Linda’s Election Guide
November 6, 2018

Linda’s Recommendations
(Explanations below)

Initiative Measure 1631:
Reduce Pollution/add Carbon Fee: YES

Initiative Measure 1634:
No tax on soda pop: NO

Initiative Measure 1639:
Stricter rules for assault weapons: YES

Initiative Measure 940:
Training for police: YES

Advisory Votes
Advisory Vote 19: Oil Spill prevention:  Maintained

US Senator: Maria Cantwell

US Representative District 1: Suzan DelBene
US Representative District 2: Rick Larsen
US Representative District 3: Carolyn Long
US Representative District 4: Christine Brown
US Representative District 5: Lisa Brown
US Representative District 6: Derek Kilmer
US Representative District 7: Pramila Jayapal
US Representative District 8: Kim Schrier
US Representative District 9: Adam Smith
US Representative District 10: Denny Heck

Washington State Legislature
Recommendation: Vote Democratic!
(My specific recommendations only listed for seats where two Democrats are competing against each other.)
Legislative District 30 State Senator Claire Wilson
Legislative District 32 State Senator: Maralyn Chase
Legislative District 34 State Senator: Shannon Braddock. See notes.
Legislative District 48 State Senator: Patty Kuderer
Legislative District 48 Position 2: Amy Walen (Cindi Bright also pretty good)

State Supreme Court Position 8: Justice Steve Gonzalez
“Exceptionally Well Qualified” incumbent.  He’s highly respected.  And he’s multi-lingual and chairs the legal interpreting commission!

Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1: both positions have one judge, running unopposed.

King County Prosecuting Attorney: Dan Satterberg

City of Seattle
Proposition #1: Families, Education, Preschool & Promise Levy: Undecided

Seattle Municipal Court – all positions have just one judge, running unopposed.

Linda’s Explanations

Initiative Measure 1631: Reduce Pollution/add Carbon Tax: YES
What it would do:
I-1631 would charge a fee to companies that produce lots of carbon emissions.  The fee would be based on their use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas).  The money collected would be used for three things:  1. Air quality and energy saving programs; 2. Water quality and forest health projects; and 3. Projects to help communities that are hurt by pollution. A few businesses in WA will not have to pay the fee. One is already being shut down; others produce pollution from burning wood, which doesn’t add carbon to the atmosphere, and others are “trade dependent” aluminum or steel plants.

People who want you to vote YES say:
1. Initiative 1631 is a common sense plan to make big companies pay when they pollute.
2. 1631 will create new jobs and help Washington change to a clean energy economy.
3. Many different groups came together to write Initiative 1631, including businesses, environmental groups, health groups, Indian Tribes, groups representing people of color, and government. They believe that Initiative 1631 would be good for Washington, and good for the environment.
4.  Oil companies have given $25 million to advertise against Initiative 1631.  Their advertisements are misleading (not true).  We must not let the oil companies fool us. Oil companies think that they can “buy” the election.
5.  British Columbia has had a Carbon Fee since 2007. It has worked very well to reduce carbon emissions.

Who says vote YES:
Health groups (American Lung Association, American College of Physicians, Virginia Mason, American Academy of Pediatrics, WA Association of Family Physicians, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and 20 other groups); Unions (SEIU and 12 others); Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and 8 individual Tribes or Nations; other Communities of Color (El Centro de la Raza, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, NAACP Spokane, and 23 other groups); Low-income Advocates (Poverty Action Network, Solid Ground, 6 more); Faith Groups (Church Council of Greater Seattle and 20 other groups); Clean Energy and Environmental groups (Audobon Society, Greenpeace, Natural Resource Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, the Mountaineers, WA Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and 80 more groups); other businesses (REI, solar contractors, restaurants, over 185 individual businesses); WA State Democrats and many local Democratic groups; Governor Inslee; many politicians and newspapers.

People who want you to vote NO say:
1. Reducing carbon emissions is a good idea, but Measure 1631 would increase energy costs for families and businesses.
2. Measure 1631 is unfair to businesses in Washington.  It will make them pay more for energy, so they will have to charge more for their products than businesses in other states.  Our businesses will not be competitive. Some businesses might move away to avoid paying the fee.
3. It is not fair that several big businesses will not have to pay the Carbon Tax. 
4.  Carbon emissions are already going down.  We don’t need a Carbon fee to lower it more.
5. A Carbon fee won’t work to reduce emissions. The companies can just choose to pay the fee and keep polluting, instead of reducing carbon emissions.

Who says vote NO: Western States Petroleum Association; Association of Washington Businesses; Seattle Times. I am sure there are more, but I couldn’t find any lists of people or organizations endorsing the NO campaign.
Phillips Petroleum is the largest contributor to the NO campaign, having given over $7 million.

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Initiative Measure 1634: No tax on soda pop: NO
History:  It is illegal in Washington to charge sales tax on food from grocery stores, but it is allowed to charge sales tax on candy and soda pop, because those are not really “food.” Research shows that drinking soda pop leads to many health problems, such as overweight, heart disease, diabetes, and cavities.  Seattle made the decision to charge extra sales tax on soda pop to try to encourage people to drink water and other healthy drinks instead of sugary pop. The tax money collected is used for health programs for poor people.  The soda industry is very upset about losing business.  They have given $20 million (and spent $16 million so far) on initiative 1634. They want to prevent any other city or town in Washington from adding sales tax to soda pop.

What it would do: If Initiative 1634 passes, cities, towns and counties in Washington could not add any new tax on carbonated “sugary beverages” (soda pop like Coke, Pepsi, etc.) or on any other type of raw or processed “item for consumption.”

People who want you to vote YES say:
1. Taxes are too high!  We must block any tax increase.
2. Taxes in Washington are already “regressive.”  Sales taxes are already too high, and are especially bad for poor people.
3. The government should not try to influence what people eat and drink. Drinking soda pop is an individual decision.
4.  Initiative 1634 will help keep groceries affordable.

Who says vote YES:  Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi Company, Keurig-Dr. Pepper Company, Red Bull (these 4 companies together have donated $20 million for this campaign). WA Food and Beverage Association, Farm Bureau.  Also Teamsters Unions that represent people who work for soda companies.

People who want you to vote NO say:
1.  Drinking sugary soft drinks is linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cavities, cancer, and obesity.
2.  The commercials saying vote yes are lying.  They say that it is about taxes on groceries.  It is already illegal to charge sales tax on grocery food (since 1977).
3.  Charging sales tax on pop helps people drink less.  In Seattle, sales of soda pop had gone down since Seattle started charging extra tax on soda pop.
4.  Local towns and cities should have the right to decide what extra taxes are good for their area. This initiative would take away local power.

Who says vote NO:
American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, WA Federation of State Employees, almost all newspapers in Washington (including the Seattle Times, Tacoma News-Tribune, Tri-City Herald, The Olympian, The Stranger), Progressive Voters Guide, Children’s Alliance, El Centro de La Raza, WA Healthy Kids Coaltion.

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Initiative Measure 1639:
Stricter rules for buying assault rifles
What it would do:
Impose some extra rules for buying semi-automatic assault rifles (these are the guns that look like machine guns and can shoot many, many bullets in 1 minute). The rules are: extra background check; 10 day waiting period; raise age for purchase to 21, take gun safety training before (within 5 years) of purchase. All laws that apply to pistols (handguns) would also apply to semi-automatic rifles. There are also two new rules that apply to all guns and gun owners: raise fines for not storing guns safely (or using a trigger lock) if a child or criminal gets the gun; and add $25 fee to the price of each gun sold, to be used for mental health services and to pay for the police background checks.

People who want you to vote YES say:
1. Initiative 1639 adds very basic, common sense safety rules.
2. Currently, the laws for assault rifles are the same as for hunting rifles.  (The laws for handguns are more strict.)  The laws for assault rifles need to be at least as strict as the laws for handguns!
3. Every year, children die because guns kept in homes are not stored safely. Also, 80% of school shootings happened using guns that the shooters found at home or at a friend’s home. Guns should have trigger locks or be kept in a gun safe.
4. A waiting period will help prevent someone from buying an assault rifle last-minute because they are angry.

Who says vote YES:
Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Greater Seattle Business Association, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Faith Action Network, League of Women Voters, American Academy of Pediatrics, Washington Education Association (teachers), WA State Public Health Association, Planned Parenthood, PTAs and School Boards, Seattle Times, Congressman Adam Smith, many state legislators and local mayors, King County Sheriff, most Democratic groups state-wide.

People who want you to vote NO say:
1. If guns are locked up, they cannot be used to defend our families.
2. It is already illegal to sell handguns to people age 18, 19, and 20.  It is not fair to also block them from buying assault rifles. 1639 takes away their constitutional rights. (Linda’s note:  I did not make this up. It is the second argument on the website Vote No on 1639.)
3. Limiting assault rifles will not reduce crime, because most criminals use handguns, not rifles.
4. It is not fair to make gun sellers spend the time to collect information about gun buyers, and to have to wait 10 days before giving the assault rifle to the buyer. 
5. It is not right to collect information about gun buyers and research their background.  It violates (breaks) their privacy.

Who says vote NO:
NRA (National Rifle Association); Second Amendment Foundation, The (Walla Walla) Union Bulletin newspaper (although they say they don’t disagree with most of it, but they think it is better to write laws in the Legislature, not by initiative), the Spokesman Review (Spokane newspaper).

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Initiative Measure 940:
Training for police: YES
Working as a police officer is hard, dangerous work.  In Washington, police officers spend many hours learning how to use guns and clubs and tasers.  Most police officers receive very little training about non-violent ways to solve problems. Most police officers have not learned about mental illness – which can make a person behave in an odd way. Right now, a police officer cannot be convicted of killing someone except if the prosecutor can prove “malice.”  That is almost never possible, so police officers are almost never charged with a crime for killing someone, even if the person who died was not doing anything dangerous.

What it would do:
1. Create a “good faith” test to determine when use of deadly force was justified.
2. Require the state board that plans police training to include training about different cultures, disabilities, biases, and mental illness. Police would also receive “de-escalation” training – they would learn how to calm down everyone in a scary situation.
3. Change the law so that a police officer could be charged with a crime for killing someone without a good reason.
4. Require that police officers give first aid when needed (until the paramedics arrive).

People who want you to vote YES say:
1.  Washington state has the 4th highest rate of police shootings in the U.S. 
Good faith tests are used in 27 other states to determine if deadly force was needed.
2. Sometimes a police officer shoots when the person is not dangerous. If the officers had better training, they would have other ways to react, and maybe not feel like they need to shoot and kill.
3. Police officers need to know that they can be charged with a crime if they kill someone who is not a serious threat.
4. About 1/3rd of the people who are killed by police each year in Washington show signs of mental illness. Others have disabilities. Police need training to recognize mental illness and disability (so they don’t shoot people just for behaving differently).

Who says vote YES:
Mitzi Johanknecht, King County Sheriff; Senator Patty Murray and many other politicians, including 8 Seattle City Council members; many Native American tribes and nations in Washington; many organizations representing people of color; many labor unions; ACLU; League of Women Voters; many other organizations.

People who want you to vote NO say:
1. Police work is very hard and scary.  We must trust police to use their best judgment.
2. If Measure 940 fails, a better compromise bill that has already been discussed could be passed by the Legislature instead.
3.  Measure 940 will not make our communities safer.  It will just make police officers afraid to do their jobs.
4.  We need more money to treat drug addiction, solve homelessness, and improve mental health services.  That will help reduce crime much more than punishing police officers.

Who says vote NO: Spokesman Review (Spokane Newspaper); King County Police Officers Guild; Seattle Police Officers Guild; Washington State Patrol Officers Association. (There may be others, but they were not listed on the website.)

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Legislative District 34 State Senator: Shannon Braddock
I ran out of time to research and write more!  What I can say is that Shannon Braddock has lots of experience, is known to work very hard and get things done.  She has earned a lot of respect from people who work with her, and has been very effective in her role with the County Council.  We’d be lucky to have her representing us in Olympia.  I voted for Joe Nguyen in the primary.  I wanted to finally have a person of color representing the 34th district!  But after learning more about him and seeing the debate between Nguyen and Braddock, I am convinced that Braddock will do a better job representing the district.

Proposition #1: Families, Education, Preschool & Promise Levy
History and what it would do: In Seattle, we have passed a Families and Education Levy every 7 years since 1990.  The levy collects money by increasing property taxes.  The 2011 levy is expiring soon. That levy helped pay for family support services in the schools, tutoring, and for after-school and summer daycare programs for students.  It is common for this type of Levy to come up for a new vote to be “extended.” The new Levy is usually just a little more expensive that the original Levy.  But Proposition 1 is almost double the cost of the 2011 Levy.  The total is about $638 million.  It would increase property taxes by about $125 per family, per year. 

This year, the Mayor decided to combine a preschool program and college scholarships with the Levy.  The total price of the preschool part of the Levy is $342 million over 7 years.  By 2026, the preschool would enroll 2,500 students. That means the cost would be about $20,000 per preschool student, per year. (The actual “tuition” is about $12,000 per student – the rest of the money is for training parents and teachers and setting up and supervising the preschools.)  Preschool is 54% of the total cost of the Levy.
The money for family support and before and after school care for students would only be 29% of the levy. 6% of the Levy money would be for scholarships for low and middle income high school graduates to get free tuition to community college for 2 years.  The other 11% of the levy is to add health clinics to 4 more high schools in Seattle.

Proposition 1 says that the Mayor and City Council can decide each year how to spend the money, and pick which programs will be funded.

People who want you to vote YES say:
1.  Proposition 1 will help make education more equal for low income students by providing preschool and college scholarships for some students.
2. Proposition 1 will benefit low income families right away.  (Some of) Their children will be able to attend preschool for free, and can go to 2 years of college and pay no tuition.
3. Preschool helps children be ready for kindergarten.  It is important that low-income children attend preschool, too. It makes sense to use most of the Levy money on preschool, so that all students start kindergarten ready to learn.  Otherwise, most poor students start school already “behind” compared to children from families with more money.
4. Spending money on preschool means more students succeed in school and so we spend less money on jails and drug treatment and programs for dropouts. [Linda’s note: the evidence for this is weak. Studies of Headstart (federal preschool program for low income children) show that the benefits fade out by 3rd grade.  After that, the students do the same in school as low income students who did not attend Headstart.]
5. Students who use health clinics in their schools have better attendance rates.
6. Family support programs, after school childcare and tutoring are all very important.
7.  Only 30% of high school graduates in Seattle get a college degree.
8. If Prop 1 does not pass, the students who will suffer are mostly low income children and minority children.

Who says vote YES: Amazon, Teacher’s Union, King County Labor Council, Tim Burgess, SEIU Local, The Stranger, Progressive Voters’ Guide, Democratic groups, faith-based groups, etc.

People who want you to vote NO say:
1. This Levy may REDUCE the amount of money going to services for low-income students in Seattle Public Schools compared to the levy that is expiring.
2. Levies raise property taxes, which means that housing becomes more expensive.  It is already very expensive to live in Seattle.  We should not raise property taxes higher.  Higher housing costs leads to more homelessness.
3. The school district needs to pass two other Levies in February – one for buildings, and one for operations.  Many voters will not be able to afford all 3 levies, and the two levies in February are more important than this one.
4. Preschool and college scholarships are good things, but are not as important as in-school family supports, after school childcare, and tutoring.
5. The money raised by this levy could be used by charter schools, instead of by Seattle Public Schools.
6. This is a VERY expensive way to provide preschool for a small group of children. (Many of those same children would qualify for Headstart preschool anyway.  It is not clear how many new children would get preschool from the levy.) Over half of the levy is for preschool. Most of the levy money would not help Seattle Public Schools students or schools.
7.  It would be better to wait a few months and then ask voters to support a smaller “Families and Education” levy.  The city can apply for federal money to pay for the preschool program, instead of raising property taxes more.
8. The rules about how the money can be spent are not clear.  The Mayor and City Council can decide any time to cut programs or start new programs using the Levy money.

Who says vote NO:  Seattle League of Women Voters; Sue Peters (Former School Board President); Melissa Westbrook (Education Activist);
Note:  The current School Board President, Leslie Harris, said that she is worried about Levy money going to Charter Schools, but doesn’t think that is a big enough problem to vote no.

More information:

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