It’s a bit of tradition for FederalWayan to indicate how we intend to vote in upcoming elections. This one should come as little surprise, but for completeness’ sake, here goes.
FederalWayan supports a straight Democratic ticket. The top candidates of our concern:
Like no one else that has run in this election cycle, Obama is the first and only 21st Century candidate. Unfettered by outmoded ideas, not pressed into a mold of a previous presidency, not tied to a failed system of policies, and with a forward-looking perspective that sees to an America beyond racial, class, and even political lines. While his opponent tacitly harvests the vote of the ever-divisive, Obama engenders not just hope, but unity; and inspires people to take ownership of their country. The greatest presidents are defined by those that inspired and unified; not by those that divided and conquered.
Even before being governor, as state attorney general, Gregoire placed Regular Joe far ahead of big business. As governor, she kept the state’s economy strong after being injured by an early teaser of a national recession and bust, without resulting in devastating cuts to government services. While that recession may seem pale in respect to what might be forthcoming, that fact makes it even more critical to retain such governing going forward. Gregoire places individual social freedoms and needs ahead of the interests of padded pockets, and to eliminate that for the alternative is to pretend that “change” doesn’t mean anything.
To repair our state’s schools (and Federal Way’s) will need a non-entrenched, non-complacent leader to focus the state’s education efforts and standards. Passive acknowledgement of an imperfect system won’t do anymore. Far from passive, Dorn is an enthusiastic voice for reform in the state’s education system, but not only that, he’s a knowledgeable everyman who has been on the ground in that system as well.
Skip Priest converted an early mayorship of Federal Way — during the years of a miniature city Republican Revolution that saw most city founders quickly unseated and now mostly long forgotten — into a state representative seat. This year, joining fellow Republicans like Dino Rossi, he wants people to think of him as a nice friendly local guy who transcends politics — and ignore his actual record of voting like nearly every other Republican congressman in the state legislature. With little else to run on except for name recognition in a city where it is excruiciatingly hard to unseat an incumbent, we have an alternative in rising star Gregory, who has stirred up the local Democrats into an eager bunch behind her campaign, running on a credentialed platform of education reform and job development, instead of photo ops of a too-well-known face.
INITIATIVES AND PROPOSALS
Sound Transit Proposition 1: YES
Light rail now, light rail forever, light rail yesterday would be even better. Roads — even roads packed with more and more magical silver-bullet buses — won’t solve any transportation problems. Light rail is always popular wherever it has been placed; no opponent of Seattle metro light rail can name one instance in the past 60 years where a light rail system has fallen out of widespread use. Forecasts will tell you no one will want to use it; but faced with dealing with difficult traffic and unpredictable buses, a dedicated transit system will become increasingly popular. Once it’s built, and becomes a regular part of transit options, you’ll find that instead of being reviled; it’ll be in demand throughout the region. And Federal Way should be part of that system. Prop 1 doesn’t go nearly far enough nearly quickly enough in doing that; but saying no to light rail expansion — again — won’t make it come any faster.
Initiative 985: NO
The name “Eyman” associated with any initiative will immediately lower my expectations. Overall, I have no love of red light cameras, but if they do serve as a valuable deterrent, Eyman’s latest travesty will lead to their decline and probable removal. Beyond that, an illogical and unresearched mandate on HOV hour limits has no effective purpose (opening carpool lanes to traffic during times they are theoretically not even necessary) other than thumbing his nose at state transportation. While some may applaud the idea of making sure that highway incomes only go to highway expenses, a holistic metropolitan transportation approach does not make such rigid limitations, as there is more than one way to skin a congestion cat.
Initiative 1000: YES
People who have limited time left in their life should not be forced by law to spend their last days of life either in severe pain, or in a debilitating helpless condition. Those who read the actual text of the initiative — as I did — will note the explicit language and careful rules of the proposed program takes it miles away from the nightmare scenarios presented by those who wish to selfishly and autocratically enforce their individual morals (more strongly held among the perfectly healthy) on the terminally ill.
Initiative 1029: NO
Proponents of the bill make the sensible point that, taken in comparison to regulations for hairdressers and dog groomers, the requirements for a home care provider are much smaller — but not, mind you, nonexistent. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the requirements for home care providers need to be jacked up to be in line with them. We can live with less hairdressers, manicurists, and dog groomers; but not everyone can live without a home care provider. Certainly the regulations we have among these trades is a little out of whack — but if so, I’d be more willing to advocate lowering those other standards rather than jacking up those for (and thereby limiting the availability of) home care providers. There will always be isolated incidents of horror stories of untrustworthy home care providers, but we do not have an epidemic of irresponsible home care providers torturing our old people. Better that our seniors have easy access home care rather than be forced to live alone without assistance, or in expensive facilities.
King County Amendment 1: NO
It would be conflict of interest, I think, for the director of elections to be directly elected. Better that the person in charge of making sure our elections are run well, fairly, and securely not have to also be part of the system. Perhaps with a single term limit, this would be more reasonable. But unlike, say, a city mayor, the elections director doesn’t represent anyone or anything, or make decisions that affect the public sphere, but is simply an administrator who needs to run a serious and focused operation of an important democratic engine.
King County Amendment 2: YES
You should not be allowed to fire someone because they are gay (or not gay) or because they act in a manner not typical for their biology. This proposal makes the county follow that principle.
King County Amendment 4: NO
Making it more difficult for citizens to enter government is not a democratic principle, any more than poll taxes or reading tests to vote are. I don’t approve of requiring any sort of arbitrary set of credentials to hold public office. If the people can’t be trusted to make good decisions, then democracy is a failure. Assuming that it is not, then the people do not need to have their candidates pre-filtered by the government they are trying to get them into. Often, those who are not entrenched in established circles do a far better job in government than do those who have been vetted by a self-important professional old boy’s club.
King County Amendment 7: NO
Again, we do not need higher arbitrary hurdles to climb for entering the democratic process. Washington has a proud citizen initiative tradition; it should be maintained and made more open rather than more prohibitive.
King County Amendment 8: NO
I am opposed to nonpartisan elections. I think we need less nonpartisan elections, not more. Some are convinced of the notion that they can determine who will govern best based on what character they can pretend to glean from a political campaign. As a result, instead of being able to vote for values you support, campaigns are run based on who is (or appears to be) the nicer guy rather than who has the best ideas and who is best likely to support your principles in the decision making role of governing. Charismatic people do not necessarily lead to good government or good policies; charisma alone is not enough. Party identification (and endorsement) is a generally reliable gauge of whether they will govern in way that you likely to approve of; even when it isn’t, it is a good gauge of who is more likely to.