Primary Election Endorsements 2019

***CLICK ON THE RACE TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

40th Legislative District

Whatcom County

Bellingham

Ferndale

 

Endorsement FAQ

General

Why does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • To support the candidates who will best advance our platform.
  • To build political power and relationships with elected officials.
  • To provide the community more information about candidates.

Why does Riveters Collective endorse in the primary election?

  • The RC endorsement process utilizes a committee rather than a vote of the members.  The committee has access to extensive information about the candidates gathered via in person and written interviews. Each position has questions carefully crafted by endorsement teams surrounding current issues and needs of each elected position.
  • Unlike the Whatcom Democrats endorsement, an RC endorsement is not tied to substantial resource access that provide a significant competitive advantage.
  • We want candidates who best align with our platform to win.  That means they need our support first in the primary election in order to make it to the general election.

How does being endorsed by Riveters Collective help candidates?

  • Endorsed candidates benefit from public support from RC, including social media and website posts, as well as volunteer support from RC members.
  • RC may choose to use PAC funds to print slate cards.
  • RC may choose to undertake an independent expenditure campaign through the PAC in support of endorsed candidates.
  • All candidates who participate in the RC endorsement process will have their questionnaires and interviews shared publicly.

In which races does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • RC endorses in local races, from school board up to state legislators.  We focus primarily on races in Whatcom County and Bellingham, but will endorse in smaller cities and Skagit and San Juan counties as our endorsement committee capacity allows.

 

Process

How are members of the endorsement committee selected?

  • We posted the web-form application for the committee to our Facebook group and page, sent to our email list, tweeted and instagrammed.
  • 19 people applied to be on the committee and we invited all of them to join.  One person was not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.
  • Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee March-early June.
    -Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    -Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.

How does the endorsement committee evaluate candidates?

  • The committee is tasked with identifying which candidates will best advance the vision described in the 2019 Riveters Collective platform. We ask them to attempt to endorse one candidate in each race, but dual endorsements or no endorsement is allowed at their discretion.
  • Candidates are evaluated based on their responses to questions about campaign viability, issues and experience questions, and an in-person interview.  The committee scores how well their responses map to the RC platform, but is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.

How should candidates seek endorsement from Riveters Collective?

  • After filing closes, the committee will send an invitation to be considered for endorsement including instructions and a questionnaire to all candidates.  The endorsement committee may decide to exclude candidates with antithetical views. We use the email address provided by the candidate and available on the county auditor’s page.
  • To be considered for endorsement, the candidate should complete the candidate information sheet and the written questionnaire, and email them to riveterscollective@gmail.com prior to the deadline. Candidates returning their written questionnaire before the deadline will be invited to schedule an interview.  Candidates seeking our endorsement are also required to use a code of conduct in their campaigns.

How does the endorsement committee decide what questions to ask candidates?

  • Typically, the committee wants to ask each candidate 30 questions, but we ask them to narrow the list to 10. That requires negotiation and tough decisions.
  • Race subcommittees meet in person and online multiple times to formulate questions for each race that relate to the RC platform. Once drafted, the wider committee is invited to review and make comments/suggestions on each race’s questions.

How does the endorsement committee decide which candidates to recommend for endorsement?

  • Committee members score replies to the written questionnaire and in-person interview based on a rubric, outlining higher scores for ideal answers based on the Riveter’s platform of ideals.
  • The committee is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.
  • At the committee’s final meeting, they discuss and decide the final recommendations they will make to the the RC board of directors.

What about dual endorsements?

  • Since the goal is to provide clear guidance to voters, we ask the committee to use dual endorsements sparingly.  
  • Still, we’ve had one dual endorsement each year we’ve endorsed.

How is the final endorsement decision made?

  • The endorsement committee presents recommendations to the board of directors.
  • Usually the board votes to endorse all recommended candidates, but it is possible for the board to vote in a way that’s inconsistent with a committee recommendation.

Can an endorsement be revoked?

  • Revoking an endorsement requires a vote of the RC board of directors.  The directors will consult the endorsement committee chair prior to such a vote.
  • We would consider revoking for a code of conduct violation, if we learned that the candidate had intentionally falsified their endorsement materials, or other unethical or inconsistent behavior on the part of the candidate, at the discretion of the directors.

 

Campaign Training for Everyone Resources

Whether or not you attended our Campaign Training for All event, here are some links to help you make your make your campaign inclusive and get started on the right track.

Inclusivity

ASL Voter Assistance Hotline:
https://www.nad.org/asl-voter-hotline/

Communicating with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person:
https://dhcc.org/dhcc-outreach/communication-info/

Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaign Staff:
https://www.ncil.org/campaign-guide/

Issues that matter to Disability Community:
https://www.aapd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-REV-UP-Issues-Guide-Print.pdf

Getting started

WA Secretary of State guide for candidates https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/candidates/state-candidates-guide-2019.pdf

NGPVan How to Run for Local Office https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/661521/How%20to%20Run%20for%20Local%20Office.pdf

WA Democrats Rise and Run resources:
https://www.wa-democrats.org/riseandrun

2019 Code of Conduct & Ethical Behavior Policy

Civic spaces should be welcoming and safe for all members of our community, and the Riveters Collective is committed to systemic change toward this goal.  Campaigns – as pop-up, temporary, high-intensity workplaces – are especially vulnerable to abuses of power. In 2018, the Riveters Collective PAC Pledge to Vote Campaign followed the lead of Tim Ballew II’s campaign for state senate (led by Tim Ballew II’s 2018 State Senate campaign, written by Tim’s field manager, Michael Peñuelas) in requiring all campaign workers sign a code of conduct, and in designating external reporting contacts.

In 2019, implementing a code of conduct will be a prerequisite for any campaign to be endorsed by the Riveters Collective. To make this easy for campaigns, we’ve provided a model code. We will accept a campaign’s code of conduct provided it meets the following criteria.

  • Asking all candidates, paid staff and contractors to commit to a workplace that is free of harassment, bullying or intimidation;

  • Making this code of conduct visible to volunteers;

  • A zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment;

  • And importantly, identifies a point person, aside from campaign leadership, who can be contacted with concerns.

Beyond our endorsement process, we have advanced this issue by proposing and passing a similar requirement for the Whatcom Democrats endorsement process, and we are working with people at the state level to implement codes of conduct at a state-wide level.

Endorsement Process 2019

Follow along here as we share each step of our endorsement process.  We will update this post from now until we announce our endorsements in June.

June

  • Candidate interviews were held the first week of June, 32 in total!  Interviews were recorded via Facebook live.
  • Committee members scored the interviews using rubrics and discussed the candidates.
  • At the end of interview week, the committee discussed all of the candidates and decided on their final recommendations to the board.
  • The committee presented their recommendations to the board on Monday, June 10th.
  • The board voted unanimously to endorse as recommended by the committee.  Note: Kris Lytton and Michael Peñuelas abstained from voting on endorsements in the 40th legislative district Senate race.  Beth Hartsoch, Eowyn Savela, and Suzanne Munson abstained from voting in the Bellingham City Council Ward 1 race.

May

  • We asked Dena Jensen to research incumbents’ records to see how they compare to the Riveters Collective platform.  We tasked Dena with identifying top three and bottom three positions/decisions for anyone running who has previously held public office, no matter if they are running for a different position this election.  This is a big job and we know info may be difficult to find for some positions, but we think it is worth attempting.
  • Questionnaires were prepped for distribution to candidates.
  • Subcommittees met to work on rubrics.
  • Questionnaires were posted on our website on May 13th and emailed to candidates on May 17th.  Candidates must return completed questionnaires by May 24th to be considered for endorsement.
  • The committee reviewed and scored the questionnaires.  Unfortunately, no candidates from Blaine or Lynden returned questionnaires.
  • Dena reported in that it was challenging-to-insurmountable to accomplish the task we gave her in a fair way.  Instead, she proposed she serve as a researcher to verify or look up electeds’ records as requested by the committee.

April

  • The full committee met again to share progress on question development and learn how to make rubrics that will allow them to score how well question responses align with our platform.
  • Subcommittees finalized questions and started to build the rubrics.

March

  • 19 people applied to be on the committee and we invited all of them to join.  One person was not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.  Committee members: Alex Ramel, Alicia Rule, Amanda Zimmerman, Colleen Harper, Darlene Giblin, Debbi Anderson-Frey, Eddy Ury, Jennifer Wright, Kris Lytton, Krystal Rodriguez, Lisa Van Doren, Loretta Sheldon, Maggie Davis-Bower, Margie Overhauser, Mehar Singh, Misty Manherz, Rosalinda Guillen, Sarabeth Bede, Stephanie Allen, and Stephanie McDonald.
  • The committee met for the first time to get to know each other, learn some background of Riveters Collective and learn why we make endorsements, discuss the races and decide which races we can cover, decide who will work on which races, discuss writing questions and using rubrics to rate answers against the Riveters Collective platform, and learn about the online collaboration tools we use to work.
  • The committee divided into subcommittees working on Blaine and Lynden races, Ferndale races, Bellingham races, and Whatcom County races.  The subcommittees worked to research positions and draft questions based on our platform for the written questionnaires and interviews.

February

  • We asked Riveters Collective board members and endorsement committee veterans Debbi Anderson-Frey and Lisa Van Doren to chair the committee.  We also invited Alicia Rule from Blaine to co-chair to help us expand our endorsement capacity to the smaller cities.
  • We asked for input to help plan which races we should endorse include in our endorsements.
  • Our endorsement committee consists of volunteers from the community. We used a Google form to recruit endorsement committee members and shared it in our Facebook group, on our Facebook page, to our mailing list, and on our other social media channels. Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee March-early June.
    -Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    -Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.