Tuesday, August 4th is an important primary election for Washington state legislative and congressional races. If you’re registered to vote in WA, you should be receiving your ballot soon: please take a minute to send it in! Our work to dismantle racism, anti-Blackness, and economic exploitation; to ensure that struggling students and workers receive critical support during the pandemic (regardless of citizenship); to pass housing affordability and progressive taxation legislation; to prioritize climate justice: will all be heavily influenced by who is making decisions in Olympia and Washington D.C. Primary elections are an especially important way to influence the outcome: your vote makes a difference!
These past weeks we’ve seen how collective action – with strong support from electeds – can make transformational change. We helped get the Trump administration’s ICE Directive rescinded. We helped pass Tax Amazon to fund affordable housing. And there’s much more to do!
Through our Political Work Group, UAW 4121 members assembled questionnaires, reviewed candidate responses and their records on our core issues, and conducted several candidate interviews. The result is a strong slate of recommendations that, if elected, will fight for issues most important to us.
The deadline to register online to vote or change your address (and still receive a mail-in ballot) is July 27th! Primary ballots will start arriving on July 17, and ballot drop boxes close promptly at 8 pm on the 4th of August. You can also register and update your address or name in person until 8 pm election day. If trans/nonbinary folks would like help navigating this process, please reach out to the Ingersoll Gender Center.
Below are our UAW recommendations! Click on the hyperlinked names to jump to more information and feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like additional information on any of these candidates.
Jay Inslee, Governor
Marko Liias, Lieutenant Governor (click for more info)
Bob Ferguson, Attorney General
Hilary Franz, Public Lands Commissioner
Suzan Del Bene, House CD 1
Rick Larsen, House CD 2
Carolyn Long, House CD 3
Derek Kilmer, House CD 6
Pramila Jayapal, House CD 7
Kim Schrier, House CD 8
Adam Smith, House CD 9
Beth Doglio, House CD 10 (click for more info)
Lori Feagan, House Seat Pos 1, LD 4
Dual: Angie Homola and Suzanne Woodard, House Seat Pos 1, LD 10
Helen Price Johnson, Senate, LD 10
David Hackney, House Pos 1, LD 11 (click for more info)
Bob Hasegawa, Senate, LD 11
Danielle Garbe Reser, Senate, LD 16
Tara Simmons, House Pos 1, LD 23
Jamie Smith, House Pos 1, LD 25
Brian Duthie, House Pos 2, LD 25
Julie Door, Senate, LD 25
Laurie Jinkins, House Pos 1, LD 27
Jake Fey, House Pos 2, LD 27
Jeannie Darneille, Senate, LD 27
Mari Leavitt, House Pos 1, LD 28
Sharlett Mena, House Pos 2, LD 29 (click for more info)
Jamila Taylor, House Pos 1, LD 30 (click for more info)
Jesse Johnson, House Pos 2, LD 30
Joe Fitzgibbon, House Pos 2, LD 34
Noel Frame, House Pos 1, LD 36
Sarah Reyneveld, House Pos 2, LD 36 (click for more info)
Kirsten Harris-Talley, House Pos 2, LD 37 (click for more info)
Emily Wicks, House Pos 1, LD 38
June Robinson, Senate, LD 38
Debra Lekanoff. House Pos 1, LD 40
Lisa Wellman, Senate, LD 41
Sharon Shewmake, House Pos 2, LD 42
Nicole Macri, House Pos 1, LD 43
Frank Chopp, House Pos 2, LD 43 (click for more info)
Javier Valdez, House Pos 2, LD 46
Pat Sullivan, House Pos 2, LD 47
Marko Liias has been serving the 21st district in the WA State Legislature for 12 years, spending equal time as a Representative and a Senator, and he has supported progressive policies throughout his career. His personal involvement in grassroots environmental projects, strong support for collective bargaining, and continuing efforts to advance tenant’s rights and affordable housing reform set him apart from his competitor. Marko was a vocal and supportive ally in the legislature when the Postdoc unit of our union was forming, and he has recently sponsored multiple bills that support current and former students, protect LGBTQ youth, expand worker’s rights, and create opportunities for green union jobs. We believe Marko is the best choice for Lt. Governor, and he deserves your vote!
Although this race is crowded, the Political Work Group was unanimous in our enthusiasm for Beth Doglio. Beth has distinguished herself as a leading progressive in Olympia since 2017 and promises to carry that same energy into national politics. Beth promises to be a strong ally of labor and the environment in the 117th Congress, and has the record to prove it. In a year when progressives are doing well on down-ballot races nationwide, we join with over a dozen unions and national progressive leaders including Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Bernie Sanders in urging our South Sound members to vote Doglio.
David Hackney is running for state representative in LD 11. He has a long track-record of community organizing against discrimination in housing and employment. He is a leader on renter’s rights, affordable housing, and will continue to fight for these issues in Olympia. Hackney is a proponent of restorative justice, ending mandatory sentencing, and is a leader in gun violence prevention. Further, his ideas for new infrastructure revolve around a green economy, getting folks out of cars, and cleaning up our shipping and delivery systems. Although Representative Hudgins has done good work in Olympia, we believe that Hackney will bring a new perspective and work hard towards moving Washington to a more equitable future. Cast your vote for Hackney!
Environmental justice leader and advocate Sharlett Mena is running to inject new leadership and accessibility into a district that is a microcosm of the economic and social changes that have rocked Western Washington in recent decades. The Political Work Group was impressed with Sharlett’s vision for the district, for advancing bold environmental and pro-worker legislation, and for engaging diverse community groups in the legislative process. Sharlett also has an impressive record of fighting for immigrant communities and plans to strengthen protections for student visa holders. Incumbent Steve Kirby has a solid track record, but given the extraordinary challenges of our times, we would like to see a fresh voice with insightful perspectives and strong goals in LD-29. Vote Mena!
Jamila Taylor has a strong record of supporting and fighting for the most vulnerable folks in our communities. By day she is an attorney for victims of domestic violence, and by night she is a fierce community advocate, including by serving on the Federal Way Human Services Commission and addressing mass incarceration (among many others). She has a clear vision for a just economy, addressing harassment and discrimination, and will be a great labor ally in Olympia. We were also impressed that she was one of the first candidates to have COVID resources available to her constituents. We need her expertise and leadership in LD 30 and in Olympia. Vote Jamila Taylor!
Sarah Reyneveld is an Assistant Attorney General, union organizer with WFSE AFSCME Council 28, a former UAW 4121 member, and a former President of UW GPSS. She knows our issues very well, is running an impressive grassroots campaign, and her organizer experience and commitment to working people are clear in every answer to our questions. Her work as an Assistant Attorney General is to fight for fair wages for Washington workers, meanwhile she successfully helped pass policy and organized her colleagues to unionize. She has worked to increase affordable childcare in King County and address issues facing working families. In addition, we were impressed with her climate justice platform and approach to progressive tax reform. Cast your ballot for our union sibling Sarah!
Kirsten Harris-Talley, also known as KHT, is running for state representative of LD 37. She stands above most others running for office in her breadth and depth of knowledge on policy issues. KHT is also deeply rooted in her community and brings her grassroots activism into her run for office. Even with limitations due to COVID, her commitment to these values is apparent in her approach to her candidacy: community listening circles, continuous outreach, and hitting the streets with the Black Lives Matter movement. KHT is a strong supporter of restorative justice, having worked on No New Youth Jail campaign and will be a champion in Olympia as we fight to re-imagine community safety. KHT has spent years fighting for the same campaigns that our union has supported, and even now is the only candidate in her race who supported Tax Amazon. KHT is a strong believer in progressive taxation and protecting worker’s rights. She is an ally our union would be lucky to have in the state legislature next year. Vote Kirsten Harris-Talley!
As the former speaker of the house for 20 years, Frank Chopp has been a champion of progressive values. He helped organizers overcome barriers to form UAW 4121, and his support for labor and public education has been steadfast throughout his career. With a lifetime score of 92% from the Washington State Labor Council for a 25 year career, his commitment to progressive causes is demonstrable. He was the lead architect of the Workforce Education Investment Act of 2019, which provides over $1 billion over four years for student financial aid as well as investments in many higher education programs. He also wants to expand college grants and reduce tuition for graduate degrees in public universities. He has a solid record of building affordable housing in Seattle, and with 80% of our members being rent burdened, we appreciate his dedication and plans to build more affordable units. Although there’s a lot we liked about Jessi Murray and Sherae Lascalles, Frank’s intimate knowledge of the issues our union faces, exemplary past record, continuous work with our union and other stakeholders on policy, and persistent support of UAW 4121 set him apart. Re-elect Frank Chopp!