Elections Matter, Take Action by Voting!
The upcoming August primary election and the general election in November have the potential to chart a socially just and decisive course for our region for the next few years. It is imperative for all voters to cast their ballots, not just for themselves, but also on behalf of those who can’t vote.
Seattle voters will get to choose who will be on the ballot in November’s general election for mayor. It is a crowded field with many qualified candidates. Whoever is elected will face a growing homelessness crisis that might be getting worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic (United Way does not endorse candidates due to our status as a nonprofit).
The winner in November may also have to start the process of implementing a charter amendment proposed by Compassion Seattle if it is approved. The initiative has received enough signatures to be on the November ballot as well.
While United Way has not taken a position on the initiative, we support some of the mandates in it. However, we have serious concerns about some of the language in it and its dependency on bold action by the City Council and Mayor to implement it with funding and staff.
Additionally, the new mayor will need to set a direction for the city’s policing and whether and how to support defunding the department.
Too many people in our communities struggle with housing, education and financial stability—critical areas of United Way of King County’s work. Next week’s primary election includes King County’s Proposition 1, a renewal and expansion of the Best Starts for Kids levy.
Best Starts for Kids seeks to improve three key areas that affect our communities of color, who are disproportionately impacted by housing insecurity, lack of access to a quality education and poverty. The levy supports early childhood education, including ParentChild+, a United Way signature program that has already helped thousands of families.
BSK assists families with education, child care, improves access to health care, including mental health, and has provisions to support at-risk youth.
The BSK levy would increase the homeowner’s annual tax bill by between $28 and $45.
We fully support the BSK renewal and urge voters to vote to approve it.
King County voters outside of Seattle will have a slew of choices for the King County Council, and other cities will get to pick new council members and school board directors.
Whatever direction voters decide to go, it’s essential for everyone to participate in our democratic process and make our voices heard even in off-year elections like the upcoming ones in August and November.
Our votes are not just for us—they are also for those whose voices are overlooked. People who don’t have a home where they can get their ballots, refugees and other people who are not citizens depend on those of us who have the right to vote and our youth who are not yet old enough to vote.
These elections will shape the course of our region for years to come. Vote, and make your voice count!