Walking with Tica: Election Edition

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.)

5 thoughts on “Walking with Tica: Election Edition”

  1. A note on Referendum 71 – if you support domestic partnerships, you must mark “approved” on your ballot. Here is how the ballot is worded:

    Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

    Should this bill be:

    Approved ___

    Rejected ___

    More at Approve71.org

  2. Lurleen, thanks for commenting. You are right — the original wording might have implied that voting “approve” for R-71 would be a vote to roll back domestic partnerships. I reworded that bit to be more clear about it — I hope.

  3. Thanks to both for clarifying. One clever way to remember R-71 is “Approve It or Lose It”. Washington Bus drafted that motto when they began their push for voters to APPROVE R-71 or LOSE domestic partner benefits. R-71 is not about marriage. It’s about protecting the rights unmarried couples currently have in Washington State. As one half of an unmarried couple, I’m absolutely in favor of this.

    Vote YES on R-71 to support the rights of those of us who choose to not get married–as well as the rights of those who cannot marry.

  4. Initiative 1033 represents a radical change in the way the state and all 39 counties and 281 cities would do business. Eyman says that any revenue above this year’s recession spending level, used as the base, must go to help property owners pay their property taxes.

    Eyman says this is a higher priority than helping educate our children, supporting colleges, hiring new police or firemen, keeping libraries and parks open, repairing roads and bridges or anything our state and local government has been doing since our state was formed.

    As if this wasn’t bad enough, I-1033 makes our current tax system even more regressive, shifting more of the tax burden onto those with lower income. The problem is that only those that own property get rebates under I-1033. And the size of the rebate is not dependent on the sales taxes or other fees you pay but only on the amount of property you own. Last year sales taxes made up 57% of state revenue.

    Not everyone owns property. Some 35% of households in the state are renters. So the real losers under I-1033 are renters and seniors and working families that own no property.

    The winners – rich property owners, including corporations and shopping malls and real estate developers. Some 40% of the property tax rebate will go to commercial real estate.

    Do you think that taxes paid by people who don’t own property should go to help pay real estate taxes for Boeing or Kemper Freeman’s Bellevue Square Mall? Because that’s what I-1033 says your sales tax dollars will be used for.

    Vote No on I-1033 and stop this transfer of wealth to rich property owners.

  5. In other election related news, the Beacon Hill Blog just got a shoutout in the latest McGinn campaign news release.

    Here’s the last few lines from the release I just got in my inbox:

    The Beacon Hill Blog, after attending the Jefferson Community Center town hall, wrote that “attending a McGinn event is a refreshing change from closely-managed rallies with talking points.”

    (the link to the release full release is: http://mcginnformayor.com/2009/10/our-campaign-trail-through-seattle/ )

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