2018 General Election Voters’ Guide

Endorsements Info Voter Guide

Maria Cantwell for US Senate

Maria Cantwell currently serves as a United States Senator for the State of Washington. As a respected leader, Senator Cantwell has always embraced the values she first learned growing up in a strong working-class family. Senator Cantwell was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, 2006, and again in 2012, pledging to honor the hard work, aspirations, and faith of the people of Washington State. She is working to create affordable opportunities for consumers, businesses, and families, to make our nation more secure today, to foster innovation for tomorrow, and to stand with parents as they educate and care for their children.

Senator Cantwell gets results. She cut taxes for the middle-class by ensuring that Washington taxpayers can deduct state and local taxes from their federal returns. When bankrupt Enron officials tried to charge Washington ratepayers for millions of dollars in undelivered electricity, she led the effort that successfully stopped them. Senator Cantwell has protected countless jobs in Washington’s aerospace industry by cracking down on foreign companies’ unfair trade practices, and has worked to create still more well-paying jobs through effective investments in new technology and valuable job training. She successfully led the fight to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and is leading efforts in the Senate to make America more energy independent.

Pramila Jayapal for US Representative, District 7

Congressperson Pramila Jayapal came to the United States by herself when she was 16-years-old. Using their savings, her parents sent her to this country from her birth country of India. Here, she attended college at Georgetown University and went on to earn her MBA at Northwestern University. Congressperson Jayapal has a long history of grassroots activism before she was elected to Congress: She founded OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone), in response to hate crimes and discrimination targeting the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities following the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks; she successfully sued the Bush administration over Somali deportations, blocking 2,700 illegal deportations; she led an initiative to train 12,000 students and 1,000 teachers to engage in politics, through OneAmerica’s Youth Program; and helped lead the largest voter registration drive in Washington’s history, registering 23,000 voters in 2008.

As a congressperson, Pramila has been leading the charge to defend immigrants from the Trump administration, and was one of the first members of congress to go inside a detention center to visit detainees and learn their stories. We strongly recommend that you vote for Congressperson Pramila Jayapal.

You can watch Pramila Jayapal’s campaign manager, Sarah Brady, speak on her behalf on our YouTube channel.

Reuven Carlyle for State Senator

First elected in 2008, Senator Reuven Carlyle chairs the Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee. He also serves on Ways and Means, Human Services, and Higher Education committees. As committee chair, Carlyle has been lead sponsor of sweeping carbon pricing and energy investment legislation. Carlyle was named by Governing Magazine as “one of 12 legislators to watch” and as one of the nation’s most “tech savvy” legislators by GovTech. He has been a leading voice in the Legislature for meaningful tax transparency and accountability, responsible gun safety laws, higher education, foster youth, and environmental and energy strategies.

Senator Carlyle recognizes that, in the years to come, we will have millions of new residents coming to the Puget Sound region and that we are not ready for this population growth. He sees that we face an affordability anxiety that is off the charts and need our elected officials to focus on the education, infrastructure, transportation, human services, and financial integrity of our state so we can ensure the quality of life for both those who already live here and those who are coming to our state. We recommend voting for Reuven Carlyle for State Senate.

You can watch our interview with Senator Reuven Carlyle on our YouTube channel.

Noel Frame for Representative Pos. 1

Representative Noel Frame has served the 36th District in the Washington State House of Representatives since January 2016, and during that time she has tackled the biggest challenges Washington State has ever faced: fixing our regressive and inequitable tax structure and our broken school funding system. To do this, Frame recruits and supports candidates across the state, helping to build progressive coalitions in Olympia by traveling to swing districts to campaign for Democrats.

Frame was the prime sponsor of HB 2895, the sister bill of which (SB 6160) was passed by the legislature and was signed into law this year. That bill limited the number of crimes for which children can be tried as an adult for, preventing many young people in the criminal justice system from staying in that system for the rest of their lives and increasing their chances at rehabilitation and a more promising future. Given that 70% of the youth convicted as adults in this state are people of color, this legislation will help to reduce racial inequity in our adult criminal justice system in the long-run.

Representative Frame is working to change the laws that hold poor, sick, people of color, disabled, LGBTQ, or female people, so that all Washingtonians can thrive. This includes improving access to mental health services, reforming the criminal justice system, strengthening and expanding foster care and bringing a racial equity lens to everything we do, from climate justice to reproductive freedom to voter access.

You can watch our interview with Representative Noel Frame on our YouTube channel.

Gael Tarleton for Representative Pos. 2

Elected in 2012, Representative Gael Tarleton has been a tireless advocate to bring better transit service to the 36th district. She was able to add $10 million to the 2015 Transportation Revenue Package, to expand bus transit on north-south and east-west transit corridors throughout the 36th and 43rd districts, especially to expand access to the highest concentration of low-income housing units along the Greenwood Ave corridor. These routes serve more than 2.3 million riders per year.

Representative Tarleton believes that we must transition the transportation sector and our electric grid from dependence on fossil fuels to clean fuels. Through legislation, budget provisos, and the public hearings process, she has launched a sustained legislative agenda to tackle climate impacts on all these fronts

Representative Tarleton is a healthcare advocate and co-sponsored legislation and voted to expand Medicaid health and adult dental coverage in 2013, guaranteeing access to healthcare for an estimated 1 million Washingtonians under the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act. Since October 2013, nearly 500,000 previously uninsured residents of our state now have healthcare.

You can watch our interview with Representative Gael Tarleton on our YouTube channel.

Dan Satterberg for King County Prosecuting Attorney

Dan Satterberg is King County Prosecuting Attorney, an office he has held since 2007. If elected, he says he will continue his work to improve the criminal justice system. By many reports, Mr. Satterberg is noted to be one of the strongest voices for criminal justice reform nationwide.

In 2011, Mr. Satterberg helped to launch the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, aimed to keep those arrested for low-level drug and prostitution offenses out of jail and connect them to treatment and/or counseling. He also supported legislation to remove guns from those who are a danger to themselves or others and supports I-1639, which raises the legal age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon to 21 and requires background checks for those seeking to purchase a semi-automatic weapon.

This is the first year Mr. Satterberg has been eligible for our endorsement and we endorse with the hope he works to address institutional racism in the criminal justice system highlighted during this election cycle.

Susan Owens for State Supreme Court, Pos. 2

On November 7, 2000, Justice Susan Owens was elected the seventh woman to serve on the Washington Supreme Court. She has also served as the Chief Judge of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe for over six years and as the Quileute Tribe’s Chief Judge for more than five years. Justice Owens is passionate about domestic violence issues that affect children and has spoken at the National College of Prosecuting Attorneys’ Domestic Violence Conference.

Justice Owens is active on the Bench-Bar-Press Committee, the Board for Judicial Administration, the Rules Committee, and she serves on the Committee on Public Defense and the Washington State Bar Association’s Leadership Institute Advisory Board. In the past, Justice Owens has been president-elect, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and board member of the District & Municipal Court Judges’ Association (DMCJA). She was also the co-founder and chairman of the Rural Courts Committee. The 36th District Democrats strongly recommend voting for Justice Owens for State Supreme Court, position 2.

You can listen to our interview with Justice Susan Owens on our YouTube channel.

Steve Gonzalez for State Supreme Court, Pos. 8

Justice Steve Gonzalez has served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle and Assistant United States Attorney in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. In 2002, Governor Gary Locke appointed him as a King County Superior Court Judge, and he was later elected and then re-elected for the position. In 2012, Gonzalez won election to a full six-year term on the Washington State Supreme Court, with nearly 60% of the vote.

Justice Gonzalez has been awarded the Director’s Award for Superior Performance, the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and he has been awarded “Judge of the Year” awards from the Asian Bar Association of Washington, the Washington Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Washington State Bar Association. He has also been awarded the Exceptional Member Award from the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington and received the Vanguard Award from the King County Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers. Justice Gonzalez speaks Spanish, Japanese, and some Mandarin Chinese, and he works to ensure everyone who visits his court is treated equally.

You can watch our interview with Justice Steve Gonzalez on our YouTube channel.

Sheryl Gordon McCloud State Supreme Court Pos. 9

Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud was elected to the Washington Supreme Court in 2012 and is seeking re-election this year. Prior to election she worked in public defense and then private practice for over thirty years. She has been a fierce advocate for equal rights, working to remove gender- and income-based barriers to access to justice, and she authored the unanimous opinion in the 2017 Arlene’s Flowers case, prohibiting business discrimination against same-sex couples. McCloud has been rated as “Exceptionally Well Qualified” by ten independent bar associations and has received endorsements from prominent attorneys across the state, including Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Vote McCloud!

You can watch our interview with Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud on our YouTube channel.

Marlin Applewick for Court of Appeals Pos. 7*

Judge Applewick joined the Court of Appeals in 1998, after 18 years in private practice in a small Lake City law firm where he focused on family law, business law, and mediation. He combines his years of practice with 16 years as a member of the WA State Legislature, where he served as House Democratic leader for three years, and served on the budget and the judiciary committees—he was chair of the judiciary committee for six years.

Judge Applewick was appointed to the court by Gov. Gary Locke in 1998 and has been elected to the position every election since then. He believes judges must play an essential role in keeping the court and rule of law relevant in the life of the average citizen, and he is committed to making information about the law more accessible to the public and continues to promote awareness of civil rights and responsibilities. Judge Applewick, the incumbent, is running unopposed.

*There is a typo in our printed guide, listing Marlin Applewick as a candidate for position 4.

District Court: Pos. 1 Lisa Paglisotti, Pos. 4 Gregg Hirakawa, Pos. 5 Anne C. Harper

A King County District Court judge hears cases relating to misdemeanors, small claims matters, protection orders, and foreclosures. Additionally, a King County District Court Judge presides over the Mental Health Court, Veterans’ Court, and the Community Assessment and Referral Court. Since district courts are high-volume courts, they are best served by judges who can effectively manage a busy calendar without losing sight of the human element of their work. Three sitting district court judges sought our organization’s endorsement and our membership overwhelmingly found these judges highly qualified and voted to endorse their reelection.

Judge Lisa Paglisotti has been on the court for more than two years. Prior to serving on the court, she was a public defender for more than 22 years, and before that, she was a juvenile probation counselor and corrections officer. During her time as a judge, she has demonstrated legal prowess, administrative acumen, and a calm and compassionate demeanor (watch our interview with Judge Paglisotti on our YouTube channel). Judge Anne Harper has held her position as a district court judge for the past nine years, and prior to that she served as a public defender for eighteen years and as a court commissioner for seven years. Judge Harper is passionate about social justice and advocates for equal access to our courts for people from all backgrounds (interview). Judge Greg Hirakawa has been on the bench for two years. He is a former deputy prosecuting attorney, civil attorney, and a pro tem judge. Judge Hirakawa has a background representing veterans who were mentally or physically incapacitated, and his varied professional experience provides a solid foundation for his judicial role (interview).

Municipal Court: Pos. 1 Ed McKenna, Pos. 2 Andrea Chin, Pos. 3 Adam Eisenberg, Pos. 4 Anita M. Crawford-Willis, Pos. 5 Willie Gregory, Pos. 6 Faye Chess

The Seattle Municipal Court handles all misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes, civil infractions, and other offenses authorized under the Seattle Municipal Code and certain Revised Code of Washington Statutes.

Judge Ed McKenna acquired 20 years’ experience with the Seattle City Attorney’s office before beginning his first judicial term in 2011. Since then, Judge McKenna has spoken publicly multiple times about the institutional barriers to finding racial and economic justice in the court system. He is highly qualified and well-respected in his community (watch our interview with Judge McKenna on our YouTube channel). Andrea Chin has been working to increase diversity in traditionally homogeneous spaces since her time in the admissions department at the California Institute for Technology. Since then she has acquired twenty-six years of prosecutorial and supervisory experience that familiarized her with all aspects of the Municipal Court and served as president of the Asian Bar Association of Washington (interview). Judge Adam Eisenberg was appointed to the Municipal Court in 2017 and is seeking election this year. He has served on the board of QLaw, the LGBT Bar Association of Washington, and done important work protecting domestic violence survivors (interview). Judge Anita Crawford-Willis is a Seattle native and has served on the Municipal Court Judge since 2017 with a long list of both personal and professional accomplishments in the field of social justice (interview). Judge Willie Gregory has served as a Municipal Court Judge since 2011. He is known as a fair and patient judge and valued mentor who spends much of his free time volunteering in his community (interview). Judge Faye Chess is a recent Municipal Court appointee whose legal experience and qualifications, as well as strong commitment to equity, should earn her your vote for a full term (interview).

Vote “Yes” on Proposition No. 1

Since 1990 the City of Seattle has used the Families and Education Levy to provide wraparound services that the Seattle Public Schools are unable to offer. The Levy has funded school-based health clinics across the city, provides family support workers, before- and after-school tutoring, and several other services designed to meet the needs of vulnerable students. In 2014, Seattle voters also approved a levy to fund a pilot of a preschool program. Seattle Proposition 1 would combine these two levies into the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy. This funds many of the current projects supported by the existing Levy, expands the preschool program, and provides local public school graduates with two free years at a Seattle community college. We endorse this levy to help deliver those worthy programs for students in our city. Upon endorsing Proposition 1, we also immediately passed a resolution urging the City Council to pass rules preventing any of this money from being given to charter schools or to any programs housed there.

You can watch our interview with “Yes” on Seattle Prop 1 advocate Tim Burgess on our YouTube channel.

Vote “Yes” on Initiative 1631

As the news about our climate crisis continues to get worse, we are fortunate to have the chance to act decisively in the form of voting “Yes” for Initiative 1631. This initiative charges a fee to Washington’s largest polluters and invests the money directly into green energy, natural resource protection, and jobs. Built by an unprecedented coalition of labor, environmental, tribal, faith, and other stakeholder organizations, 1631 was crafted with an eye towards equity, mandating that 35% of of all investments are dedicated to communities most impacted by climate change and funding worker transitions into the rapidly-growing field of clean energy.

“Yes” on I-1631 is endorsed by 32 Democratic organizations, as well as the Anti-Defamation League, Pacific Northwest Region, FUSE Washington, Seattle Public Schools Board, League of Women Voters of Washington, Everytown for Gun Safety, Planned Parenthood, Washington State Public Health Association, and Children’s Alliance.

Decisive action is needed to protect our planet and the neighbors we share it with—luckily, this action is as easy as filling in the bubble next to “Yes” on 1631.

Vote “No” on Initiative 1634

In 2017 the City of Seattle adopted a small tax on most sugar-sweetened beverages to help fund childhood health and educational programs. In response, big corporations, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, funded Initiative 1634, which would prevent any other city from adopting the same type of “soda tax.” Despite what you may have read in a barrage of misleading advertising funded by the soda companies, this initiative does not repeal Seattle’s soda tax and state law prevents basic groceries from being taxed, which would remain the case even if this initiative fails.

The 36th District Democrats have a wide range of opinions about whether soda taxes are a good idea, but we agree that this initiative is an attack on democracy by big corporations. We oppose I-1634 as it prevents other communities from debating this issue themselves and reaching their own conclusions about soda taxes, whatever they may be.

You can watch our interview with “No” on I-1634 advocate Robert Cruickshank on our YouTube channel.

Vote “Yes” on Initiative 1639

Initiative 1639 addresses the root causes of many recent mass shooting by raising the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles to 21; creating an enhanced background check for semi-automatic assault rifles, including a local law enforcement check, a 10-day waiting period, and the completion of a firearm safety training course; and creating standards for Dangerous Access Prevention, to hold gun owners accountable if a child or other prohibited person accesses and uses an unsecurely stored firearm to hurt themselves or someone else.

I-1639 is common-sense reform that doesn’t restrict an adult’s ability to keep firearms, it simply ensures that firearms are securely kept and that people who buy semi-automatic assault-style rifles are people who will be responsible with those weapons. Vote “Yes” on I-1639.

You can watch our interview with “Yes” on I-1639 advocate Stephen Paolini on our YouTube channel.

Vote “Yes” on Initiative 940

Last year, Washington had the fifth highest number of deaths from police use of force in the nation. This needs to stop. Initiative 940 would require all law enforcement officers in the state to receive violence de-escalation and mental health trainingas developed by the criminal justice training commission—and it would require law enforcement personnel to provide first-aid to save lives and require law enforcement agencies to adopt guidelines for implementing this duty. Both of these measures would greatly help to reduce the number of encounters with law enforcement that end fatally.

Beyond providing training for our law enforcement officers, I-940 would amend the standard for justifiable use of deadly force by law enforcement, removing the requirement for prosecutors to prove that an officer acted in “malice,” adding a “good faith” standard, and requiring independent investigation of officer-involved killings. Initiative 940 isn’t about making it easier to prosecute police officers who kill people in the line of duty, it’s about making it possible. Vote “Yes” on I-940.

You can watch our interview with “Yes” on I-940 advocates Leslie Cushman and Andrew Taylor on our YouTube channel.

Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 19

A “Maintained” vote on Advisory Vote No. 19 advises the legislature to uphold Senate Bill 6269, which applied a tax on crude oil and petroleum products when received through a pipeline. The legislation directs the Department of Ecology to improve prevention for oil spills in Puget Sound, as well as around oil refineries, railroads, and pipelines. This bill was funded by a $0.05 tax per 42-gallon barrel of oil used by boats and marine terminals.

Because of a Tim Eyman initiative, the Legislature is required to submit any bill it passes that closes tax loopholes or raises revenue to a non-binding advisory vote. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote 19.

Additional Endorsements

The 36th District Democrats also endorsed the following judicial candidates who do not appear on the ballot because they are uncontested: Karen Donohue (interview) and J. Michael Diaz (interview).

How to Vote

For the first year ever, postage on your ballot is prepaid! So you can close it up and drop it in the mail without a stamp and know that your vote will be counted. However, if you want to save the Secretary of State the cost of mailing your ballot (or if you’re reading this on November 6), you can find a drop box where you can safely deposit your ballot.