• 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
  • Voters for Position 4 this year will find themselves picking between a Republican incumbent and a far-right challenger. Incumbent Ben Wick describes himself as conservative but has taken some solid votes while in this position. Wick served on the council from 2012 to 2015, was elected again in 2017, and was then chosen as mayor by the council in 2020. Wick points to the hiring of a housing and homeless coordinator, as well as increasing regional cooperation with the county on homelessness, as big steps forward for dealing with the housing crisis. He also supported buying 45 acres of parkland in support of resident feedback during the last city master-plan process.

    His opponent, Brandon Fenton, wants to roll back that progress. He states that the city should spend fewer resources helping people experiencing homelessness, and should not have hired a housing coordinator. The bar owner, who is the son of fellow city council candidate Wayne Fenton, describes himself as a Trump Republican. He lept into the public spotlight last year when he refused to close his bar during the pandemic, endangering the very residents he's running to represent.

    While progressive voters may not find a perfect choice for this seat, Fenton is even more conservative than Wick, who has at least made several good votes that support the residents of Spokane Valley and is not an extremist. Voters should choose the more moderate Wick for Spokane Valley City Council, Position 4.

    Ben Wick

    Voters for Position 4 this year will find themselves picking between a Republican incumbent and a far-right challenger. Incumbent Ben Wick describes himself as conservative but has taken some solid votes while in this position.

    Ben Wick

    Voters for Position 4 this year will find themselves picking between a Republican incumbent and a far-right challenger. Incumbent Ben Wick describes himself as conservative but has taken some solid votes while in this position.

No Good Choices

There are no good choices for Spokane Valley City Council, Position 5.

Wayne Fenton is the father of fellow candidate and Trump Republican Brandon Fenton. Their decision to keep their bar open during the pandemic, in spite of potentially fatal consequences and state law requirements, doesn't speak to protecting or serving the people of Spokane Valley. Fenton's platform is focused on decreasing regulations "wherever and whenever," a wide approach that leaves people, the environment, and livelihoods open to harm.

Incumbent Republican Pamela Haley is endorsed by a slate of Republican officials, including Sen. Mike Padden and Sen. Jeff Holy. She is running on a conservative platform that seeks to pull back reproductive rights for families, block public health efforts to fight the pandemic, and oppose marriage equality.

Write in a progressive candidate of your choice for Position 5.

  • Incumbent Linda (Hatcher) Thompson was elected in 2017 as part of a more moderate shift on the council. She works as a nonprofit executive director for the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council. Thompson states that she is running to continue to make infrastructure upgrades, add parks, and enhance community engagement in crime prevention. Like fellow incumbent and candidate Wick, Thompson has made several good votes on the council, including hiring a housing and homeless coordinator to address the city's housing crisis and supporting parks and trails expansion.

    Like the voters in Position 4, voters looking at Position 7 will find themselves picking between a more moderate incumbent and Thompson's far-right opponent, Republican Laura Padden. Padden has stated in a candidate questionnaire that she believes reproductive health funding, equity measures, and environmental regulations should be cut. Padden, a web developer who is the wife of far-right Sen. Mike Padden, is running on a conservative agenda to pour more money into policing and reducing regulations. Unlike Thompson, who has directly addressed the housing crisis to assist residents, Padden says that it should be mostly addressed at the state level.

    Thompson represents some solid votes on the council and a more moderate view than her opponent, who has offered a divisive agenda that will drive the city's progress backward. Voters should choose Linda Thompson for Spokane Valley City Council, Position 7.

    Linda (Hatcher) Thompson

    Incumbent Linda (Hatcher) Thompson was elected in 2017 as part of a more moderate shift on the council. She works as a nonprofit executive director for the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.

    Linda (Hatcher) Thompson

    Incumbent Linda (Hatcher) Thompson was elected in 2017 as part of a more moderate shift on the council. She works as a nonprofit executive director for the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.