Published on October 16th, 2019 | by Brittney Bush Bollay0
2019 General Election Endorsements
Our endorsements for the 2019 General Election, as voted on by our membership:
|Advisory Votes 20-31||Maintain|
|King County Prop. 1||Yes|
|County Council 4||Jeanne Kohl-Welles|
|Port Position 2||Sam Cho|
|Port Position 5||Fred Felleman|
|City Council District 5||Debora Juarez|
|City Council District 6||Dan Strauss|
|City Council District 7||Andrew Lewis|
|School Board 1||Eric Blumhagen|
|School Board 2||Lisa Rivera Smith|
|School Board 3||Rebeca Muñiz|
|School Board 6||Leslie Harris|
Approve Referendum 88/I-1000
During the endorsement interview with the I-1000/R-88 campaign, the spokesperson for the “Reject” side made numerous claims which are specious at best and deceitful at worst. This is a campaign built on deceit; signatures were gathered by telling voters that bringing the Referendum to the ballot would “help veterans.” Instead, I-1000 seeks to correct decades of exclusion of marginalized groups, including veterans, by allowing government organizations to recruit and hire with equity and inclusion in mind. I-1000 seeks to overturn I-200, another Tim Eyman joint production, which prohibited affirmative action, making Washington one of just a handful of states to have such a law. Since the passage of I-200, our academic institutions have become less diverse and the number of contract dollars going to women- and minority-owned businesses has declined to just 3 percent. I-200 has been a resounding failure, and I-1000 would be the first step in fixing that mistake. Vote APPROVE to affirm our state’s commitment to diversity and equity.
The $30 car tab has huckster Tim Eyman’s political white whale for decades—which means the rate of $30 has not been indexed over the years and is even less plausible from an economic standpoint than at any other time in the past. The bill would dramatically reduce the revenue that both state and local governments have to fulfill their transportation needs, including (but not limited to) repairing roads and bridges, constructing new voter-approved transit lines and systems, and maintenance of existing infrastructure. The initiative would put even more pressure on an already-tapped tax system and would do nothing to correct the regressivity of the same system. The E-Board condemns this initiative in the strongest possible terms.
Advisory Votes – Maintain
We have Tim Eyman to thank for these advisory votes, which basically ask us to maintain or reject decisions made by our elected officials during the session. In general, the E-Board believes in decisive rejections of Tim Eyman, no matter how small or redundant. As such, we recommend a MAINTAIN vote on any and all advisory votes.
Approve SJR 8200
SJR stands for Senate Joint Resolution. And indeed, this is very much a bipartisan initiative, approved by lawmakers across the spectrum. This resolution was passed in Olympia but, because it’s a Constitutional amendment, it requires voter approval. This is an amendment that would make it possible for the Legislature to “pass bills addressing the succession of powers and duties of public offices during periods of catastrophic incidents that are considered emergencies.” Basically, it gives the government the ability to make joint decisions during times of an emergency. The E-Board believes that maintaining this kind of consistency would be in the general interest of public safety.
King County Proposition 1
We don’t plan on needing an ambulance, but we want to make sure it’s there if we need it. King County Proposition 1 is renewing the existing levy that pays for the emergency services we all count on. While I hope no one reading this needs to access these services, the day might come. If it does, let’s hope that the ambulances in King County are fully funded.
Incumbent John Wilson has proven himself to be fair and dedicated, with a focus on innovation and improvement to our tax and housing systems. He deserves re-election.
Jeanne Kohl-Welles is an experienced legislator, having served since 1994 at the state and now the county level. She has been a leader on social justice and economic equity issues for decades and has strong ties to the 36th District, where she lives and is an active member of our organization. Kohl-Welles’ priorities include alleviating homelessness, increasing access to health care and human services, expanding transit, and protecting the health of Puget Sound. Her myriad endorsements include The Seattle Times, The Stranger, MLK Labor Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and many, many more.
Fred Felleman has been the strongest environmental voice on the Port Commission since he took office in 2016, and we look forward to him continuing this important work in another term. He is the founding Chair of the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee and has pushed the Port to embrace such environmentally friendly changes as increased use of solar electricity and sustainable aviation fuel.
Sam Cho left the Obama Administration, where he was a political appointee to the General Services Administration and got a job as the Legislative Assistant to State Senator Bob Hasegawa. Between those two experiences he started a medium sized egg exporting business that has shipped millions of pounds of eggs to South Korea through the Port of Seattle. This unique blend of experience isn’t even the entirety of his knowledge base as he has come up with innovative ideas like remote baggage check to ease airport travel and per his interview with our board was the only candidate in the general election to adequately address human trafficking.
In addition to the 36th, Sam has been endorsed by The Stranger, 11 other legislative district organizations, King County Young Democrats, King County Democrats, MLK Labor Council, 34th District State Senator Joe Nguyen, 45th State Senator Manka Dhingra, 43rd State Rep. Nicole Macri, and more!
In her first term, incumbent Juarez has shown herself to be a thoughtful and effective councilmember. She listens to and champions her constituents while retaining a firm understanding of citywide issues. Juarez has fought hard to optimize light rail transit in her district, promoted affordable housing, and has a far more compassionate approach to people experiencing houselessness than her opponents. Her status as the first and only Native American member of the Seattle City Council also offers a valuable perspective.
It’s rare to have a candidate who’d be one of the youngest members of the council and starting with the most relevant legislative experience of anyone. That is why we have endorsed Dan Strauss. Currently a legislative aide for city councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Dan is uniquely in tune with what’s going on right now and has given clear and concise ideas on the processes he would change. In addition to working for Bagshaw and leading the staff work group on ST3, Dan has been an organizer and legislative manager for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility (helping pass Extreme Risk Protection Orders), and worked as a legislative assistant for State Senator Dave Frockt. The Alliance and both legislators have endorsed him in this race.
In addition to the 36th LD, Dan is endorsed by The Stranger, FUSE Progressive Voters Guide, the King County Democrats, King County Young Democrats, the 43rd LD Democrats, MLK Labor Council, Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund, 36th Rep. Gael Tarleton, and more!
Andrew Lewis is a longtime member of the 36th District Democrats and active and valued member of our community who understands and shares our values. His years of experience in both politics and city affairs mean he can hit the ground running and be an effective Council member from day one. As a prosecutor with the City Attorney’s office and a former Seattle Human Rights Commissioner, he knows what Seattle needs to make ALL of its citizens feel safe and able to achieve their best. He supports much-needed housing reforms that will welcome more people to our community, tenant assistance, transit expansion, and Seattle’s Green New Deal.
Lewis’ other endorsements include King County Democrats, King County Young Democrats, the 37th and 43rd District Democrats, MLK Labor, The Stranger, and the Urbanist, along with a truly impressive list of state and city elected officials.
A PTA leader at numerous schools in our community, Eric Blumhagen is a widely respected voice on many of the problems facing our public schools. He fought to prevent the closure of numerous schools, joined efforts to help provide more funding for Rainier Beach High School, and fought to save Native education programs. He brings an engineer’s perspective to the district, focusing on need for precision, numbers, data and analysis to inform key decisions. Eric has been endorsed by current school board members Eden Mack, Rick Burke, Scott Pinkham, and Leslie Harris, and former school board members Sue Peters and Betty Patu. His other endorsements include numerous labor unions, the Seattle Times, Gael Tarleton, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, and community leaders including Estela Ortega and Sarah Sense-Wilson.
Lisa Rivera Smith
Lisa is a a proven leader and problem solver, who has demonstrated her leadership skills in the community and at public schools in Seattle. As PTA president of the new Lincoln High School, she did important work to ensure the school was ready from day one to bring together students, teachers, and parents to help promote student learning. Lisa’s priority as a school board director will be to listen attentively, act with purpose and build the bridges necessary to have a school board that works for everyone. She has been endorsed by numerous local Democratic groups, the Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council, as well as board members Eden Mack, Rick Burke, Leslie Harris, and Scott Pinkham.
Rebeca is running to ensure that our children learn in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality, and solidarity. The daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, her passion for education and equity led her to attain a Masters in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Washington. She has conducted research on the Seattle Public Schools racial equity teams, which informed her understanding of systemic disparities in schools and ways we can address it by bringing the community together. She’s been endorsed by every Democratic legislative district in the city, and by school board member Eden Mack.
In 2015 she ran on the themes of Transparency, Trust & Equity. She’s made progress, including adopting a new five year strategic plan that focuses on underserved students and operations, passed a major capital levy and a crucial operations levy, and brought on a new superintendent. She will also be the first to say there is more work to be done, and that our 53,000 students deserve better in this, one of the richest, fastest growing and most well educated cities in the country. As president of the school board, she is poised to continue fighting for change that helps every student in our city succeed.