Endorsements

SEIU Local 925

SEIU Local 925

SEIU Local 925 unites 14,000 education and public service workers across Washington including child care providers, university employees, and school district staff. Our members meet with candidates, review their records, and recommend those who will support working families.

County Council Races

Whatcom County Council

  • Non-Partisan
  • 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.

  • Endorsed By: NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, SEIU Local 925, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Housing Action Fund , Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Bellingham/Whatcom County Firefighters (IAFF Local 106), Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • Non-Partisan
  • 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 helping craft 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, accessibility government, revitalizing economics, 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.

  • Non-Partisan
  • 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 in this difficult past 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 established in 2019. He supports both the Whatcom Crisis Stabilization Center and East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, which serve those experiencing mental health crises and hunger. Buchanan has also worked in previous terms in office to ban fracking and protect the environment.

    He is running against Bob Burr, Misty Flowers, and Kamal Bhachu. Burr has run for a number of positions in Whatcom, including Public Utility District, Bellingham City Council, and Whatcom County Council. Burr's campaign website is still focused on his run for the utility district, leaving no information on his current run. In his voter statement, Burr says that he will be a single-issue candidate on climate change and preventing mass extinction.

    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, living-wage jobs, and pride in the community, but doesn't offer enough policy details to evaluate. Misty Flowers is a Bellingham musician who has no campaign platform available as of May 25, and her Twitter is filled with covid vaccine conspiracies.

    Buchanan is the best choice in this race.

    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 in this difficult past year.

King County Council

  • Non-Partisan
  • Evergreen Future
  • Kim-Khanh Van is a current Renton City Council member who is running for King County Council in District 9 to bring her diverse experience to the county. After her family escaped Vietnam as refugees and settled in King County, she went on to earn her doctorate and become an attorney. Van credits the community for her successes and wants to provide families and residents with healthy, livable communities that include child care access and infrastructure maintenance.

    Van has demonstrated that she is willing to take tough public votes on behalf of the most vulnerable in the community. She was one of only two members of the Renton City Council who voted to maintain the Red Lion Hotel as a source of housing for residents experiencing homelessness. In our interview, we were impressed with her in-depth knowledge about the issue and her desire to lead as a consensus and coalition builder at the county level. She wants to do more to educate voters on the economic and social benefits of providing supportive, stable housing early, rather than jailing people experiencing homelessness.

    Van has done much advocacy work for marginalized communities. She understands the struggles that the Black, Latino, and Asian-Pacific Islander communities have faced historically and in the present, and vows to continue to stand with residents to make the county a place of opportunity for all.

    Van's personal and professional experience make her a great choice for King County Council in District 9.

    Kim-Khanh Van

    Kim-Khanh Van is a current Renton City Council member who is running for King County Council in District 9 to bring her diverse experience to the county. After her family escaped Vietnam as refugees and settled in King County, she went on to earn her doctorate and become an attorney.

Mayoral Races

Tacoma Mayor

  • Victoria Woodards is running for re-election to be the mayor of Tacoma. She had a long track record of public service before becoming mayor in 2017. Woodards supports working families and is committed to maintaining safe and healthy neighborhoods across Tacoma. She also crucially understands the importance of addressing institutional racism and has a demonstrated history of working within communities of color and building diverse coalitions to address the problems facing Tacoma. In her time on the Tacoma City Council, Woodards worked on establishing Tacoma’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.

    While Woodards previously supported the proposal to build a highly polluting liquefied natural gas facility in Tacoma because it would have created jobs, she has since emphasized she does not support any new fossil fuel facilities in the Tideflats.

    Also in this race are Jamika Scott and Steve Haverly. Scott has worked as a domestic violence advocate at YWCA Pierce County and mentored students with AmeriCorps at Peace Community Center. She is also a co-founder and organizer with the Tacoma Action Collective and a board member with the Tacoma Public Library Foundation Board of Directors. Scott is very progressive and her platform includes advocating for rent control, bringing a restorative justice model to Tacoma, and meeting the transportation and social service needs of people experiencing homelessness. Haverly is a first-time candidate who works in construction and land management. Haverly does not have a strong or progressive campaign platform and while he claims to be non-partisan, what little campaign information he does have available demonstrates his priorities would not align with what Tacoma's communities need as we come together to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Woodards has earned broad support from our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations and numerous elected officials. Woodards is the best choice for mayor of Tacoma.

    Victoria Woodards

    Victoria Woodards is running for re-election to be the mayor of Tacoma. She had a long track record of public service before becoming mayor in 2017. Woodards supports working families and is committed to maintaining safe and healthy neighborhoods across Tacoma.

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.

  • Mayor Jimmy Matta is running for re-election to Burien City Council, Position 3. Matta is the founder of Ahora Construction and serves on the Burien Airport Committee, Soundside Alliance Policy Committee, and Latino Civic Alliance Board. He was first elected in 2018 and has a deep understanding of the struggles that working families face. His family immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala, and by the time he was a teenager, Matta had dropped out of high school to support his family. He later started his construction business and went on to become a representative for the Carpenters Union for over 20 years.

    As mayor, Matta worked during the early years of the Trump administration to pass a resolution making sure immigrant communities know they are welcome in Burien. Recently, Matta joined a majority of the council voting in favor of expanding affordable housing in downtown Burien. The new building will include units set aside for Burien residents and veterans.

    Also in this race are Charles Schaefer and Mark Dorsey. Schaefer has laid out a large agenda of progressive positions on his website, but not to the same level of detail as Matta and without his level of experience working as a community advocate. Dorsey is running on a divisive conservative platform that scapegoats homeless residents. He opposes the downtown affordable housing project and uses a campaign slogan of "Burien first," which sounds disturbingly familiar.

    Matta is the clear choice for Burien City Council, Position 3.

    Jimmy Matta

    Mayor Jimmy Matta is running for re-election to Burien City Council, Position 3. Matta is the founder of Ahora Construction and serves on the Burien Airport Committee, Soundside Alliance Policy Committee, and Latino Civic Alliance Board.

  • Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx is running for re-election to Burien City Council, Position 7. She is currently the executive director of Seattle Pride and previously worked for the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washington.

    First elected in 2017, Marx has been a consistent progressive voice on the council. She takes a Housing First approach to homelessness and has worked to pass a range of tenant protections to keep people in their homes. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marx voted in favor of $5 per hour hazard pay for front-line workers like grocery store employees. Recently, she joined her colleagues supporting an expansion of affordable housing in downtown Burien that includes units designated for Burien residents and veterans.

    Marx faces Stephanie Mora, John White, John Potter, Patty Janssen, and Elissa Fernandez. Potter, Fernandez, and Janssen, do not have campaign websites available as of mid-July. Mora is running on a more conservative platform that blames outsiders and nearby cities rather than offering solutions for Burien. White is running a campaign focused on his slogan of "Burien-Unite!" and connecting all 18 Burien neighborhoods without offering concrete policy details.

    Marx is the best choice in the race for Burien City Council, Position 7.

    Krystal Marx

    Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx is running for re-election to Burien City Council, Position 7. She is currently the executive director of Seattle Pride and previously worked for the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washington.

Vancouver City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Kim Harless is a program manager at a paint recycling nonprofit and a Clark County Review commissioner. She has served in several roles oriented towards feeding the community, including as the president of Slow Food Southwest Washington, vice president of Urban Abundance, and treasurer of Clark County Food System. She also worked for nearly a decade as an environmental operations specialist with Clark County planning recycling systems, providing oversight on contracts.

    Harless states that as an Indigenous and Chicana single mother, she intends to center equity in both her campaign and her tenure on council if elected. She will lead with housing-first solutions to the homelessness crisis, which means securing shelter for people so that they can safely address any health, social, or economic issues they may be facing. In our interview with Harless, she wanted to provide technical expertise on creating a much more robust climate action plan. Police reform should be intentional and focused, she said, and emergency services should evolve so that a more diverse suite of services is available for residents who call 911 for disputes or mental health crises. Harless emphasized that overall, city government absolutely must address the needs of marginalized communities so that Vancouver is truly welcoming and healthy for all.

    Harless has worked hard to bring together the government and public to work on issues that the community cares about most. We recommend Harless in this race for her fresh perspective, strong progressive values, and the technical expertise she could bring to the city council.

    Kim Harless

    Kim Harless is a program manager at a paint recycling nonprofit and a Clark County Review commissioner.

  • Endorsed By: SEIU 775, SEIU Local 925, Sierra Club, Washington Conservation Voters , League of United Latin American Citizens SW WA Council 47013, Sunrise Movement of SW WA
  • 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.

Renton City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Joe Todd is running for Renton City Council, Position 1 to bring new solutions and community perspectives to city hall. He currently works as the King County Deputy Chief Technology Officer.

    In our interview with Todd, we were impressed by his thorough knowledge of city affairs and his dedication to serving the community. Todd pointed out that the city cannot reasonably solve the issue of homelessness on its own, and that a regional approach and improved relationship with the county would create better outcomes for all residents. He wants to use his technological expertise to help law enforcement track the issues they are responding to so the city can allocate resources most effectively. Todd also wants to launch something similar to the CAHOOTS program in Eugene, OR, which can dispatch trained caseworkers instead of police officers to help those experiencing mental health challenges. He supports both thorough police training and redirecting some funding from policing to human services to build stronger communities and prevent crime.

    Todd is running against James Alberson and Sanjeev Yonzon. Alberson has served as a Renton Planning commissioner since April 2020 and is a former board chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. Alberson states that if elected, he will prioritize ensuring a strong business climate, reducing homelessness, and increasing housing affordability, among other priorities. However, in our interview with Alberson, we were disappointed that part of this proposal to address homelessness was mandatory participation in city programs. This focus on putting people in jail or building a new regional facility is a costly proposal that fails to address the root causes of homelessness and further isolates people from their support networks.

    Yonzon is a civil service commissioner of the Renton Regional Fire Authority. A former civil contractor with the U.S. military in Iraq, Yonzon states that his harrowing journey escaping civil war in Nepal has led him to a life of assisting others. He wants to represent those who are less fluent in English see that they can better the community, expand affordable housing, and improve traffic, though he does not have more concrete policy proposals on his website as of mid-July.

    Todd's in-depth insight and commitment to Renton would be an incredible benefit to the city. We enthusiastically recommend Joe Todd for Renton City Council, Position 1.

    Joe Todd

    Joe Todd is running for Renton City Council, Position 1 to bring new solutions and community perspectives to city hall. He currently works as the King County Deputy Chief Technology Officer.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Carmen Rivera is running for Renton City Council, Position 2 to leverage her professional background in social services for the people of Renton. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University's Criminal Justice Department, where her coursework incorporates a racial equity lens. Previously, she worked at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families at Echo Glen's Children's Center, counseling and providing treatment plans for struggling youth. She has also worked at Youthsource, where she engaged youth who had dropped out of school.

    As a social services advocate, Rivera wants to prioritize updating Renton's Community Needs Assessment for Human Services, which would help provide the community access to food, shelter, and living wage jobs. She also wants to update Renton's 2011 Clean Economy Strategy, bringing it in line with today's standards on clean water, air, and reduced pollution. Additionally, Rivera will work hard to provide low-cost job training and emphasize the need for affordable and mixed-income housing.

    She is running against incumbent Angelina Benedetti. Benedetti was appointed to the council unanimously in February 2020 by the current council members after Armondo Pavone was elected as mayor. She is the former chair of the Renton Planning Commission. We were disappointed that, against the strong disapproval of housing advocates, Benedetti took a vote last December to limit and later remove unsheltered people from the Red Lion Hotel by January 2022. This move will end what advocates pointed out was a successful method for helping those with disabilities or mental health challenges who have nowhere else to go.

    Rivera's greater support from our progressive partners earns her our recommendation in this race.

    Carmen Rivera

    Carmen Rivera is running for Renton City Council, Position 2 to leverage her professional background in social services for the people of Renton.

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.

Tacoma City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Catherine Ushka is running for re-election to Tacoma City Council, Position 4. Ushka was first elected to the council in 2017 and previously served on the Tacoma School Board for eight years. She chairs the Community Vitality and Safety Committee and is a member of groups including the Parks Policy Board and Opioid Prevention Taskforce.

    In her time on the council, Ushka supported apprenticeship programs by changing labor codes to make these programs more accessible. If she's re-elected, Ushka wants to do more to fight racial inequalities in health, housing, education, employment, and law enforcement. She states that she will continue to work for more flexible federal funding for housing and shelters, including low-barrier shelters with fewer barriers to entry for the city's unhoused population. Ushka also feels the city needs to increase zoning density where suitable to address the housing deficit and provide additional resources for responding to mental health crises. 

    Also in this race are Israel James McKinney and Nolan Hibbard-Pelly. McKinney has worked for Boeing and Xfinity and currently works for Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. His platform includes prioritizing education, supporting police reform and accountability, and reducing the gap in affordable housing. Hibbard-Pelly is an environmental activist and student at the University of Washington Tacoma whose platform includes bringing a Green New Deal to Tacoma, municipal broadband for everyone in Tacoma, and improving accessibility of neighborhoods through public works.

    Our local council was disappointed with some of Ushka's interview answers, including her support for moving the migrant detention center to the Nalley Valley. However, Ushka’s support from local progressive groups and our partner organizations makes her the best choice in the race for Tacoma City Council, Position 4.

    Catherine Ushka

    Catherine Ushka is running for re-election to Tacoma City Council, Position 4. Ushka was first elected to the council in 2017 and previously served on the Tacoma School Board for eight years.

Kent City Council

  • Incumbent Brenda Fincher is running for re-election to Kent City Council, Position 6 to continue her work on economic recovery and affordable housing. Fincher has served on the council since 2014, and in that time has voted to approve funds for youth mental health and supported community discussion on providing a mental health co-response model to law enforcement. She states that if re-elected, she will build on current renter protections, advocate for businesses owned by people of color, and work to ensure that housing stays affordable for working families.

    She is running against Larry Hussey and Bradley Cairnes. Hussey does not have a campaign website available as of mid-July, but his candidate announcement states that the city needs more motels and less 5G, and that he is anti-marijuana. Similarly, Cairnes is running a conspiracy-filled campaign and does not have a policy agenda.

    Fincher is the best choice in this race.

    Brenda Fincher

    Incumbent Brenda Fincher is running for re-election to Kent City Council, Position 6 to continue her work on economic recovery and affordable housing.

Des Moines City Council

  • Soleil Lewis, a special education teacher and community leader, is 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 she is excited to represent new voices on the city council as an African- and Haitian-American woman.

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

    Soleil Lewis

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

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.

Spokane City Council

  • Luc Jasmin III is also running for Spokane City Council, Position 2 in District 1. Jasmin is the co-owner of Parkview Early Learning Center and recently served as president of the Washington Child Care Centers Association.

    Jasmin's top campaign priorities are expanding affordable child care, supporting small businesses, and expanding affordable housing. He is concerned about displacement and gentrification in Northeast Spokane and wants to improve outreach to renters and reduce barriers to accessing resources for people to stay in their homes. In addition, he supports stronger protections against evictions and wants to change zoning laws to allow for building more affordable multi-family homes.

    Luc Jasmin III

    Luc Jasmin III is also running for Spokane City Council, Position 2 in District 1. Jasmin is the co-owner of Parkview Early Learning Center and recently served as president of the Washington Child Care Centers Association.

  • Endorsed By: Fuse, SEIU 775, SEIU Local 925 , Spokane Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Bellingham City Council

  • Evergreen Future
  • Kristina Michele Martens is a real estate agent, local activist, and former radio host who is running to bring community needs, especially those of 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 improve 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 through making strong investments in rapid re-housing and permanent shelter. She supports City 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 opponents are Russ Whidbee and Tonia Boze. Financial advisor Whidbee has no campaign website as of June 22. He states that his approach to policy will be moderate, but does not have proposals available to voters. Similar to Whidbee, gym owner Tonia Boze was a late filer who does not have campaign policies available as of late June. Her official voter's guide statement says that the city should be welcoming and a place of opportunity.

    Martens is 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 community needs, especially those of historically underserved communities, to the forefront of policy.

  • Endorsed By: SEIU Local 925, Sierra Club, UFCW 21 , Alliance for Gun Responsibility

School Board Races

Bellevue

  • Joyce Shui is an attorney and founder of the Purple School who is running for the Bellevue School Board in District 3. Shui is currently the lead senior legal counsel for a software company and has previously served on the boards of the Washington Women Lawyers and the American Lung Association of Washington. She has also volunteered at a legal clinic in the International District providing legal services to community members with low incomes.

    Her campaign is emphasizing equity and empathy, as well as increasing opportunities for all students. She wants the community to be involved in school board decision-making and pledges to be a transparent leader on the board. Shui is endorsed by progressive leaders including Rep. My-Linh Thai and groups including the 41st and 48th Legislative District Democrats.

    Shui is facing Faye Yang and Leo Novsky. Yang is a dietician and nutrition service director who is not running on a progressive platform. Novsky is the community director of Keiretsu Forum Northwest who does not have a strong campaign presence or any endorsements.

    Shui is the best choice in the race for Bellevue School Board in District 3.

    Joyce Shui

    Joyce Shui is an attorney and founder of the Purple School who is running for the Bellevue School Board in District 3.

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