• Harry Steinmetz

  • Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions. He also directed government relations for the Washington Association for Housing and Services for the Aging, advocating for not-for-profit senior housing. Steinmetz's campaign platform includes bringing more parking to the area and developing downtown and the marina.
    Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions. He also directed government relations for the Washington Association for Housing and Services for the Aging, advocating for not-for-profit senior housing. Steinmetz's campaign platform includes bringing more parking to the area and developing downtown and the marina.

    Harry Steinmetz

    Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions.
  • 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.

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

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

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

    Shukri Olow

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

    Shukri Olow

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

  • Incumbent Dave Upthegrove is running to bring his tri-part vision of King County to reality: health, jobs, and justice. He was the first openly gay state representative from outside Seattle in Washington history, and he went on to serve five terms in the Legislature before being elected to the King County Council in 2013.

    Upthegrove has been a good council member and a solid advocate on several fronts in the county. He has been a leading voice on the council for environmental protections and climate action. As the chair of the King County Flood Control District Board of Supervisors, Upthegrove has worked to repair estuaries and has increased funding for repairing salmon habitats. 

    If re-elected, Upthegrove hopes to continue making progress on police accountability by strengthening civilian oversight of the sheriff's office. Overall, Upthegrove has been a reliable vote on many issues but has not been as ambitious on some priorities as Olow plans to be. In particular, he frustrated housing and human service advocates with his opposition to a more ambitious Vets, Seniors, and Human Services Levy in 2017. During our interview, he said he has learned in recent years the value of year-round public engagement, instead of just before a major vote, and this community input has made him more willing to support tax increases if they fund valuable services. He has earned support from both labor and environmental groups in this race.

    Dave Upthegrove

    Incumbent Dave Upthegrove is running to bring his tri-part vision of King County to reality: health, jobs, and justice.

    Dave Upthegrove

    Incumbent Dave Upthegrove is running to bring his tri-part vision of King County to reality: health, jobs, and justice.

  • Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions. He also directed government relations for the Washington Association for Housing and Services for the Aging, advocating for not-for-profit senior housing. Steinmetz's campaign platform includes bringing more parking to the area and developing downtown and the marina.
    Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions. He also directed government relations for the Washington Association for Housing and Services for the Aging, advocating for not-for-profit senior housing. Steinmetz's campaign platform includes bringing more parking to the area and developing downtown and the marina.

    Harry Steinmetz

    Harry Steinmetz is running unopposed for Des Moines City Council, Position 1. Steinmetz has worked in the King County Prosecutor’s office, as a city prosecutor for the city of Olympia, and as a staff attorney for the Washington state Senate Judiciary Committee, among other positions.

No Recommendation

Priscilla Vargas is running for Des Moines City Council, Position 3. Vargas is an ADA Compliance Officer who wants to focus on livable wage job creation and the revitalization of businesses in the downtown area. She is endorsed by the 33rd Legislative District Democrats.

Vargas faces Gene Achziger, a retired journalist and commissioner for Mount Rainier Pool. He also serves as president of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation. Achziger does not have a detailed campaign platform but emphasized communication and transparency in his King County voters' pamphlet statement.

Unfortunately, neither candidate in this race is particularly progressive, We believe Vargas's support from local elected officials and community groups make her the better choice for Des Moines City Council, Position 3.
  • Incumbent Traci Buxton is running for re-election to Des Moines City Council, Position 5. Buxton has been a council member since 2018 and has worked on several committees including the Economic Development Committee, the Municipal Facilities Committee, and as the chair of the Environment Committee. Outside of the city council, she works in property management.

    Buxton’s campaign priorities include the environment, community safety, and making Des Moines a destination city. She has proven her commitment to environmental issues through promoting the Green Cities Partnership and Urban Forestry Fund in her role on the council. If re-elected, Buxton wants to create more public green spaces and continue building partnerships on environmental issues. She is also an advocate for police reform through policies like de-escalation training, mandatory body cameras, and adopting the 8-Can’t-Wait reform steps.

    Also running for Position 5 is Tad Doviak, a Des Moines resident who works in IT. Doviak is involved in the community through his positions as a block watch captain and a member of the Des Moines Police Foundation board of directors. He claims to have a strong interest in the issue of public safety but doesn't elaborate on potential policies or accountability measures. Doviak does not have a campaign website as of late September.

    Buxton's support for investments in affordable housing and growing the state's transit system make her a better choice for Des Moines City Council, Position 5. If re-elected, we hope to see her use her position to prioritize fighting the climate crisis and make Des Moines a member of King County Cities Climate Collaboration.

    Traci Buxton

    Incumbent Traci Buxton is running for re-election to Des Moines City Council, Position 5.

    Traci Buxton

    Incumbent Traci Buxton is running for re-election to Des Moines City Council, Position 5.

  • Soleil Lewis is a special education teacher and community leader running for Des Moines City Council, Position 7. Her campaign priorities include increasing government transparency, promoting civic engagement and education, expanding employment opportunities for youth, and improving neighborhood infrastructure. She wants to see the city expand online access to public meetings and improve language resources, alongside greater participation by the city in regional government.

    If elected, Lewis also wants to create an airport committee, which would evaluate the impact of the Sea-Tac Airport on Des Moines residents. Additionally, Lewis works with Seattle King County and Vancouver NAACP on issues of diversity and inclusion and is excited to represent new voices on the city council as an African- and Haitian-American woman.

    Lewis is challenging incumbent council member and deputy mayor Matt Mahoney. First elected in 2017, Mahoney has worked on a number of council committees including Municipal Facilities, Public Safety/Emergency Management, and Transportation. He is running for re-election on a more conservative platform of increased development and funding for law enforcement.

    We recommend Lewis for Position 7 because of her progressive values and strong support from our partners and local leaders.

    Soleil Lewis

    Soleil Lewis is a special education teacher and community leader running for Des Moines City Council, Position 7.

    Soleil Lewis

    Soleil Lewis is a special education teacher and community leader running for Des Moines City Council, Position 7.