Skip to main content
  • Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Cotton was a campaign manager with the Whatcom County Democrats for the last two years, playing a key role in winning all seven priority races. He is now the Campaign Director of Community First Whatcom, which has placed two initiatives on this year's November ballot. One initiative would raise the minimum wage by $2 and the other would increase protections for renters. Previously, he graduated from Western Washington University and worked as a paraeducator in local public schools. 

    Cotton is running to advance economic justice in Bellingham. He wants to support low-wage workers and seniors who are struggling with the rapidly increasing cost of living. 

    Cotton's opponent is financial advisor Russ Whidbee, who is running for city council once again on a more moderate platform. Previously, he served on the board of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation and worked with the Kulshan Community Land Trust.

    Whidbee's campaign is focused on housing affordability, public safety, and homelessness. He states that his focus would be on seeking out grants and public and private partnerships with banks and developers to increase affordable housing. However, he seems unwilling to support the kind of zoning changes needed to bring more housing options and density to our community. He also says he wants to "reimagine" public safety for Bellingham and acknowledges systemic racism in law enforcement. However, his specific policy proposals - like body cameras and de-escalation training - should represent the bare minimum and have largely been implemented already.

    Cotton has earned a very impressive slate of endorsements for a first-time candidate and is running a strong campaign. We recommend Jace Cotton for Bellingham City Council, At-Large.  

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Jace Cotton

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Cotton was a campaign manager with the Whatcom County Democrats for the last two years, playing a key role in winning all seven priority races. He is now the Campaign Director of Community First Whatcom, which has placed two initiatives on this year's November ballot. One initiative would raise the minimum wage by $2 and the other would increase protections for renters. Previously, he graduated from Western Washington University and worked as a paraeducator in local public schools. 

    Cotton is running to advance economic justice in Bellingham. He wants to support low-wage workers and seniors who are struggling with the rapidly increasing cost of living. 

    Cotton's opponent is financial advisor Russ Whidbee, who is running for city council once again on a more moderate platform. Previously, he served on the board of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation and worked with the Kulshan Community Land Trust.

    Whidbee's campaign is focused on housing affordability, public safety, and homelessness. He states that his focus would be on seeking out grants and public and private partnerships with banks and developers to increase affordable housing. However, he seems unwilling to support the kind of zoning changes needed to bring more housing options and density to our community. He also says he wants to "reimagine" public safety for Bellingham and acknowledges systemic racism in law enforcement. However, his specific policy proposals - like body cameras and de-escalation training - should represent the bare minimum and have largely been implemented already.

    Cotton has earned a very impressive slate of endorsements for a first-time candidate and is running a strong campaign. We recommend Jace Cotton for Bellingham City Council, At-Large.  

    Jace Cotton

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

  • VOTE 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
  • VOTE 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.  

    Last updated: 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. 

    Last updated: 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.

  • Endorsed By: 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. 

    Last updated: 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.

City Races

Depending on where you live, you may have the following city races on your ballot.

  • Kim Lund is a former director of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the Whatcom County Planning Commission. She is now running for mayor of Bellingham to bring her non-profit leadership and management skills to city hall.

    Like many other candidates on the Bellingham ballot this year, Lund would prioritize affordable housing, community safety, and fighting climate change. She is seeking to differentiate herself in this race with her leadership experience. She stresses themes like listening and taking accountability for decision-making, which she feels have been lacking during the current administration. Unfortunately, Lund's platform on "Community Health and Safety" focuses heavily on the concerns of downtown business owners with less emphasis on the underlying needs of people experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction. Her goals around implementing the Climate Action Protection Plan are more thoughtful, including exploring eliminating transit fares to increase ridership. 

    While Lund has long been active in the community, she is newer to the political sphere. As a result, it's less clear exactly what agenda she would pursue as mayor, especially compared with Fleetwood's demonstrated track record in elected office. Lund is a good choice if you're looking for new leadership in Bellingham that emphasizes strong management and collaboration across the city. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-16

    Kim Lund

    Kim Lund is a former director of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the Whatcom County Planning Commission. She is now running for mayor of Bellingham to bring her non-profit leadership and management skills to city hall.

    Kim Lund is a former director of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the Whatcom County Planning Commission. She is now running for mayor of Bellingham to bring her non-profit leadership and management skills to city hall.

    Like many other candidates on the Bellingham ballot this year, Lund would prioritize affordable housing, community safety, and fighting climate change. She is seeking to differentiate herself in this race with her leadership experience. She stresses themes like listening and taking accountability for decision-making, which she feels have been lacking during the current administration. Unfortunately, Lund's platform on "Community Health and Safety" focuses heavily on the concerns of downtown business owners with less emphasis on the underlying needs of people experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction. Her goals around implementing the Climate Action Protection Plan are more thoughtful, including exploring eliminating transit fares to increase ridership. 

    While Lund has long been active in the community, she is newer to the political sphere. As a result, it's less clear exactly what agenda she would pursue as mayor, especially compared with Fleetwood's demonstrated track record in elected office. Lund is a good choice if you're looking for new leadership in Bellingham that emphasizes strong management and collaboration across the city. 
     

    Kim Lund

    Kim Lund is a former director of the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the Whatcom County Planning Commission. She is now running for mayor of Bellingham to bring her non-profit leadership and management skills to city hall.

  • Seth Fleetwood is running for a second term as mayor of Bellingham. He is a lawyer who previously served as co-chair of the Whatcom County Housing Affordability Task Force, a former member of both the Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council, and a 2014 state Senate candidate.

    During his first term as mayor, Fleetwood prioritized fighting climate change and supporting the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, he played a lead role in proposing a Climate Action Plan that would have paid for energy efficiency upgrades in buildings, encouraged electric vehicles, and used cleaner sources of energy for local electricity. Notably, Bellingham became just the third city in the state of Washington to require all new buildings more than three stories tall to use electricity for hot water and heating instead of natural gas. Fleetwood also touts his efforts to protect natural areas like the Post Point heron colony and develop a Greenways Strategic Plan for future trails and parks. 

    Fleetwood generated significant backlash for how he handled a homeless encampment in front of city hall. After allowing the encampment to grow over the course of months, the city response "included Bellingham Police, Washington State Patrol, Whatcom Sheriff's deputies, and even federal Border Patrol agents - all in riot gear."

    Recently, we were disappointed that Fleetwood signed a letter along with six other mayors urging the county council to consider an even larger jail facility than the 440 beds proposed by the county executive. He also supported placing greater emphasis on mental health and substance use treatment facilities. 

    While Fleetwood had a somewhat rocky first term dominated by the pandemic, he is a good choice for voters looking for a mayor who will aggressively pursue climate action and protect the local environment. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-16

    Seth Fleetwood

    Seth Fleetwood is running for a second term as mayor of Bellingham. He is a lawyer who previously served as co-chair of the Whatcom County Housing Affordability Task Force, a former member of both the Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council, and a 2014 state Senate candidate.

    Seth Fleetwood is running for a second term as mayor of Bellingham. He is a lawyer who previously served as co-chair of the Whatcom County Housing Affordability Task Force, a former member of both the Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council, and a 2014 state Senate candidate.

    During his first term as mayor, Fleetwood prioritized fighting climate change and supporting the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, he played a lead role in proposing a Climate Action Plan that would have paid for energy efficiency upgrades in buildings, encouraged electric vehicles, and used cleaner sources of energy for local electricity. Notably, Bellingham became just the third city in the state of Washington to require all new buildings more than three stories tall to use electricity for hot water and heating instead of natural gas. Fleetwood also touts his efforts to protect natural areas like the Post Point heron colony and develop a Greenways Strategic Plan for future trails and parks. 

    Fleetwood generated significant backlash for how he handled a homeless encampment in front of city hall. After allowing the encampment to grow over the course of months, the city response "included Bellingham Police, Washington State Patrol, Whatcom Sheriff's deputies, and even federal Border Patrol agents - all in riot gear."

    Recently, we were disappointed that Fleetwood signed a letter along with six other mayors urging the county council to consider an even larger jail facility than the 440 beds proposed by the county executive. He also supported placing greater emphasis on mental health and substance use treatment facilities. 

    While Fleetwood had a somewhat rocky first term dominated by the pandemic, he is a good choice for voters looking for a mayor who will aggressively pursue climate action and protect the local environment. 
     

    Seth Fleetwood

    Seth Fleetwood is running for a second term as mayor of Bellingham. He is a lawyer who previously served as co-chair of the Whatcom County Housing Affordability Task Force, a former member of both the Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council, and a 2014 state Senate candidate.

  • Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Cotton was a campaign manager with the Whatcom County Democrats for the last two years, playing a key role in winning all seven priority races. He is now the Campaign Director of Community First Whatcom, which has placed two initiatives on this year's November ballot. One initiative would raise the minimum wage by $2 and the other would increase protections for renters. Previously, he graduated from Western Washington University and worked as a paraeducator in local public schools. 

    Cotton is running to advance economic justice in Bellingham. He wants to support low-wage workers and seniors who are struggling with the rapidly increasing cost of living. 

    Cotton's opponent is financial advisor Russ Whidbee, who is running for city council once again on a more moderate platform. Previously, he served on the board of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation and worked with the Kulshan Community Land Trust.

    Whidbee's campaign is focused on housing affordability, public safety, and homelessness. He states that his focus would be on seeking out grants and public and private partnerships with banks and developers to increase affordable housing. However, he seems unwilling to support the kind of zoning changes needed to bring more housing options and density to our community. He also says he wants to "reimagine" public safety for Bellingham and acknowledges systemic racism in law enforcement. However, his specific policy proposals - like body cameras and de-escalation training - should represent the bare minimum and have largely been implemented already.

    Cotton has earned a very impressive slate of endorsements for a first-time candidate and is running a strong campaign. We recommend Jace Cotton for Bellingham City Council, At-Large.  

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Jace Cotton

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

    Cotton was a campaign manager with the Whatcom County Democrats for the last two years, playing a key role in winning all seven priority races. He is now the Campaign Director of Community First Whatcom, which has placed two initiatives on this year's November ballot. One initiative would raise the minimum wage by $2 and the other would increase protections for renters. Previously, he graduated from Western Washington University and worked as a paraeducator in local public schools. 

    Cotton is running to advance economic justice in Bellingham. He wants to support low-wage workers and seniors who are struggling with the rapidly increasing cost of living. 

    Cotton's opponent is financial advisor Russ Whidbee, who is running for city council once again on a more moderate platform. Previously, he served on the board of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation and worked with the Kulshan Community Land Trust.

    Whidbee's campaign is focused on housing affordability, public safety, and homelessness. He states that his focus would be on seeking out grants and public and private partnerships with banks and developers to increase affordable housing. However, he seems unwilling to support the kind of zoning changes needed to bring more housing options and density to our community. He also says he wants to "reimagine" public safety for Bellingham and acknowledges systemic racism in law enforcement. However, his specific policy proposals - like body cameras and de-escalation training - should represent the bare minimum and have largely been implemented already.

    Cotton has earned a very impressive slate of endorsements for a first-time candidate and is running a strong campaign. We recommend Jace Cotton for Bellingham City Council, At-Large.  

    Jace Cotton

    Progressive campaign organizer Jace Cotton is running for the at-large seat on the Bellingham City Council. This seat is open after Councilmember Kristina Michele Martens decided to run for mayor. 

  • Educator and conservation activist Eamonn Collins is running for Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. Collins teaches high school chemistry and physics to students at Lummi Nation School. He is the trustee with the Kulshan Community Land Trust where he advocates for affordable homeownership and environmental sustainability. Prior to moving to Whatcom County five years ago, Collins was a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) focused on education issues.

    Collins believes the current Bellingham City Council is not approaching the city's challenges with the urgency they require. During our interview, he cited his experience at the Kulshan Land Trust trying to build more dense housing and being frustrated by the lack of support and responsiveness from the current council. If elected, he pledged to repeal current zoning laws that prevent more homes from being built and eliminate setbacks, parking minimums, and height caps for affordable housing projects.

    Collins also cited climate change as the second issue that "keeps him up at night." From a local perspective, he wants to focus on the 32 percent of emissions that come from transportation by implementing the city's bike plan and creating more walkable neighborhoods so families aren't dependent on cars. 

    Collins is a good choice for voters looking for a more outspoken progressive voice who would bring an organizer's approach to the Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-18

    Eamonn Collins

    Educator and conservation activist Eamonn Collins is running for Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. Collins teaches high school chemistry and physics to students at Lummi Nation School.

    Educator and conservation activist Eamonn Collins is running for Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. Collins teaches high school chemistry and physics to students at Lummi Nation School. He is the trustee with the Kulshan Community Land Trust where he advocates for affordable homeownership and environmental sustainability. Prior to moving to Whatcom County five years ago, Collins was a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) focused on education issues.

    Collins believes the current Bellingham City Council is not approaching the city's challenges with the urgency they require. During our interview, he cited his experience at the Kulshan Land Trust trying to build more dense housing and being frustrated by the lack of support and responsiveness from the current council. If elected, he pledged to repeal current zoning laws that prevent more homes from being built and eliminate setbacks, parking minimums, and height caps for affordable housing projects.

    Collins also cited climate change as the second issue that "keeps him up at night." From a local perspective, he wants to focus on the 32 percent of emissions that come from transportation by implementing the city's bike plan and creating more walkable neighborhoods so families aren't dependent on cars. 

    Collins is a good choice for voters looking for a more outspoken progressive voice who would bring an organizer's approach to the Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. 
     

    Eamonn Collins

    Educator and conservation activist Eamonn Collins is running for Bellingham City Council from Ward #1. Collins teaches high school chemistry and physics to students at Lummi Nation School.

  • Endorsed By: The Washington Bus, UFCW 3000, Housing Action Fund, The Riveter's Collective
  • Immigration lawyer Hannah Stone is running for re-election to the Bellingham City Council in Ward 1. She was appointed to the at-large position on the Bellingham City Council in 2018 and won the Ward 1 seat in 2019. Stone was unanimously selected by the council for her positions on small businesses, education, and affordable housing. She worked in immigration and citizenship law in Bellingham for 11 years in addition to serving as chair of the Whatcom County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and co-chair of Citizens for Bellingham Schools. 

    Stone is running to utilize her experience as a lawyer and analytical thinking skills to help the city council tackle Bellingham's biggest challenges. During her first term, she took a pragmatic approach on the council during the tumultuous period early in the pandemic. In particular, she pushed to use a portion of the federal pandemic relief funding to make some long-term investments in the community. Unfortunately, she was part of the 5-2 majority of the City Council that recently voted to criminalize public drug use in Bellingham. 

    During our interview, Stone said her campaign priorities are the ABCs of Bellingham: affordability, behavioral health, and climate change. In particular, she wants to push for much stronger protections for renters and believes there has been too much of a focus on the needs of landlords. She supported the mayor's climate action fund and would like to give voters the opportunity to vote on climate action. When asked about the perceived inaction by the city council on some important issues, she cited both the difficulty of moving a large bureaucracy forward and her desire to make systematic changes rather than just approving one-off projects, no matter how valuable. 

    Stone is a good choice for voters in Ward #1 looking for an experienced voice on the council with a background in law and a track record of building coalitions. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-18

    Hannah Stone

    Immigration lawyer Hannah Stone is running for re-election to the Bellingham City Council in Ward 1. She was appointed to the at-large position on the Bellingham City Council in 2018 and won the Ward 1 seat in 2019.

    Immigration lawyer Hannah Stone is running for re-election to the Bellingham City Council in Ward 1. She was appointed to the at-large position on the Bellingham City Council in 2018 and won the Ward 1 seat in 2019. Stone was unanimously selected by the council for her positions on small businesses, education, and affordable housing. She worked in immigration and citizenship law in Bellingham for 11 years in addition to serving as chair of the Whatcom County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and co-chair of Citizens for Bellingham Schools. 

    Stone is running to utilize her experience as a lawyer and analytical thinking skills to help the city council tackle Bellingham's biggest challenges. During her first term, she took a pragmatic approach on the council during the tumultuous period early in the pandemic. In particular, she pushed to use a portion of the federal pandemic relief funding to make some long-term investments in the community. Unfortunately, she was part of the 5-2 majority of the City Council that recently voted to criminalize public drug use in Bellingham. 

    During our interview, Stone said her campaign priorities are the ABCs of Bellingham: affordability, behavioral health, and climate change. In particular, she wants to push for much stronger protections for renters and believes there has been too much of a focus on the needs of landlords. She supported the mayor's climate action fund and would like to give voters the opportunity to vote on climate action. When asked about the perceived inaction by the city council on some important issues, she cited both the difficulty of moving a large bureaucracy forward and her desire to make systematic changes rather than just approving one-off projects, no matter how valuable. 

    Stone is a good choice for voters in Ward #1 looking for an experienced voice on the council with a background in law and a track record of building coalitions. 
     

    Hannah Stone

    Immigration lawyer Hannah Stone is running for re-election to the Bellingham City Council in Ward 1. She was appointed to the at-large position on the Bellingham City Council in 2018 and won the Ward 1 seat in 2019.

  • Endorsed By: Planned Parenthood Advocates Of Greater Washington and North Idaho, UFCW 3000, Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Fundraising and development company owner Daniel Hammill is running for a third full term representing Ward 3 on the Bellingham City Council. He is a Kulshan Community Land Trust homeowner in the Sunnyland neighborhood. Beyond the council, Hammill is a founding member of the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission and co-founded the Whatcom County LEAD program.

    Hammill has been a longtime advocate for affordable housing and for people experiencing homelessness, including his work co-founding the Bellingham/Whatcom Project Homeless. He also played an important role in helping pass stronger protections for renters in Bellingham and supported declaring racism a public health crisis in 2020. Unfortunately, he was part of the 5-2 majority of the city council that recently voted to criminalize public drug use in Bellingham.

    If he's re-elected, Hammill wants to create a new public development authority so the city can build affordable housing directly. He is also very focused on addressing the fentanyl epidemic. He's proud of the work the city has done together with the Swinomish tribe and he would work to strengthen and expand that partnership, particularly with regard to utilizing tribal facilities for fentanyl treatment of Bellingham residents. 

    We lean toward Hammill for Bellingham City Council, Ward 3 because of his strong support from progressive community leaders and partner organizations.  

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Daniel Hammill

    Fundraising and development company owner Daniel Hammill is running for a third full term representing Ward 3 on the Bellingham City Council. He is a Kulshan Community Land Trust homeowner in the Sunnyland neighborhood.

    Fundraising and development company owner Daniel Hammill is running for a third full term representing Ward 3 on the Bellingham City Council. He is a Kulshan Community Land Trust homeowner in the Sunnyland neighborhood. Beyond the council, Hammill is a founding member of the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission and co-founded the Whatcom County LEAD program.

    Hammill has been a longtime advocate for affordable housing and for people experiencing homelessness, including his work co-founding the Bellingham/Whatcom Project Homeless. He also played an important role in helping pass stronger protections for renters in Bellingham and supported declaring racism a public health crisis in 2020. Unfortunately, he was part of the 5-2 majority of the city council that recently voted to criminalize public drug use in Bellingham.

    If he's re-elected, Hammill wants to create a new public development authority so the city can build affordable housing directly. He is also very focused on addressing the fentanyl epidemic. He's proud of the work the city has done together with the Swinomish tribe and he would work to strengthen and expand that partnership, particularly with regard to utilizing tribal facilities for fentanyl treatment of Bellingham residents. 

    We lean toward Hammill for Bellingham City Council, Ward 3 because of his strong support from progressive community leaders and partner organizations.  

    Daniel Hammill

    Fundraising and development company owner Daniel Hammill is running for a third full term representing Ward 3 on the Bellingham City Council. He is a Kulshan Community Land Trust homeowner in the Sunnyland neighborhood.

  • Endorsed By: Planned Parenthood Advocates Of Greater Washington and North Idaho, Teamsters Joint Council 28, UFCW 3000, Washington Conservation Action, Housing Action Fund, Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, Bellingham/Whatcom County Firefighters (IAFF Local 16)
  • Longtime community activist and organizer Liz Darrow is now running for Bellingham City Council from Ward 3. Darrow works as a freelance video editor and has been the Technical Director of the Cascadia International Women's Film Festival for the last six years. She was a founding member of the city’s Immigration Advisory Board, worked as a legislative advocate for Community to Community Development, and is the elected co-chair for the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association. In particular, she has advocated for the rights of farmworkers and immigrants, both in Whatcom County and in Olympia, including helping pass legislation in 2021 that made agricultural workers eligible for overtime pay.

    Darrow is running for council to bring more responsive, action-oriented leadership to the city council. During our interview, she expressed her frustration with the council's lack of accessibility for most residents. She believes city leaders should be more present in the community to hear residents' concerns and better communicate about the council's work.

    Darrow helped write an ambitious proposal called "The Big Lift" that includes ideas about how the city could improve homelessness services and expand tiny home shelter villages. She wants Bellingham and Whatcom County to be more aggressive in pursuing state funding and private partnerships to build some of the 50,000 units of housing she believes they need to build. On climate, Darrow would push the city to adopt a climate resiliency plan and eliminate all transit fares. However, she criticized the mayor's proposed climate action fund for being too focused on electric cars, which are financially out of reach for many residents.

    Darrow is a good choice for Ward 3 if you're looking for a progressive organizer on the council who will be very active and visible in the community. 

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Liz Darrow

    Longtime community activist and organizer Liz Darrow is now running for Bellingham City Council from Ward 3. Darrow works as a freelance video editor and has been the Technical Director of the Cascadia International Women's Film Festival for the last six years.

    Longtime community activist and organizer Liz Darrow is now running for Bellingham City Council from Ward 3. Darrow works as a freelance video editor and has been the Technical Director of the Cascadia International Women's Film Festival for the last six years. She was a founding member of the city’s Immigration Advisory Board, worked as a legislative advocate for Community to Community Development, and is the elected co-chair for the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association. In particular, she has advocated for the rights of farmworkers and immigrants, both in Whatcom County and in Olympia, including helping pass legislation in 2021 that made agricultural workers eligible for overtime pay.

    Darrow is running for council to bring more responsive, action-oriented leadership to the city council. During our interview, she expressed her frustration with the council's lack of accessibility for most residents. She believes city leaders should be more present in the community to hear residents' concerns and better communicate about the council's work.

    Darrow helped write an ambitious proposal called "The Big Lift" that includes ideas about how the city could improve homelessness services and expand tiny home shelter villages. She wants Bellingham and Whatcom County to be more aggressive in pursuing state funding and private partnerships to build some of the 50,000 units of housing she believes they need to build. On climate, Darrow would push the city to adopt a climate resiliency plan and eliminate all transit fares. However, she criticized the mayor's proposed climate action fund for being too focused on electric cars, which are financially out of reach for many residents.

    Darrow is a good choice for Ward 3 if you're looking for a progressive organizer on the council who will be very active and visible in the community. 

    Liz Darrow

    Longtime community activist and organizer Liz Darrow is now running for Bellingham City Council from Ward 3. Darrow works as a freelance video editor and has been the Technical Director of the Cascadia International Women's Film Festival for the last six years.

  • Lisa Anderson, a program manager at Whatcom Community College, is running unopposed to continue representing Ward 5 on the Bellingham City Council. She is running to build more affordable housing, protect our clean air and water, and fund alternative support teams and support services to reduce incarceration.

    Anderson has been a champion for the environment in Bellingham, voting to ban single-use plastics, preserve lands for wildlife and watershed protection, and increase infrastructure for electric vehicles and bicycles. She wants to increase sustainable, green energy jobs if re-elected.

    A proud union member, Anderson has also supported hazard pay for grocery workers, apprenticeship programs for city workers, and grants for local businesses. Although we think she could have been a stronger voice in favor of the council raising the minimum wage, she has overall championed the interests of working people.

    One of Anderson's top priorities is housing. She supported payment assistance during the pandemic, created new affordable housing that replaced an unsafe motel, and passed a tax to fund tiny homes with case managers that assist residents into permanent housing. She wants to create more zoning that includes homes that working people can afford, although she is concerned about how ADUs will impact historic neighborhoods.

    Anderson has also stated her desire to reduce incarceration in favor of increasing support systems for addiction and mental health. However, we are disappointed that she voted in favor of making public drug use a misdemeanor punishable by jail time or a $1,000 fine. In the future, we hope that she will stand by her belief that we can't arrest our way out of residents' struggles with addiction.

    Anderson is running unopposed, and has the support of a number of our progressive partners. She is the best choice in this race.
    Last updated: 2023-10-20

    Lisa Anderson

    Lisa Anderson, a program manager at Whatcom Community College, is running unopposed to continue representing Ward 5 on the Bellingham City Council.

    Lisa Anderson, a program manager at Whatcom Community College, is running unopposed to continue representing Ward 5 on the Bellingham City Council. She is running to build more affordable housing, protect our clean air and water, and fund alternative support teams and support services to reduce incarceration.

    Anderson has been a champion for the environment in Bellingham, voting to ban single-use plastics, preserve lands for wildlife and watershed protection, and increase infrastructure for electric vehicles and bicycles. She wants to increase sustainable, green energy jobs if re-elected.

    A proud union member, Anderson has also supported hazard pay for grocery workers, apprenticeship programs for city workers, and grants for local businesses. Although we think she could have been a stronger voice in favor of the council raising the minimum wage, she has overall championed the interests of working people.

    One of Anderson's top priorities is housing. She supported payment assistance during the pandemic, created new affordable housing that replaced an unsafe motel, and passed a tax to fund tiny homes with case managers that assist residents into permanent housing. She wants to create more zoning that includes homes that working people can afford, although she is concerned about how ADUs will impact historic neighborhoods.

    Anderson has also stated her desire to reduce incarceration in favor of increasing support systems for addiction and mental health. However, we are disappointed that she voted in favor of making public drug use a misdemeanor punishable by jail time or a $1,000 fine. In the future, we hope that she will stand by her belief that we can't arrest our way out of residents' struggles with addiction.

    Anderson is running unopposed, and has the support of a number of our progressive partners. She is the best choice in this race.

    Lisa Anderson

    Lisa Anderson, a program manager at Whatcom Community College, is running unopposed to continue representing Ward 5 on the Bellingham City Council.

  • VOTE YES

    Vote Approved to raise the minimum wage in Bellingham

  • Working people and families in Bellingham deserve a living wage that accounts for the rising cost of living. Bellingham Initiative 1 proposes to raise the minimum wage in the city to help meet the needs of all residents. 

    Over the past few years, many of us have struggled to cover the basics – health care, prescriptions, food and gas, rent and mortgage, child care, and college. During this same time, many large companies have boasted exponential growth and record profits that haven't benefitted workers. 

    Initiative 1 in Bellingham would increase the city’s minimum wage each year in order to keep up with inflation. If approved, it would set the city wage at $1 higher than the state rate, which currently sits at $15.74, by May 2024 and $2 higher by 2025. The initiative is being led by Community First Whatcom, a progressive, grassroots organization in the county.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 1.

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Working people and families in Bellingham deserve a living wage that accounts for the rising cost of living. Bellingham Initiative 1 proposes to raise the minimum wage in the city to help meet the needs of all residents. 

    Over the past few years, many of us have struggled to cover the basics – health care, prescriptions, food and gas, rent and mortgage, child care, and college. During this same time, many large companies have boasted exponential growth and record profits that haven't benefitted workers. 

    Initiative 1 in Bellingham would increase the city’s minimum wage each year in order to keep up with inflation. If approved, it would set the city wage at $1 higher than the state rate, which currently sits at $15.74, by May 2024 and $2 higher by 2025. The initiative is being led by Community First Whatcom, a progressive, grassroots organization in the county.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 1.

    Working people and families in Bellingham deserve a living wage that accounts for the rising cost of living. Bellingham Initiative 1 proposes to raise the minimum wage in the city to help meet the needs of all residents. 

    Over the past few years, many of us have struggled to cover the basics – health care, prescriptions, food and gas, rent and mortgage, child care, and college. During this same time, many large companies have boasted exponential growth and record profits that haven't benefitted workers. 

    Initiative 1 in Bellingham would increase the city’s minimum wage each year in order to keep up with inflation. If approved, it would set the city wage at $1 higher than the state rate, which currently sits at $15.74, by May 2024 and $2 higher by 2025. The initiative is being led by Community First Whatcom, a progressive, grassroots organization in the county.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 1.

    Bellingham Initiative 2023-01

    Working people and families in Bellingham deserve a living wage that accounts for the rising cost of living. Bellingham Initiative 1 proposes to raise the minimum wage in the city to help meet the needs of all residents. 

    Over the past few years, many of us have struggled to cover the basics – health care, prescriptions, food and gas, rent and mortgage, child care, and college. During this same time, many large companies have boasted exponential growth and record profits that haven't benefitted workers. 

  • Endorsed By UFCW 3000, Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, Whatcom County Democrats, Boeing Machinists IAM District 751
  • VOTE YES

    Vote Approved to strengthen renters' rights

  • We all deserve to find affordable rents and not face undue economic strain if we get priced out of our leases. Bellingham Initiative 2 strengthens tenant rights to provide more security and peace of mind for renters across the city. 

    Throughout Washington, rental housing has become increasingly less affordable across income levels. Over a third of Washingtonians are renters, and in Bellingham specifically, rent has reportedly risen 22 percent since 2020. 

    Bellingham’s Initiative 2 provides protections for renters who experience rental increases above 8 percent in a single year. The initiative requires that landlords provide 120 days notice for a rent increase of that size and pay relocation assistance to tenants who are priced out by it. If approved, it would work to balance the power between tenants and landlords better, while not restricting landlords’ ability to raise rents. This initiative, organized by Community First Whatcom, has even earned support from many small landlords.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 2 to support renters’ rights and housing affordability.

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    We all deserve to find affordable rents and not face undue economic strain if we get priced out of our leases. Bellingham Initiative 2 strengthens tenant rights to provide more security and peace of mind for renters across the city. 

    Throughout Washington, rental housing has become increasingly less affordable across income levels. Over a third of Washingtonians are renters, and in Bellingham specifically, rent has reportedly risen 22 percent since 2020. 

    Bellingham’s Initiative 2 provides protections for renters who experience rental increases above 8 percent in a single year. The initiative requires that landlords provide 120 days notice for a rent increase of that size and pay relocation assistance to tenants who are priced out by it. If approved, it would work to balance the power between tenants and landlords better, while not restricting landlords’ ability to raise rents. This initiative, organized by Community First Whatcom, has even earned support from many small landlords.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 2 to support renters’ rights and housing affordability.

    We all deserve to find affordable rents and not face undue economic strain if we get priced out of our leases. Bellingham Initiative 2 strengthens tenant rights to provide more security and peace of mind for renters across the city. 

    Throughout Washington, rental housing has become increasingly less affordable across income levels. Over a third of Washingtonians are renters, and in Bellingham specifically, rent has reportedly risen 22 percent since 2020. 

    Bellingham’s Initiative 2 provides protections for renters who experience rental increases above 8 percent in a single year. The initiative requires that landlords provide 120 days notice for a rent increase of that size and pay relocation assistance to tenants who are priced out by it. If approved, it would work to balance the power between tenants and landlords better, while not restricting landlords’ ability to raise rents. This initiative, organized by Community First Whatcom, has even earned support from many small landlords.

    Vote to approve City of Bellingham Initiative 2 to support renters’ rights and housing affordability.

    Bellingham Initiative 2023-02

    We all deserve to find affordable rents and not face undue economic strain if we get priced out of our leases. Bellingham Initiative 2 strengthens tenant rights to provide more security and peace of mind for renters across the city. 

    Throughout Washington, rental housing has become increasingly less affordable across income levels. Over a third of Washingtonians are renters, and in Bellingham specifically, rent has reportedly risen 22 percent since 2020. 

  • Endorsed By UFCW 3000, Whatcom County Democrats
  • VOTE YES

    Vote Approved to protect and maintain Bellingham's green spaces

  • Green space is one of Bellingham’s greatest assets, contributing to a high quality of life in the city through cleaner air, a healthy ecosystem, and natural beauty that residents and visitors alike enjoy. Bellingham Proposition 2 would reinstate the Greenways Levy to ensure these public spaces remain accessible and enjoyable for all.

    For the past three decades, Bellingham’s parks, trails, wildlife habitats, and other green spaces have been stewarded with funding from the Greenways Levy. Launched in 1990, the Greenways Levy is one of Bellingham’s oldest levies and is responsible for allowing the city to build almost 40 miles of trails, maintain Bellingham’s parks, purchase 3200 acres of land, establish more community gardens, and more.

    Now, voters will have the opportunity to approve an updated Greenways 5 Levy to maintain this critical funding. The Greenways 5 Levy was unanimously approved by the Bellingham City Council earlier this year. The updated levy would increase the regular levy in keeping with community needs and inflation and has the specific goal of creating an equitable and climate-resilient Bellingham.

    Vote to approve Bellingham Proposition 2 to invest in a green and healthy future for the city.

    Last updated: 2023-10-18

    Green space is one of Bellingham’s greatest assets, contributing to a high quality of life in the city through cleaner air, a healthy ecosystem, and natural beauty that residents and visitors alike enjoy. Bellingham Proposition 2 would reinstate the Greenways Levy to ensure these public spaces remain accessible and enjoyable for all.

    For the past three decades, Bellingham’s parks, trails, wildlife habitats, and other green spaces have been stewarded with funding from the Greenways Levy. Launched in 1990, the Greenways Levy is one of Bellingham’s oldest levies and is responsible for allowing the city to build almost 40 miles of trails, maintain Bellingham’s parks, purchase 3200 acres of land, establish more community gardens, and more.

    Now, voters will have the opportunity to approve an updated Greenways 5 Levy to maintain this critical funding. The Greenways 5 Levy was unanimously approved by the Bellingham City Council earlier this year. The updated levy would increase the regular levy in keeping with community needs and inflation and has the specific goal of creating an equitable and climate-resilient Bellingham.

    Vote to approve Bellingham Proposition 2 to invest in a green and healthy future for the city.

    Green space is one of Bellingham’s greatest assets, contributing to a high quality of life in the city through cleaner air, a healthy ecosystem, and natural beauty that residents and visitors alike enjoy. Bellingham Proposition 2 would reinstate the Greenways Levy to ensure these public spaces remain accessible and enjoyable for all.

    For the past three decades, Bellingham’s parks, trails, wildlife habitats, and other green spaces have been stewarded with funding from the Greenways Levy. Launched in 1990, the Greenways Levy is one of Bellingham’s oldest levies and is responsible for allowing the city to build almost 40 miles of trails, maintain Bellingham’s parks, purchase 3200 acres of land, establish more community gardens, and more.

    Now, voters will have the opportunity to approve an updated Greenways 5 Levy to maintain this critical funding. The Greenways 5 Levy was unanimously approved by the Bellingham City Council earlier this year. The updated levy would increase the regular levy in keeping with community needs and inflation and has the specific goal of creating an equitable and climate-resilient Bellingham.

    Vote to approve Bellingham Proposition 2 to invest in a green and healthy future for the city.

    Bellingham Prop 2023-02

    Green space is one of Bellingham’s greatest assets, contributing to a high quality of life in the city through cleaner air, a healthy ecosystem, and natural beauty that residents and visitors alike enjoy. Bellingham Proposition 2 would reinstate the Greenways Levy to ensure these public spaces remain accessible and enjoyable for all.

  • Endorsed By Whatcom County Democrats, Recreation Northwest, Mount Baker Club, Conservation Northwest

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below school district races on your ballot.

  • 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.
     

    Last updated: 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.