Through our political workgroup, 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, distributed the questionnaires to the general membership, and held a straw poll.  The result is a strong slate that, if elected, will fight for issues most important to us.

Looking ahead to the 1 August primary, the deadline to register to vote or change your address is quickly approaching!  If you’re not sure of whether your registration is up to date, please register to vote or change your address by this coming Monday (7/3).  Primary ballots will be mailed out on 14 July, and ballot drop boxes close promptly at 8pm on 1 August.

Please remember to vote in the August primary – there are a number of important races with numerous candidates running. The primaries will filter each race down to two candidates for the general election in November.  Below are UAW’s recommendations!

Seattle Municipal Elections

Nikkita Oliver         Seattle mayor

Oliver stands out in the crowded field of 21 mayoral candidates & 6 front-runners, including longtime labor allies Sen. Bob Hasegawa & former Rep. Jessyn Farrell. Oliver stands out for her positions important to many student employees – expanding affordable and public housing, directing city funds to public schools based on need (in consultation with the public schools), giving independent powers to the Community Policing Commission, & enacting stringent measures to ensure that city employees & city data will not be used against immigrants. For these & other reasons, Oliver was the overwhelming choice in a straw poll of UAW 4121 members.

Lorena González     Seattle city council pos. 9 (citywide)

UAW 4121 again endorsed Councilmember González for her commitment to standing with University of Washington workers in making the University (the city’s largest employer) comply with city law & labor protections, for her advocacy of a Seattle legal defense fund for immigrants & refugees, for her successful advocacy with Councilmember Lisa Herbold of scheduling protections for Seattle workers, & for her plans to push for a paid family leave policy for the state or the city.

Jon Grant & Teresa Mosqueda (dual)         Seattle city council pos. 8 (citywide)

UAW 4121 almost never does dual endorsements, which testifies to the high quality of both candidates, the equal support for both in our straw poll, & the histories of both in working in city & state coalitions with Local 4121 for justice for labor, housing, &/or health care. Grant’s proposals for stronger affordable housing mandates for new development have changed the conversation of this election year & been adopted by mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver. He also wants Seattle to adopt a similar vacancy tax to Vancouver, BC on unoccupied houses to cool rampant speculation on housing in the city. Mosqueda also has an excellent, aggressive housing policy to expand public housing, use developable city-owned land for affordable housing, & to assess empty buildings & lots. Mosqueda’s health care initiatives include exploring a Seattle public option similar to San Francisco’s, expanding mental health & substance abuse treatments, & instituting a city-clinic system to ensure care for women, low-income, immigrant, & LGBT people. There are other good candidates in the race, including Sheley Secrest, but Grant & Mosqueda are in the strongest position to ensure that this vital seat on the council goes to a progressive, worker-friendly candidate.

WA State Elections

No on I-1552

WA Won’t Discriminate is a campaign against yet another attempt to get an anti-trans initiative, I-1552, on the November ballot. This initiative would override state & local protections against gender-identity discrimination in certain public facilities. There have been reports of forceful &/or misleading signature-gathering for I-1552 ahead of their July 7 deadline for making the Nov ballot. Please be wary of these tactics. If this initiative is  passed, it would be a disaster: the first anti-transgender bathroom law in the nation approved by voters.

Manka Dhingra       WA Senate LD 45 (Kirkland, Duvall, Sammamish)

This is the most important & competitive state race of 2017. The threat of a state government shutdown has been a biennial tradition in the state of Washington since 2013, posing an unacceptable threat of disruption to many state employees & services, including vital health care, food-provision, environmental conservation, etc. The two major causes for this recurrence of the ridiculous are the state’s regressive, insufficient tax structure & the intransigence of the WA Senate. The election of Dhingra to the Senate would swing control of the Senate & hopefully end this consistent threat of a shutdown. Dhingra is willing to pursue some progressive taxation measures like capital gains & pollution taxes. Her platform includes strong support for criminal justice alternatives, mental health care, education funding, public mass transit extension, & infrastructure repair.

Karen Hardy           WA Senate LD7 (NE corner of the state)

Susan Swanson       WA House LD 7

Michelle Rylands     WA Senate LD 31 (parts of SE King Co)

Nate Lowry             WA House LD 31

Rebecca Saldaña       WA Senate LD 37 (Beacon Hill, CD, Columbia City, Renton)

Patty Kuderer           WA Senate LD 48 (Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland)

Olympia needs more strong advocates to ensure that the state legislature meets its constitutional obligation for fully funding public education & to push for further action on UAW 4121 member priorities: climate change mitigation, gender pay equity, defense of immigrant rights, housing affordability & justice, reforming the state’s regressive tax system with new progressive revenue streams, universal access to health care, including mental health care, etc. These candidates, some new, some returning, would fight those battles.

King Co Elections

Dow Constantine     King Co exec

Executive Constantine is seeking his third term. He has been a strong supporter of public mass transit, housing affordability, & a County rapid response fund to help protect immigrant & refugee rights from immigration enforcement & hate crimes. He has drawn no serious opposition.