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Walking with Tica: Election Edition

October 5th, 2009 at 3:22 am | Posted by Melissa Jonas

Vote sign at El Centro, November 2008. Photo by Wendi.

"Vote" sign at El Centro, November 2008. Photo by Wendi.

Leaves are starting to turn and clouds are staying around for days instead of hours.  There’s that certain crispness in the air and football on TV (Go, Pack, Go!).  It must be election season.

Tica and I have been walking the blocks of North Beacon Hill since 2003.  We’ve watched election signs go up for Kerry, Bush, Rossi, Gregoire, Obama, McCain, Rossi, Gregoire… plus the monorail, levies, school board elections, parks, and more.  This year, there just isn’t the same showing–for any issue or any candidate. Where are the yard signs? Is it too early in the season?  Are candidates not producing them in the same way? It can’t be that Beacon Hill has become less interested in politics.  The 36th District is active, engaged, smart and passionate.  Both Democrats and Republicans in Beacon Hill vote.

Candidates are falling over themselves to attend and organize forums, townhalls, and walks in Beacon Hill and other parts of Southeast Seattle.  The City is working on a Neighborhood Plan to decide how high buildings in the Beacon Hill “urban village” will be.  There are changes proposed to improve the safety of cyclists on our streets.  I know our neighbors have opinions–get involved! Attend meetings if you can, read up on the issues if you can’t, and talk to your neighbors.

Most importantly, register to vote and confirm that your ballot is on track to be mailed to your current address.  All voting is by mail in Seattle.  Go to My Vote to be sure that you’re going to get your ballot.  Do you have a new roommate or neighbor?  Do you know someone who just turned 18?  Monday October 5th (today!) is the last day to register or change your address online.  If you have never registered in Washington, you have until October 26th to register in person.

We have several important choices on the ballot this November.  There are two new candidates for Mayor: Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan.  We’re choosing between several City Council candidates AND there’s a race for City Attorney and King County Executive.  We are also voting on two statewide initiatives that could have lasting impact: I-1033 (a Tim Eyman initative) and R-71, a referendum to roll back approve or reject domestic partnership benefits.

Learn about the candidates and their values.  Understand the implications of the initiatives.  Vote.  That’s even more important than yard signs.

(Editor’s note — corrected R-71 reference. If you vote “approve” on R-71, that is to approve the new state domestic partnership law. If you vote “reject,” your vote would be to repeal the law.)

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