Sep 152019
 September 15, 2019

Through our Political Work Group, members identified important issues – investment in education, worker protections, housing affordability, transportation, race and equity, and climate justice – assembled questionnaires, reviewed candidate responses and their records, conducted candidate interviews, and held a straw poll for Seattle City Council D4.  The result is a strong slate that, if elected, will fight for issues most important to us.

Looking ahead to the August 6 primary, the deadline to register online to vote or change your address is 8 days before election day! If you’re not sure whether your registration is up to date, please register to vote or change your address. You can register or change your address in person until 8 pm election day. Primary ballots will be mailed out on July 17, and ballot drop boxes close promptly at 8 pm on 6 August.

It’s critical to vote in the August primary — there are a number of important races that will have direct impacts on our Union and the University, and the primaries will filter each race down to two candidates for the general election in November. Below are UAW’s recommendations!

Seattle City Council
D1 Lisa Herbold
D2 Tammy Morales
D3 Kshama Sawant
D4 Shaun Scott
D5 Debora Juarez
D6 Dan Strauss
D7 Andrew Lewis

King County Council
D4: Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Seattle School Board
Pos. 3 Rebeca Muñiz


Lisa Herbold (D1)

Lisa Herbold first became part of the City Council in 2015 with the enthusiastic endorsement of UAW 4121 and hard work from our members. Since that victory, she has raked up an incredible list of achievements which include introducing legislation requiring large retail and food service business to provide secure scheduling for their workers, introducing a police observers’ bill of rights, sponsoring vital portions of the domestic workers’ bill of rights, passing a paid family leave act, and taking action to close Seattle’s gender wage gap. She assisted civil society orgs in getting Kaiser Permanente to lower barriers to transgender health care provision. She has done much to direct more revenue to constructing affordable housing and improve housing access for LGBTQ, disabled, and houseless folks. CM Herbold has been one of the most significant and effective legislators on the Council for the last four years. She will face a strong challenge from Chamber of Commerce and other business interests, and keeping her in Council and empowered to legislate ought to be one of our highest priorities.

Tammy Morales (D2) 

In 2019 UAW 4121 is looking forward to supporting Tammy Morales even more so than in 2015. Central to her platform is addressing rising housing costs and rates of displacement by increasing density, stemming displacement, and articulating an affirmative right of return for displaced Seattleites. She’s committed to far-reaching steps to expand access to childcare and public transportation in the city as well as to improving the wages and working conditions of childcare and transit workers. She also helped organize a rally to support the workers of New Seasons attempting to organize into a union. Electing Morales and swinging this seat would go far to securing a durable bloc on the Council committed to improving social protections for workers, residents, and marginalized people as well as transitioning us to a green Seattle. 

Kshama Sawant (D3) 

Kshama Sawant was on the picket line for us during our last strike action, and she will be on the line for us at any future one. Not only that, but Kshama spearheaded the Council’s unanimous resolution demanding that UW bargain in good faith with our union in 2018. She is always willing to call out UW when it fails to meet its responsibilities to its workers and students or to Seattle as a whole. As exemplified by championing $15 minimum wage, renters rights, affordable public housing, and refusal to take corporate donations, among other notable attributes, she is a strident voice for workers, the marginalized, and the environment galvanized much of the positive action the Council took during her last two terms. Seattle’s business interests are making it clear that defeating CM Sawant is their highest priority in this election. We respect that Zachery DeWolf is a progressive candidate with great ideas, but it is Kshama’s dedication to workers rights, working knowledge of unions, her unwavering support for UAW 4121 and keeping UW accountable to its employees that puts her over the top. Returning CM Sawant to the Council is a key part of building a Seattle that is systematically just, livable, sustainable, and inclusive.

Shaun Scott (D4)

Shaun had a strong second-place showing in our membership straw poll on this race that led to our endorsement of our own Emily Myers. Shaun and Emily’s positions are in close alignment and we’re happy to have another solidly pro-labor candidate to endorse for the November general election. Like many of us Shaun has experienced Seattle’s skyrocketing cost of living as a worker in Seattle, and is running on a platform to end extreme income inequality, increase affordable housing, stronger renter protections, and increased transit access. He understands that the challenges facing Seattle require bold leadership willing to take on moneyed interests. He proposes moving toward housing decommodification by having the city invest in public housing, and enacting a Seattle Green New Deal to make Seattle carbon-neutral by bold investment in public transit.

Shaun has a long history of supporting unions. Shaun was a member of UAW 4121 as a UW undergraduate ASE and made a film supporting our protests of tuition hikes in 2010. More recently, Shaun has supported our postdocs during contract negotiations, and spoke in solidarity with campus unions at a U-Pass For All rally. We believe he will be an ally for working people in D4 to hold UW accountable. Shaun was a leader in the bargaining unit with the Campaign Workers Guild in 2018, and wrote the majority of their CBA, which was used as a model for other campaigns that year. He has also supported the efforts of his own campaign staff to unionize. Shaun has proposed a “Freelancers Bill of Rights” to extend worker protections to freelancers and gig economy workers.

Shaun faces a tough race against a Chamber of Commerce-endorsed candidate who has come out strongly against urban densification and bike lanes. As we fight for more democratic control of our workplaces at the UW, we also stand with Shaun and our many D4 neighbors for increased affordability, a Seattle Green New Deal, and to “fight for our right to the city.”

Debora Juarez (D5)

Councilmember Deb Juarez is running for reelection to continue her hard work in support of North Seattle. The first Native American on city council, Deb has supported unions, laborers, and higher education in her district, consistently listened to constituents with an open door policy, and uses racial and social justice as a lens for approaching problems and social benefit as a necessary for support. CM Juarez has experience as a member in two different unions, Washington Legal Workers at Evergreen Legal Services and helped organize the Seattle public defenders into SEIU 925, organizing coworkers into a union and subsequently going on strike as a public defender. She has stood in picket lines many times, including as a councilmember. For example, she turned out in support of the teachers of SEA in winter of 2016 even going to Olympia on their behalf and in support of building trades. As a Council Member, Juarez has also voted for and supported the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Seattle and supported getting contracts for homeless service providers in Seattle.

Juarez is looking to continue her work on affordable housing, increased access to public transit, and support of the Seattle Green New Deal. In addressing homelessness, CM Juarez’s goal is to use the scientifically backed plan of giving homeless people their own roof over their head. Juarez has worked to get more bus routes into transit-underserved North Seattle, and has strongly supported the expansion of the LINK to Northgate. Further, CM Juarez has a history of supporting climate justice, including working with Earth Justice on the Dakota Access Pipeline, beyond supporting the Green New Deal. Councilmember Juarez is a representative that labor can rely on, and so UAW 4121 is happy to endorse her for a second term on the Seattle City Council.

Dan Strauss (D6)

Dan Strauss has a personal connection with academic unions — he was once a teaching fellow himself and has been out on the picket lines for unions before. While at UW, he assisted in the prep organizing for a strike on our campus. He is aware that as ASEs we have a stipend — if that — but not a living wage. UW union members live in all the Seattle districts and Dan promises, thanks to his experience with the University, to hold them accountable if they are not meeting the needs of their students, faculty, and staff. He refuses to take corporate donations and just like other labor members of the council, will fight for his constituents and not cede to all powerful corporate interests. He will prioritize housing first policies for treating homelessness, has a plan for affordable and equitable housing policy, and will advocate for green transportation policies, among other efforts and priorities. We join our fellow unions in endorsing Dan Strauss for D6. 

Andrew Lewis (D7) 

Andrew Lewis is an Assistant City Attorney for Seattle and has a history of advocating for labor rights while a student at UW (just a few years ago!). He lobbied for the board of regents to have public comment periods, and while he was an undergrad he advocated in ASUW for support of UAW 4121 despite peer pressure and opposition. Andrew promises, and his experience provides weight to this, to hold UW responsible if they violate any labor laws, and he won’t cross a picket line. Beyond strong support for labor, Andrew will prioritize increasing public housing, decarbonizing Seattle, and focusing on social-equity policy to make sure no one is left behind in Seattle’s growth. A workers rights oriented seat in big businesses downtown HQ would be an important step towards a more equitable and livable Seattle.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles (King County D4)

Jeanne Kohl-Welles has always had our union’s back. As a State Senator, she sponsored bills that have been formative for our union — in 2002 sponsoring the Senate version of the bill that enshrines ASEs’ right to collectively bargain, and in 2012 sponsoring the bill that enshrines’ Postdocs’ right to collectively bargain. Though she is willing to accept corporate donations, her long progressive history is a testament to her ability to get things done for the most vulnerable and her tenacity for workers rights. She is also a long time champion of fighting for ending racial and gender based discrimination, including how that can be incorporated into bargaining contracts. Her top priority is expanding affordable housing and treating homelessness as a region wide issue. Though we recognize that there is excitement surrounding Abigail Doerr due to our close partnership and her great work on I-1631, Jeanne’s unwavering and timeless support and initiative to take action for our union puts her over the top. 

Rebeca Muñiz (Seattle School Board Pos. 3) 

A former UAW 4121 member, Rebeca is excited to use her experience and expertise to address the educational needs of our city. She has a Masters in Education Policy and Leadership from UW and demonstrated that leadership by participating in the ASE strike last year to hold higher ed accountable to its students. We value that Rebeca takes a stand for a better workplace in all levels of education and that she will prioritize making decisions through a racial equity and low income justice lens.