• 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • No Position

    Read more below to make your decision

  • Pierce County Charter Amendment 51 concerns Section 4.10 in the county charter which lists prosecuting attorney as a partisan office. If passed, this amendment would instead change the elected prosecuting attorney position to a nonpartisan office where candidates can't list a party affiliation.

    Support for this amendment doesn't fall along traditional partisan lines, with both Democrats and Republicans on each side.

    Supporters say making the office nonpartisan reflects the office’s role to administer justice fairly for all.

    Opponents say maintaining partisan labels provides greater transparency in elections and helps voters make an informed choice based on their values.

    While not clear-cut, we lean against this ballot measure to maximize transparency on the ballot.

    Pierce County Charter Amendment 51 concerns Section 4.10 in the county charter which lists prosecuting attorney as a partisan office. If passed, this amendment would instead change the elected prosecuting attorney position to a nonpartisan office where candidates can't list a party affiliation.

    Support for this amendment doesn't fall along traditional partisan lines, with both Democrats and Republicans on each side.

    Supporters say making the office nonpartisan reflects the office’s role to administer justice fairly for all.

    Opponents say maintaining partisan labels provides greater transparency in elections and helps voters make an informed choice based on their values.

    While not clear-cut, we lean against this ballot measure to maximize transparency on the ballot.

No Recommendation

We do not have a recommendation in this very low information race.

Navy veteran Laura Gilbert appears to be the more progressive candidate in this race but is not running an active campaign. She is challenging incumbent John McCarthy for Port of Tacoma, Commissioner Position 1. Gilbert works in mail service but was previously an electronics technician and nuclear reactor operator. In this race, she wants to focus on science-based environmental protections so that the Port of Tacoma can benefit the local economy without negatively impacting the surrounding ecosystem. Gilbert would also prioritize tribal sovereignty and strong community relationships in order to best serve the port.

McCarthy is a moderate who first joined the Port of Tacoma in 1983 and left in 1992 before rejoining in 2018 for a total of 13 years serving as a commissioner. A former longshore worker, McCarthy has been consistently moderate and is prioritizing environmental stewardship and job creation in this race. Outside of his work on the Port, he volunteers with the Mount Rainier National Park and the Tacoma General Hospital.
  • Employment specialist Elizabeth Pew is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Pew serves the community as a legislative district caucus delegate, a precinct committee officer, and a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission. She has pledged not to accept any fossil fuel money during her campaign and has earned an impressive roster of community endorsements.

    Pew has a progressive vision that includes responsible environmental stewardship, economic development that doesn’t leave anyone behind, and a collaborative, efficient, and reliable working port. She wants to make sure that the port is responsive to community members and voters first and foremost, as opposed to corporate interests.

    We recommend Pew for new leadership that will prioritize sustainability at the Port of Tacoma.

    Elizabeth Pew

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

    Employment specialist Elizabeth Pew is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Pew serves the community as a legislative district caucus delegate, a precinct committee officer, and a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission.

    Elizabeth Pew

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

    Employment specialist Elizabeth Pew is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Pew serves the community as a legislative district caucus delegate, a precinct committee officer, and a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission.

  • Incumbent Commissioner Dick Marzano is running to retain Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Marzano was first elected commissioner in 1995 and serves on the executive committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council. Before his career in public service, Marzano spent 52 years working in Tacoma as a longshoreman and was also the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23.

    If re-elected, Marzano wants to prioritize environmental protections and job creation. With his background as a longshoreman, Marzano knows that the two issues are connected and that those who live and work near the port are directly affected by its environmental impact. However, Marzano has not been supportive of protecting our communities from pollution from the proposed LNG facility.

    Dick Marzano

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

    Incumbent Commissioner Dick Marzano is running to retain Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Marzano was first elected commissioner in 1995 and serves on the executive committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council.

    Dick Marzano

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

    Incumbent Commissioner Dick Marzano is running to retain Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Marzano was first elected commissioner in 1995 and serves on the executive committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council.

  • Endorsed By: Teamsters Joint Council 28 , Pierce County Central Labor Council
  • Mary Bacon is running for Port of Tacoma, Commissioner Position 4. Bacon is an environmental scientist, health physicist, and veteran. She served as the elected president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 12 where she advocated for workers’ rights during multiple successful contract negotiations.

    If elected, Bacon hopes to address traffic congestion in and around the port, help foster greater economic growth, and ensure environmental stewardship that protects the unique estuarine ecosystem. She would prioritize science-backed climate policy and wants to see ports along the coast working together. Bacon has been endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters, which sets her apart from her opponent despite listing similar platforms on their websites.

    Incumbent commissioner Don Meyer is running to retain the Position 4 seat he assumed after first being elected in 2010. Before that, Meyer served as the deputy director of the Port of Tacoma and the executive director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority. If re-elected, he wants to continue pursuing a more conservative agenda focused on modernizing terminals and waterways, but also intends to limit revenue, putting many improvements beyond reach.

    Mary Bacon is the best choice in this race to improve the port’s environment policies and advocate for the workers who keep Tacoma’s port running.

    Mary Bacon

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

    Mary Bacon is running for Port of Tacoma, Commissioner Position 4. Bacon is an environmental scientist, health physicist, and veteran.

    Mary Bacon

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

    Mary Bacon is running for Port of Tacoma, Commissioner Position 4. Bacon is an environmental scientist, health physicist, and veteran.

  • Incumbent Mary Moss is running unopposed for her seat on the Lakewood City Council.

    She is a retired community development consultant for a credit union and has served on the council since her election in 2009. Moss has also served as vice president of the State Air Force Association, president of the Lakewood Multicultural Coalition, and as a board member of the Lakewood Rotary Club and Sound Transit among other organizations. In her next term, she plans to focus on economic development, improving infrastructure, and expanding parks.
    Incumbent Mary Moss is running unopposed for her seat on the Lakewood City Council.

    She is a retired community development consultant for a credit union and has served on the council since her election in 2009. Moss has also served as vice president of the State Air Force Association, president of the Lakewood Multicultural Coalition, and as a board member of the Lakewood Rotary Club and Sound Transit among other organizations. In her next term, she plans to focus on economic development, improving infrastructure, and expanding parks.

    Mary Moss

    Incumbent Mary Moss is running unopposed for her seat on the Lakewood City Council.
  • Army Special Forces veteran Amelia Escobedo is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 2, to push for a reckoning on police accountability. She cites the still-open civil case of Said Joquin, who was killed by a Lakewood police officer, as an example of the dangers of not holding officers to account. Escobedo's other priorities include expanding affordable housing, especially in areas where low-income housing is being displaced, building no-barrier entry housing for people experiencing homelessness, and respecting tribal treaties.

    Escobedo is facing incumbent Mike Brandstetter, who has served on the Lakewood City Council since 2010 and who represents the council on the South Sound 911 policy board. He is a retired Army command sergeant major and former dean at Bates Technical College. He does not have a campaign website available but has stated that his priorities include addressing affordable housing and homelessness, building a new library and senior center, and continuing to expand human services in Lakewood.

    Lakewood is growing rapidly and in the years to come will need to reckon with harsh economic truths. An estimated 17 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, higher than the national average of 13 percent. In addition, the community must address a legacy of excessive use of force by the police department, which has been sued five times since 2011 just for incidents involving police dogs and has been slow to implement body cameras.

    In this low-information race, we lean towards Escobedo who we hope will provide prospective and progress on these and other issues.

    Amelia Escobedo

    Army Special Forces veteran Amelia Escobedo is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 2, to push for a reckoning on police accountability.

    Amelia Escobedo

    Army Special Forces veteran Amelia Escobedo is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 2, to push for a reckoning on police accountability.

  • Siabhon Ayuso is an executive board member for the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee for Legislative District 29. She does not yet have a campaign website as of mid-October but states that as a single mom of four kids, she would focus on bringing economic opportunities for those who live in Lakewood. She states that frontline workers during the pandemic should have been offered hazard pay, which the city council voted down, and that more needs to be done to bring better-paying jobs to Lakewood. On her campaign Facebook, she has posted in support of removing Sheriff Ed Troyer for his racist and potentially criminal endangerment of a Black man in Pierce County, as well as in support of justice for those killed by the police. Overall, Ayuso is looking to represent the community, especially communities of color who she feels have been ignored by the council.

    Ayuso is facing Republican and deputy mayor Jason Whalen, who has served in Position 3 on the city council since 2010. While we appreciate his support of increasing mental and behavioral health service funding, the rest of his platform skews conservative. His fearmongering ads against Jani Hitchen, who he ran against for Pierce County Council last year, attempted to divide and deceive voters.

    We believe it's time for the Lakewood City Council to reflect a broader set of voices from the rapidly changing community. While she faces a challenging race against the longtime incumbent, we believe Ayuso would bring valuable progressive leadership to the council that would benefit all Lakewood families.

    Siabhon Ayuso is an executive board member for the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee for Legislative District 29. She does not yet have a campaign website as of mid-October but states that as a single mom of four kids, she would focus on bringing economic opportunities for those who live in Lakewood. She states that frontline workers during the pandemic should have been offered hazard pay, which the city council voted down, and that more needs to be done to bring better-paying jobs to Lakewood. On her campaign Facebook, she has posted in support of removing Sheriff Ed Troyer for his racist and potentially criminal endangerment of a Black man in Pierce County, as well as in support of justice for those killed by the police. Overall, Ayuso is looking to represent the community, especially communities of color who she feels have been ignored by the council.

    Ayuso is facing Republican and deputy mayor Jason Whalen, who has served in Position 3 on the city council since 2010. While we appreciate his support of increasing mental and behavioral health service funding, the rest of his platform skews conservative. His fearmongering ads against Jani Hitchen, who he ran against for Pierce County Council last year, attempted to divide and deceive voters.

    We believe it's time for the Lakewood City Council to reflect a broader set of voices from the rapidly changing community. While she faces a challenging race against the longtime incumbent, we believe Ayuso would bring valuable progressive leadership to the council that would benefit all Lakewood families.

    Siabhon Ayuso

    Siabhon Ayuso is an executive board member for the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee for Legislative District 29.

  • Patti Belle was appointed to the Lakewood City Council in January. She previously worked as a communications team manager in the city of Kent's Office of the Mayor. If re-elected, Belle states that she will continue to focus on investing in infrastructure, prioritizing funding for city services, and increasing communications from the council.

    Belle's opponent is Ria Covington Johnson, who previously ran for Lakewood City Council in 2017 and 2019. Her voters' guide statement cites that she has been a VISTA volunteer and worked with the Lakewood African American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC). If elected, she plans to focus on implementing inclusive policy at the city level, but her campaign website lacks detail or a platform, similar to her previous runs.

    Belle has not yet served long enough to establish a detailed record on the council but she appears to be the better choice in this race.

    Patti Belle was appointed to the Lakewood City Council in January. She previously worked as a communications team manager in the city of Kent's Office of the Mayor. If re-elected, Belle states that she will continue to focus on investing in infrastructure, prioritizing funding for city services, and increasing communications from the council.

    Belle's opponent is Ria Covington Johnson, who previously ran for Lakewood City Council in 2017 and 2019. Her voters' guide statement cites that she has been a VISTA volunteer and worked with the Lakewood African American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC). If elected, she plans to focus on implementing inclusive policy at the city level, but her campaign website lacks detail or a platform, similar to her previous runs.

    Belle has not yet served long enough to establish a detailed record on the council but she appears to be the better choice in this race.

    Patti Belle

    Patti Belle was appointed to the Lakewood City Council in January. She previously worked as a communications team manager in the city of Kent's Office of the Mayor.