Good evening from Renton. Tonight, the King County Democrats took positions on a number of ballot measures that are coming before voters in part or all of King County this autumn. Here is a list of the positions taken this evening:
- Regional Proposition 1 (Sound Transit 3): YES
- King County Charter Amendment No. 1 (Nonpartisan Prosecuting Attorney): NO
- King County Charter Amendment No. 2 (Gender-Neutral Language): YES
- City of Bellevue, Proposition No. 1 (Levy for Fire Facilities): YES
- City of Bellevue, Proposition No. 2 (Levy for Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity, and Congestion): YES
- City of Bothell, Proposition No. 1 (Levy for Safe Streets and Sidewalks):
- City of Duvall, Proposition No. 1 (Nine Year Levy Lid Lift for Big Rock Ballfield Improvements, Employment of a Full-Time School Resource Officer, and IT System Improvements): YES
- City of Issaquah, Proposition No. 1 (Traffic Improvement Bonds): YES
- City of Kenmore, Proposition No. 1 (General Obligation Bonds Walkways and Waterways Improvements): YES
- City of Seattle, Initiative Measure No. 124: YES
- City of Shoreline, Proposition No. 1 (Basic Public Safety, Parks & Recreation, and Community Services Maintenance and Operations Levy): YES
- City of Snoqualmie, Proposition No. 1 (Public Safety Levy): YES
- City of Tukwila, Proposition No. 1 (Public Safety Bonds): YES
School and Special Purpose Districts
- Auburn School District No. 408 Proposition No. 1 (School Construction and Replacement General Obligation Bonds – $465,056,000): YES
- Highline School District No. 401, Proposition No. 1 (Bonds to Construct New Schools and Replace and Renovate Deteriorating Schools): YES
- Kent School District No. 415, Proposition No. 1 (Capital Improvement and School Construction General Obligation Bonds – $252,000,000): YES
- King County Fire Protection District No. 27, Proposition No. 1 (Levy of General Tax for Maintenance and Operations): YES
- South King Fire & Rescue, Proposition No. 1 (Levy of General Tax $2,750,000 for Maintenance and Operations): YES
- Proposed Eastside Regional Fire Authority, Proposition No. 1: YES
Lastly, Guy Palumbo’s automatic endorsement State Senate in the 1st District was affirmed.
Note that the threshold for endorsement of the King County Democrats is a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.
Last night, at the invitation of host Jason Rantz, Omaha Sternberg, who is one of nine independently elected officers of the King County Democrats, appeared on KIRO 97.3 FM to discuss her personal views on addressing homelessness, following a lively discussion on Twitter earlier in the day.
Though Omaha was speaking only for herself, she was identified before and after her on-air comments as an officer of our organization, without any disclaimer that she was not speaking on behalf of the King County Democrats.
In response, King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin — the sole officer authorized to speak on behalf of the county party by the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) — issued the following statement.
“As Democrats, we believe we must work together to build inclusive communities where no one is shut out. We believe everyone should have a place to call home, and that access to shelter is a basic human right. Many people across our county are currently living without a home, and that’s unacceptable. We believe that addressing our region’s homelessness crisis must be a top priority, and we call upon King County Executive Dow Constantine, our Democratic council majority, and city leaders across our county to join forces to find effective, expedient ways to house our homeless fellow citizens.”
“The notion of setting aside an island somewhere where our region’s homeless population can create a self-governing community is an inappropriate fantasy that does not merit serious consideration. It’s not something we support as a county party. The policy directions we do support are clearly articulated in the platform approved by the delegates to the 2016 King County Democratic Convention last spring. We urge activists and reporters alike to read our platform to understand our positions on the issues and the values we hold that serve as the foundation for those positions.”
Human Services Plank of the 2016 King County Democratic Platform
As a caring community, we must provide a safety net of social services that meets the basic needs of people, especially those on the margins of society, so they can attain their full potential.
- With poverty having increased despite the “end” of the recession, ensuring compassionate human services must be among the highest priorities of federal, state, and local government.
- We support programs that reduce poverty, not just reduce the welfare rolls.
- We must ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable housing. We support:
- Low-income subsidized housing with supportive services for those who cannot work, especially those with mental illness (including chemical dependency).
- Targeting affordable housing programs toward those who need them most.
- Workforce housing programs, especially those targeting workers earning between minimum wage (approximately 30% of Area Median Income, “AMI”) and a living wage (60% of AMI).
- Shelters as a transition to permanent housing.
- The Housing First policy for homeless people who need a home in order to begin recovery.
- The Rapid Rehousing policy for families who need help to maintain school and community ties while finding new homes.
- We oppose subsidizing market-rate housing for those who earn 60% or more of AMI.
- Farm workers and their families must have safe and adequate housing, sanitary facilities, and access to medical care and education.
- Each person being released from a state institution should be assisted in preparing a plan for re-entry housing upon release.
- We support restoring the Housing and Essential Needs stipend (state public assistance for people with disabilities) to safeguard the dignity and well-being of the vulnerable poor.
- Quality affordable childcare, education, workforce training, and substance abuse treatment must be provided to help working parents leave welfare and poor people escape poverty.
- Taxpayer-funded social services must not be conditioned on faith-based requirements.
- Preventing child abuse and neglect must be a priority for our state. The foster care system must be restructured to protect the child, and adequately funded and administered. We support Gov. Inslee’s initiative to establish a separate Children’s Administration.
- Adult Family Homes should be adequately regulated and funded.
- Washington State must provide a long-term care program that provides in-home care alternatives to nursing homes and Medicaid, including respite for family care providers.
- Services for people with developmental disabilities and their families should be strengthened and programs made more flexible. We should fund promised services, ending the waiting list.
- The State should fund the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Fellow Democrats, the 2016 Eastside Democratic Dinner is just around the corner!
Along with districts in the South Sound and in Clark County, the Eastside is one of the places in Washington where legislative majorities are won and lost. To retake the Washington State Senate and expand our majority in the Washington State House this year, Democrats must do well on the Eastside.
Meet our candidates, connect with fellow activists, and help ensure our local party organizations have the resources to communicate with voters in this important election by joining the King County Democrats at this important event.
Proceeds from the Eastside Dinner will benefit four local Democratic organizations: the 41st, 45th, 48th, and 5th District Democrats.
Buy tickets online via ActBlue now.
Following the release of initial results in the August Top Two qualifying election, King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin congratulated the party’s many endorsed candidates on their showing, declaring that the party was ready to go to work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot all autumn long, and recapture control of the state Senate while holding the state House of Representatives.
“Tonight, it appears that most of our endorsed candidates are headed on to November,” said Erwin. “We’re delighted to see Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray well ahead of all their rivals. Our choice for the open congressional seat in the 7th, Pramila Jayapal, is in first place, and we’re thrilled to see Chief Justice Barbara Madsen with a commanding lead over her two opponents. We congratulate Erin Jones, Cyrus Habib, and Hilary Franz on qualifying for the general election as well.”
“In state legislative races, we offer our congratulations to Darcy Burner, who we were proud to support in conjunction with the 5th District Democrats. In the 41st, we applaud Lisa Wellman on her strong showing against Republican incumbent Steve Litzow. And in the 30th, we are ecstatic that both Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves are ahead of their Republican opponents, who are incumbents. Neither Mike nor Kristine faced elimination in this election, but they worked hard to earn support of voters in the South Sound, and the results show we are on the cusp of retaking the 30th this year.”
“We are equally determined to defend Mark Mullet in the 5th District. Chad Magendanz is a Tea Party extremist who takes his cues from the likes of Tim Eyman. We’re pleased that Mark is currently ahead of Chad, and we will do all we can to ensure Mark finishes in an even stronger position in the coming November general election.”