City of Lakewood

City of Lakewood

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Welcome to the Fuse Progressive Voters Guide to the 2021 primary election! The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. You can learn about our partners and decision-making process here. Please share this guide with your friends and family!

Port of Tacoma

Port of Tacoma, Port Commissioner, Position #2

  • Employment specialist Elizabeth Pew is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Pew serves the community as a legislative district caucus delegate, a precinct committee officer, and a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission. She has pledged not to accept any fossil fuel money during her campaign and has earned an impressive roster of progressive endorsements.

    Pew has a progressive vision that includes responsible environmental stewardship, economic development that doesn’t leave anyone behind, and a collaborative, efficient, and reliable working port. She wants to make sure that the port is responsive to community members and voters first and foremost, as opposed to corporate interests.

    We recommend Pew for new leadership that will prioritize sustainability at the Port of Tacoma.

    Elizabeth Pew

    Submitted by alexwhite on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 13:22

    Employment specialist Elizabeth Pew is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Pew serves the community as a legislative district caucus delegate, a precinct committee officer, and a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission.

  • Incumbent Commissioner Dick Marzano is running to retain Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Marzano was first elected commissioner in 1995 and serves on the executive committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council. Before his career in public service, Marzano spent 52 years working in Tacoma as a longshoreman and was also the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23.

    If re-elected, Marzano wants to continue prioritizing environmental protection and job creation. With his background as a longshoreman, Marzano knows that the two issues are connected and that those who live and work near the port are directly affected by its environmental impact. However, Marzano has not been supportive of protecting our communities from pollution from the proposed LNG facility. 

    Also in this race is Jeannette Twitty. Twitty has a strong social justice focus, articulating her approach to port responsibilities through the lenses of workers’ rights, equity, and environmental stewardship. If elected, Twitty wants to promote living wage job creation, economic development, environmental health, marine trade through land acquisition, and partnerships with local organizations.

    Dick Marzano

    Submitted by import on Wed, 06/30/2021 - 13:49

    Incumbent Commissioner Dick Marzano is running to retain Port of Tacoma, Position 2. Marzano was first elected commissioner in 1995 and serves on the executive committee for the Puget Sound Regional Council.

  • Endorsed By: Pierce County Central Labor Council

Port of Tacoma, Port Commissioner, Position #4

  • Firefighter and veteran Brian Duthie is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 4. Duthie is a community leader who also serves on the board of Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation. He is a solid Democrat who has opposed Republican candidates in prior races with the support of progressive organizations.

    Duthie is running to bring progressive values like workers’ rights, environmental stewardship, and community-focused economic investments to the port. Specifically, he wants to advance sustainable infrastructure, care for the local ecosystem and curtail pollution, expand living-wage union jobs, and make the port a destination. If elected, Duthie will make sure that the decisions made by the port will be in the best interest of everyone who lives and works nearby.

    In this crowded race, Duthie is the best choice to bring a strong, progressive voice to the port, and he deserves your vote for Port of Tacoma, Position 4.

    Brian Duthie

    Submitted by import on Wed, 06/30/2021 - 13:49

    Firefighter and veteran Brian Duthie is running for Port of Tacoma, Position 4. Duthie is a community leader who also serves on the board of Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Port of Tacoma, Position #4

Other Candidates

Duthie faces a long list of opponents in this race. Incumbent commissioner Don Meyer is running to retain the Position 4 seat he assumed after first being elected in 2010. Before that, Meyer served as the deputy director of the Port of Tacoma and the executive director of the Foss Waterway Development Authority. If re-elected, he wants to continue pursuing a more conservative agenda focused on regaining container market share lost to Canada. Meyer states that he wants to modernize terminals and waterways, but also intends to limit revenue, putting many improvements beyond reach.

Also in this race is Mary Bacon, an environmental scientist, health physicist, and veteran. Bacon also served as the elected president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 12. If elected, she hopes to address traffic congestion in and around the port, help foster greater economic growth, and ensure environmental stewardship that protects the unique estuarine ecosystem.

Four candidates in this race lack the community leadership and elected experience to mount a strong campaign. Scott Lewis is a registered nurse and former legal assistant who is running in order to strike a balance between the environmental and economic impact of the port. Nirav Sheth is a local business owner, veteran, and former Lakewood police officer who is running to bring a business perspective to the port in order to create jobs, protect the natural environment, provide greater veteran employment opportunities, and keep the operating budget low. Christian (C.J.) Dylina is a navy veteran and M.R.I. technologist at St. Joseph Hospital. Dylina offered contradictory information in the Pierce County Voters' Guide that draws concern about his commitment to environmental stewardship. Mario Rivera does technical support work and is a former franchise business owner and current Little League Baseball coach. Having worked as a longshoreman briefly, Rivera believes he can offer a fresh perspective to the port in order to achieve environmental protections and create jobs.

There are two final candidates -- Christopher Pierce and c bey el -- who have not provided any information to the Pierce County Voters' Guide and have no real presence in this campaign.

Lakewood City Council

Lakewood City Council, Position #2

  • Army Special Forces veteran Amelia Escobedo is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 2, to push for a reckoning on police accountability. She cites the still-open civil case of Said Joquin, who was killed by a Lakewood police officer, as an example of the dangers of not holding officers to account. Escobedo's other priorities include expanding affordable housing, especially in areas where low-income housing is being displaced, building no-barrier entry housing for people experiencing homelessness, and respecting tribal treaties.

    Escobedo is facing incumbent Mike Brandstetter and Malcolm Russell. Brandstetter has served on the Lakewood City Council since 2010 and he represents the council on the South Sound 911 policy board. He is a retired Army command sergeant major and former dean at Bates Technical College. He does not have a campaign website available but has stated that his priorities include addressing affordable housing and homelessness, building a new library and senior center, and continuing to expand human services in Lakewood. Malcolm Russell ran for Lakewood City Council in 2019 and has not updated his campaign Facebook as of June 1 of this year. He also ran as a Republican for Legislature in 2012. According to the News Tribune, Russell has suspended his campaign for the position.

    Lakewood is growing rapidly and in the years to come will need to reckon with harsh economic truths. An estimated 17 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, higher than the national average of 13 percent. In addition, the community must address a legacy of excessive use of force by the police department, which has been sued five times since 2021 just for incidents involving police dogs and has been slow to implement body cameras. In this low-information race, we lean slightly towards Escobedo who we hope will provide prospective and progress on these and other issues.

    Amelia Escobedo

    Army Special Forces veteran Amelia Escobedo is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 2, to push for a reckoning on police accountability.

Lakewood City Council, Position #3

  • Siabhon Ayuso is an executive board member for the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee for Legislative District 29. She does not yet have a campaign website as of mid-July but states that as a single mom of four kids, she would focus on bringing economic opportunities for those who live in Lakewood. She states that frontline workers during the pandemic should have been offered hazard pay, which the city council voted down, and that more needs to be done to bring better-paying jobs to Lakewood. On her campaign Facebook, she has posted in support of removing Sheriff Ed Troyer for his racist and potentially criminal endangerment of a Black man in Pierce County, as well as in support of justice for those killed by the police. Overall, Ayuso is looking to represent the community, especially communities of color who she feels have been ignored by the council.

    Ayuso is facing David Howarth and Jason Whalen. Howarth describes himself as a pro-worker carpet cleaner. He states that if elected, he would prioritize street repair and digital infrastructure, as well as pushing for a $15 minimum wage. While he seems to have progressive values, he lacks a detailed policy platform.

    Republican and deputy mayor Jason Whalen has served in Position 3 on the city council since 2010. While we appreciate his support of increasing mental and behavioral health service funding, the rest of his platform skews conservative. His scaremongering ads against Jani Hitchen, who he ran against for Pierce County Council last year, attempted to divide and deceive voters.

    We lean towards Ayuso for her progressive values.

    Siabhon Ayuso

    Siabhon Ayuso is an executive board member for the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee for Legislative District 29.

Lakewood City Council, Position #5

  • Patti Belle was appointed to the Lakewood City Council in January. She previously worked as a communications team manager in the city of Kent's Office of the Mayor. If re-elected, Belle states that she will continue to focus on investing in infrastructure, prioritizing funding for city services, and increasing communications from the council.

    Belle's opponents are Gene Drawhorn, Ria Covington Johnson, and Antonio Calimano Montanez.

    Electrical engineer Drawhorn has no policy agenda or platform agenda and is not running a competitive campaign. Like Drawhorn, real estate broker Antonio Calimano cedes in his voter statement that he has no elected or relevant civic experience. Only his real estate website is available, with no details about his run for city council. Ria Covington previously ran for Lakewood City Council in 2017 and 2019 and her voters' guide statement cites that she has been a VISTA volunteer and worked with Lakewood African American Police Advisory Committee (LAAPAC). She states that if elected she will focus on inclusive policy at the city level, but her campaign website lacks detail or a platform.

    Belle has not yet served long enough to review her record on the council, but she appears to be the only serious contender in this race.

    Patti Belle

    Patti Belle was appointed to the Lakewood City Council in January. She previously worked as a communications team manager in the city of Kent's Office of the Mayor.