FINALLY - ballots are in the mail, which means we all have a chance to get our ballots turned in, and stop the mail, phone calls, etc. etc. This year is a particularly rough election - a blatant racist leading the Republican ticket, and a strong leader who is trashed because she's a woman crushing it in a man's world is poised to make history. Locally, the SPI race has gotten weird, the local Congressional race is getting hot, and there are five billion ballot measures. 

I've been listening to a lot of Spearhead and Arrested Development recently. Amazing music for reflection and remembering what priorities should be - us, not me. With that, I've more or less come to conclusions on who I'm voting for, and for those who might ask (all four of you), here are my picks on your ballot:

Priority Races

Hillary Clinton & Tim Kaine - President/Vice President. Duh. I admit - I'm super excited to vote for Hillary Clinton. And not because the opposition is a horrible human being, but because Clinton has such an amazing history of public service, with a particular emphasis on access to health care, education, and opportunity for those neglected by the system - kids, people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, immigrant communities, and so on. People don't like that she keeps her private life private. Eff that noise. When she's under the weather, that's none of our damn business. She's effective, a proven leader, and is going to be a damn fine President. Let's give her a mandate to totally crush it for her first term, shall we?

Brady Walkinshaw - Congress, CD-7. This race pits two people I greatly respect and like against each other. Never a comfortable place to be. But the opportunity to elect the first LGBTQ member of Congress from Washington, the first Democratic person of color, and someone who would be the youngest Democratic member of Congress - with a solid track record of results on progressive issues makes the choice a little easier. That Brady was bold enough to challenge an incumbent, and has been bold enough to support challengers to incumbents in other races (*ahem* Maddux 2015 *ahem*) before it's the cool thing to do makes it even easier. Bold and effective leadership is what I want from my Congressperson, and I believe that Brady will deliver. 

Tina Podlodowski - Secretary of State. Tina has been a friend and someone always willing to give advice for years, and when she first told me she was considering taking on the Republican incumbent in this race, the first thing I said was: what would you do if elected? And she blew my mind. Expanding access to voting, more drop-boxes, and coordination between the SoS and elections departments across the state to boost turnout? Totally boss. But beyond the most visible part of the job, Tina was prepared to talk about the part of the position that deals with registration and licensing for small businesses across Washington. A desire to make it a less onerous process and to partner with county and municipal governments to foster Washington's entrepreneurial spirit is a good thing. Tina is hella rad, and I'm looking forward to her innovative approach to the office. 

Sound Transit 3 - YES! It's no secret that I am not a fan of regressive taxes. However, our region's failure to pass the transit portions of the Forward Thrust measures in 1968 and 1970 have put us so far behind on transportation infrastructure that we are not meeting the goals we could be on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of this investment isn't going down. A large, bold plan means a better future for ourselves and future generations, and Sound Transit has shown it is an agency able to effectively use taxpayer dollars. 

Nicole Macri - State House, LD 43, Pos. 1. Nicole is a certified badass. She has a strong track record of advocacy for families experiencing poverty, and doing so effectively. She's wicked smart, and will be someone we can all be proud to call our Representative - bold, willing to take a stand, but also able to get good things done. There's a reason pretty much everyone supports her, and a big win for Nicole will be a big win for meaningful solutions to homelessness, and a strong partner for Seattle in Olympia. 

All races are important, and here are the rest of my personal recommendations

U.S. Senate - Patty Murray
U.S. Congress, CD1 - Suzan DelBene
U.S. Congress, CD9 - Adam Smith
Governor - Jay Inslee
Lt. Governor - Cyrus Habib
Superintendent of Public Instruction - No recommendation. I like both candidates. Both have their flaws (real or imagined). Groups and people I respect are on both sides. I haven't made up my mind what I'll do in this race. 
Lands Commissioner - Hillary Franz (Rock. Star.)
Auditor - Pat McCarthy
Treasurer - Duane Davidson. It used to be SoS was the GOP we could all vote for. Now it's the Treasurer!
Insurance Commissioner - Mike Kreidler (Rock. Star.)
Attorney General - Bob Ferguson (Rock. Star.)
WA Supreme Court - Mary Yu, Barbara Madsen, & Charlie Wiggins
1st LD Senate - Guy Palumbo
5th LD Senate - Mark Mullet 
5th LD House - Jason Ritchie & Darcy Burner
30th LD House - Mike Pellicciotti & Kristene Reeves
41st LD Senate - Lisa Wellman (Rock. Star.)
41st LD House - Tana Senn & Judy Clibborn
43rd LD House Pos. 2 - Frank Chopp (Super Duper Rock Star!!!)

King County Superior Court:
Pos. 14 - Nicole Gaines Phelps
Pos. 26 - David Keenan
Pos. 31 - Helen Halpert
Pos. 44 - I'm likely to stick with Eric Newman, but Cathy Moore has really impressed me with her campaign focus on racial equity in the justice system. This is one of those rare win/win situations for a judicial race. 
Pos. 52 - Anthony Gipe
Pos. 53 - Marianne Spearman

*nap time*

The rest of the ballot measures:

I-1433 (minimum wage) - YES!
I-1464 - No recommendation
I-1491 (ERPO) - YES!
I-1501 (Seniors and identity theft) - YES!
I-732 (Carbon tax) - No
I-735 (Citizens United) - Sure, why not!

Advisory Vote 14 + 15 - Maintain (these are so damned dumb)

Seattle I-124 (health, safety, and labor standards for hotel workers) - YES!

King County Charter Amendment #1 (removing Party preference for prosecutor) - NO. All offices are inherently partisan. Removing party preference allows Republicans to hide behind "nonpartisanship," and can be especially bad in down-ballot races. Our incumbent Republican prosecutor may be a moderate, but who knows what we will get when he retires. 

King County Charter Amendment #2 (Gender-neutral language) - YES!


A Tale in Pierce County

A Tale in Pierce County

Moving Beyond Encampments (or why Pathways Home is mostly a good move)