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  • VOTO REJECTED

    Vote NO on the big expensive new jail

  • Progressive opponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 rightly point out the fundamentally racist and oppressive nature of the current criminal legal system. Rather than investing hundreds of millions of dollars into a big new jail, they argue we should be helping meet people’s needs and using proven strategies to reduce crime, including providing housing and support services. They also point out the regressive nature of increasing the county sales tax when we already have the most upside-down tax code in the nation. 

    Progressive opponents criticize the lack of detail and plans in the proposition, even in comparison with the 2015 and 2017 measures. There are no written specifics about the size of the facility or even how much it will cost, leaving a large amount of discretion with a small number of leaders on this important issue. However, they are very concerned about the possibility of a 440-cell jail that could hold 880 people or more based on how the current facility is used. 

    Opponents often cite a very thorough 2017 report from the Vera Institute of Justice commissioned by Whatcom County to look into the issue of overcrowding and how to alleviate it. Notably, the report found many opportunities that don’t require a big new jail. For instance, a majority of jail admissions came from non-felony charges. By providing more diversion opportunities for low-level offenders, many jail bookings could be avoided entirely. In addition, DUIs and drug use were some of the most common charges for jail admissions. Many of these bookings could be avoided by providing more sobering houses and substance use treatment. The 81-page report is available here.

    Maybe the most striking evidence for the need for reforms instead of a jail came from a report from Whatcom County published earlier this year. It found that 98 percent of the current jail population is awaiting trial and nearly two-thirds of them were in jail for an unnecessarily long period of time because they couldn’t pay their cash bail. It indicates Whatcom County could significantly reduce jail overcrowding by reforming the bail system to focus on risk rather than financial means. You can find the 110-page report here. 

    Opponents of Proposition 2023-4 urge the county to pursue these alternatives that would reduce the prison population and improve lives at a far lower cost than building a new jail.

    Progressive opponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 rightly point out the fundamentally racist and oppressive nature of the current criminal legal system. Rather than investing hundreds of millions of dollars into a big new jail, they argue we should be helping meet people’s needs and using proven strategies to reduce crime, including providing housing and support services. They also point out the regressive nature of increasing the county sales tax when we already have the most upside-down tax code in the nation. 

    Progressive opponents criticize the lack of detail and plans in the proposition, even in comparison with the 2015 and 2017 measures. There are no written specifics about the size of the facility or even how much it will cost, leaving a large amount of discretion with a small number of leaders on this important issue. However, they are very concerned about the possibility of a 440-cell jail that could hold 880 people or more based on how the current facility is used. 

    Opponents often cite a very thorough 2017 report from the Vera Institute of Justice commissioned by Whatcom County to look into the issue of overcrowding and how to alleviate it. Notably, the report found many opportunities that don’t require a big new jail. For instance, a majority of jail admissions came from non-felony charges. By providing more diversion opportunities for low-level offenders, many jail bookings could be avoided entirely. In addition, DUIs and drug use were some of the most common charges for jail admissions. Many of these bookings could be avoided by providing more sobering houses and substance use treatment. The 81-page report is available here.

    Maybe the most striking evidence for the need for reforms instead of a jail came from a report from Whatcom County published earlier this year. It found that 98 percent of the current jail population is awaiting trial and nearly two-thirds of them were in jail for an unnecessarily long period of time because they couldn’t pay their cash bail. It indicates Whatcom County could significantly reduce jail overcrowding by reforming the bail system to focus on risk rather than financial means. You can find the 110-page report here. 

    Opponents of Proposition 2023-4 urge the county to pursue these alternatives that would reduce the prison population and improve lives at a far lower cost than building a new jail.

    No on Whatcom Prop 2023-4

    Progressive opponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 rightly point out the fundamentally racist and oppressive nature of the current criminal legal system.

    No on Whatcom Prop 2023-4

    Progressive opponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 rightly point out the fundamentally racist and oppressive nature of the current criminal legal system.

  • Opposed By UFCW 3000
  • VOTO APPROVED

    Vote YES to replace a dangerous old jail

  • Progressive supporters of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 point to the awful, inhumane conditions at the current facility as a driving need for a new jail. The current facility is often full and sometimes overcrowded, even after years of booking restrictions. In June, the mayors of Whatcom County’s seven cities sent a letter to the county council asking for a facility with more than 440 beds to remove the county’s booking restrictions. 

    Other progressives cite the significant increases in funding for alternatives that are more explicitly named in the measure. Proposition 2023-4 is estimated to raise $14.4 million in the first full year and grow with inflation in subsequent years. A minimum of 50% of the revenue is planned for alternatives after 4 to 6 years, which would be a significant, long-term source of funding for treatment and supportive housing that is desperately needed in Whatcom County. 

    More than anything else, progressive supporters believe this is the best compromise Whatcom County is likely to achieve in the coming years. Each city in Whatcom County must approve the use of new sales tax revenue from their jurisdiction to go toward this measure, which required some compromises with more conservative areas to earn their support. Given that it’s been 6 years since the last measure and it took nearly 18 months to craft this proposal, proponents believe it’s unlikely voters would see an alternative anytime soon if the proposition fails. 

    Proponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 believe it’s the best path forward to replace a dangerous facility, reduce overcrowding, and provide years of sustainable funding for treatment and alternatives.

    Progressive supporters of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 point to the awful, inhumane conditions at the current facility as a driving need for a new jail. The current facility is often full and sometimes overcrowded, even after years of booking restrictions. In June, the mayors of Whatcom County’s seven cities sent a letter to the county council asking for a facility with more than 440 beds to remove the county’s booking restrictions. 

    Other progressives cite the significant increases in funding for alternatives that are more explicitly named in the measure. Proposition 2023-4 is estimated to raise $14.4 million in the first full year and grow with inflation in subsequent years. A minimum of 50% of the revenue is planned for alternatives after 4 to 6 years, which would be a significant, long-term source of funding for treatment and supportive housing that is desperately needed in Whatcom County. 

    More than anything else, progressive supporters believe this is the best compromise Whatcom County is likely to achieve in the coming years. Each city in Whatcom County must approve the use of new sales tax revenue from their jurisdiction to go toward this measure, which required some compromises with more conservative areas to earn their support. Given that it’s been 6 years since the last measure and it took nearly 18 months to craft this proposal, proponents believe it’s unlikely voters would see an alternative anytime soon if the proposition fails. 

    Proponents of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 believe it’s the best path forward to replace a dangerous facility, reduce overcrowding, and provide years of sustainable funding for treatment and alternatives.

    Yes on Whatcom Jail measure 2023-4

    Progressive supporters of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 point to the awful, inhumane conditions at the current facility as a driving need for a new jail. The current facility is often full and sometimes overcrowded, even after years of booking restrictions.

    Yes on Whatcom Jail measure 2023-4

    Progressive supporters of Whatcom Proposition 2023-4 point to the awful, inhumane conditions at the current facility as a driving need for a new jail. The current facility is often full and sometimes overcrowded, even after years of booking restrictions.

  • Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu is running for re-election this year. He is a small business owner, the former dean of Bellingham Technical College, and he served on the Whatcom County Council for four years prior to running for county executive in 2019. 

    Sidhu led Whatcom County through a particularly tumultuous period. Most of his first term was focused on supporting the community through the pandemic - which began just two months after he took office - and responding to the historic Nooksack River flood. During his first term, the Whatcom County Council also unanimously banned any expansion of fossil fuel facilities at Cherry Point after many years of debate and public protest. He was also supportive of the county's Climate Action Plan and reducing the use of natural gas in local buildings. Sidhu's track record on climate and conservation issues earned him the sole endorsement of Washington Climate Action in this race. 

    The other defining issue of Sidhu's term has been the ongoing fight about a new Whatcom County Jail. He has sometimes been at odds with progressive activists over how to handle this facility. Sidhu supported the previous ballot measure that voters rejected. In June, Sidhu proposed a 0.2 percent sales tax increase to build a new jail with 440 cells that would cost at least $137 million. While it's an improvement over previous proposals, some local progressives were disappointed that he continued to push for building a bigger jail. If he's re-elected, we hope Sidhu will adopt a more progressive stance on the jail facility and other issues involving the criminal legal system. 

    Sidhu also generated some criticism for his handling of The Healthy Children's Fund, which voters narrowly approved last November. Shortly after the election, he recommended reducing the tax rate written in the ballot measure because he expected it would raise more money than originally estimated. In March, he recommended redirecting $4.5 million from the levy to other purposes. The Whatcom County Council disagreed, voting 6-1 to maintain the funding for building and renovating child care facilities.

    He is running for a second term on a platform of housing affordability, salmon recovery, and flood resiliency. As he has throughout his term, Sidhu stresses the importance of finding common ground during a time of divisiveness in our local and national politics. He wants to work together with the county council to update zoning laws to allow more housing density in certain places while maintaining rural and agricultural land. He also touts his ongoing efforts to secure state and federal funding to build a "Skill Center" at Meridian High School to expand family-wage job opportunities in skilled trades. 

    Sidhu faces Republican business executive Dan Purdy in the general election. Purdy previously worked for the oil company BP and the mining company Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold. He has already earned the endorsements of local MAGA Republicans like former Sen. Simon Sefzik. Purdy is not a progressive choice in this race.

    Sidhu has earned many endorsements from local and state progressive leaders. If re-elected, he would be one of the few people of color in county leadership positions in Washington state. We recommend Satpal Sidhu for Whatcom County Executive.  

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-19

    Satpal Sidhu

    Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu is running for re-election this year. He is a small business owner, the former dean of Bellingham Technical College, and he served on the Whatcom County Council for four years prior to running for county executive in 2019. 

    Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu is running for re-election this year. He is a small business owner, the former dean of Bellingham Technical College, and he served on the Whatcom County Council for four years prior to running for county executive in 2019. 

    Sidhu led Whatcom County through a particularly tumultuous period. Most of his first term was focused on supporting the community through the pandemic - which began just two months after he took office - and responding to the historic Nooksack River flood. During his first term, the Whatcom County Council also unanimously banned any expansion of fossil fuel facilities at Cherry Point after many years of debate and public protest. He was also supportive of the county's Climate Action Plan and reducing the use of natural gas in local buildings. Sidhu's track record on climate and conservation issues earned him the sole endorsement of Washington Climate Action in this race. 

    The other defining issue of Sidhu's term has been the ongoing fight about a new Whatcom County Jail. He has sometimes been at odds with progressive activists over how to handle this facility. Sidhu supported the previous ballot measure that voters rejected. In June, Sidhu proposed a 0.2 percent sales tax increase to build a new jail with 440 cells that would cost at least $137 million. While it's an improvement over previous proposals, some local progressives were disappointed that he continued to push for building a bigger jail. If he's re-elected, we hope Sidhu will adopt a more progressive stance on the jail facility and other issues involving the criminal legal system. 

    Sidhu also generated some criticism for his handling of The Healthy Children's Fund, which voters narrowly approved last November. Shortly after the election, he recommended reducing the tax rate written in the ballot measure because he expected it would raise more money than originally estimated. In March, he recommended redirecting $4.5 million from the levy to other purposes. The Whatcom County Council disagreed, voting 6-1 to maintain the funding for building and renovating child care facilities.

    He is running for a second term on a platform of housing affordability, salmon recovery, and flood resiliency. As he has throughout his term, Sidhu stresses the importance of finding common ground during a time of divisiveness in our local and national politics. He wants to work together with the county council to update zoning laws to allow more housing density in certain places while maintaining rural and agricultural land. He also touts his ongoing efforts to secure state and federal funding to build a "Skill Center" at Meridian High School to expand family-wage job opportunities in skilled trades. 

    Sidhu faces Republican business executive Dan Purdy in the general election. Purdy previously worked for the oil company BP and the mining company Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold. He has already earned the endorsements of local MAGA Republicans like former Sen. Simon Sefzik. Purdy is not a progressive choice in this race.

    Sidhu has earned many endorsements from local and state progressive leaders. If re-elected, he would be one of the few people of color in county leadership positions in Washington state. We recommend Satpal Sidhu for Whatcom County Executive.  

    Satpal Sidhu

    Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu is running for re-election this year. He is a small business owner, the former dean of Bellingham Technical College, and he served on the Whatcom County Council for four years prior to running for county executive in 2019. 

  • Blaine Police Chief and Navy veteran Donnell "Tank" Tanksley is running for Whatcom County Sheriff. The seat is currently held by Bill Elfo, who is retiring after 20 years in the role. Tank has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, including working for Western Washington University’s campus force and for police departments outside of Washington state. Tank also serves on a number of community boards including the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, the Bellingham-Whatcom Commission on Domestic Violence, and the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force.

    Tank is running with a holistic, preventative, and community-centric approach to reducing crime. If elected, he wants to improve the sheriff’s office with technology modernization, mental health training for officers, and establishing a community justice center. He wants to bring impartial law enforcement, compassionate approaches to reducing homelessness, and expanded treatment options for people struggling with both substance abuse and mental illness. With his relatively progressive approach, Tank has earned an impressive slate of key endorsements in this race.

    Undersheriff Doug Chadwick is the other candidate in this race. Chadwick has served in the county sheriff’s office for decades in a range of roles from patrol deputy to his current position; however, he has never led a law enforcement agency himself. He has not released a detailed policy platform as of early October, but he has earned the endorsement of the Whatcom County Republican party and Sheriff Bill Elfo. He is not a progressive choice.

    Whatcom residents deserve a sheriff with the experience and compassion necessary to keep every member of our community safe. Donnell “Tank” Tanksley is the clear choice for Whatcom County Sheriff. 

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-19

    Donnell "Tank" Tanksley

    Blaine Police Chief and Navy veteran Donnell "Tank" Tanksley is running for Whatcom County Sheriff. The seat is currently held by Bill Elfo, who is retiring after 20 years in the role.

    Blaine Police Chief and Navy veteran Donnell "Tank" Tanksley is running for Whatcom County Sheriff. The seat is currently held by Bill Elfo, who is retiring after 20 years in the role. Tank has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, including working for Western Washington University’s campus force and for police departments outside of Washington state. Tank also serves on a number of community boards including the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, the Bellingham-Whatcom Commission on Domestic Violence, and the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force.

    Tank is running with a holistic, preventative, and community-centric approach to reducing crime. If elected, he wants to improve the sheriff’s office with technology modernization, mental health training for officers, and establishing a community justice center. He wants to bring impartial law enforcement, compassionate approaches to reducing homelessness, and expanded treatment options for people struggling with both substance abuse and mental illness. With his relatively progressive approach, Tank has earned an impressive slate of key endorsements in this race.

    Undersheriff Doug Chadwick is the other candidate in this race. Chadwick has served in the county sheriff’s office for decades in a range of roles from patrol deputy to his current position; however, he has never led a law enforcement agency himself. He has not released a detailed policy platform as of early October, but he has earned the endorsement of the Whatcom County Republican party and Sheriff Bill Elfo. He is not a progressive choice.

    Whatcom residents deserve a sheriff with the experience and compassion necessary to keep every member of our community safe. Donnell “Tank” Tanksley is the clear choice for Whatcom County Sheriff. 

    Donnell "Tank" Tanksley

    Blaine Police Chief and Navy veteran Donnell "Tank" Tanksley is running for Whatcom County Sheriff. The seat is currently held by Bill Elfo, who is retiring after 20 years in the role.

  • Apoyadas Por: Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Advocates Of Greater Washington and North Idaho, SEIU Locals 775, 925, and 1199, Housing Action Fund, Washington Education Association, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Riveters Collective, Whatcom County Democrats
  • Democratic Party activist and human rights advocate Jon Scanlon is running for At-Large, Position B on the Whatcom County Council. This seat is open following the retirement of Carol Frazey. Previously, Scanlon worked at the U.S. State Department and with OxFam America doing humanitarian work. In addition, he has been a consistent volunteer and elected leader within the Whatcom County Democrats. 

    Scanlon is running for office with a focus on affordability and environmental conservation. In particular, he would work to strengthen protections against flooding, ensure access to clean air and water, and preserve the county's farmlands and forests. His two decades of public policy and advocacy experience would also be a welcome addition to the council.

    Scanlon faces Hannah Ordos on the ballot this November. Ordos is a customer support manager at Vitamin Porfolio LLC and is a member of the North Sound Behavioral Health Advisory Board. Her website focuses on bringing people together and offers few specific policy details. In 2021, she endorsed Republican Tyler Byrd for Whatcom County Council and this February she was part of a group of "vaccine skeptics" nominated for the Whatcom County Health Board. 

    Scanlon has earned an impressive slate of progressive endorsements and is the best choice for Whatcom County Council, At-Large Position B. 

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-19

    Jon Scanlon

    Democratic Party activist and human rights advocate Jon Scanlon is running for At-Large, Position B on the Whatcom County Council. This seat is open following the retirement of Carol Frazey. Previously, Scanlon worked at the U.S. State Department and with OxFam America doing humanitarian work.

    Democratic Party activist and human rights advocate Jon Scanlon is running for At-Large, Position B on the Whatcom County Council. This seat is open following the retirement of Carol Frazey. Previously, Scanlon worked at the U.S. State Department and with OxFam America doing humanitarian work. In addition, he has been a consistent volunteer and elected leader within the Whatcom County Democrats. 

    Scanlon is running for office with a focus on affordability and environmental conservation. In particular, he would work to strengthen protections against flooding, ensure access to clean air and water, and preserve the county's farmlands and forests. His two decades of public policy and advocacy experience would also be a welcome addition to the council.

    Scanlon faces Hannah Ordos on the ballot this November. Ordos is a customer support manager at Vitamin Porfolio LLC and is a member of the North Sound Behavioral Health Advisory Board. Her website focuses on bringing people together and offers few specific policy details. In 2021, she endorsed Republican Tyler Byrd for Whatcom County Council and this February she was part of a group of "vaccine skeptics" nominated for the Whatcom County Health Board. 

    Scanlon has earned an impressive slate of progressive endorsements and is the best choice for Whatcom County Council, At-Large Position B. 

    Jon Scanlon

    Democratic Party activist and human rights advocate Jon Scanlon is running for At-Large, Position B on the Whatcom County Council. This seat is open following the retirement of Carol Frazey. Previously, Scanlon worked at the U.S. State Department and with OxFam America doing humanitarian work.

County Council District Races

Depending on the county district you live in, you may have the following races on your ballot.

  • There are no progressive candidates in this race. Kathy Kershner is running for re-election to the Whatcom County Council representing District 4. Kershner is the former chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party, and has been a conservative voice on the council since she was elected in 2019.

    Despite describing herself as a fiscal conservative, Kershner increased the county's spending on prisons and policing, voting to add 10 new deputies to the sheriff's office and supporting the construction of a new, larger county jail. She also voted to continue public funding for Lighthouse Mission Ministries after they were accused of hiring discrimination against LGBTQ people because they required employees to adhere to traditional Christian tenets of faith and "sex ethics."

    While Kershner is clearly conservative, she has been willing to work with the progressive majority on the council. In particular, she voted in favor of putting Proposition 5, the Whatcom County Children's Initiative, on the ballot.

    Her challenger, conservative Mark Stremler, works for the Whatcom County public works department's road crew. Like Kershner, Stremler opposes almost any improvement to the community that would raise taxes, but would support a property tax to build a new county jail.

    Stremler is even more right-leaning than Kershner in many issue areas, and would be a step backwards for the council. He has criticized Kershner's support of the Healthy Children's Initiative, and would work to remove this fund that supports young children and their families. He also criticized Kershner for not being more publicly supportive of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the right to abortion.

    While we disagree strongly with many of Kershner's policy positions and values, her willingness to work with her colleagues makes her the better choice to represent this very conservative district.
     

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-14

    There are no progressive candidates in this race. Kathy Kershner is running for re-election to the Whatcom County Council representing District 4. Kershner is the former chair of the Whatcom County Republican Party, and has been a conservative voice on the council since she was elected in 2019.

    Despite describing herself as a fiscal conservative, Kershner increased the county's spending on prisons and policing, voting to add 10 new deputies to the sheriff's office and supporting the construction of a new, larger county jail. She also voted to continue public funding for Lighthouse Mission Ministries after they were accused of hiring discrimination against LGBTQ people because they required employees to adhere to traditional Christian tenets of faith and "sex ethics."

    While Kershner is clearly conservative, she has been willing to work with the progressive majority on the council. In particular, she voted in favor of putting Proposition 5, the Whatcom County Children's Initiative, on the ballot.

    Her challenger, conservative Mark Stremler, works for the Whatcom County public works department's road crew. Like Kershner, Stremler opposes almost any improvement to the community that would raise taxes, but would support a property tax to build a new county jail.

    Stremler is even more right-leaning than Kershner in many issue areas, and would be a step backwards for the council. He has criticized Kershner's support of the Healthy Children's Initiative, and would work to remove this fund that supports young children and their families. He also criticized Kershner for not being more publicly supportive of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the right to abortion.

    While we disagree strongly with many of Kershner's policy positions and values, her willingness to work with her colleagues makes her the better choice to represent this very conservative district.
     

  • Jackie Dexter is a moderate Democrat running for Whatcom County Council in District 5. She works as an aquaculturist with Drayton Harbor Oyster Farms and lives on her family farm where she raises chickens and cattle. She serves on the Whatcom County Marine Resource Committee and is active with the Blaine Elementary PTO.

    Dexter is committed to finding ways to balance the needs of the maritime, agriculture, and refinery industries, which all provide many good jobs in Whatcom County. As the mother of two children in public schools, she wants to expand access to childcare and improve early childhood development opportunities for all families. 

    Dexter is challenging Republican Ben Elenbaas in District 5. Outside of the council, he works in the agricultural industry. Last year, Elenbaas ran as a Republican for state Senate and lost in the primary, earning only 19 percent of the vote. Even though working Washingtonians are struggling to pay bills and afford health care, Elenbaas prioritizes industry and corporations, especially oil interests in the region. Elenbaas is also poor at collaborating with his colleagues and often sticks to GOP talking points instead of working together to find solutions that work for everyone.

    Dexter has earned impressive endorsements in this race because she understands the community's needs and will work together with her colleagues to get things done. Jackie Dexter is the clear choice for Whatcom County Council from District 5.
     

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-17

    Jackie Dexter

    Jackie Dexter is a moderate Democrat running for Whatcom County Council in District 5. She works as an aquaculturist with Drayton Harbor Oyster Farms and lives on her family farm where she raises chickens and cattle.

    Jackie Dexter is a moderate Democrat running for Whatcom County Council in District 5. She works as an aquaculturist with Drayton Harbor Oyster Farms and lives on her family farm where she raises chickens and cattle. She serves on the Whatcom County Marine Resource Committee and is active with the Blaine Elementary PTO.

    Dexter is committed to finding ways to balance the needs of the maritime, agriculture, and refinery industries, which all provide many good jobs in Whatcom County. As the mother of two children in public schools, she wants to expand access to childcare and improve early childhood development opportunities for all families. 

    Dexter is challenging Republican Ben Elenbaas in District 5. Outside of the council, he works in the agricultural industry. Last year, Elenbaas ran as a Republican for state Senate and lost in the primary, earning only 19 percent of the vote. Even though working Washingtonians are struggling to pay bills and afford health care, Elenbaas prioritizes industry and corporations, especially oil interests in the region. Elenbaas is also poor at collaborating with his colleagues and often sticks to GOP talking points instead of working together to find solutions that work for everyone.

    Dexter has earned impressive endorsements in this race because she understands the community's needs and will work together with her colleagues to get things done. Jackie Dexter is the clear choice for Whatcom County Council from District 5.
     

    Jackie Dexter

    Jackie Dexter is a moderate Democrat running for Whatcom County Council in District 5. She works as an aquaculturist with Drayton Harbor Oyster Farms and lives on her family farm where she raises chickens and cattle.

  • J. Riley Sweeney is running for the District 5 seat on the Meridian School District board. Sweeney currently works as the city of Ferndale’s Communication/Recreation Coordinator and previously worked with nonprofits and small businesses. Additionally, he chairs the County Food System Committee and serves on the Irene Reither Elementary PTA board.

    If elected, Sweeney wants to prevent partisan influence on public curriculums and instead focus on accuracy, fact, and science so that Meridian students are best prepared for their futures. Another priority for him is to make sweeping investments in the district to support educators with higher salaries, help continued recovery from the pandemic, and uplift enrichment programs and the arts.

    Sweeney's opponent is Michelle Simmons, who works for a restoration franchise business. She is a first-time candidate involved in a number of community groups, including the Meridian Boosters, the Meridian Strategic Planning Committee, and a PTA, where she serves as a chair. Simmons’ does not have a campaign website as of early October and the limited campaign information that's available does not include any specific policy solutions. In an article in Cascadia Daily, she complained about restrooms and locker rooms that include the needs of gender diverse students and decried education that speaks to students about race.

    As a parent with strong progressive values who has kids enrolled in the district, Riley Sweeney is the clear choice for Director, District 5 on the Meridian School District board.
     

    Ultima actualización 2023-10-20

    J. Riley Sweeney

    J. Riley Sweeney is running for the District 5 seat on the Meridian School District board. Sweeney currently works as the city of Ferndale’s Communication/Recreation Coordinator and previously worked with nonprofits and small businesses.

    J. Riley Sweeney is running for the District 5 seat on the Meridian School District board. Sweeney currently works as the city of Ferndale’s Communication/Recreation Coordinator and previously worked with nonprofits and small businesses. Additionally, he chairs the County Food System Committee and serves on the Irene Reither Elementary PTA board.

    If elected, Sweeney wants to prevent partisan influence on public curriculums and instead focus on accuracy, fact, and science so that Meridian students are best prepared for their futures. Another priority for him is to make sweeping investments in the district to support educators with higher salaries, help continued recovery from the pandemic, and uplift enrichment programs and the arts.

    Sweeney's opponent is Michelle Simmons, who works for a restoration franchise business. She is a first-time candidate involved in a number of community groups, including the Meridian Boosters, the Meridian Strategic Planning Committee, and a PTA, where she serves as a chair. Simmons’ does not have a campaign website as of early October and the limited campaign information that's available does not include any specific policy solutions. In an article in Cascadia Daily, she complained about restrooms and locker rooms that include the needs of gender diverse students and decried education that speaks to students about race.

    As a parent with strong progressive values who has kids enrolled in the district, Riley Sweeney is the clear choice for Director, District 5 on the Meridian School District board.
     

    J. Riley Sweeney

    J. Riley Sweeney is running for the District 5 seat on the Meridian School District board. Sweeney currently works as the city of Ferndale’s Communication/Recreation Coordinator and previously worked with nonprofits and small businesses.