• 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Non-Partisan

    Dow Constantine

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for economic justice, workers, and climate action throughout his career. As a state legislator, on the King County Council, and as King County Executive, Constantine has fought for and delivered transportation and transit solutions, action on climate, improvements in public health, and an efficiently run government.

    Under his leadership, King County has expanded Metro transit service, improved oil safety rules, and created one of the best urban forestry programs in the nation. Constantine also led efforts to pass Best Starts for Kids, a model initiative that increases access to healthy food, affordable housing, and public health services for many of King County's most vulnerable children.

    Constantine is now running for a fourth term as King County Executive to build on a pandemic recovery that puts people first and creates inclusive communities. If he is re-elected, one of Constantine's priorities will be to reform the King County Sheriff's Office. During our interview, he expressed his frustration at the challenges of getting answers or reforms out of the current independent sheriff's office. As the county shifts to an executive-appointed sheriff, which voters approved last fall, Constantine said he will push for more transparency and demand that officers wear body cameras.

    In addition, Constantine is hoping to continue and expand his efforts to open more hotels to house homeless residents of King County. He expressed pride in a new zero-emissions, low-income housing development in Renton and hopes to expand that model across the county.

    Constantine has faced some criticism during his tenure around the building of the $242 million King County Youth Detention Center, which voters approved in 2012 and opened in 2018. During the protests for racial justice last summer, Constantine announced his support for transitioning the jail away from holding youth by 2025.

    Constantine has earned overwhelming support from our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations as well as elected and community leaders. He is the best choice in this race.

    Dow Constantine

    King County Executive Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for economic justice, workers, and climate action throughout his career.

    Dow Constantine

    King County Executive Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for economic justice, workers, and climate action throughout his career.

  • 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 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.

  • Incumbent Peter Steinbrueck is running for his second term in Position 4 on the Seattle Port Commission. He is an architect and former Seattle City Council member who has also served on the boards of many organizations in his history of public service, including the Washington Environmental Council, AIA Center for Civic Leadership, and Walkable Livable Communities Institute.

    If re-elected, Steinbrueck has vowed to push the status quo on the economic, social, and political issues that matter to everyone in the region. In our interview, he stated that he supports a just and fair transition to clean fuels, one that includes electrification at the port as well as reducing ultrafine particulates and other kinds of pollution. He points to the port's job and apprenticeship programs, many of which offer opportunities to youth of color, women, and others as indicators of the types of policies he wants to continue moving forward. Environmentalism is his great passion, he states, and he believes that as the port recovers from the pandemic and evolves that he would continue to support climate justice at all levels, from workers' health, habitat restoration, and more.

    Peter Steinbrueck

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

    Incumbent Peter Steinbrueck is running for his second term in Position 4 on the Seattle Port Commission.

    Peter Steinbrueck

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

    Incumbent Peter Steinbrueck is running for his second term in Position 4 on the Seattle Port Commission.

  • Small business owner Daniel Becker is running for Mercer Island City Council to improve community outreach and ensure all voices on the island are represented.

    He's running on a forward-looking platform that includes pushing the city to act on climate change and improving transit connections with the future light rail station. Becker critiques the council for reducing counseling services for students during the pandemic and he wants to ensure that a stable funding source is identified to restore the service. He also wants to incentivize more restaurants and retail shops in the city center.

    Becker is challenging incumbent Salim Nice. Nice, the former deputy mayor, is the president and CEO of a health care financial consulting company. He was elected to the council in 2017 in an unopposed race after serving by appointment. Nice voted seven months ago to prohibit people from camping or sleeping in cars, which means police will shuttle anyone experiencing homelessness off the island to shelters in neighboring cities. Violation of the law could result in a misdemeanor crime of up to 90 days in prison or a $1,000 fine. Local, off-island shelters have expressed concern that the council did not notify them of the new rule, and there is not enough space to accommodate those in need.

    While we appreciate that Nice and the council revisited their prohibition of camping in September, with additional resources to potentially go to local shelters, we believe Becker will make stronger pushes for progressive policy on the council.

    Daniel Becker is the best choice for Mercer Island City Council, Position 2.

    Small business owner Daniel Becker is running for Mercer Island City Council to improve community outreach and ensure all voices on the island are represented.

    He's running on a forward-looking platform that includes pushing the city to act on climate change and improving transit connections with the future light rail station. Becker critiques the council for reducing counseling services for students during the pandemic and he wants to ensure that a stable funding source is identified to restore the service. He also wants to incentivize more restaurants and retail shops in the city center.

    Becker is challenging incumbent Salim Nice. Nice, the former deputy mayor, is the president and CEO of a health care financial consulting company. He was elected to the council in 2017 in an unopposed race after serving by appointment. Nice voted seven months ago to prohibit people from camping or sleeping in cars, which means police will shuttle anyone experiencing homelessness off the island to shelters in neighboring cities. Violation of the law could result in a misdemeanor crime of up to 90 days in prison or a $1,000 fine. Local, off-island shelters have expressed concern that the council did not notify them of the new rule, and there is not enough space to accommodate those in need.

    While we appreciate that Nice and the council revisited their prohibition of camping in September, with additional resources to potentially go to local shelters, we believe Becker will make stronger pushes for progressive policy on the council.

    Daniel Becker is the best choice for Mercer Island City Council, Position 2.

    Daniel Becker

    Small business owner Daniel Becker is running for Mercer Island City Council to improve community outreach and ensure all voices on the island are represented.

  • Endorsed By: Washington Bikes
  • Ted Weinberg is a resource manager for the city of Seattle's IT Department. He has served on the Mercer Island Planning Commission since 2017, and also serves on the Mercer Island Sister City Association, which partners with the city of Thonon-les-Bains in France.

    Weinberg's available platform is not extensive, but it mentions that he would work to find solid funding for the island's school counselors. Two counselor positions were up for cuts in the 2019-2020 school year as voters failed to pass education funding through Proposition 1 and the council had to address the city's budget deficit. Weinberg also wants to develop a long-term plan for the city's parks and develop strong partnerships with other government agencies both on and off the island.

    Weinberg is running against technical consultant Michael Curry, whose campaign is focused on incentivizing retail growth downtown and preserving park land. While both candidates support keeping the first response teams local and city-run, Weinberg's campaign is also supported by progressive state representatives, and current and former Mercer Island council members as well as school board members.

    Weinberg is the best choice in this race.

    Ted Weinberg is a resource manager for the city of Seattle's IT Department. He has served on the Mercer Island Planning Commission since 2017, and also serves on the Mercer Island Sister City Association, which partners with the city of Thonon-les-Bains in France.

    Weinberg's available platform is not extensive, but it mentions that he would work to find solid funding for the island's school counselors. Two counselor positions were up for cuts in the 2019-2020 school year as voters failed to pass education funding through Proposition 1 and the council had to address the city's budget deficit. Weinberg also wants to develop a long-term plan for the city's parks and develop strong partnerships with other government agencies both on and off the island.

    Weinberg is running against technical consultant Michael Curry, whose campaign is focused on incentivizing retail growth downtown and preserving park land. While both candidates support keeping the first response teams local and city-run, Weinberg's campaign is also supported by progressive state representatives, and current and former Mercer Island council members as well as school board members.

    Weinberg is the best choice in this race.

    Ted Weinberg

    Ted Weinberg is a resource manager for the city of Seattle's IT Department. He has served on the Mercer Island Planning Commission since 2017, and also serves on the Mercer Island Sister City Association, which partners with the city of Thonon-les-Bains in France.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Kate Akyuz is a senior capital project manager with the King County River and Floodplain Management Section, where she manages large flood safety and habitat restoration projects for endangered species. She wants to use her experience in wildlife and natural resource management to create a parks conservancy for Mercer Island. By protecting forested areas and wetlands, Akyuz points out that the island can simultaneously create natural stormwater infrastructure and erosion protection. If elected, she would also prioritize middle-income housing and work to secure funding for mental health services by increasing the designated reserves for Mercer Island Youth and Family Services.

    Akyuz is running against incumbent Lisa Anderl, who has not been a progressive voice on the Mercer Island City Council. Unfortunately, Anderl joined five of her fellow council members voting to make it illegal for anyone to camp or even sleep in their car. Anyone on Mercer Island found in violation of this law now faces up to 90 days in prison or a $1,000 fine. While we appreciate that Anderl and the council revisited this policy in September, Anderl also opposed a 2018 levy that would have increased local funding for mental health counseling, first responders, parks, and youth and senior services.

    Akyuz has earned strong support from local leaders and is the clear choice for Mercer Island City Council, Position 6.

    Kate Akyuz

    Kate Akyuz is a senior capital project manager with the King County River and Floodplain Management Section, where she manages large flood safety and habitat restoration projects for endangered species.

    Kate Akyuz

    Kate Akyuz is a senior capital project manager with the King County River and Floodplain Management Section, where she manages large flood safety and habitat restoration projects for endangered species.

  • Endorsed By: Alliance for Gun Responsibility, King County Democrats, Mercer Island Firefighters IAFF Local 1762