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Vote to APPROVE Best Starts For Kids is listed in the Progressive Voters Guide below. 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!

  • 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.

King County

King County

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King County Ballot Measures

King County 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.

King County

King County Executive

  • Non-Partisan
  • Evergreen Future
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for economic justice, workers, and climate action throughout his career. As a state legislator, on the King County Council, and as King County Executive, Constantine has fought for and delivered transportation and transit solutions, action on climate, improvements in public health, and an efficiently run government.

    Under his leadership, King County has expanded Metro transit service, improved oil safety rules, and created one of the best urban forestry programs in the nation. Constantine also led efforts to pass Best Starts for Kids, a model initiative that increases access to healthy food, affordable housing, and public health services for many of King County's most vulnerable children.

    Constantine is now running for a fourth term as King County Executive to build on a pandemic recovery that puts people first and creates inclusive communities. If he is re-elected, one of Constantine's priorities will be to reform the King County Sheriff's Office. During our interview, he expressed his frustration at the challenges of getting answers or reforms out of the current independent sheriff's office. As the county shifts to an executive-appointed sheriff, which voters approved last fall, Constantine said he will push for more transparency and demand that officers wear body cameras.

    In addition, Constantine is hoping to continue and expand his efforts to open more hotels to house homeless residents of King County. He expressed pride in a new zero-emissions, low-income housing development in Renton and hopes to expand that model across the county.

    Constantine has faced some criticism during his tenure around the building of the $242 million King County Youth Detention Center, which voters approved in 2012 and opened in 2018. During the protests for racial justice last summer, Constantine announced his support for transitioning the jail away from holding youth by 2025.

    Constantine has earned overwhelming support from our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations as well as elected and community leaders. He is the best choice in this race.

    Dow Constantine

    King County Executive Dow Constantine has been a strong and effective leader for economic justice, workers, and climate action throughout his career.

  • 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.

Other Candidates

There are three other candidates in this race: Johnathon Crines, Bill Hirt, and Goodspace Guy. Crines talked about an equitable economic recovery from the pandemic and other progressive priorities in his voters' pamphlet statement but does not appear to have a website or any other campaign information available. Hirt is a perennial candidate with a single-issue platform of opposing light rail. Goodspace Guy, another perennial candidate, supports capitalism and colonizing orbital space. 

King County Council

King County Council, District #3

  • 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.

Other Candidates

Also in this race are incumbent Kathy Lambert and Joe Cohen. While the King County Council is officially non-partisan, longtime Republican Kathy Lambert has lost touch with this diverse and rapidly changing district. Lambert has voted against transit access for years, including voting to end Seattle's downtown free-ride zone. She also voted against making the county sheriff an appointed position, which was proposed to give the council and county executive more oversight in the wake of protests against police brutality. Lambert was the only no vote on the 2019 bill to use state money to fund early learning, post-secondary education, and in-home care providers.

Former Obama administration and Sen. Maria Cantwell staffer Joe Cohen is also challenging Lambert in King County District 3. Since returning home to the Eastside, Cohen has worked at the law firm of Hogan Lovells advising technology companies.

Cohen's campaign is focusing on improving the county's approach to homelessness and reforming the Sheriff's office. Cohen has expressed frustration with the county's lack of progress addressing homelessness and wants to increase oversight over the county's spending on these programs. He wants to use his experience investigating federal law enforcement agencies in the Obama administration to make the sheriff's office more transparent and accountable. Cohen mentioned that though criminal justice takes three-quarters of the county budget, he does not believe that funds need to be transferred to human services or other budget areas that some of the community have called for. He believes that a change of culture in police departments and having more non-uniformed personnel respond to issues will address community concerns. While not conservative, Cohen's platform falls short on some progressive priorities that are important to voters.

King County Council, District #7

  • Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson is running for King County Council in District 7. Assefa-Dawson is a family self sufficiency coordinator at King County Housing Authority and a financial educator at the YMCA for survivors of domestic violence. She was the first person of African descent to serve on the Federal Way City Council and is a strong community leader in roles such as the co-chair of the Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee and the vice president of the Ethiopian Community Center.

    Assefa-Dawson brings a strong record of progressive advocacy to this campaign. Her priorities include affordable housing, a living wage, criminal justice reform, and social equity and inclusivity work. Assefa-Dawson’s policy priorities are in the effort to bring economic stability and reliable government services to King County residents.

    Also in this race is incumbent Republican Pete Von Reichbauer, who has held the District 7 seat on the council for 28 years. Reichbauer has remained a conservative voice on the council and mostly focuses on issues of public spaces such as the construction of the Federal Way Transit Center and the recent Hylebos Wetlands protection project.

    There are two other candidates in this race. Dominique Torgerson is a brewery owner with a limited campaign platform. She is primarily criticizing business and zoning regulations and doesn't address most of the important issues faced by the communities in King County. Saudia Abdullah is the Community Corrections Division director for King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Her campaign priorities include economic recovery, education, and community safety, which for Abdullah, unfortunately, does not involve meaningful police reform.

    Lydia Assefa-Dawson is the most progressive candidate in this race and is a good fit to represent District 7 on the King County Council.

    Lydia Assefa-Dawson

    Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson is running for King County Council in District 7. Assefa-Dawson is a family self sufficiency coordinator at King County Housing Authority and a financial educator at the YMCA for survivors of domestic violence.

King County Council, District #9

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Non-Partisan
  • Ubax Gardheere came to King County as a refugee 25 years ago and has since spent her time organizing for better housing, health, and sustainability outcomes for all. She currently works as the director of Seattle's Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). The project was established in 2016 as a community-led way to support and fund equitable work in Black and brown neighborhoods facing displacement. Some of their funded projects include transitional and affordable housing, programming for youth, seniors, and refugees, local gardens, and the redevelopment of cultural centers. She was also previously a program director at Puget Sound Sage, where she focused her efforts on community-based planning and bringing racial justice to policymaking.

    In our interview, Gardheere stated that she wants to increase community land trusts, which would create more permanently affordable housing and protect property from speculation and bidding wars on the open market. Hand-in-hand with these policies, she would advocate for more parks and open space development, as well as green infrastructure, to help neighborhoods mitigate the effects of climate change. Finally, she believes that a criminal justice system focusing on putting people in jail has damaged our communities, and would increase investments to address issues like food scarcity and community-based alternatives to policing.

    Gardheere has the experience of managing a team that has moved over $50 million into marginalized communities, empowering them to make decisions that are right for their unique needs. Her demonstrated experience organizing inside communities and in government, along with the collaborative model that she has fostered, speaks well of her potential as a King County Council member.

    Ubax Gardheere

    Ubax Gardheere came to King County as a refugee 25 years ago and has since spent her time organizing for better housing, health, and sustainability outcomes for all. She currently works as the director of Seattle's Equitable Development Initiative (EDI).

Other Candidates

Republican incumbent Reagan Dunn is running to retain his seat representing District 9 on the King County Council. Dunn has served on the council since he was appointed and later elected to the position in 2005. Before that, he worked as a federal prosecutor appointed by President George W. Bush and was the national coordinator of a Department of Justice program that increases policing in neighborhoods. Dunn challenged Bob Ferguson in the 2012 race for attorney general and lost.

On the council, Dunn has been a consistent voice opposing the progressive reforms proposed by the rest of the council. In March, Dunn was the lone vote against giving grocery store workers $4 per hour hazard pay for their work on the front lines of the pandemic. In addition, Dunn was a vocal opponent of streamlining homelessness services between Seattle and King County. However, he did propose spending $1 million of taxpayer money on bus tickets to send people experiencing homelessness to other states, another shortsighted proposal that fails to address the real issues. In this campaign, he has emphasized his prosecutorial background and longstanding support of law enforcement without talking about how to reform law enforcement or reinvest in community services.

Auburn City Council

Auburn City Council, Position #4

  • Running for Auburn City Council, Position 4 is Hanan Amer, a chemist for an aerospace company. Amer has been volunteering locally for years, including at food banks, the White River Valley Museum, the Auburn and Muckleshoot libraries, and with the police department. She has also volunteered as a tax preparer for United Way of King County in the Auburn and Kent areas. Amer is endorsed by Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus and the 47th Legislative District Democrats and is running to make sure everyone can feel empowered and engaged in their communities. 

    Her opponents in this race are incumbent Councilmember Yolanda Trout and Andrea Niemeyer. Trout has been on the city council for seven years and previously served as the vice-chair of the local Domestic Violence Initiative Regional Task Force from 2014 to 2016 and on Auburn’s Planning Commission from 2010 to 2013. She does not have a campaign website as of mid-July but her re-election platform includes supporting Auburn’s businesses, affordable housing, social justice, and economic growth. Unfortunately, Trout has taken a couple of bad votes including opposing the B&O tax, which would help the city avoid a revenue crisis by 2023, and opposing hazard pay for grocery store workers in the pandemic.

    The last candidate, Niemeyer, has not submitted an official voters' guide statement and does not have any campaign information available as of mid-July.

    Hanan Amer is the best choice for Position 4 on the Auburn City Council.

    Hanan Amer

    Running for Auburn City Council, Position 4 is Hanan Amer, a chemist for an aerospace company. Amer has been volunteering locally for years, including at food banks, the White River Valley Museum, the Auburn and Muckleshoot libraries, and with the police department.

Bellevue City Council

Bellevue City Council, Position #2

  • Evergreen Future
  • Small business owner and former renewable energy executive Dexter Borbe is running for Bellevue City Council, Position 2. Born in the Phillippines, he moved to the U.S. to earn his MBA at MIT before going on to work at several technology companies.

    Borbe is a political newcomer who wants to bring an outside perspective to the Bellevue City Council. His campaign is focused on transportation, affordability, and economic development. He supports building more housing, particularly in Factoria and Crossroads, along with making the transit and transportation investments necessary to reduce congestion. In addition, this would help alleviate a severe shortage of housing for low-income residents of Bellevue. If elected, Borbe would also push to improve transparency on the council by reducing voice votes so Bellevue residents have a record of how their representatives vote.

    Borbe is challenging longtime incumbent Conrad Lee, who is running for re-election to the council position he has served in since 1994. Lee is a Republican who opposed the light rail expansion to the Eastside, which will begin service in 2023. More recently, Lee opposed efforts to expand shelter options for people experiencing homelessness in Bellevue. Lee is not a progressive choice.

    Also in this race are Johan Christiansen and Christie Sanam Lo. Christiansen is a recent graduate and writing tutor who was born and raised in Bellevue. He wants to make sure that the arts, parks and public space, schools, and small businesses are not left behind with Bellevue’s growth. Sanam Lo is a program manager at Amazon and a Bollywood entertainer. Lo does not have a detailed platform but she has stated that she prioritizes social and economic justice, climate action, affordable housing, diversity and inclusion, and ranked-choice voting. Though Lo received an endorsement from a local Democratic group, she does not have a strong campaign presence yet.

    Bellevue is a rapidly growing and changing city that deserves leaders who are ready to tackle a host of new challenges. Dexter Borbe is the best choice for Bellevue City Council, Position 2.

    Dexter Borbe

    Small business owner and former renewable energy executive Dexter Borbe is running for Bellevue City Council, Position 2. Born in the Phillippines, he moved to the U.S. to earn his MBA at MIT before going on to work at several technology companies.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club , King County Democrats

Bothell City Council

Bothell City Council, Position #5

  • Matt Kuehn is running for Bothell City Council, Position 5. He serves as Rep. Davina Duerr's legislative aide and previously worked for Sen. Guy Palumbo. His platform includes expanding the park and trail systems, creating more walkable neighborhoods, and increasing affordable housing.

    Also in this race are incumbent Ben Mahnkey and Galen Altavas. Mahnkey is an Amazon employee running on a platform that includes praising police officers without offering any mention of increased accountability or reform. He mentions minimizing tax increases but does not offer actual solutions for how to fund essential services in Bothell. Altavas has worked at King County Metro and at Panasonic Avionics as an IT manager. He currently works at the Snohomish County Public Utilities Department. Altavas does not have a detailed campaign platform and does not appear to be particularly progressive.

    Kuehn is the best choice in the race for Bothell City Council, Position 5.

    Matt Kuehn

    Matt Kuehn is running for Bothell City Council, Position 5. He serves as Rep. Davina Duerr's legislative aide and previously worked for Sen. Guy Palumbo. His platform includes expanding the park and trail systems, creating more walkable neighborhoods, and increasing affordable housing.

Burien City Council

Burien City Council, Position #1

  • 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.

Burien City Council, Position #3

  • 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.

Burien City Council, Position #5

Other Candidates

Also in this race are Alex Simkus and Georgette Reyes. Reyes has worked as an interpreter for Washington state since 2007 and supports building more affordable housing and increasing transit access. However, we are very concerned by some of her private social media posts that expressed support for President Trump's lies about the last election.

Simkus is a local business owner who runs Andy's Handy Mart. He supports changing zoning laws to make building more housing easier but does not have a robust campaign platform or any endorsements on his website as of mid-July.

Burien City Council, Position #7

  • 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.

Des Moines City Council

Des Moines City Council, Position #5

  • Incumbent Traci Buxton is running for re-election to Des Moines City Council, Position 5. Buxton has been a council member since 2018 and has worked on several committees including the Economic Development Committee, the Municipal Facilities Committee, and as the chair of the Environment Committee. Outside of the city council, she works in property management.

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

    Also running for Position 5 is Tad Doviak, a Des Moines resident who works in IT. Doviak is involved in the community through his positions as a block watch captain and a member of the Des Moines Police Foundation board of directors. He claims to have a strong interest in the issue of public safety but doesn’t offer policy recommendations or details of what that looks like. The rest of his campaign priorities are less clear. John Theofelis is also in this race, but he has no campaign presence. As of July 2021, Theofelis still lacked a campaign website or any sort of statement in the King County Voters Guide.

    While Buxton is not the most progressive candidate, her strong support from local leaders and organizations make her the best choice in the race for Position 5 on the Des Moines City Council.

    Traci Buxton

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

Des Moines City Council, Position #7

  • 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.

  • 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.

Other Candidates

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

Federal Way City Council

Federal Way City Council, Position #4

  • Katherine Festa is running for Federal Way City Council, Position 4. She has been a program manager with King County for 20 years and is the vice-chair of the King County Native American Leadership Council. Festa is endorsed by many Democratic elected officials and groups including Rep. Jamila Taylor and the King County Democrats.

    Festa's campaign is focused on improving transportation and addressing homelessness. She wants to use her position on the city council to push Sound Transit to stay on schedule reaching Federal Way, as well as to advocate for more parking at the Federal Way Transit Center. In addition, she is dedicated to reducing homelessness, particularly among veterans, and wants to increase local supportive housing at a scale that is sustainable for the community.

    Also in this race are Daniel Miller and incumbent Hoang Tran. Miller is running to oppose both police accountability reform and efforts to reallocate funding to community safety services. Councilmember Tran was elected in 2017 and previously spent over 20 years as an administrator in public assistance programs for the state Department of Social and Health Services. He shares a conservative platform with Miller.

    Festa is the best choice in the race for Federal Way City Council, Position 4.

    Katherine Festa

    Katherine Festa is running for Federal Way City Council, Position 4. She has been a program manager with King County for 20 years and is the vice-chair of the King County Native American Leadership Council. Festa is endorsed by many Democratic elected officials and groups including Rep.

Federal Way City Council, Position #6

  • Evergreen Future
  • Renae Seam is running for Federal Way City Council, Position 6. She works for Boeing Employees Credit Union utilizing her Masters in Business and Data Analytics and is running on a strong progressive platform. Seam wants to use her experience in risk management and analytics to ensure community members can remain financially stable or regain financial stability, disrupt the school-prison pipeline, create a Climate Action Plan to increase sustainability and minimize Federal Way's carbon footprint, and be a voice for the marginalized and disadvantaged communities. 

    Seam is facing Adrienne Obregon, Martin Moore, and Jack Dovey. Obregon is involved with the Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) and used to work at a child care center where she worked to found a union and hold the corporation accountable when they fired her for doing so. Her platform includes calls for more police officers and disregards community calls for police accountability. Incumbent Moore was first elected to the city council in 2013 and also works as the director for Audiobook Ministries. While he previously ran as a Republican, he has taken some good votes more recently, including supporting hazard pay through at least July 6 for Federal Way's grocery store workers. Dovey is a marketing manager for GPSLockbox whose campaign website is not functional as of mid-July.

    Seam is the best choice in the race for Federal Way City Council, Position 6.

    Renae Seam

    Renae Seam is running for Federal Way City Council, Position 6. She works for Boeing Employees Credit Union utilizing her Masters in Business and Data Analytics and is running on a strong progressive platform.

  • Endorsed By: APACE, National Organization for Women PAC, Housing Action Fund , Alliance for Gun Responsibility, King County Democrats

Issaquah City Council

Issaquah City Council, Position #5

  • Russell Joe, a municipal relationship manager, is seeking to fill Position 5 on the Issaquah City Council, which was left vacant by Stacy Goodman. Joe is an attorney who has served as a prosecutor for Eastside cities as well as a former council member for the city of Issaquah from 2000 to 2007. Previously, Joe was the chief administrative officer of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. While Joe hasn't released a detailed platform, he has earned the endorsements of local leaders.

    Joe is facing Rose Zibrat and Jason Voiss. Zibrat, a software developer and Issaquah resident, boasts a very progressive platform that includes tenant rights, police reform, workers’ rights, public transportation, and social equity. She has never held elected office but notes herself as a volunteer in the King County voters' pamphlet.

    Voiss is the vice president of his family’s construction company based in Issaquah. Voiss serves on both the Issaquah Planning Policy Commission and the city’s COVID Recovery Task Force. Like his challengers, Voiss does not have a campaign website and shares the least information about his platform.

    In this low information race, we recommend Joe for Position 5 on the Issaquah City Council because of his support from elected officials.

    Russell Joe

    Russell Joe, a municipal relationship manager, is seeking to fill Position 5 on the Issaquah City Council, which was left vacant by Stacy Goodman. Joe is an attorney who has served as a prosecutor for Eastside cities as well as a former council member for the city of Issaquah from 2000 to 2007.

Kenmore City Council

Kenmore City Council, Position #4

  • Evergreen Future
  • Nigel Herbig is running for re-election to Position 4 on the Kenmore City Council. Herbig has served on the city council since 2014 and was appointed deputy mayor in 2018 and again in 2020. He also works in the state House of Representatives as a legislative assistant.

    During his time on the council, Herbig has worked to improve government transparency and improve transportation options and pedestrian safety. He helped develop the Walkways and Waterways projects, which have already added three miles of new bike lanes and sidewalks to Kenmore.

    Recently, Herbig played a lead role in extending Kenmore's eviction ban through September 30 to ensure that renters can access federal assistance before potentially facing eviction. If re-elected, Herbig plans to continue building progressive momentum in Kenmore towards improving transportation, maintaining affordability, acting on the climate crisis, and making Kenmore a welcoming city for all. He has also expressed support for a proposal to provide direct cash payments to low-income Kenmore residents.

    Also in this race is Bob Black, a former operating engineer and aviation inspector who has run for Kenmore City Council twice before. Black does not have a campaign website and his statement in the King County Voters Guide is copied directly from his 2015 race in some places. In both past and current statements, Black prioritizes conservative economic policy that would drag Kenmore backward.

    The third candidate in this race for Position 4 is Abby London, a singer/songwriter who moved to Kenmore last summer. She is running on a hard-right platform full of scare tactics and language demonizing people experiencing homelessness. London's divisive rhetoric and extreme policy positions would be damaging to the Kenmore City Council and the broader community. 

    Nigel Herbig is the clear choice for Kenmore City Council, Position 4.

    Nigel Herbig

    Nigel Herbig is running for re-election to Position 4 on the Kenmore City Council. Herbig has served on the city council since 2014 and was appointed deputy mayor in 2018 and again in 2020. He also works in the state House of Representatives as a legislative assistant.

Kenmore City Council, Position #6

  • Evergreen Future
  • Debra Srebnik is running for re-election to Kenmore City Council, Position 6. Srebnik was first elected to City Council in 2017 and is a human services program manager at the University of Washington. She has served on the Kenmore Planning Commission and is a member of both Friends of St. Edwards State Park and the Northshore School District nutrition and the fitness advisory council. 

    In her time on the council, Srebnik has worked on Kenmore's Climate Action Plan, overseen shoreline and habitat restoration in local parks, and supported the completion of hundreds of new affordable housing units. She also made an effort to engage the community in the civic process.

    Also in this race are Jon Culver and Stacey (Sam) Valenzuela. Culver, a civic technologist and small business owner, is running with a focus on climate action, affordable housing, and proactive civic engagement. Valenzuela is a community advocate and retired course coordinator and sales representative. Her platform includes environmental stewardship, affordable housing, Accessory Dwelling Unit zoning, and fiscal accountability.

    Srebnik is the best choice for Kenmore City Council, Position 6.

    Debra Srebnik

    Debra Srebnik is running for re-election to Kenmore City Council, Position 6. Srebnik was first elected to City Council in 2017 and is a human services program manager at the University of Washington. She has served on the Kenmore Planning Commission and is a member of both Friends of St.

Kent City Council

Kent City Council, Position #6

  • 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.

Mercer Island City Council

Mercer Island City Council, Position #6

  • Evergreen Future
  • Kate Akyuz is a Senior Capital Project Manager with the King County River and Floodplain Management Section, where she manages large flood safety and habitat restoration projects for endangered species. She wants to use her experience in wildlife and natural resource management to create a parks conservancy for Mercer Island. By protecting forested areas and wetlands, Akyuz points out that the island can simultaneously create natural stormwater infrastructure and erosion protection. If elected, she would also prioritize middle-income housing and work to secure funding for mental health services by increasing the designated reserves for Mercer Island Youth and Family Services. She has been endorsed by officials such as King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci and Rep. Tana Senn.

    Akyuz is running against Adam Ragheb and incumbent Lisa Anderl. Anderl has not been a progressive voice on the Mercer Island City Council. Unfortunately, Anderl joined five of her fellow council members voting to make it illegal to camp or even sleep in their car. Anyone on Mercer Island found in violation of this law now faces up to 90 days in prison or a $1,000 fine. In addition, Anderl opposed a 2018 levy that would have increased local funding for mental health counseling, first responders, parks, and youth and senior services.

    Adam Ragheb, an aerospace systems engineer, does not have detailed or progressive policy proposals available on his website. He says that he will focus on beautiful parks and neighborhoods, the island's "residential character," likely in the same way that Anderl has, and will prioritize funding the police.

    Akyuz is the clear choice for Mercer Island City Council, Position 6.

    Kate Akyuz

    Kate Akyuz is a Senior Capital Project Manager with the King County River and Floodplain Management Section, where she manages large flood safety and habitat restoration projects for endangered species.

  • Endorsed By: Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Redmond City Council

Redmond City Council, Position #4

  • Evergreen Future
  • Melissa Stuart is running for Redmond City Council, Position 4 to bring her advocacy for the environment and education to the council. She is the Director of Individual Giving at Boys and Girls Club of King County, has served on the board of Zero Waste Washington and South Transit, and as an Eastside Climate Justice Steward with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. She has also worked at Youth Eastside Services to help provide behavioral healthcare for families.

    She is running against Dennis Ellis and Jackson Fields. Finance analyst Ellis' campaign site is inactive as of July 13, but he states that he will bring his corporate background to the council. His candidate statement implies a more conservative campaign that will prioritize the needs of businesses over the community. Jackson Fields has no website or campaign presence as of July 13.

    Stuart has been endorsed by several leading Democratic representatives and elected officials. While her campaign platform is not fully fleshed out on her website, her long record of community and professional service speaks to a candidate who is ready to contribute meaningfully to the council.

    Stuart is the best choice for Redmond City Council, Position 4.

    Melissa Stuart

    Melissa Stuart is running for Redmond City Council, Position 4 to bring her advocacy for the environment and education to the council.

  • Endorsed By: Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Renton City Council

Renton City Council, Position #1

  • 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.

Renton City Council, Position #2

  • 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.

Other Candidates

Also in this race is Marvin Rosete, an administrator at a professional training organization. His campaign priorities, while not detailed, include funding parks, police, and roads. He states he will also focus on more responsive human services, but he was shown in the Spokesman collecting signatures for an initiative to cut taxes on multi-billion-dollar corporations in 2018, the funds of which would have been used to help fund affordable housing programs.

Small business owner Ben Johnson is also vying for Position 2. Johnson has worked in a number of community roles including on the City of Renton Airport Committee and with the grassroots campaign to support the Renton Library. If elected, he wants to work on public safety, parks and public spaces, and job creation.

Caleb Sutton has no website or campaign platform available as of June 21.

Sammamish City Council

Sammamish City Council, Position #1

  • Tarik Hassane is running for Sammamish City Council, Position 1. He works as a program manager at Microsoft and is committed to maintaining the quality of life as Sammamish grows. In particular, he wants to reduce traffic and improve transportation options by upgrading infrastructure and expanding bike lane options. Hassane has been endorsed by the King County Democrats and other local progressives who support his vision for a better Sammamish.

    Hassane is facing Josh Amato and Amy Lam. Amato is the former communications director for the Washington State Republican Party who later worked as a political consultant for conservative campaigns. During his previous campaigns, he worked to oppose a ballot measure that would have expanded badly needed transit access in King County. Lam is a first-generation Asian American and graphic designer. She identifies as a Democrat and is running on a platform that includes municipal broadband and expanding local recycling and composting options. 

    Hassane is the best choice in this race.

    Tarik Hassane

    Tarik Hassane is running for Sammamish City Council, Position 1. He works as a program manager at Microsoft and is committed to maintaining the quality of life as Sammamish grows.

SeaTac City Council

SeaTac City Council, Position #2

  • 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.

SeaTac City Council, Position #6

Seattle Mayor

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.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit whose mission is to build new affordable housing for urban Native people. She has also spent four years as a community police commissioner, an experience that she hopes to leverage into meaningful police reform. Echohawk is an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake. Her campaign centers equity in its approach to economic recovery, homelessness, and public safety.

    If elected, Echohawk would launch a 14-month emergency housing plan to build 4,000 units of temporary housing and create a citizen volunteer corps to provide mutual aid. She plans to activate Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center to track and report data, which can collaborate across city departments and report analytics. Echohawk points out that with an 80 percent vacancy rate in hotels, the city can bargain to use them along with tiny homes and modular housing to expand more dignified shelter options.

    Echohawk brings unique experience working in the Community Police Commission, which was established in 2010 and aims to provide oversight and accountability on needed reforms to the Seattle Police Department. She states that she supports reinvestment of some police funding into services such as mental health responders. She wants to repair the legitimacy of the department by rebuilding the police union contract, opposing militarization, refocusing the police to tackling issues like violent crimes and emergencies, and creating a culture with zero tolerance for bad cops.

    Other priorities for Echohawk include expanding access to transit passes for low-income residents, upping funding for bridges and road projects, and establishing an Office of Indigenous Affairs to further the city’s practices in ecology and other policies.

    What sets Echohawk apart from her opponents is her hands-on experience working for and within the urban native community, as well as on the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. If elected, she would be the first Indigenous mayor of Seattle. If you’re looking for a candidate from outside City Hall who has community and organizational leadership experience, vote for Colleen Echohawk.

    Colleen Echohawk

    Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit whose mission is to build new affordable housing for urban Native people.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Jessyn Farrell is a former state legislator and the former executive director of Transportation Choices Coalition. As a single mom of three children, Farrell is focused on affordability in the city for childcare and housing, as well as the gap in wealth between white and Black residents. Recently, she played a lead role with Washington’s COVID economy recovery task force. 

    Farrell calls her housing plan “Sound Transit 3 for Housing” to reflect the scale of her proposal. This plan aims to meet the city’s need of 653,000 more units of housing, including 70,000 units of affordable housing, much of that within walking distance of transportation and amenities. She notes that the city’s history of racial discrimination in housing has created disparities in housing, wealth, and access to services for Black families in the city, and believes her plan addresses these gaps. Like González, Echohawk, and Houston, Farrell supports changing the city's building codes to increase density and affordable housing in neighborhoods with exclusively single-family homes.

    Farrell wants to revamp our crisis response system so that armed officers aren’t responding to everything from mental health crises to transit fare enforcement. Her police reform plan focuses on changing laws so that minor offenses like jaywalking and small drug possession are no longer criminal. Furthermore, Farrell believes that the 2018 Seattle Police Officers Guild contract gave away too many of the mechanisms for accountability. As such, she would seek to renegotiate these and other standards for officer conduct. Like other candidates in the race, the former legislator acknowledges that over-policing has a disproportionate impact on low-income people and people of color, and wants to scale up violence prevention programs like Community Passageways.

    Farrell has an extensive set of climate action plans that envision the city’s future on a greener economy and infrastructure. She wants to enact a Green Jobs Bill of Rights that brings higher-than-minimum wages, ensures city contracts with women, veteran, and minority-owned businesses, and applies portable benefits to gig work. She will also prioritize legalizing affirmative action as well as updating the city’s building codes to fall in line with international carbon reduction standards.

    Farrell was an effective progressive legislator during her time in Olympia. She is the only candidate in the race who has served in the state legislature and states that her experience working at the state and local level will be invaluable for a city leader. She's a good choice if you're looking for someone with legislative experience and statewide leadership on paid family leave, mass transit, and climate change.

    Jessyn Farrell

    Jessyn Farrell is a former state legislator and the former executive director of Transportation Choices Coalition.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Andrew Grant Houston is an architect, housing activist, and interim policy manager in Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s office. He is running on a very detailed, transformative platform that aims to empower workers, invest in sustainable architecture, and build housing at all income levels. As a queer, Black, and Latino man, Houston seeks to highlight the struggles of communities in the city who have been marginalized and displaced.

    One of the core tenets of Houston’s housing policy is a “rising tide of housing” - providing shelter that’s urgently needed now and building towards the future. He is aiming for the construction of 2,500 tiny homes by 2022 to cover the city’s shelter gap. He wants to simplify and update the city's Mandatory Housing Affordability plan in order to bring more mixed-income housing into more expensive neighborhoods. Also, he supports both commercial and residential rent control so that people can stay in their homes and maintain small businesses even as the cost of living rises.

    Houston is a member of King County Equity Now, a coalition that is pushing to defund and redirect law enforcement funding by 50 percent. He intends to hold himself accountable to this ask, stating that criminalizing poverty is expensive, traumatic for residents, and ultimately unhelpful for the city. To back up his position, he cites that the city has doubled the police budget in the last decade and crime has remained the same. Houston wants to see those funds go into public safety policies that the community has asked for, including an official mutual aid program, expansion of the public safety coordinator program, and a pilot for universal basic income, which would provide $1,000 a month for 2,500 people to meet their basic needs. His policies would represent the biggest shift in funding and operation from today’s police department compared to other candidates.

    As a board member of Futurewise, which promotes concentrating urban growth around transit, jobs, and services, Houston has big plans for the city’s transportation sector. He wants to restore bus service, implement two plans for the movement of people as well as the movement of freight, and prioritize RapidRide bus lanes. He plans to pay for his plan strategy with a “just transition" income tax of 1 percent to make serious investments in the city’s future.

    Houston’s campaign has the urgency, direction, and detail that many residents are looking for after a tumultuous year. For voters looking to upend the status quo and push for highly progressive policy formed in part by the community, Houston is a good choice.

    Andrew Grant Houston

    Andrew Grant Houston is an architect, housing activist, and interim policy manager in Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s office.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Bruce Harrell is a lawyer who served on the Seattle City Council from 2007 to 2019 and also briefly acted as Mayor in 2017. As a Black and Japanese candidate who has worked in both the public and private sector, Harrell is running a campaign focused on rebuilding relationships in city hall and in the community.

    Harrell intends to approach homelessness with a model of nonprofit partnership with the city. He would create a program where residents could make tax-deductible donations to support homelessness outreach and he would lead a campaign to increase philanthropic support for supportive housing. He would also push the majority of funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act towards permanent housing options through hotels and tiny homes. As of mid-June, he is the only definite supporter among the leading mayoral candidates of the Compassion Seattle Charter Amendment, which would mandate the building of more affordable housing and expand sweeps of homeless encampments. The measure also lines up with his views on leveraging private and philanthropic funding for housing and homelessness.

    In his previous service on the city council, Harrell introduced “ban the box” legislation that prohibited employers from asking applicants about past legal history. In addition, Harrell led early efforts to require officers to wear body cameras and prohibit the police department’s use of drones in 2011.


    Harrell is critical of the movement to defund police but does support increasing funding for non-law enforcement community wellness efforts. Especially compared to the other leading candidates in the race, he seems committed to taking on police reform personally, stating that he would lead the Seattle Police Department in a culture change. The former council member intends to personally hire officers looking to be “change agents” and will not be afraid to critique officers. Harrell says that he will use data from the Race and Data Initiative to address discrimination in housing, policing, and more. He also pledges to make every officer watch all 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd’s murder and sign a voluntary pledge against inhumane treatment. Similar to other candidates, he believes that funding for de-escalation, mental health services, and public education on when to call 911 should be provided. His policies might represent the least departure from the current operation of today’s police department among the leading candidates.

    Similar to his plan on housing, Harrell intends to seek the support of foundations and the private sector to make health service programs more affordable. While he supports focusing development around light rail stations, he has not made any commitments on changing the zoning for affordable housing. Harrell was a yes vote for the Seattle Green New Deal in 2019 and intends to continue his “road diet” program that seeks to develop better bike and pedestrian paths and transit access.

    Like González, Harrell has served on the Seattle City Council and has a record of his work and priorities in the city. If you're looking for a blunt candidate with experience and a track record in City Hall, Harrell is a good choice.

    Bruce Harrell

    Bruce Harrell is a lawyer who served on the Seattle City Council from 2007 to 2019 and also briefly acted as Mayor in 2017.

Other Candidates

There are a few other prominent candidates in the Seattle mayor's race. Read below for more details on these candidates.

Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller was appointed to this role by Mayor Durkan in 2020. He was previously the chief operating officer of King County. Sixkiller has drawn some criticism for his backing of Mayor Durkan's reluctance to open safer shelters for the homeless during the pandemic, as well as his lobbying with the oil industry.

As an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Sixkiller has reached the highest-ranked political office that an Indigenous person has ever reached in the City of Seattle.

Lance Randall is a prominent political strategist and the interim director of SEED Seattle (SouthEast Effective Development), an organization that builds partnerships and markets investments into affordable housing and arts projects throughout the area. Randall previously spent 8 years serving as the Business Relations Manager for Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. He is running with a focus on the economy which informs his platform that includes mitigating climate change, police reform, and public safety, investing in arts and culture, addressing housing and homelessness, and post-pandemic economic recovery.

With these progressive issues in mind, Randall hopes to both revitalize Seattle and act on urgent reform efforts to better the quality of life for all city residents. Among other specific ideas, he proposes utilizing federal funds to build housing options for those facing homelessness, implementing greater accountability measures for the Seattle Police Department, creating a local grant program for small businesses recovering from the pandemic, and acting to make municipal broadband available in Seattle. Drawing on his background in policy spaces and economic expertise, Randall is pushing a relatively progressive platform in this race.

A self-described centrist, Art Langlie is running for mayor as a political outsider who works in the private sector as the executive vice president of Holmes Electric. Langlie’s campaign is built on a critique of how Seattle municipal politics have worked so far. He believes that his lack of direct elected experience allows him to better address the issues that the city faces. Langlie identifies homelessness and public safety as his campaign priorities. Despite substantial public support for serious police reform, Langlie only offers vague ideas for holding the Seattle Police Department accountable and has brushed off the defund movement as a “soundbite.” Langlie is not a progressive candidate and has not demonstrated experience that would make him an effective leader.

Seattle City Attorney

Seattle City Attorney

  • Evergreen Future
  • Incumbent Pete Holmes is running for re-election to be the Seattle City Attorney. Holmes was first elected in 2009 and has had a progressive track record in office. He is the former chair of the Office of Police Accountability Review Board and spent 25 years working in business litigation before his public service. His highlights include successfully defending the city's hazard pay law, working to decriminalize marijuana, and preventing the incarceration of Washington residents for marijuana use. Holmes also worked to reduce prosecutions for people driving with their license suspended due to lack of payment and opposed mandatory deportation for immigrants in the legal system.

    If re-elected, Holmes has a progressive vision for the role of city attorney in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the movement for racial justice. His priorities include improving police accountability, gun safety, and creating a level playing field in our legal system and city. To achieve these goals, Holmes proposes passing stronger gun laws, reducing excessive force on the part of the Seattle Police Department, vacating marijuana charges, and keeping people housed post-pandemic, among other policies.

    Holmes' track record in office has earned him the support of our partner organizations, as well as progressive local leaders including City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. He's a good choice to continue building upon the reforms he has spearheaded as city attorney over the last 12 years.

    Pete Holmes

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

    Incumbent Pete Holmes is running for re-election to be the Seattle City Attorney. Holmes was first elected in 2009 and has had a progressive track record in office.

  • 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.

Other Candidates

Ann Davison (whose married name is Sattler) is an attorney and legal consultant with her own small business. Previously, Davison ran for Seattle City Council in 2019 and then again in 2020 as a Republican for Lieutenant Governor, when she did not advance past the primary.

Last year, during one of the worst economic crises that this region has ever faced, she used her campaign to criticize Democrats for their economic policy which at the time included COVID-19 relief and balancing the state’s upside-down tax code. In this race, she is challenging progressive candidates in order to oppose her challengers’ plans to reduce Washington’s mass incarceration problem and utilize alternatives to make Seattle safer.

Seattle City Council

Seattle City Council, Position #8

Other Candidates

Mosqueda faces a large number of unimpressive challengers.

Alex Tsimerman is a perennial candidate who does not have a serious platform. George Freeman does not have any campaign information available as of mid-July. Kate Martin’s platform is neither substantial nor progressive, and she fails to offer any meaningful response to the community’s calls for reforms to our public safety approaches.

Alexander White is a small business owner whose campaign platform includes supporting first responders but does not mention any of the desperately needed police accountability measures the community has been calling for. Jordan Elizabeth Fisher is a former mortgage lender who is running to bring her experience in mortgage lending to solving Seattle’s homelessness and affordable housing crises. Bobby Lindsey Miller is a bartender who is running on a platform including relief for landlords and business owners, but without mentioning relief for the city’s renters.

Brian Fahey is a property management engineering manager whose platform includes tying education funding to a permanent, progressive business & occupation tax. Jesse James is a musician and restaurant worker who founded the Players Party comprised of people including musicians and small business owners. Kenneth Wilson owns Integrity Structural Engineering and wants to bring his perspective on infrastructure to the council, but his platform is not progressive. Paul Glumaz is also not running on a progressive platform.

Seattle City Council, Position #9

  • 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.

  • Evergreen Future
  • Brianna Thomas is the chief of staff for Seattle City Council President and current Position 9 Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez. Previously, she led the effort to bring democracy vouchers to Seattle through the Honest Elections Initiative and worked as a legislative aide for state Senator Bob Hasegawa. She also worked on the “Yes for SeaTac” campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 and joined Gonzalez’s team in 2015.

    Thomas’s campaign platform is impressively detailed. She wants to prioritize criminal justice reforms like ending the system of cash bail, increased police accountability measures, and sending mental health professionals in the place of armed police officers. Support for small businesses including investing in businesses owned, operated, and staffed by Black, brown, and Indigenous people, and adopting new, affordable housing options are also key to Thomas’s campaign. 

    In our interview, she emphasized her commitment to fixing the city's infrastructure. She wants to draw upon the connections she’s built with state and federal agencies to maximize outside funding for local roads and bridges. More broadly, she demonstrated her deep knowledge of policy details and how to make government work from her time working for the council. 

    Brianna Thomas

    Brianna Thomas is the chief of staff for Seattle City Council President and current Position 9 Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez.

Other Candidates

Also in this race are Sara Nelson, Corey Eichner, Xtian Gunther, Rebecca Williamson, and Lindsay McHaffie. 

Nelson is the co-founder and owner of Fremont Brewing. She wants to bring her experience as a small business owner to the council and refocus the city on delivering basic services efficiently. However, Nelson disagrees with the community-supported idea that more funding is needed for homelessness services and affordable housing. In addition, she believes the culture at the Seattle Police Department can be changed through simply "adequately training" officers, rather than the deeper reforms called for by many community leaders.

There are several additional candidates in this race. Eichner is an assistant principal at Lincoln High School. Gunther is a musician with progressive values who wants to create a public utility to build affordable public housing. Williamson is a member of the Socialist Workers Party and Walmart employee. McHaffie is a small business owner and a veteran. She does not have a campaign website.