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!
King County Council
D4: Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Seattle School Board
Pos. 3 Rebeca Muñiz
Emily Myers was on the picket line with ASEs during our last strike action, and stood with Postdocs during our fight for a first contract, because she’s one of us! She’s a PhD candidate in Pharmacology and has been a longstanding union organizer in her department. Electing a member of our union family to the Council is essential to ensuring that we have a voice on the Council who is familiar with science, academic research, and teaching, and who will unequivocally hold UW Administration accountable as one of the city’s largest employers and landholders. Earlier this year, we held a straw poll on this race that was open to all members, and the choice was clear — Emily won by an overwhelming majority.
Emily’s platform admirably emphasizes concrete and direct solutions to specific injustices and problems: She understands the solution to homelessness is building permanent housing, providing adequate and affordable health care, and preventing people from losing housing in the first place. She understands a housing crisis of affordability and supply is solved by building public housing and expanding tenant protections. She understands quality childcare is both a matter of funding it from progressive taxation and raising and equalizing the pay and working conditions of those performing the work of childcare. She understands the false dilemma between the environment and jobs is the main obstacle to building a future sustainable both for the environment and for the people who live and work in it.
We agree with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who endorsed Emily, in saying that “Emily understands the clear need to protect the rights of immigrants and provide a clear racial equity lens in all her work.” Emily Myers has shown a strong fortitude for organizing for workers rights, as demonstrated by her vigor in our labor movement and her overwhelming support from the greater Seattle area labor organizations. We recognize her competitor Shaun Scott as strong candidate with progressive ideas, but ultimately endorse Emily because she comes with the mindset of an organizer, has the support of over 15 Seattle unions, and is endorsed by many of Seattle’s progressive leaders. She is in a very strong position to effectively foster community buy-in and implement the changes she’s fighting for.
Myers securing this open seat can help cement a Council bloc that has both viable policy solutions and, more importantly, the support in labor and the social movements to implement those solutions and hold fast against deceptive business backlash. The combination of scientific approaches to social crises and understanding building power through organizing to see those solutions through is how we will change this city.
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.
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 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.
Debora Juarez (D5)
The Political Workgroup interviewed Debora Juarez recently — summary forthcoming.
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 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 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.
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.