Endorsements

OneAmerica Votes

OneAmerica Votes

OneAmerica Votes is a membership organization with a mission to promote democracy and build power in immigrant and refugee communities by advocating for policies, developing leaders and electing candidates that strive for justice. All endorsed candidates have demonstrated leadership on issues that increase opportunities and improve the lives of immigrants, refugees and communities of color. OneAmerica Votes’ position on ballot measures and initiatives indicates whether an issue aligns with our values of strength in diversity; personal responsibility and shared accountability; and democracy and justice for all.

County Ballot Measures

King County Proposition #1

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote to APPROVE Best Starts For Kids
  • King County Proposition 1 offers the chance for voters to renew the Best Starts for Kids levy and maintain and expand effective programs that put our children and youth on a path toward lifelong success.

    First approved by voters in 2015 and passed unanimously by the King County Council, the “Regular Property Tax Levy for Children, Youth, Families and Communities” will maintain critical funding for homelessness prevention, prenatal resources, social and emotional youth development programs, and more. Research has shown that the kind of prevention and early engagement funded by Best Starts is the most effective, and least expensive, way to ensure positive outcomes for our kids and community.

    Proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine, the Best Starts for Kids program generates millions of dollars to provide children and youth in King County the chance to be healthy, happy, and safe. Proposition 1 would renew and expand services by increasing the levy from 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 19 cents. This increase will allow the county to build upon the program's proven successes including Prenatal-5 family support, youth and family homelessness services, and community-driven partnerships through Communities of Opportunity that address emotional growth. It will also help families access affordable child care and begin to ensure child care workers earn a living wage. 

    Vote to approve King County Prop. 1 to renew a proven investment in the Best Starts for Kids program’s long-term vision to guarantee that all kids and families living in King County can not only meet their basic needs but thrive.

    King County, Proposition 1 Best Starts

    King County Proposition 1 offers the chance for voters to renew the Best Starts for Kids levy and maintain and expand effective programs that put our children and youth on a path toward lifelong success.

Mayoral Races

Seattle Mayor

  • Evergreen Future
  • Born and raised in a migrant farm working family in central Washington, González has a background as an award-winning civil rights attorney that provides a foundation for her leadership in advocating for working families and marginalized communities. Lorena González is a Seattle City Council member and the current council president. As one of the city’s leaders through times of prosperity and times of hardship, González is committed to making the city of Seattle a place where all can thrive. The unanimous vote to make her the city council president in early 2020 speaks to her ability to lead collaboratively and make bold progressive change.

    González is one of Seattle’s three representatives on the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. She wants to push the city further than the current mayor was willing to go when it comes to building more permanent supportive housing.

     

    González would focus on building short- and long-term housing because the city needs to triple permanent affordable housing to meet everyone’s needs. She pledges to quickly scale up Seattle’s shelter system from the mayor’s office, which would include options such as tiny villages and leveraging hotels and motels. She states that she would increase permanent, supportive housing and include additional funds for mental, behavioral, and substance use services.

    González has played a lead role in existing police reform efforts by pivoting some law enforcement funding to community-led efforts. She believes that as mayor, she could do even more to reverse the legacy of harm of police violence in the city, especially for communities of color, the homeless, and in communities with lower-than-average incomes. In our interview, González noted that Seattle’s police guild has disproportionate power at the negotiating table when it comes to holding officers accountable. The mayor has much more leverage than the council in negotiating a better contract, and if she is elected she will push harder than Mayor Durkan to increase accountability for officers and the department.

    Equitable economic recovery from COVID is a high priority for the councilmember. She vows to make sure that neighborhood small businesses, many of which are owned by people of color, receive equitable shares of recovery assistance. Other parts of her agenda seek to meet the needs of working families. For example, she wants to raise standards in the gig economy by ending sub-minimum wages and establish incentives for employee ownership in businesses. Improvements to childcare access, bike and pedestrian paths, and building on renter protections round out some of her other priorities for improving the lives of everyone in the community.

     

    On issues of the climate, González wants to partner with Seattle for A Green New Deal to revitalize and expand the local green economy. She states that by actively retrofitting homes and modernizing industrial infrastructure, we can provide thousands of stable, high-quality jobs in the city.

    González’s experience leaves her well-positioned to hit the ground running. Her advocacy and support for workers has earned her the trust of many labor unions and advocacy groups. She has a track record of working well with her colleagues to build consensus on the city’s most pressing issues. For her support for our partners and her forward-thinking platform, we recommend González for mayor of Seattle.

     

    Lorena González

    Born and raised in a migrant farm working family in central Washington, González has a background as an award-winning civil rights attorney that provides a foundation for her leadership in advocating for working families and marginalized communities.

City Council Races

Burien City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Hugo Garcia is running for Burien City Council, Position 1. Garcia, whose family immigrated from Mexico more than 30 years ago, states that he learned the values of resilience and tenacity at an early age by watching his father wait tables to support their family of five. If elected, he intends to bring the experience of working families to the forefront.

    Garcia is a member of the Burien Planning Commission and chair of the Burien Economic Development Partnership (BEDP). His platform includes housing for all and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that will equitably and sustainably lift up all Burien residents and help local businesses come back stronger. In addition, Garcia is committed to keeping Burien affordable so that working families can continue to live in the community and thrive.

    Garcia is facing Martin Barrett and Abdifatah Mohamedhaji. Barrett, the owner of Sozo Gifts who believes the affordable housing crisis can be solved by incentivizing businesses to build more affordable homes. Barrett opposes redirecting any police funding to community-based services. He states that he wants Burien to be a “wealth generator" without providing details. Mohamedhaji does not have a campaign website or any available information as of mid-June.

    Garcia is the clear choice for Burien City Council, Position 1.

    Hugo Garcia

    Hugo Garcia is running for Burien City Council, Position 1. Garcia, whose family immigrated from Mexico more than 30 years ago, states that he learned the values of resilience and tenacity at an early age by watching his father wait tables to support their family of five.

SeaTac City Council

  • Jake Simpson is an organizer and cook running for SeaTac City Council, Position 2. He wants to make SeaTac a city that welcomes everyone and serves all people equally, and he wants to work with employers to find outcomes that benefit both workers and businesses. Simpson wants the city to focus on delivering basic services as well, including emergency responses, efficient transportation, and helping small businesses thrive. As the father of a young daughter, he wants everyone in SeaTac to be able to enjoy quality parks and walkable neighborhoods.

    Also in this race are incumbent Stanley Tombs, EL'ona Kearney, and Tiniell Cato. Tombs is conservative and re-joined the council in June 2020 after Councilmember Amina Ahmed passed away. He said upon rejoining that he would be a placeholder until the next election but is now running for re-election. Neither Kearney or Cato have campaign platforms or policies available on their websites as of mid-July. 

    Simpson will bring needed progressive change to the SeaTac City Council and is the best choice for Position 2 on the council.

    Jake Simpson

    Jake Simpson is an organizer and cook running for SeaTac City Council, Position 2. He wants to make SeaTac a city that welcomes everyone and serves all people equally, and he wants to work with employers to find outcomes that benefit both workers and businesses.

Vancouver City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Diana Perez is the founder of the local League of United Latin American Citizens. Perez has been highly active and awarded in the community for her civil rights and policy work. She was appointed by Gov. Inslee as a commissioner for Washington State Parks and Recreation and serves as a board member of Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program, which provides law clinics for underserved communities.

    Perez's campaign is focused on improving life for all residents of Vancouver. She wants to incentivize mixed-income communities that have access to public transportation, and create bold solutions for affordable housing that brings the unsheltered community, service providers, and developers to the table. She believes that a community that invests in communities of color can strengthen the entire city, and would focus on removing discriminatory language in housing deeds, center living wage jobs, and look to help small businesses recover post-pandemic.

    She is running against Glen Yung and David Gellatly. Yung, a building contractor, waged a public fight against the Westside Bike Mobility Project. Unlike Perez, he has focused on private car usage over reducing climate emissions and clean air that investing in public transportation could provide. He uses the term equity frequently but seems to be focused on geographical equity, not the racial or economic equity that would help bring Vancouver together.

    Gellatly is the former chair of the Clark County Republican Party as well as a current executive board member of the party. He states that his top priorities would be homelessness and supporting businesses in the city. Gellatly was cited last year as one of the organizers of pro-Trump rallies in Vancouver during protests and after the shooting of Kevin E. Peterson, Jr. As the head of conservative activist group Activate Republicans, Gellatly is likely to continue to push backward policies on the council on social and racial justice, environmental reform, and more.

    Perez has worked tirelessly both professionally and on a volunteer basis to bring community-oriented solutions to Vancouver. She deserves your vote for Vancouver City Council, Position 3.

    Diana Perez

    Diana Perez is the founder of the local League of United Latin American Citizens. Perez has been highly active and awarded in the community for her civil rights and policy work. She was appointed by Gov.

Des Moines City Council

  • Yoshiko Grace Matsui has been involved with LGTBQ and anti-racism advocacy for many years. She was one of the first youth board members for Hands Off Washington, which between 1993 and 1997 sought to protect Washingtonians against discrimination based on sexual orientation. More recently, she served as the Director of Multicultural Student Services at the University of Puget Sound and currently works in the Workforce Equity Division in Seattle. She also serves as the King County Water District #54 Commissioner, ensuring that Des Moines’ water services are up-to-date.

    Matsui's priorities for the council are aimed at elevating transparency and decision-making power for all communities in Des Moines. She notes that she wants to promote public and open discussions about the termination of city staff, such as the former police chief, who she states was let go despite a commitment to community policing. She also wants to focus on regional collaboration on housing instability and common infrastructure improvements in roads and intersections, stating that the council is planning a $50 million marina plan that focuses on the needs of the wealthy yacht owners only.

    Yoshiko Grace Matsui

    Yoshiko Grace Matsui has been involved with LGTBQ and anti-racism advocacy for many years. She was one of the first youth board members for Hands Off Washington, which between 1993 and 1997 sought to protect Washingtonians against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Seattle City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Lawyer and community activist Nikkita Oliver is running for Seattle City Council, Position 9. Oliver, who uses they/them pronouns, works with numerous local groups including Urban Impact, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, and the Union Gospel Mission’s Youth Reach Out Center. Oliver also serves as executive director of Creative Justice and is a member of coalitions like Decriminalize Seattle, Free Them All WA, and No New Youth Jail.

    Their forward-looking platform is centered around economic, social, racial, and environmental justice – including ensuring the concentration of power among the wealthy gets redistributed. Affordable housing for everyone, redirecting police funding to make investments in communities, and bringing a Green New Deal to Seattle are among Oliver’s top priorities. If elected, Oliver would pursue policies to make sure everyone living in Seattle can thrive, like closing our wealth gap, preparing for disasters like wildfire season that disproportionately impact Black, brown, and Indigenous communities, and providing municipal broadband internet for all.

    Oliver previously ran for mayor of Seattle in 2017. Their campaign is prioritizing mutual aid and community-based care, demonstrating their commitment to addressing the many issues facing Seattle equitably with the support and involvement of community members.

    Nikkita Oliver

    Lawyer and community activist Nikkita Oliver is running for Seattle City Council, Position 9. Oliver, who uses they/them pronouns, works with numerous local groups including Urban Impact, the Urban Youth Leadership Academy, and the Union Gospel Mission’s Youth Reach Out Center.

Yakima City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Danny Herrera is a public school teacher who is running to utilize his experience in education and racial justice on the city council. He has served in the community in several roles, including as a member of NAACP Yakima Branch, as a youth room tutor at YMCA Downtown, and as co-founder of the College Success Foundation Yakima Alumni Board. Herrera was lauded by our endorsing partners as a committed educator who has clear knowledge about the importance of reforming the state tax code so that everyone benefits, not just the wealthy. He is ready to join the council as an advocate for community investment in safer infrastructure, youth programming, and equitable economic growth.

    Herrera is running against Edgar Hernandez, Raúl Martínez, and Christina Martinez. Hernandez has no statement listed in the official voter's guide as of mid-July. Some of the goals listed in his candidate literature include addressing the drug crisis and homelessness, though he does not expand on what policies he might put in place. However, he is endorsed by a right-wing organization whose priorities include removing historical discussions on race from schools and perpetuating fraudulent claims about rigged 2020 elections. Similarly, Raúl Martínez does not have a detailed campaign available as of mid-July. He states that he will prioritize safety and the economy if elected, but gives no details about how this would be achieved. Realtor Christina Martinez's candidate statement states that she has managed subsidized low-income housing in California, and her primary priority is securing affordable housing. She does not have a more detailed platform available as of mid-July.

    For his dedication to improving the lives of youths and his support from our Progressive Voters Guide partners, we recommend Danny Herrera in this race.

    Danny Herrera

    Danny Herrera is a public school teacher who is running to utilize his experience in education and racial justice on the city council.

School Board Races

Seattle

  • Vivian Song Maritz is a small business owner, PTSA president, member of the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and mother of three students in Seattle Public Schools. As the daughter of immigrants and as an Asian American with a hearing disability, Maritz emphasizes the significant impact public schools had on her life.

    Maritz is running to bring her 15 years of private sector experience in finance and operations to the school board. If elected, she would focus on delivering mental health support as an essential service for students, achieving progress on inclusion in the classroom and school system broadly, securing efficient and accessible transportation for students, and expanding the services and quality of education for disabled students. She would also like to reduce the focus on standardized testing and continue, but reform, the option school program, which allows students to apply to attend schools outside their neighborhood. She is also committed to applying anti-racist principles to governance and school policies.

    In this tight race, Maritz has faced some criticism regarding both her involvement in a Facebook group that pushed reopen schools and her recent move into District 4. After extensive research, we did not find either criticism to be compelling. During our interview, Maritz stated that she supported the Seattle Education Association's three priorities at the time and she advocated for vaccinating teachers earlier to re-open schools safely. 

    As for her move, Maritz was candid about relocating to District 4 to run for office. She emphasized that her children already attend an option school alongside many students from District 4 and her family had already been spending a lot of time in the area. This was not a concern for us given her previous connection to the district and the short move from Capitol Hill.

    Maritz is a good choice if you are looking for a candidate who will bring financial management expertise and increased representation to the Seattle School Board. 

    Vivian Song Maritz

    Vivian Song Maritz is a small business owner, PTSA president, member of the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, and mother of three students in Seattle Public Schools.

  • Endorsed By: OneAmerica Votes, The Stranger , Womxn of Color in Education, the 36th and 43rd Legislative District Democrats.
  • Michelle Sarju is running for Seattle School Board in District 5. Sarju is a former midwife, social worker, and PTA member who currently works with King County Public Health.

    Sarju is running to make sure that all children in the Seattle Public School system have a chance at a quality education and has earned strong progressive support in this race. Her campaign platform includes closing the racial gap in student opportunity, valuing alternative evidence-based metrics for success above standardized tests, providing social and emotional support for students, and investing in anti-racist curriculum. She believes that re-entry to in-person learning must be accompanied by increased vaccine access for both faculty and students. She also believes that in order to care for students during re-entry, schools must provide more mental health support. Sarju is committed to not simply going back to normal post-COVID, but instead addressing root causes to make our school system stronger and more equitable than ever.

    Sarju is running against Crystal Liston and Dan Harder. Liston, who identifies as a disabled lesbian parent of two children in West Seattle school, wants to bring a new perspective to the school board. She has been highly involved with the school system, volunteering at 20 of the district’s 103 schools. Liston’s vision for the position is to bring an equity lens to the curriculum and resource distribution, support teachers and staff, and improve access to mental health resources for students.

    Harder, a Boeing engineer, is running on a reactionary, Trump-style agenda focused on a conspiracy theory about critical race theory. Harder would use this excuse to walk back progress made in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Seattle Public School system. He lacks a vision for the role beyond Trump politics and has no community or elected experience.

    We recommend Michelle Sarju for Seattle School Board in District 5 because of her clear, progressive vision and the broad support she has earned from our partners and local leaders.

    Michelle Sarju

    Michelle Sarju is running for Seattle School Board in District 5. Sarju is a former midwife, social worker, and PTA member who currently works with King County Public Health.

  • Endorsed By: OneAmerica Votes, The Stranger, The Urbanist , King County Democrats, Seattle Education Association

Bellevue

  • Jane Aras is running for the Bellevue School District Board of Directors in District 5. She has experience teaching special education has spent the past 19 years advocating and volunteering in Bellevue schools. She is active in the PTSA, created a math and reading club for students, and introduced before-school computer programming for 4th- and 5th-grade students. 

    Aras understands the toll COVID-19 has taken on students and staff. She wants to prioritize bringing students back with proper support while addressing pre-pandemic issues including closing academic gaps and encouraging everyone to consider a variety of options after graduating. Aras’ campaign also focuses on equitable access to high-quality education for all, giving every student the tools they need to thrive.

    Aras is facing Gregg Smith, Caroline Smith, and Valeri Makam. Gregg Smith owns a broadband business and has been a Parent Student Teacher Association vice president. His main priority is bringing in-person learning back without any mention of health, safety, and consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Caroline Smith owns a data consulting firm and her campaign platform as of mid-July is not robust. Makam is a community advocate and manager at T-Mobile whose platform includes prioritizing mental health for students and transparency in communication.

    Aras’ experience, strong platform, and endorsements make her the best choice for Bellevue School District Board of Directors, District 5.

    Jane Aras

    Jane Aras is running for the Bellevue School District Board of Directors in District 5. She has experience teaching special education has spent the past 19 years advocating and volunteering in Bellevue schools.

  • Endorsed By: APACE, OneAmerica Votes, SEIU Local 925 , Alliance for Gun Responsibility