Endorsements

The Stranger

The Stranger

The Stranger is Seattle's only newspaper.

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.

Countywide Races

King County

  • Non-Partisan
  • 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.

County Council Races

King County Council

  • Non-Partisan
  • Evergreen Future
  • Sarah Perry is a small business owner, non-profit fundraiser, and Democratic activist who is challenging incumbent Kathy Lambert for King County Council in District 3. Perry has years of experience building financial support for non-profits and universities in the Puget Sound area.

    Perry is running on a platform of supporting small businesses, protecting farmlands and the environment, and improving transportation. In particular, she wants to provide more support for the 40% of the district in unincorporated King County that can't rely on city leadership for investments and infrastructure. In our interview with Perry, she presented a detailed overview of her campaign as a strong advocate for growth management. She wants to promote urban forests, preserve the district's natural areas, usher in alternative energy sources, and improve wastewater and storm runoff in open spaces. Perry also wants to see an equity lens brought to COVID recovery, ensuring that new modes of transit are brought to the district, supporting behavioral health, and assisting those struggling with affordable housing.

    Perry's extensive civic engagement in the district has earned her overwhelming support from local and state elected officials and progressive organizations. Vote for Perry for new progressive leadership on the King County Council from District 3.

    Sarah Perry

    Sarah Perry is a small business owner, non-profit fundraiser, and Democratic activist who is challenging incumbent Kathy Lambert for King County Council in District 3. Perry has years of experience building financial support for non-profits and universities in the Puget Sound area.

  • Non-Partisan
  • Evergreen Future
  • Chris Franco is an Army veteran who serves on the leadership team in the Office of Equity and Social Justice of the King County Executive. He also serves as co-chair of the county's Latinx Affinity Group and on the county's anti-racism Core Team, which develops policy and budget priorities based on feedback from organizations and communities of color.

    In our interview with Franco, he emphasized his readiness to jump into the county's biggest issues as a public servant focused on equity. He wants to address the history of redlining by changing building laws to make it easier to build affordable housing. He noted that the region's growth is outpacing infrastructure and he would prioritize planning housing around clean energy and transportation needs if elected.

    Franco stated that some funding from the law enforcement system could be better used to provide mental health and child care services. Drawing on his Army experience, he believes that police should not be armed like soldiers and that demilitarization of the police should be a priority.

    Chris Franco

    Chris Franco is an Army veteran who serves on the leadership team in the Office of Equity and Social Justice of the King County Executive.

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 Attorney Races

Seattle City Attorney

  • Also in this race is Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, a public defender and managing attorney at her own practice. Before working in law, Thomas-Kennedy was a bartender and server around Pike Place Market.

    Thomas-Kennedy is running on an abolitionist platform to bring bold change to the justice system from the inside. She believes our city would be safer if we disinvested from carceral punishment and police intervention, and put resources toward community support instead. She states that prosecuting minor offenses only adds to incarceration rates and worsens existing social inequalities.

    Thomas-Kennedy proposes to shift resources from the office’s criminal division to strengthen the civil unit and build a victim advocate unit. She wants to end qualified immunity to hold the police accountable. Her other campaign ideas include ending the “War on Drugs,” investing in restorative and transformative justice models, holding fossil fuel companies accountable, fighting wage theft, and strengthening tenant rights.

    Thomas-Kennedy is an alternative if you're looking for bold changes to the city attorney's office and sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system.

    Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

    Submitted by Collin on Fri, 07/09/2021 - 17:22

    Also in this race is Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, a public defender and managing attorney at her own practice. Before working in law, Thomas-Kennedy was a bartender and server around Pike Place Market.

City Council Races

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.

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