklin does not list a party preference and does not have any concrete campaign policies available. Klein is running as a Republican to "give you someone to vote for besides Donald Duck or Minnie Mouse."

Macri has earned your vote for state House.



22nd Legislative District

Jessica Bateman photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Olympia Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Bateman is running for the 22nd Legislative District, House Position 2 to fill the seat vacated by Beth Doglio. Bateman has been a tireless progressive advocate on the council, working toward equitable housing solutions, protecting our green space, and ensuring no one is left behind. Accomplishments from her first term include co-chairing the Home Fund, a campaign to provide safe housing and essential services for vulnerable homeless community members, and sponsoring a resolution to make Olympia a sanctuary city.



34th Legislative District

Joe Fitzgibbon photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Environmental champion Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon is running for re-election to the 34th Legislative District, House Position 2. This year, Fitzgibbon pushed for clean fuels legislation that would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and led to cleaner air. In addition, he supported legislation to reduce plastic bag pollution, reduce gender pay disparities, and improve gun safety laws. Fitzgibbon is running on a platform of defending the environment, reforming our tax code so everyone pays their share, and funding education.

Fitzgibbon is running unopposed and deserves your vote.



37th Legislative District

Kirsten Harris-Talley photo

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Democrat Kirsten Harris-Talley is the interim director at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. Previously, she worked at the Progress Alliance of Washington helping raise money for progressive and community organizations across the state. In addition, Harris-Talley briefly served on the Seattle City Council in 2017 after Councilmember Tim Burgess stepped down. 

Harris-Talley is running for the 37th Legislative District, House Position 2, to bring her experience in political campaigns, policy writing, and fighting for racial justice to Olympia. In her Fuse interview, she said that most progressive policies in the last decade have come from ballot measures because legislators have not been bold enough, and she wants to fix that. If elected, her top three priorities would be to help people stay in their homes by putting money in their pockets, pushing back against conservative attacks, and raising revenue by balancing our state's upside-down tax code. Finally, Harris-Talley believes too much of the district is still zoned for single-family housing and will push for greater density.