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! Click on the name to jump to more information. 

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
D2: Larry Gossett
D4: Jeanne Kohl-Welles

State Senate
WA State 40th LD – Liz Lovelett

Snohomish County Council
D2 – Megan Dunn

City Councils Outside Seattle
Tukwila Pos. 2 – Nancy Menos
Oak Harbor Pos. 3 – Joseph Busig
Redmond Pos. 3 – Jessica Foresythe

Seattle School Board
Pos. 1 – Dual Endorsement Eric Blumhagen & Liza Rankin
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.

Larry Gossett (King County Council D2)

Larry Gossett is a pillar of Seattle life. One of the members of The Gang of 4, he has decades of organizing experience, organizing for racial and economic justice. Larry may have been on the council for a couple of decades and counting, but he still seeks to learn and expand his world-view. Gossett is a strong union supporter coming out to UW in support of plumbers and laundry workers a few years back, and being a part of picket lines for UNITE HERE! Local 8. He is a staunch supporter of affordable housing, a leader in the massive decline in imprisoned youth in King County, and looking to make transportation more and more climate friendly in King County, for rural and densely populated areas alike. Larry Gossett is not the kind of politician that waits to hear complaints from constituents, he is the kind that makes an effort to go out and organize! We recognize the excitement surrounding Girmay Zihilay and share many values with him, it is Larry Gossett’s storied history of organizing within his community and his continued dedication to “boots on the ground” movements that will move King County forward.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles (King County Council 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. 

Liz Lovelett (WA State Senate District 40)

Like all the candidates we endorse, Liz Lovelett thinks that the WA tax system is regressive and a major obstacle to structural change. However, as a state senator, Liz is uniquely positioned to do something about it! Liz is also thinking big in the two biggest issues facing our region–affordability and climate change–and anyone in LD40 who cares about solving these issues should vote to keep Liz in Olympia. Vote Lovelett!

Megan Dunn (Snohomish County Council Pos. 2)

Megan would be an exceptional addition to the Snohomish County Council and to a regional coalition of public servants fighting for all that we prioritize: affordable housing, compassionate and equitable approaches to homelessness, environmental stewardship, justice for underrepresented communities, and fighting for workers rights. Her experience backs her promises up. Highlighting some experience, she has worked on fighting for alternatives to pesticides, worked on increasing density and housing options through the Everett City Planning Commission, and has done professional work as a union member of SEIU. She especially emphasizes the need for strong unions and organized labor, and will come out in support of unions; she will even bring the coffee. Vote for Dunn!

Nancy Manos (Tukwila City Council)

Nancy Manos is a community leader. She has strong organizing skills and understands the importance to all communities having organized labor thanks for her membership in SEIU 925 as an exec board member and MLK Labor representative. She shares many of our union members values including supporting climate actions like a Green New Deal, steering clear of corporate donations, racial and social justice, climate justice, fighting homelessness through a sound housing policy that builds mixed income homes, and much more. Nancy would make a great addition to our regional coalition to build equitable communities. Vote for Manos!

Joseph Busig (Oak Harbor City Council Position 3)

Young people like Joseph Busig should give us all hope. A 19-year-old resident of Oak Harbor, Joseph is running to bring economic and social justice to this small island community, which is facing a lot of the same problems that affect the rest of the Puget Sound region: greedy developers and economic displacement. We join our fellow unions in elevating this up-and-coming voice in our region’s politics. Vote Busig!

Jessica Forsythe (Redmond City Council Pos 3)

In Microsoft’s hometown, it’s crucial to have solid progressive voices defending the interests of working people. Jessica is a champion of economic justice in this rapidly-growing city and her values align with ours on environmental responsibility and the right to affordable housing. Electing Jessica will help ensure that all Redmond residents get to share in their city’s prosperity. Vote Forsythe!

Eric Blumhagen & Liza Rankin (Seattle School Board Pos. 1)

For Position 1 we have given a dual endorsement. Both Eric and Liza are greatly supportive of diversity within schools and supporting workers. As Liza pointed out, “working conditions are our kids’ learning conditions.” They both have a strong focus on supporting equity and continually opening up opportunities for students. Eric’s strengths come from his knowledge of worker contracts and the interconnectedness of climate justice and social justice. Liza has an amazing background as a grassroots organizer, she helped feed teachers and bus drivers on strike lines, and can site much of what the school board has done in the past. 

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.