• VOTO 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.

  • Apoyadas Por: The Stranger
  • VOTO 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.

  • Apoyadas Por: The Stranger
  • VOTO 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.

  • Apoyadas Por: The Stranger
  • VOTO APPROVED

    Vote YES to reduce barriers to civic participation

  • Proposition 13 would make it easier for local voters to make their voices heard and participate in the local democratic process through ballot measures.

    Whatcom County has an unusually high threshold for signatures that makes it nearly impossible for residents to put an initiative on the ballot. The Whatcom County Council passed Ordinance 2021-032 in May to reduce the number of signatures required for county ballot measures. If passed, Proposition 13 would implement this ordinance and bring the number of signatures for ballot measures in line with similar counties across the state. Specifically, it would change the signature requirement from 8% of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to 8% of votes cast in the last county executive election, when turnout is often much lower.

    Vote to “Yes” to approve Whatcom County, Proposition 13 to strengthen democracy at the county level.

    Proposition 13 would make it easier for local voters to make their voices heard and participate in the local democratic process through ballot measures.

    Whatcom County has an unusually high threshold for signatures that makes it nearly impossible for residents to put an initiative on the ballot. The Whatcom County Council passed Ordinance 2021-032 in May to reduce the number of signatures required for county ballot measures. If passed, Proposition 13 would implement this ordinance and bring the number of signatures for ballot measures in line with similar counties across the state. Specifically, it would change the signature requirement from 8% of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to 8% of votes cast in the last county executive election, when turnout is often much lower.

    Vote to “Yes” to approve Whatcom County, Proposition 13 to strengthen democracy at the county level.

  • Non-Partisan

    Kaylee Galloway

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Kaylee Galloway is running for Whatcom County Council to bring affordability and environmental considerations to the forefront. She is a member of the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee. She has worked as a legislative assistant in the state House of Representatives, and as a staff assistant and community liaison in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

    If elected, Galloway will push forward on the county's critical affordable housing needs and focus on restoring water quality for both salmon populations and Whatcom communities, which includes supporting the reduction of pollution runoff. She wants to address sustainability in infrastructure, transit, and other public needs through the lens of climate justice, which to her means considering the needs of communities of color and those with lower incomes who are disproportionately impacted by pollution and health disparities.

    Kaylee is a good choice if you're looking for someone who will prioritize affordable housing and environmental conservation.

    Kaylee Galloway

    Kaylee Galloway is running for Whatcom County Council to bring affordability and environmental considerations to the forefront. She is a member of the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee.

    Kaylee Galloway

    Kaylee Galloway is running for Whatcom County Council to bring affordability and environmental considerations to the forefront. She is a member of the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee.

  • Apoyadas Por: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, SEIU Locals 775, 925, and 1199, Teamsters Joint Council 28, UFCW 21, Housing Action Fund , Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Bellingham/Whatcom County Firefighters (IAFF Local 16), Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Non-Partisan

    Eddy Ury

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Eddy Ury is also running for Whatcom County Council in District 1. Like Galloway, Ury is listed as a member of the county's Climate Impact Advisory Committee. He formerly worked at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, an environmentally focused nonprofit in the area. As part of this work, Ury played a key role in crafting new rules that will finally protect critical areas at Cherry Point.

    Ury is running on a platform that includes affordable housing, sustainable energy, social justice, accessible government, economic revitalization, public health, and fair elections. He has a strong track record in community leadership and received praise for his work to bring various stakeholders to the table and build consensus.

    Ury is a good choice if you're looking for a candidate who would bring strong new leadership to the council on climate and environmental conservation.

    Eddy Ury

    Eddy Ury is also running for Whatcom County Council in District 1. Like Galloway, Ury is listed as a member of the county's Climate Impact Advisory Committee. He formerly worked at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, an environmentally focused nonprofit in the area.

    Eddy Ury

    Eddy Ury is also running for Whatcom County Council in District 1. Like Galloway, Ury is listed as a member of the county's Climate Impact Advisory Committee. He formerly worked at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, an environmentally focused nonprofit in the area.

  • Incumbent Todd Donovan is running for re-election to Whatcom County Council in District 2. Donovan is a professor of state and local government at Western Washington University. He first joined the county council in 2016 and currently chairs the Natural Resources Committee. Additionally, Donovan has served on the Columbia Neighborhood Association board, the Whatcom County Citizens Election Advisory Commission, and as both a member and board chair of the local Washington Conservation Voters chapter.

    During his time on the council, Donovan’s top priorities have been protecting Lake Whatcom’s ecosystem and budgeting responsibly so that Whatcom can provide human services. If re-elected, he wants to address the housing crisis that hurts the Whatcom community and economy, combat climate change, reduce incarceration rates while investing in diversion and alternatives, and protect clean water coming from Lake Whatcom and other natural waterways.

    Donovan is facing a challenge from Kelley O’Connor, a former first responder and a current health care management student. O’Connor advocates for affordable housing and mental health resources but has not released a detailed campaign to accomplish these goals.

    Todd Donovan is the best choice to represent District 2 on the Whatcom County Council because of his progressive track record and strong support from our progressive partners.

    Todd Donovan

    Incumbent Todd Donovan is running for re-election to Whatcom County Council in District 2. Donovan is a professor of state and local government at Western Washington University. He first joined the county council in 2016 and currently chairs the Natural Resources Committee.

    Todd Donovan

    Incumbent Todd Donovan is running for re-election to Whatcom County Council in District 2. Donovan is a professor of state and local government at Western Washington University. He first joined the county council in 2016 and currently chairs the Natural Resources Committee.

  • Non-Partisan

    Rebecca Lewis

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Rebecca Lewis has worked as an educator in the Sedro-Woolley district for over 20 years and is the president of the Sedro-Woolley Education Association (SWEA) union.

    Lewis' campaign priorities include supporting living wage jobs, updating public utilities, and protecting the environment. As a labor leader, she wants to expand community work agreements, apprenticeships, and prevailing wages. She also wants the county to invest in rural infrastructure with reliable broadband and cell service. Additionally, Lewis states that further development on lakes should be ceased as a way to protect the watershed for 100,000 people in the county.

    Her opponent, incumbent Tyler Byrd, is a board member of the Whatcom Business Alliance. Byrd is a conservative candidate prioritizing the needs of businesses above the local community. He was one of two council members to vote against the 0.1% sales tax to help fund affordable housing. On the environment, he voted against the moratorium on Cherry Point shipping unrefined fossil fuels, despite concerns about the cultural significance for the Lummi Nation and environmental threats. Finally, he voted against a $4 million coronavirus relief package last April.

    Lewis is the clear choice for Whatcom County Council in District 3 to bring progressive, community-minded leadership to the county.

    Rebecca Lewis

    Rebecca Lewis has worked as an educator in the Sedro-Woolley district for over 20 years and is the president of the Sedro-Woolley Education Association (SWEA) union.

    Rebecca Lewis

    Rebecca Lewis has worked as an educator in the Sedro-Woolley district for over 20 years and is the president of the Sedro-Woolley Education Association (SWEA) union.

  • Non-Partisan

    Barry Buchanan

    Evergreen Future
    Evergreen Future
  • Navy veteran and current council chair Barry Buchanan has served one term on the Bellingham City Council and two on the Whatcom County Council. Buchanan has been a solid vote on the county council, especially through the difficulties of last year. He is the chair of the Whatcom County Incarceration Reduction and Prevention Taskforce and is seeking to provide alternatives to booking people for low-level crimes through the LEAD program, which was established in 2019.

    Buchanan supports both the Whatcom Crisis Stabilization Center and East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, which serve those experiencing mental health crises and hunger. He has also worked in previous terms in office to ban fracking and protect the environment. In this race, Buchanan is prioritizing public safety by investing in community alternatives to policing and by reducing the number of people who end up in the criminal justice system when having mental health crises. His platform is very progressive.

    Kamal Bhachu works as a senior maintenance engineer at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and as a firearms instructor. His platform states that he would address affordable housing and living wage jobs, but doesn't offer enough policy details to evaluate and his campaign has been spotlighted by a conservative publication. His solution for addressing mental health and addiction in regards to people experiencing homelessness is to bring back programs like D.A.R.E. in schools, which doesn't go nearly far enough to help those suffering now, and doesn't address those who are unsheltered for non-addiction reasons.

    Buchanan is the best choice for Whatcom County Council, At-Large Position A.

    Barry Buchanan

    Navy veteran and current council chair Barry Buchanan has served one term on the Bellingham City Council and two on the Whatcom County Council. Buchanan has been a solid vote on the county council, especially through the difficulties of last year.

    Barry Buchanan

    Navy veteran and current council chair Barry Buchanan has served one term on the Bellingham City Council and two on the Whatcom County Council. Buchanan has been a solid vote on the county council, especially through the difficulties of last year.

  • Incumbent Michael Shepard is running to continue representing District 1 as a Port of Bellingham commissioner. Shepard first joined the port in 2018 and serves on a number of committees including the Whatcom County Homeless Strategies Workgroup and the Small Cities Partnership. In addition, Shepard teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on anthropology and environmental studies online at Goucher College and Western Washington University.

    During his first term, Shepard has focused on community- and environment-centered policymaking. His campaign priorities include revitalizing the waterfront, increasing tourism and commerce, and protecting the port’s ecosystem. He also wants to expand broadband access, affordable housing options, renewable energy production, and family-wage jobs.

    CEO of Mills Electric, John Huntley, is challenging Shepard for the port commissioner seat. The lion's share of Huntley's campaign focus is on attracting industries to the port. He mentions the port using natural gas for "green energy", but the Shepard and the rest of the commission are already leading on the issue. The port is already using 100% renewable energy through wind power purchases and partnering with a local solar panel manufacturer to increase the generation of clean energy. Huntley is also featured in a local conservative newsletter where he shares that he is running to prioritize business and corporate interests.

    Shepard has earned an impressive number of endorsements from progressive organizations and elected leaders and will continue bringing much-needed progressive leadership to the port as a commissioner. He deserves your vote for Port of Bellingham in District 1.

    Michael Shepard

    Enviado por alexwhite el Vie, 01/10/2021 - 10:14

    Incumbent Michael Shepard is running to continue representing District 1 as a Port of Bellingham commissioner. Shepard first joined the port in 2018 and serves on a number of committees including the Whatcom County Homeless Strategies Workgroup and the Small Cities Partnership.

    Michael Shepard

    Enviado por alexwhite el Vie, 01/10/2021 - 10:14

    Incumbent Michael Shepard is running to continue representing District 1 as a Port of Bellingham commissioner. Shepard first joined the port in 2018 and serves on a number of committees including the Whatcom County Homeless Strategies Workgroup and the Small Cities Partnership.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Small business owner Kelly Krieger is running for Port of Bellingham Commissioner in District 2. Krieger is active with the Whatcom County Democrats and has a professional background in business and marketing. She also served on the board of directors for the Puget Consumers Cooperative.

    Krieger's campaign is focused on climate-friendly economic development, municipal broadband, affordable workforce housing, and aviation innovation. She wants to make the port a place for job creation and clean energy leadership.

    Krieger is challenging incumbent Commissioner Ken Bell in District 2. Bell is a former Whatcom County planning commissioner and Whatcom County charter review commissioner, and he also currently serves as the president of a private company that cleans up contaminated soil. Unfortunately, Bell is involved with the Whatcom Republicans and played a role in a police-led sweep of a homeless encampment on port property earlier this year. He is not a progressive candidate.

    We recommend Krieger for the Port of Bellingham in District 2 because of her progressive values and broad partner support.

    Kelly Krieger

    Enviado por alexwhite el Lun, 27/09/2021 - 17:20

    Small business owner Kelly Krieger is running for Port of Bellingham Commissioner in District 2. Krieger is active with the Whatcom County Democrats and has a professional background in business and marketing. She also served on the board of directors for the Puget Consumers Cooperative.

    Kelly Krieger

    Enviado por alexwhite el Lun, 27/09/2021 - 17:20

    Small business owner Kelly Krieger is running for Port of Bellingham Commissioner in District 2. Krieger is active with the Whatcom County Democrats and has a professional background in business and marketing. She also served on the board of directors for the Puget Consumers Cooperative.

City Races

Depending on where you live, you may have the below city races on your ballot.

  • Hollie Huthman, who currently serves on the Bellingham City Council in the At-Large seat, is now running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat on the council.

    She was elected to the council in 2019 and since then has been supportive of progressive reforms, including giving frontline workers hazard pay. Her top three policy priorities for a second term include funding mental health and permanent supportive housing, increasing middle- and low-income housing, and supporting alternative crisis response programs which provide first responders who specialize in mental health care.

    Huthman has earned your support for another term on the Bellingham City Council.

    Hollie Huthman, who currently serves on the Bellingham City Council in the At-Large seat, is now running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat on the council.

    She was elected to the council in 2019 and since then has been supportive of progressive reforms, including giving frontline workers hazard pay. Her top three policy priorities for a second term include funding mental health and permanent supportive housing, increasing middle- and low-income housing, and supporting alternative crisis response programs which provide first responders who specialize in mental health care.

    Huthman has earned your support for another term on the Bellingham City Council.

    Hollie Huthman

    Hollie Huthman, who currently serves on the Bellingham City Council in the At-Large seat, is now running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat on the council.

  • Apoyadas Por: UFCW 21
  • Skip Williams is running unopposed for Bellingham City Council in Ward 4. Williams is a retired music teacher with a long history of activism in the community, including serving on the board of the Mount Baker Theater and Northwest Youth Services. Williams' top priority will be to make progress on affordable housing and homelessness solutions, including supporting the Homeless Outreach Team and affordable housing development. He also wants to address institutional racism, address community-driven policing issues, and protect the area's natural spaces.

    Williams has earned your vote for Bellingham City Council.

    Skip Williams is running unopposed for Bellingham City Council in Ward 4. Williams is a retired music teacher with a long history of activism in the community, including serving on the board of the Mount Baker Theater and Northwest Youth Services. Williams' top priority will be to make progress on affordable housing and homelessness solutions, including supporting the Homeless Outreach Team and affordable housing development. He also wants to address institutional racism, address community-driven policing issues, and protect the area's natural spaces.

    Williams has earned your vote for Bellingham City Council.

    Edwin 'Skip' Williams III

    Skip Williams is running unopposed for Bellingham City Council in Ward 4. Williams is a retired music teacher with a long history of activism in the community, including serving on the board of the Mount Baker Theater and Northwest Youth Services.

  • Apoyadas Por: UFCW 21, Washington Bikes , Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Eve Smason-Marcus is a musician and educator running for Bellingham City Council in Ward 6. Smason-Marcus, who uses they/she pronouns, has been an active volunteer in the community, including with the Bellingham Unity Committee and as a board member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

    They're running on a bold progressive platform of affordable housing, racial and environmental justice, and community safety. Smason-Marcus believes housing is a human right and they support stopping sweeps, increasing dense zoning downtown, and expanding home-ownership options through land trusts and co-housing options. They also want to protect the environment for future generations by improving stormwater management and pushing Bellingham toward electrification by retrofitting older buildings. On housing, climate, and other issues, Smason-Marcus wants to look to other progressive cities for innovative policy solutions that could help move Bellingham forward.

    Smason-Marcus is a good choice if you're looking for new leadership that will push the Bellingham City Council to the left on important issues facing the city.

    Eve Smason-Marcus is a musician and educator running for Bellingham City Council in Ward 6. Smason-Marcus, who uses they/she pronouns, has been an active volunteer in the community, including with the Bellingham Unity Committee and as a board member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

    They're running on a bold progressive platform of affordable housing, racial and environmental justice, and community safety. Smason-Marcus believes housing is a human right and they support stopping sweeps, increasing dense zoning downtown, and expanding home-ownership options through land trusts and co-housing options. They also want to protect the environment for future generations by improving stormwater management and pushing Bellingham toward electrification by retrofitting older buildings. On housing, climate, and other issues, Smason-Marcus wants to look to other progressive cities for innovative policy solutions that could help move Bellingham forward.

    Smason-Marcus is a good choice if you're looking for new leadership that will push the Bellingham City Council to the left on important issues facing the city.

    Eve Smason-Marcus

    Eve Smason-Marcus is a musician and educator running for Bellingham City Council in Ward 6. Smason-Marcus, who uses they/she pronouns, has been an active volunteer in the community, including with the Bellingham Unity Committee and as a board member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

  • Incumbent Michael Lilliquist is running for a fourth term on the Bellingham City Council. Outside the council, Lilliquist has been active with the local PTA and other nonprofits, especially focusing on protecting Lake Whatcom.

    During his 12 years on the council, Lilliquist has been a consistent voice for the environment and workers' rights. He is known for his careful attention to detail and thorough approach to policymaking that pushes the council in the right direction. In particular, he worked closely with the Sierra Club to move Puget Sound Energy away from coal power. He also supported a crisis response program to connect 911 calls with mental health professions instead of law enforcement. Unfortunately, Lilliquist opposed the four People First Bellingham ballot measures this year that activists organized to lead the city in a more progressive direction.

    Lilliquist is a good choice if you're looking for experienced leadership to help the city navigate a path forward on multiple challenging issues.

    Incumbent Michael Lilliquist is running for a fourth term on the Bellingham City Council. Outside the council, Lilliquist has been active with the local PTA and other nonprofits, especially focusing on protecting Lake Whatcom.

    During his 12 years on the council, Lilliquist has been a consistent voice for the environment and workers' rights. He is known for his careful attention to detail and thorough approach to policymaking that pushes the council in the right direction. In particular, he worked closely with the Sierra Club to move Puget Sound Energy away from coal power. He also supported a crisis response program to connect 911 calls with mental health professions instead of law enforcement. Unfortunately, Lilliquist opposed the four People First Bellingham ballot measures this year that activists organized to lead the city in a more progressive direction.

    Lilliquist is a good choice if you're looking for experienced leadership to help the city navigate a path forward on multiple challenging issues.

    Michael Lilliquist

    Incumbent Michael Lilliquist is running for a fourth term on the Bellingham City Council. Outside the council, Lilliquist has been active with the local PTA and other nonprofits, especially focusing on protecting Lake Whatcom.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Kristina Michele Martens is a real estate agent, local activist, and former radio host who is running to bring the needs of the community, especially historically underserved communities, to the forefront of policy. If elected, she states that she would be the first Black person to serve on the Bellingham City Council.

    In our interview with Martens, she emphasized the need for the city to fortify outreach from city hall, whether it be to struggling local businesses or residents having a difficult time. One of her top priorities would be to address homelessness in the city by making strong investments in rapid re-housing, easy access shelters, and permanent shelters. She supports Councilmember Hammill's proposed 0.1% sales tax for housing because it will save the city money by reducing unnecessary jail time and emergency responses. On police reform, Martens supports shifting police away from responding to jobs they aren't trained to do, like dealing with mental health crises, and investing more in diversion programs.

    Martens is one of the people working to found the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission, a joint effort between city and county to hold policy conversations and propose solutions to the challenges that Black, Indigenous, and other community members face. If elected, she is dedicated to continuing to hold conversations to build trust between residents and city hall.

    Her opponent is financial advisor Russ Whidbee, who states that he will take a moderate approach to policymaking on the council. On housing, Whidbee would not go as far as Martin's approach to updating zoning and allowing for more housing types. Instead, he states that his focus would be on seeking out grants and public and private partnerships with banks and developers to increase affordable housing. Whidbee would seek to increase the transparency of the police department with the use of body cameras, create a citizen-led oversight panel with police membership, and encourage more de-escalation training.

    Martens' bold vision and backing from progressive organizations make her the best choice in this race.

    Kristina Michele Martens

    Kristina Michele Martens is a real estate agent, local activist, and former radio host who is running to bring the needs of the community, especially historically underserved communities, to the forefront of policy.

    Kristina Michele Martens

    Kristina Michele Martens is a real estate agent, local activist, and former radio host who is running to bring the needs of the community, especially historically underserved communities, to the forefront of policy.

  • Apoyadas Por: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, SEIU Local 925, Sierra Club, Teamsters Joint Council 28, UFCW 21 , Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES for increased renter protections

  • All Bellingham residents deserve safe and secure housing. Yet, as housing and rental costs soar, wages have not kept up and the city’s vacancy rate remains extremely low. As a result, 57% of Bellingham renters are cost-burdened, according to an American Community Survey. Working families and renters bear the greatest burden in the housing affordability crisis. Evictions and forced relocations pose both an economic difficulty for individuals and families as well as a public health concern with COVID transmission remaining a problem.

    Initiative 1 would require landlords to provide written notice 90 days before a no-cause eviction and/or a rent increase of more than 5%. Further, the measure would require landlords to shoulder some of the cost of rental relocation in the cases of rent increases above 8% and/or evictions without cause. These policies will go a long way towards balancing the power between renters and landlords, and they will help reduce the financial and public health consequences of housing instability in Bellingham.

    The initiative is supported by a number of local progressive organizations and elected officials. Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-01 to expand tenant rights and mitigate the city’s housing affordability crisis.

    All Bellingham residents deserve safe and secure housing. Yet, as housing and rental costs soar, wages have not kept up and the city’s vacancy rate remains extremely low. As a result, 57% of Bellingham renters are cost-burdened, according to an American Community Survey. Working families and renters bear the greatest burden in the housing affordability crisis. Evictions and forced relocations pose both an economic difficulty for individuals and families as well as a public health concern with COVID transmission remaining a problem.

    Initiative 1 would require landlords to provide written notice 90 days before a no-cause eviction and/or a rent increase of more than 5%. Further, the measure would require landlords to shoulder some of the cost of rental relocation in the cases of rent increases above 8% and/or evictions without cause. These policies will go a long way towards balancing the power between renters and landlords, and they will help reduce the financial and public health consequences of housing instability in Bellingham.

    The initiative is supported by a number of local progressive organizations and elected officials. Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-01 to expand tenant rights and mitigate the city’s housing affordability crisis.

  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES to prohibit law enforcement from using facial recognition

  • Police facial recognition technology has long been a controversial issue. Facial recognition tools in the hands of law enforcement have been proven to lead to the disproportionate policing of people of color. Moreover, the constitutionality of predictive policing has been questioned for its potential violation of the protections against unreasonable searches.

    Initiative 2 gives Bellingham residents the opportunity to join more than half a dozen other cities in banning the use of police technology that may endanger civil rights and liberties. If approved by voters, the initiative would comprehensively prohibit the city from using facial recognition and predictive policing technology, as well as its associated data, information, and/or evidence.

    This ballot measure would help to keep law enforcement accountable and protect the rights of Bellingham residents. Vote to approve the city’s Initiative No. 2021-02.

    Police facial recognition technology has long been a controversial issue. Facial recognition tools in the hands of law enforcement have been proven to lead to the disproportionate policing of people of color. Moreover, the constitutionality of predictive policing has been questioned for its potential violation of the protections against unreasonable searches.

    Initiative 2 gives Bellingham residents the opportunity to join more than half a dozen other cities in banning the use of police technology that may endanger civil rights and liberties. If approved by voters, the initiative would comprehensively prohibit the city from using facial recognition and predictive policing technology, as well as its associated data, information, and/or evidence.

    This ballot measure would help to keep law enforcement accountable and protect the rights of Bellingham residents. Vote to approve the city’s Initiative No. 2021-02.

  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES to support unions and working people

  • Bellingham Initiative 3 pertains to labor neutrality and the use of government funds, directly or indirectly, to discourage unionization efforts. If approved by voters, the initiative will prohibit city funds from blocking unionization and will support workers’ union participation. Further, the measure includes protections to fairly enforce these policies so that workers’ rights are respected and strengthened.

    This measure benefits everyone by separating government influence from unionization efforts, bringing Bellingham into greater compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, and putting the city government into a more appropriate, neutral position on labor issues.

    Vote to approve Bellingham’s Initiative No. 2021-03 to protect collective bargaining and workers’ rights.
    Bellingham Initiative 3 pertains to labor neutrality and the use of government funds, directly or indirectly, to discourage unionization efforts. If approved by voters, the initiative will prohibit city funds from blocking unionization and will support workers’ union participation. Further, the measure includes protections to fairly enforce these policies so that workers’ rights are respected and strengthened.

    This measure benefits everyone by separating government influence from unionization efforts, bringing Bellingham into greater compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, and putting the city government into a more appropriate, neutral position on labor issues.

    Vote to approve Bellingham’s Initiative No. 2021-03 to protect collective bargaining and workers’ rights.
  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES for hazard pay for essential workers

  • Throughout the pandemic, frontline workers have risked their health and safety to earn the minimum wage while the companies they work for boasted record profits. The country’s economic downturn disproportionately hurt hourly wage workers and low-income families. Through both the public health crisis and its economic fallout, it has become clear that workers’ rights need to be strengthened across the country.

    Initiative 4 in Bellingham provides protections for the city’s hourly wage and gig workers. If approved, it will require hazard pay at the rate of $4 per hour during states of emergency, require employers to give good faith estimates of weekly hours at the hiring stage, and necessitate compensation for schedule changes without sufficient notice. All the policies within the measure bring the relationship between employer and employee into better balance in Bellingham.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 4.

    Throughout the pandemic, frontline workers have risked their health and safety to earn the minimum wage while the companies they work for boasted record profits. The country’s economic downturn disproportionately hurt hourly wage workers and low-income families. Through both the public health crisis and its economic fallout, it has become clear that workers’ rights need to be strengthened across the country.

    Initiative 4 in Bellingham provides protections for the city’s hourly wage and gig workers. If approved, it will require hazard pay at the rate of $4 per hour during states of emergency, require employers to give good faith estimates of weekly hours at the hiring stage, and necessitate compensation for schedule changes without sufficient notice. All the policies within the measure bring the relationship between employer and employee into better balance in Bellingham.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 4.

  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES to reduce barriers to civic participation

  • City of Bellingham’s Proposition 16 would reduce the number of signatures required to amend the city charter, allowing greater voter input in the charter and municipal government. Proposition 16, which represents the City of Bellingham Proposed Charter Amendment No. 2021-01, is a step towards making city government more accessible to and informed by the residents it serves.

    If approved by voters, the proposition would amend the charter so that the previous signature requirement of 15% of the total number of votes cast in the last general state election would be changed to a threshold of 15% of the total number of votes cast in the last general municipal election. This small change would reduce barriers to amending Bellingham’s charter with voter approval.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Proposition 16 in order to strengthen the democratic process in Bellingham.
    City of Bellingham’s Proposition 16 would reduce the number of signatures required to amend the city charter, allowing greater voter input in the charter and municipal government. Proposition 16, which represents the City of Bellingham Proposed Charter Amendment No. 2021-01, is a step towards making city government more accessible to and informed by the residents it serves.

    If approved by voters, the proposition would amend the charter so that the previous signature requirement of 15% of the total number of votes cast in the last general state election would be changed to a threshold of 15% of the total number of votes cast in the last general municipal election. This small change would reduce barriers to amending Bellingham’s charter with voter approval.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Proposition 16 in order to strengthen the democratic process in Bellingham.
  • VOTO YES

    Vote YES to reduce barriers to civic participation

  • Similar to other measures on the ballot this year, Bellingham’s Proposition 17 asks voters to approve or reject an amendment to the City of Bellingham Charter to reduce the number of signatures required to propose an initiative.

    The charter’s current signature requirement is calculated at 20% of the number of votes cast for mayor in the last municipal election. Proposition 17 would change the threshold so that only 10% of that vote count is needed in signatures for proposed initiatives. The amendment also proposes to do away with the two-week grace period allowed for gathering final signatures.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Proposition 17 to lower barriers for civic participation in the initiative process and allow all voters to have greater choice on their ballots.

    Similar to other measures on the ballot this year, Bellingham’s Proposition 17 asks voters to approve or reject an amendment to the City of Bellingham Charter to reduce the number of signatures required to propose an initiative.

    The charter’s current signature requirement is calculated at 20% of the number of votes cast for mayor in the last municipal election. Proposition 17 would change the threshold so that only 10% of that vote count is needed in signatures for proposed initiatives. The amendment also proposes to do away with the two-week grace period allowed for gathering final signatures.

    Vote “Yes” to approve Proposition 17 to lower barriers for civic participation in the initiative process and allow all voters to have greater choice on their ballots.

  • Incumbent Kate Bishop is running to retain her seat in Position 6 on the Ferndale City Council. First elected in 2017, Bishop is the current mayor pro tem and chairs the Finance and Administration committee. She has also worked as a social worker for over a decade. Bishop serves as a board member for the Ferndale Community Service Cooperative and helped to establish the Ferndale Utilities Fund there.

    On the council, Bishop created the Equity Advisory Board as well as the North Whatcom Poverty Task Force, which works to assess the needs of the community in the areas of housing and food insecurity, housing affordability, and income inequality. If re-elected, she wants to continue working to keep Ferndale affordable and she would invest in social services, business support, and infrastructure updates. Bishop has been endorsed by the Whatcom County Democrats in this race.

    Bishop faces a challenge from Robert Pinkley, who owns a restaurant in downtown Ferndale. Pinkley previously worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and ran unsuccessfully for Ferndale mayor in 2019. Now, he is campaigning on a more Republican platform to represent downtown and prioritize business interests above community needs.

    Kate Bishop will continue fighting for community solutions. She deserves your vote for Ferndale City Council, Position 6.

    Kate Bishop

    Incumbent Kate Bishop is running to retain her seat in Position 6 on the Ferndale City Council. First elected in 2017, Bishop is the current mayor pro tem and chairs the Finance and Administration committee. She has also worked as a social worker for over a decade.

    Kate Bishop

    Incumbent Kate Bishop is running to retain her seat in Position 6 on the Ferndale City Council. First elected in 2017, Bishop is the current mayor pro tem and chairs the Finance and Administration committee. She has also worked as a social worker for over a decade.

  • Maralise Fegan is running to retain her seat in Position 7 on the Ferndale City Council. Fegan first joined the council in January of this year when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Ramon Llanos. She works as an immigration paralegal with Boundary Bay Law and serves as an adjunct faculty and advisor in paralegal studies at Whatcom Community College.

    If retained, Fegan wants to center the community's needs by making Ferndale more affordable while attracting new businesses and creating new jobs. Fegan would also seek to handle growth responsibly and invest in infrastructure updates to keep the community safe. She supports bold action on affordable housing, especially as the eviction moratorium lifts, as well as accessible broadband access. In this race, Fegan has earned endorsements from local progressive organizations.

    Former mayor and pastor Jon Mutchler is challenging Fegan for Position 7. He served on the city council himself from 2010 to 2015 and then served one term as mayor from 2016 to 2019. In 2019, Mutchler was found guilty of an ethics violation when he displayed personal campaign materials at City Hall. He is running a more conservative campaign to advocate for cutting social services and promoting fear-based public safety ideas. Mutchler lists affordability as a top priority, but unfortunately, his solution is just to decrease costs for developers instead of addressing the roots of the housing crisis.

    Fegan is the best choice in this race. She deserves your vote for Ferndale City Council, Position 7.

    Maralise Fegan

    Maralise Fegan is running to retain her seat in Position 7 on the Ferndale City Council. Fegan first joined the council in January of this year when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Ramon Llanos.

    Maralise Fegan

    Maralise Fegan is running to retain her seat in Position 7 on the Ferndale City Council. Fegan first joined the council in January of this year when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Ramon Llanos.

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below school district races on your ballot.

  • Incumbent and current school board president Jenn Mason is running to retain Position 4 on the Bellingham School Board where she has served since 2017. Outside of her role as a school board director, Mason is a parent, certified sex educator, lifelong Democrat, and small business owner. Previously, Mason was an education and trauma counselor in schools.

    Since joining the board, Mason has supported a race and equity policy, addressed the poverty gap in the student population, and co-authored a Student Safety Resolution. Her campaign priorities in this race include serving marginalized students, expanding mental health support, and focusing on equity and inclusion at all levels.

    GOP candidate Philip Stockton is challenging Jenn Mason for the school board seat. Stockton is a conservative political organizer and former sales and marketing professional. Recently, he stated at a conservative rally that “for 100 years,” public schools in the United States have been trying to “take our children, indoctrinate them, and turn them basically into little leftist zombies.” If elected, he would bring a divisive, right-wing agenda to the school board.

    Jenn Mason will continue to bring progressive and inclusive values to the school board. She is the clear choice for Bellingham School Board, Director Position 4.

    Incumbent and current school board president Jenn Mason is running to retain Position 4 on the Bellingham School Board where she has served since 2017. Outside of her role as a school board director, Mason is a parent, certified sex educator, lifelong Democrat, and small business owner. Previously, Mason was an education and trauma counselor in schools.

    Since joining the board, Mason has supported a race and equity policy, addressed the poverty gap in the student population, and co-authored a Student Safety Resolution. Her campaign priorities in this race include serving marginalized students, expanding mental health support, and focusing on equity and inclusion at all levels.

    GOP candidate Philip Stockton is challenging Jenn Mason for the school board seat. Stockton is a conservative political organizer and former sales and marketing professional. Recently, he stated at a conservative rally that “for 100 years,” public schools in the United States have been trying to “take our children, indoctrinate them, and turn them basically into little leftist zombies.” If elected, he would bring a divisive, right-wing agenda to the school board.

    Jenn Mason will continue to bring progressive and inclusive values to the school board. She is the clear choice for Bellingham School Board, Director Position 4.

    Jenn Mason

    Incumbent and current school board president Jenn Mason is running to retain Position 4 on the Bellingham School Board where she has served since 2017. Outside of her role as a school board director, Mason is a parent, certified sex educator, lifelong Democrat, and small business owner.

  • Incumbent Douglas W. Benjamin is running to retain Director Position 5 on the Bellingham School Board. Benjamin first joined the board by appointment in 2014 and has since been elected for terms in 2015 and 2017. Outside of school board work, Benjamin is a licensed mental health counselor who runs his own practice. Additionally, he chairs the Whatcom County Public Health Advisory Board and serves on a task force related to the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access.

    In this race, Benjamin is prioritizing executing the school board’s strategic plan, The Bellingham Promise. He has also focused on modeling equity and inclusion and keeping the administrative operations of the board running smoothly. Benjamin wants to build on the board’s recent accomplishments like upgraded bus facilities, athletic infrastructure improvements, and new schools in Sehome and Happy Valley.

    Challenging Benjamin is Jeffrie Ford, who runs a cleaning service. Ford has no public service or community leadership background, and he lacks a website with detailed policy proposals. His official voters' guide statement says that he is new to Bellingham and wants to make sure that inequities between school districts are addressed.

    We recommend Douglas Benjamin for Bellingham School Board, Director Position 5 because of his public service experience and his commitment to an equitable and inclusive school district.

    Douglas W. Benjamin

    Incumbent Douglas W. Benjamin is running to retain Director Position 5 on the Bellingham School Board. Benjamin first joined the board by appointment in 2014 and has since been elected for terms in 2015 and 2017.

    Douglas W. Benjamin

    Incumbent Douglas W. Benjamin is running to retain Director Position 5 on the Bellingham School Board. Benjamin first joined the board by appointment in 2014 and has since been elected for terms in 2015 and 2017.