Statewide Ballot Measures

Advisory Vote #36

  • VOTE MAINTAINED

    Vote Maintained to strengthen mental health crisis support

  • This spring, lawmakers passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1477 to expand the state’s crisis response system to include a new hotline dealing exclusively with mental health emergencies.

    Sponsored by Democratic legislators, the law will divert some calls away from 911 so that Washingtonians can get more specialized crisis responses. In addition, law enforcement officers no longer need to take on responsibilities associated with social workers. This will be funded by a tax of 30 cents a month on most phone services in October 2021 until a bump to 75 cents a month starting in July 2024. All revenue generated by the tax will go to crisis line-related expenses, including expanding hotline personnel during the community mental health crisis associated with the pandemic.

    Vote “Maintained” on State Advisory Vote 36.

    This spring, lawmakers passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1477 to expand the state’s crisis response system to include a new hotline dealing exclusively with mental health emergencies.

    Sponsored by Democratic legislators, the law will divert some calls away from 911 so that Washingtonians can get more specialized crisis responses. In addition, law enforcement officers no longer need to take on responsibilities associated with social workers. This will be funded by a tax of 30 cents a month on most phone services in October 2021 until a bump to 75 cents a month starting in July 2024. All revenue generated by the tax will go to crisis line-related expenses, including expanding hotline personnel during the community mental health crisis associated with the pandemic.

    Vote “Maintained” on State Advisory Vote 36.

  • Endorsed By: The Stranger

Advisory Vote #37

  • VOTE MAINTAINED

    Vote Maintained to balance our tax code

  • Washingtonians deserve an economy that works for us all. An essential part of that is a balanced tax code where everyone pays their share. Yet, Washington boasts the most upside-down system in the nation, where the state’s lowest-income earners pay 17% of their income in taxes while the wealthiest few pay just 3% of their income.

    This legislative session, Democratic lawmakers wrote and passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5096, which created a 7% capital gains tax on the sale of assets like stocks valued above $250,000. The tax is estimated to raise about $415 million primarily for child care and early learning - both services that became clearly essential to Washingtonians during the coronavirus pandemic.

    We know that good public schools, beautiful parks, and strong social services make Washington a great place to live. This long-overdue capital gains tax will go towards making sure that all Washingtonians pay their share in taxes and have the opportunity to thrive.

    Vote "Maintained" on State Advisory Vote 37.

    Washingtonians deserve an economy that works for us all. An essential part of that is a balanced tax code where everyone pays their share. Yet, Washington boasts the most upside-down system in the nation, where the state’s lowest-income earners pay 17% of their income in taxes while the wealthiest few pay just 3% of their income.

    This legislative session, Democratic lawmakers wrote and passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5096, which created a 7% capital gains tax on the sale of assets like stocks valued above $250,000. The tax is estimated to raise about $415 million primarily for child care and early learning - both services that became clearly essential to Washingtonians during the coronavirus pandemic.

    We know that good public schools, beautiful parks, and strong social services make Washington a great place to live. This long-overdue capital gains tax will go towards making sure that all Washingtonians pay their share in taxes and have the opportunity to thrive.

    Vote "Maintained" on State Advisory Vote 37.

  • Endorsed By: The Stranger

Advisory Vote #38

  • VOTE MAINTAINED

    Vote Maintained to close a tax loophole for insurance companies

  • In the most recent legislative session, lawmakers passed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5315, which creates a 2% tax on certain insurance premiums. In effect, the law would close a tax loophole for corporations with their own insurance policies, known as captive insurers, so that all insurance companies pay premiums taxes. It is estimated to generate around $53 million over the next decade.

    SB 5315 had bipartisan sponsorship and was passed nearly unanimously with only one vote of opposition between both houses. The legislation was requested by Democratic Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who wants to make sure that all insurance companies pay their share of taxes.

    Ensuring big corporations pay their share is an important step toward balancing our state's tax code. Vote “Maintained” on State Advisory Vote 38.

    In the most recent legislative session, lawmakers passed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5315, which creates a 2% tax on certain insurance premiums. In effect, the law would close a tax loophole for corporations with their own insurance policies, known as captive insurers, so that all insurance companies pay premiums taxes. It is estimated to generate around $53 million over the next decade.

    SB 5315 had bipartisan sponsorship and was passed nearly unanimously with only one vote of opposition between both houses. The legislation was requested by Democratic Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who wants to make sure that all insurance companies pay their share of taxes.

    Ensuring big corporations pay their share is an important step toward balancing our state's tax code. Vote “Maintained” on State Advisory Vote 38.

  • Endorsed By: The Stranger

County Ballot Measures

King County Charter Amendment #1

  • VOTE YES

    Vote YES for equity and inclusion

  • King County Charter Amendment 1 proposes a revision to fix a grammatical error and to update the language to better reflect the values and community of King County. Specifically, the amendment would add “for all” and “equitable” into the county charter's preamble in order to demonstrate the county’s commitment to serving all residents. It would also include the addition of “protect and enhance” and “promote a superior quality of life” which further emphasize the county government’s purpose to meet community needs and strengthen regional services so that residents can thrive.

    The King County Charter defines the responsibilities of county government and the relationship it has to voters. With the proposed language updates to the preamble, the charter will better reflect its role as a service provider focused on improving the quality of life for all residents in an equitable manner.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Amendment 1 to the King County Charter.

    King County Charter Amendment 1 proposes a revision to fix a grammatical error and to update the language to better reflect the values and community of King County. Specifically, the amendment would add “for all” and “equitable” into the county charter's preamble in order to demonstrate the county’s commitment to serving all residents. It would also include the addition of “protect and enhance” and “promote a superior quality of life” which further emphasize the county government’s purpose to meet community needs and strengthen regional services so that residents can thrive.

    The King County Charter defines the responsibilities of county government and the relationship it has to voters. With the proposed language updates to the preamble, the charter will better reflect its role as a service provider focused on improving the quality of life for all residents in an equitable manner.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Amendment 1 to the King County Charter.

  • Endorsed By: The Stranger

King County Charter Amendment #2

  • VOTE YES

    Vote YES to clarify rules for county intitiatives

  • King County Charter Amendment 2 would bring the county into compliance with state law on timelines for initiatives, referenda, and charter ballot measures. The amendment would also provide greater clarity around the terms associated with, and process for, measures.

    Currently, the charter allows for voters to submit initiatives and referenda to the King County Council that may be adopted or put on the ballot. With this update to the language of the charter, voters will better understand the rules around submission and those rules will be in clearer alignment on state and county levels.

    Vote “Yes” to “Approve” Amendment 2 to the King County Charter which will improve the initiatives, referenda, and ballot measure process for voters and county government.

    King County Charter Amendment 2 would bring the county into compliance with state law on timelines for initiatives, referenda, and charter ballot measures. The amendment would also provide greater clarity around the terms associated with, and process for, measures.

    Currently, the charter allows for voters to submit initiatives and referenda to the King County Council that may be adopted or put on the ballot. With this update to the language of the charter, voters will better understand the rules around submission and those rules will be in clearer alignment on state and county levels.

    Vote “Yes” to “Approve” Amendment 2 to the King County Charter which will improve the initiatives, referenda, and ballot measure process for voters and county government.

  • Endorsed By: The Stranger

County Races

King County

  • Non-Partisan

    Joe Nguyen

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Sen. Joe Nguyen was elected to the Washington state Senate in 2018 and has worked as a senior program manager at Microsoft since 2013. His parents were refugees from Vietnam who came to White Center, where Nguyen was born and raised.

    During Nguyen's time in the Legislature, he has been an advocate for Washington's families and equality, including playing a leadership role in fully funding the Working Families Tax Credit. In addition, he co-sponsored legislation to require anti-racism and equity training in public schools.

    Nguyen is running for county executive to implement sweeping actions on the affordable housing crisis, to reform the criminal justice system with deep changes and accountability, and to make the state's economy work for everyone, not just the wealthiest people. In particular, Nguyen has proposed to make all transit services free to improve access and increase ridership. He also wants to leverage the new Regional Homelessness Authority to significantly scale up the building of affordable housing.

    Nguyen has the support of elected leaders including state Reps. Kirsten Harris-Talley and David Hackney as well as state Sen. Bob Hasegawa and Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti. Nguyen is a progressive choice if you're looking for new leadership in the executive's office who will prioritize racial justice and systemic change.

    Joe Nguyen

    Sen. Joe Nguyen was elected to the Washington state Senate in 2018 and has worked as a senior program manager at Microsoft since 2013. His parents were refugees from Vietnam who came to White Center, where Nguyen was born and raised.

    Joe Nguyen

    Sen. Joe Nguyen was elected to the Washington state Senate in 2018 and has worked as a senior program manager at Microsoft since 2013. His parents were refugees from Vietnam who came to White Center, where Nguyen was born and raised.

  • Incumbent Rod Dembowski is an attorney who has represented District 1 since 2013. He has served in county affairs in several capacities, including as a pro bono counsel for the King County Superior Court, policy analyst in the county executive's office, and special prosecuting attorney.

    If re-elected, Dembowski will continue working on sustainable human services funding, protecting the wild areas of the Puget Sound region, and looking for sustainable transit funding that improves transportation options. He also wants to expand housing with an eye on reducing commute times and increasing affordability for workers and families. While on the council, Dembowski has sponsored several progressive reforms, including giving grocery workers hazard pay in the pandemic and moving to make the sheriff an appointed position through the council and an advisory committee.

    Challenging Dembowski is Kenmore resident and first-time candidate Sally Caverzan. According to her LinkedIn, she has worked as a long-term care social worker and is passionate about the environment. Her official voters' guide statement says that she would support instituting term limits for politicians, expanding mental health and addiction care with the creation of a King County regional treatment facility, and increasing supportive and permanent housing.

    Dembowski has earned broad support from elected officials, reproductive health and environmental organizations, labor unions, and many more. We recommend Dembowski for King County Council in District 1 because of his proven track record of progressive leadership.

    Rod Dembowski

    Incumbent Rod Dembowski is an attorney who has represented District 1 since 2013. He has served in county affairs in several capacities, including as a pro bono counsel for the King County Superior Court, policy analyst in the county executive's office, and special prosecuting attorney.

    Rod Dembowski

    Incumbent Rod Dembowski is an attorney who has represented District 1 since 2013. He has served in county affairs in several capacities, including as a pro bono counsel for the King County Superior Court, policy analyst in the county executive's office, and special prosecuting attorney.

  • Non-Partisan

    Sarah Perry

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Sarah Perry is a small business owner, nonprofit fundraiser, and Democratic activist who is challenging incumbent Kathy Lambert for King County Council in District 3. Perry has years of experience building financial support for nonprofits and universities in the Puget Sound area.

    Perry is running on a platform of supporting small businesses, protecting farmlands and the environment, and improving transportation. In particular, she wants to provide more support for the 40% of the district in unincorporated King County that can't rely on city leadership for investments and infrastructure. In our interview with Perry, she presented a detailed overview of her campaign as a strong advocate for growth management. She wants to promote urban forests, preserve the district's natural areas, usher in alternative energy sources, and improve wastewater and storm runoff in open spaces. Perry also wants to see an equity lens brought to COVID recovery, ensuring that new modes of transit are brought to the district, supporting behavioral health, and assisting those struggling with affordable housing.

    While the King County Council is officially non-partisan, Perry's opponent, longtime Republican Kathy Lambert, has lost touch with this diverse and rapidly changing district. Lambert has voted against transit access for years, including voting to end Seattle's downtown free-ride zone. She also voted against making the county sheriff an appointed position, which was proposed to give the council and county executive more oversight in the wake of protests against police brutality. Lambert was the only "no" vote on the 2019 bill to use state money to fund early learning, post-secondary education, and in-home care providers.

     

    Lambert received broad criticism in early October for a mail piece from her campaign that singled out the only Black member of the King County Council with fear-mongering and divisive language. All six Democrats on the council, as well as King County Executive Dow Constantine, denounced the attack and said it has no place in our public discourse. 

     

    We need to elect leaders who will bring people together to create meaningful change, not tear each other down and divide us with hateful rhetoric. Perry's extensive civic engagement and track record of collaboration has earned her overwhelming support from community leaders and progressive organizations. Vote for Perry for new progressive leadership on the King County Council from District 3.

    Sarah Perry

    Sarah Perry is a small business owner, nonprofit fundraiser, and Democratic activist who is challenging incumbent Kathy Lambert for King County Council in District 3. Perry has years of experience building financial support for nonprofits and universities in the Puget Sound area.

    Sarah Perry

    Sarah Perry is a small business owner, nonprofit fundraiser, and Democratic activist who is challenging incumbent Kathy Lambert for King County Council in District 3. Perry has years of experience building financial support for nonprofits and universities in the Puget Sound area.

  • Dr. Shukri Olow is a community organizer running to empower King County residents with the resources they need to thrive. As a child, Olow's family fled civil war in Somalia and spent six years in a refugee camp before finally settling in Kent when she was 10 years old. Olow credits the food bank, social workers, and Kent public housing system for helping her find opportunities, and wants to now help meet the needs of those struggling in King County. In discussions with child care providers, immigrants, small business owners, teachers, and others she has identified several ways to meet the needs of those who don't have wealth or political power.

    Olow notes that the biggest driver of homelessness in the region is rent increasing faster than incomes. To beat rising costs, Olow wants to ensure that the county is funding humane, non-congregate shelters to get people out of crisis. She also wants to build supportive housing and a minimum of 37,000 units of housing which would be available to those with the lowest incomes. She wants to reimagine community safety through a public health lens and move towards investments in the community through school partnerships, workforce development, and more. Olow takes seriously the need for everyone to thrive and would work towards free transit, accessible child care and elder care, and more.

    In our interview with Olow, we were impressed by her thoughtfulness, her record, and her tenacity in bringing together many voices and needs for the good of all. In this race between two progressive candidates, we recommend Olow with the support of many of our progressive partners.

    Shukri Olow

    Dr. Shukri Olow is a community organizer running to empower King County residents with the resources they need to thrive. As a child, Olow's family fled civil war in Somalia and spent six years in a refugee camp before finally settling in Kent when she was 10 years old.

    Shukri Olow

    Dr. Shukri Olow is a community organizer running to empower King County residents with the resources they need to thrive. As a child, Olow's family fled civil war in Somalia and spent six years in a refugee camp before finally settling in Kent when she was 10 years old.

  • Non-Partisan

    Kim-Khanh Van

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Kim-Khanh Van is a current Renton City Council member who is running for King County Council in District 9 to bring her experience and dedication to the county. After her family escaped Vietnam as refugees and settled in King County, she went on to earn her doctorate and become an attorney. Van credits the community for her successes and wants to provide families and residents with healthy, livable communities that include child care access and infrastructure maintenance. Outside of her work on the city council, Van serves in a multitude of organizations, including as a PTA president, a volunteer attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the co-founder of AAPI Against Hate.

    Van has demonstrated that she is willing to take tough public votes on behalf of the most vulnerable in the community. She was one of only two members of the Renton City Council who voted to maintain the Red Lion Hotel as a source of housing for residents experiencing homelessness. In our interview, we were impressed with her in-depth knowledge about the issue and her desire to lead as a consensus and coalition builder at the county level. She wants to do more to educate voters on the economic and social benefits of providing supportive, stable housing early, rather than jailing people experiencing homelessness.

    Van has done much advocacy work for marginalized communities. She understands the struggles that the Black, Latino, and Asian-Pacific Islander communities have faced historically and in the present, and vows to continue to stand with residents to make the county a place of opportunity for all.

    Her opponent is Republican incumbent Reagan Dunn, who has served on the council since he was appointed and later elected to the position in 2005. Before that, he worked as a federal prosecutor appointed by President George W. Bush and was the national coordinator of a Department of Justice program that increases policing in neighborhoods. Dunn challenged Bob Ferguson in the 2012 race for attorney general and lost.

    On the council, Dunn has been a consistent voice opposing the progressive reforms proposed by the rest of the council. In March, Dunn was the lone vote against giving grocery store workers $4 per hour hazard pay for their service on the front lines of the pandemic. In addition, Dunn was a vocal opponent of streamlining homelessness services between Seattle and King County. Instead, he proposed spending $1 million of taxpayer money on bus tickets to send people experiencing homelessness to other states, another shortsighted proposal that failed to address the root causes of the issue. In this campaign, he has emphasized his prosecutorial background and longstanding support of law enforcement without talking about how to increase accountability for law enforcement.

    Van's strong experience and progressive values make her the best choice for King County Council in District 9.

    Kim-Khanh Van

    Kim-Khanh Van is a current Renton City Council member who is running for King County Council in District 9 to bring her experience and dedication to the county. After her family escaped Vietnam as refugees and settled in King County, she went on to earn her doctorate and become an attorney.

    Kim-Khanh Van

    Kim-Khanh Van is a current Renton City Council member who is running for King County Council in District 9 to bring her experience and dedication to the county. After her family escaped Vietnam as refugees and settled in King County, she went on to earn her doctorate and become an attorney.

Port Races

Port of Seattle

  • Incumbent and businesses consultant Ryan Calkins has successfully pushed the port in a more progressive direction during his first term. The current Port of Seattle commissioners have enacted several crucial reforms over the last few years, including ensuring at least a $15 minimum wage for airline catering workers and starting an accelerator mentorship program aimed at increasing access to contracting jobs for women- and minority-owned businesses.

    If re-elected, Calkins states that he will continue to lead on mitigating the environmental impacts of the airport and port operations, promoting living wage jobs, improving immigration policy, and more. He has earned broad support from progressive and Democratic Party organizations.

    His opponent is Norman Sigler, the owner of a consulting firm that focuses on finding diverse executive leadership. He serves as a precinct committee officer and is on the executive board of the King County Democrats Central Committee. Sigler wants to focus the port on environmental and economic justice, stating that he would invest port profits into improving neighboring communities. He states that he would promote a green economy, work to end systemic racism and keep the port honest, but does not have as detailed of a policy agenda. For example, in a forum for Port of Seattle candidates, Sigler stated that he would seek "putting mandates" on cruises and airlines, while Calkins specifically stated that he would support electric aviation, cleaner fuels, and high-speed ground transportation over short flights.

    Calkins has an excellent record on the port and broad support from the progressive community. Calkins is the best choice for Port of Seattle, Position #1.

    Ryan Calkins

    Submitted by stephanie on Tue, 09/28/2021 - 12:40

    Incumbent and businesses consultant Ryan Calkins has successfully pushed the port in a more progressive direction during his first term.

    Ryan Calkins

    Submitted by stephanie on Tue, 09/28/2021 - 12:40

    Incumbent and businesses consultant Ryan Calkins has successfully pushed the port in a more progressive direction during his first term.

  • Hamdi Mohamed is running for Seattle Port Commissioner, Position 3 with a visionary agenda for the port that centers the needs of the workers, the environment, and the broader community. Mohamed's family fled Somalia and settled in the SeaTac region when she was 5 years old, with her mother working in the airport. Mohamed now works in the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice as a policy advisor and has helped manage the millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds that went to community-based organizations in King County.

    As a resident of SeaTac, Mohamed lives in one of the communities most affected by airport pollution. Given that none of the current commissioners live in South King County, she seeks to bridge the gap between port policy and lived experience. She wants to expand the port's efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and restore habitats for salmon and orcas. Through greater direct partnership with workers, Mohamed wants to protect unions, provide pandemic relief, and prioritize workplace health.

    In our interview with Mohamed, we were incredibly impressed by her drive to improve the lives of those who work and live near the port. One recent example of her accomplishment was her work with Beyoncé and Tina Knowles to provide free coronavirus testing and supplies to local organizations and working with the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission to center language access in COVID-19 relief.

    Mohamed is running against incumbent Stephanie Bowman, who has served on the commission since 2013. Bowman is proud of the port commission's progress on many fronts, including expanding youth job training opportunities in partnership with Seattle Public Schools, making stormwater improvements, and developing a noise insulation program for homes close to the airport. She states that one of her most important accomplishments was tripling the number of interns, many of which were youth of color from marginalized communities. If re-elected, Bowman would focus on improving economic opportunity at the port for all, including union members, women-owned businesses, lower-income workers, and more.

    However, we were extremely disappointed when Bowman voted in 2015 to allow Shell Oil to base its arctic drilling operations in Seattle. In addition, she voted to use taxpayer money to file a legal challenge against SeaTac's $15 per hour minimum wage. In our interview with Bowman this year, she stated that she had been on the commission for less than six months before the wage increase vote, and believed that the council did not have the regulatory authority to make the change. On the Shell vote, she said that the commission was not transparent enough about it and that she would rather have ships come to Seattle ports where the environmental standards are the highest.

    We believe Mohamed would be a stronger leader for progress at the port and would bring much-needed representation to the commission for South King County communities. We strongly support Hamdi Mohamed for her dedication to the community, her progressive agenda, and her backing by progressive organizations.

    Hamdi Mohamed

    Submitted by stephanie on Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:20

    Hamdi Mohamed is running for Seattle Port Commissioner, Position 3 with a visionary agenda for the port that centers the needs of the workers, the environment, and the broader community.

    Hamdi Mohamed

    Submitted by stephanie on Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:20

    Hamdi Mohamed is running for Seattle Port Commissioner, Position 3 with a visionary agenda for the port that centers the needs of the workers, the environment, and the broader community.

  • Toshiko Hasegawa is running for Port of Seattle, Position 4 to center the experiences of port workers and nearby communities in building a more equitable future for the port. She is the executive director of the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA), which advises the governor, state agencies, and the state legislature on issues affecting Asian American communities. If either she or fellow candidate Hamdi Mohamed are elected, it will be the first time a woman of color has ever served on the Seattle Port Commission.

    As executive director of CAPAA, Hasegawa and the rest of the commission helped support small businesses during the pandemic, provide relief to community-based organizations, and create a language access plan so that residents could access critical information. In our interview, Hasegawa spoke to how she wanted to expand and apply those equity processes to the port. She supports mental health care and paid family leave for workers, ongoing training, and apprenticeships programs, especially for women and people of color, who have been historically underrepresented in port employment. Hasegawa also wants to see an airport cities advisory group permanently established as the economy continues to rebuild and recover from the pandemic.

    On environmental issues, Hasegawa would be an advocate for the port assisting in the construction of high-speed rail to cut down on short flights to nearby cities like Portland or Bellingham. She also wants to meaningfully engage the community in climate justice, including the tribes, and explore the possibility of using solar and wind at the port.

    We join a compelling majority of progressive organizations in recommending Hasegawa to help usher in a new generation of leadership and for her inclusive vision for the future of the port. 

    Toshiko Grace Hasegawa

    Submitted by stephanie on Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:20

    Toshiko Hasegawa is running for Port of Seattle, Position 4 to center the experiences of port workers and nearby communities in building a more equitable future for the port.

    Toshiko Grace Hasegawa

    Submitted by stephanie on Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:20

    Toshiko Hasegawa is running for Port of Seattle, Position 4 to center the experiences of port workers and nearby communities in building a more equitable future for the port.

City Races

City of Seattle

  • Evergreen Future
  • Born and raised in a migrant farm working family in central Washington, Lorena González has a background as an award-winning civil rights attorney that provides a foundation for her advocacy for working families and marginalized communities. González is a Seattle City Council member and the current council president. As one of the city’s leaders through times of prosperity and times of hardship, she is committed to making the city of Seattle a place where all can thrive. The unanimous vote to make her the city council president in early 2020 speaks to her ability to lead collaboratively and make bold progressive change.

    The biggest divergence between Harrell and González's platforms is the candidates' short-term plans for how to help people experiencing homelessness. The crux of the problem, which experts and agencies have stated time and time again, is the lack of shelters with services to help people stay housed. The city has about 4,000 unsheltered people, and while there are about 1,300 affordable housing units and 400 additional shelter spaces coming soon, it is not enough. González would focus on building short- and long-term housing because the city needs to triple permanent affordable housing to meet everyone’s needs. She pledges to quickly scale up Seattle’s shelter system from the mayor’s office, which would include options such as tiny villages and leveraging hotels and motels. She would also make it a key focus to increase permanent, supportive housing and include additional funds for mental, behavioral, and substance use services.

    Equitable economic recovery from COVID is a high priority for the councilmember. She vows to make sure that neighborhood small businesses, many of which are owned by people of color, receive equitable shares of recovery assistance. Other parts of her agenda seek to meet the needs of working families. For example, she wants to raise standards in the gig economy by ending sub-minimum wages and establish incentives for employee ownership in businesses. Improvements to child care access, bike and pedestrian paths, and building on renter protections round out some of her other priorities for improving the lives of everyone in the community.

    González has played a lead role in existing police reform efforts by pivoting some law enforcement funding to community-led efforts to increase health and safety. She believes that as mayor, she could do even more to reverse the legacy of harm of police violence in the city, especially for communities of color and in communities with lower-than-average incomes. In our interview, González noted that Seattle’s police guild has disproportionate power at the negotiating table when it comes to holding officers accountable. The mayor has much more leverage than the council in negotiating a better contract, and if she is elected she will push harder than Mayor Durkan to increase accountability for officers and the department.

    On issues of the climate, González wants to partner with Seattle for A Green New Deal to revitalize and expand the local green economy. She states that by actively retrofitting homes and modernizing industrial infrastructure, we can provide thousands of stable, high-quality jobs in the city.

    González’s experience leaves her well-positioned to hit the ground running. Her advocacy and support for workers has earned her the trust of many labor unions and advocacy groups. She has a track record of working well with her colleagues to build consensus on the city’s most pressing issues. For her support for our partners and her forward-thinking platform, we recommend González for mayor of Seattle.

    Lorena González

    Born and raised in a migrant farm working family in central Washington, Lorena González has a background as an award-winning civil rights attorney that provides a foundation for her advocacy for working families and marginalized communities.

    Lorena González

    Born and raised in a migrant farm working family in central Washington, Lorena González has a background as an award-winning civil rights attorney that provides a foundation for her advocacy for working families and marginalized communities.

  • This is a complicated race for Seattle voters with two controversial candidates. After evaluating the candidates carefully, we believe that public defender Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is clearly the better choice.

    Thomas-Kennedy is a managing partner in her own practice and she has volunteered with the National Lawyers Guild, completed pro bono defense work for local organizers, and worked extensively as a public defender.

    There are many reasons to vote for Thomas-Kennedy. First, she is campaigning for common-sense justice reforms aimed at focusing on serious harms and crime prevention while stepping away from prosecuting people for poverty and mental illness. Second, her opponent switched parties to join Donald Trump’s party and run for lieutenant governor as a Republican in 2020. Third, Fox News and Tucker Carlson are attacking her for challenging their racist, conservative myths about reducing crime.

    As a public defender, Thomas-Kennedy has witnessed many people get caught in the criminal legal system because of a lack of supportive social services. She wants to focus on using services to prevent crime by addressing the root causes and keep people from being entangled in the justice system. By emphasizing prevention, taxpayers improve safety and save money on law enforcement and the criminal justice system, which are by far the biggest costs of city and county governments.

    There has been controversy about her use of the term abolition and some ill-advised tweets she posted after getting tear-gassed with her daughter during last year's protests. Although we don't condone her tweets, conservatives are drumming up fearful messaging about Thomas-Kennedy to distract us from the need for new approaches to fixing a failing system with urgent problems. In our interview, she defined abolition in a very sensible way as a slow process of building up the community so that we don’t need to rely on police, courts, and prisons as the catch-all solution for so many social issues.

    If elected, Thomas-Kennedy wants to build a victim advocate unit and end qualified immunity in order to hold the police accountable. She also proposes strengthening the civil unit of the office in order to fight wage theft, take exploitive corporate landlords to court, and hold fossil fuel companies accountable for environmental harm which affects us all.

    Thomas-Kennedy's opponent is Republican Ann Davison. Last year, Davison ran for lieutenant governor because she wanted to serve as a check on the Democrats in Olympia. Thankfully, Davison lost that primary election and Democratic lawmakers passed the most ambitious progressive agenda in decades this spring.

    Davison is now running for Seattle city attorney echoing many of the same conservative Republican talking points from her previous campaign. Her divisive platform demonizes those experiencing homelessness and she doesn’t believe additional funding is needed to connect people with housing or services. During debates and in her campaign literature, she has displayed a lack of understanding about the role of the city attorney and how the office functions.

    Thomas-Kennedy has faced misleading attacks from Fox News and right-wing radio hosts during this campaign. During our interview, she displayed a strong understanding of both the city attorney's office and the criminal justice system. We believe Thomas-Kennedy is the best choice for Seattle city attorney because of her experience representing marginalized Seattleites, her strong support from progressive advocates, and her commitment to pursuing justice for all Seattleites.

    Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

    Submitted by alexwhite on Wed, 09/29/2021 - 15:56

    This is a complicated race for Seattle voters with two controversial candidates. After evaluating the candidates carefully, we believe that public defender Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is clearly the better choice.

    Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

    Submitted by alexwhite on Wed, 09/29/2021 - 15:56

    This is a complicated race for Seattle voters with two controversial candidates. After evaluating the candidates carefully, we believe that public defender Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is clearly the better choice.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Teresa Mosqueda is running for re-election to Seattle City Council, Position 8. Previously, Mosqueda worked at the Washington State Labor Council as a political campaigns director and served on the board of Fuse Washington.

    Mosqueda was first elected in 2017 and has distinguished herself as a progressive leader on the Seattle City Council. She sponsored the Jumpstart Seattle legislation that will fund affordable housing through a tax on high earners at large corporations. In addition, Mosqueda supported efforts to expand paid sick leave and establish minimum wages for gig and other workers who have often been left behind in our economy. Her campaign priorities include addressing our housing crisis with greater urgency, including re-zoning housing across Seattle, as well as providing assistance to renters and investing in health citywide.

    Mosqueda is running against Kenneth Wilson, the manager of an engineering company. Wilson's platform is not progressive and does not reflect the community's priorities. His voter's guide statement includes comments about public safety and policing that indicate he would not support reinvestment in community safety alternatives. He is also dismissive of evidence-based solutions for our affordable housing crisis.

    Mosqueda is a strong progressive and the clear choice for Seattle City Council, Position 8.

    Teresa Mosqueda

    Teresa Mosqueda is running for re-election to Seattle City Council, Position 8. Previously, Mosqueda worked at the Washington State Labor Council as a political campaigns director and served on the board of Fuse Washington.

    Teresa Mosqueda

    Teresa Mosqueda is running for re-election to Seattle City Council, Position 8. Previously, Mosqueda worked at the Washington State Labor Council as a political campaigns director and served on the board of Fuse Washington.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Lawyer and community activist Nikkita Oliver is running for Seattle City Council, Position 9. Oliver, who uses they/them pronouns, works with numerous local groups including Urban Impact, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, and the Union Gospel Mission’s Youth Reach Out Center. Oliver is an exceptionally progressive advocate who is incredibly dedicated to creating systemic change focused on the needs of communities of color and low-income Seattleites. They also serve as executive director of Creative Justice and is a member of coalitions like Decriminalize Seattle, Free Them All WA, and No New Youth Jail.

    Their forward-looking platform is centered around economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. Oliver's top priorities include expanding affordable housing, redirecting some police funding to make investments in communities, and bringing a Green New Deal to Seattle. If elected, Oliver would pursue policies to give everyone the opportunity to thrive, including preparing for extreme weather driven by climate change season that disproportionately impacts Black, brown, and Indigenous communities, and providing municipal broadband for all.

    Oliver is running against Sara Nelson, who co-founded and owns Fremont Brewing. She wants to bring her experience as a small business owner to the council and refocus the city on delivering basic services. Nelson does not support increasing investments in homelessness services and affordable housing, despite clear evidence from outside studies that the city's funding has been inadequate. She also opposes redirecting funds from the police department into community-based alternatives for public safety.

    The Seattle City Council has a track record of crafting innovative solutions to some of the most important issues facing our community. From groundbreaking minimum wage and sick leave requirements to empowering workers with predictable schedules and hazard pay to pushing for bold action on climate and making the wealthy pay their share, the city council has worked to build a stronger and more inclusive city.

    As we tackle big challenges with homelessness, police violence, climate change, and pandemic recovery, it's not the time to elect a cautious, business-oriented candidate who doesn't appear to be a catalyst for progressive change. Oliver is the clear choice in this race for Seattle City Council, Position 9.

    Nikkita Oliver

    Lawyer and community activist Nikkita Oliver is running for Seattle City Council, Position 9. Oliver, who uses they/them pronouns, works with numerous local groups including Urban Impact, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, and the Union Gospel Mission’s Youth Reach Out Center.

    Nikkita Oliver

    Lawyer and community activist Nikkita Oliver is running for Seattle City Council, Position 9. Oliver, who uses they/them pronouns, works with numerous local groups including Urban Impact, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, and the Union Gospel Mission’s Youth Reach Out Center.

School Districts

Seattle School District

  • Vivian Song Maritz is running for Seattle School Board in District 4. Maritz is a small business owner, PTSA president, member of the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and mother of three students in Seattle Public Schools. As the daughter of immigrants and as an Asian American with a hearing disability, Maritz emphasizes the significant impact public schools had on her own life and the work ahead to make them more inclusive for all.

    Maritz is running to bring her 15 years of private sector experience in finance and operations to the school board. If elected, she would focus on delivering mental health support as an essential service for students, achieving progress on inclusion in the classroom and school system broadly, securing efficient and accessible transportation for students, and expanding the services and quality of education for disabled students. She would also like to reduce the focus on standardized testing and continue, but reform, the option school program, which allows students to apply to attend schools outside their neighborhood. She is also committed to applying anti-racist principles to governance and school policies.

    In the primary, Maritz has faced some criticism regarding both her involvement in a Facebook group that pushed to reopen schools early and her recent move into District 4. After extensive research, we did not find either criticism to be compelling. During our interview, Maritz stated that she supported the Seattle Education Association's three priorities at the time and she advocated for vaccinating teachers earlier to re-open schools safely. As for her move, Maritz was candid about relocating to District 4 to run for office, clarifying that her children already attend an option school alongside many students from District 4 and her family had already been spending a lot of time in the area. This was not a concern for us given her previous connection to the district and the short move from Capitol Hill.

    Maritz is running against Laura Marie Rivera, an educator, active union member, and board member for the Coe Elementary PTA. Rivera also serves as the local chair of the National PTA’s Reflections Art Competition and on the board of Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks. She is running to bring transparency, opportunity, and equity to the school system.

    Maritz is the best choice to represent District 4. She will bring important financial management expertise and increased representation to the Seattle School Board.

    Vivian Song Maritz

    Vivian Song Maritz is running for Seattle School Board in District 4. Maritz is a small business owner, PTSA president, member of the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and mother of three students in Seattle Public Schools.

    Vivian Song Maritz

    Vivian Song Maritz is running for Seattle School Board in District 4. Maritz is a small business owner, PTSA president, member of the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and mother of three students in Seattle Public Schools.

  • Endorsed By: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, OneAmerica Votes, The Stranger, The Urbanist , Womxn of Color in Education, Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Michelle Sarju is running for Seattle School Board in District 5. Sarju is a former midwife, social worker, and PTA member who currently works with King County Public Health.

    Sarju wants to make sure that all children in the Seattle Public School system have a chance at a quality education. Her campaign platform includes closing the racial gap in student opportunity, valuing alternative evidence-based metrics for success above standardized tests, providing social and emotional support for students, and investing in an anti-racist curriculum. She believes that in order to care for students during in-person learning, schools must provide more mental health support. Sarju is committed to not simply going back to normal post-COVID, but instead addressing root causes to make our school system stronger and more equitable than ever.

    Sarju is running against Dan Harder, a Boeing engineer who is running on a reactionary, Trump-style agenda focused on pushing out honest and age-appropriate curriculum that teaches students about our history. Harder would use this excuse to explicitly walk back progress made in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Seattle Public School system. He lacks a vision for the role beyond Trump politics and has no community or elected experience.

    We recommend Michelle Sarju for Seattle School Board in District 5 because of her clear, progressive vision and the broad support she has earned from our partners and local leaders.

    Michelle Sarju

    Michelle Sarju is running for Seattle School Board in District 5. Sarju is a former midwife, social worker, and PTA member who currently works with King County Public Health.

    Michelle Sarju

    Michelle Sarju is running for Seattle School Board in District 5. Sarju is a former midwife, social worker, and PTA member who currently works with King County Public Health.

  • Endorsed By: M. L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, OneAmerica Votes, The Stranger, Teamsters Joint Council 28, The Urbanist , King County Democrats, Seattle Education Association
  • Incumbent Director Brandon Hersey is running for re-election to Position 7 on the Seattle School Board. Hersey joined the school board after being appointed in September 2019, and he used to teach at an elementary school in Federal Way. Hersey is also the current vice president of the board of directors and volunteers as a scoutmaster for Washington’s first African American Boy Scout troop. Previously, he served as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

    Since joining the board, Hersey has supported Seattle Public Schools’ participatory budgeting and multicultural curricula. In this race, he is running to make sure that all Seattle students, especially students of color, can receive a safe, equitable, and historically accurate education. His campaign platform includes COVID-safe school policies, open lines of communication between families and the board, and mental health programming for students of all ages.

    Hersey's opponent is Genesis Williamson, a Seattle University graduate who now works as an assistant to the dean’s office. She has yet to release detailed campaign information as of late October, and submitted no information to the official King County voters guide.

    With his policy and teaching background, and strong support from our partners, Hersey is the best choice in this race to maintain progressive leadership on the Seattle School Board.

    Brandon Hersey

    Incumbent Director Brandon Hersey is running for re-election to Position 7 on the Seattle School Board. Hersey joined the school board after being appointed in September 2019, and he used to teach at an elementary school in Federal Way.

    Brandon Hersey

    Incumbent Director Brandon Hersey is running for re-election to Position 7 on the Seattle School Board. Hersey joined the school board after being appointed in September 2019, and he used to teach at an elementary school in Federal Way.