2018 General Election Endorsements

These are our recommendations for Whatcom County voters in the 2018 general election.  Want more information on ALL candidates? We’re updating this (linked) document with everything we find! 

How did we decide who to endorse?  We thought you’d never ask!  Click through for more information.

Candidates

42nd District Senate

Pinky Vargas

42nd District Representative

Sharon Shewmake

Justin Boneau

40th LD Representative

Debra Lekanoff

Whatcom County Prosecutor

Eric Richey

Whatcom County Council

Carol Frazey

 

Ballot Measures

YES on I-940 – de-escalation training for law enforcement

YES on I-1631 – carbon pollution fee

NO on I-1634 – bans taxes on soda

YES on I-1639 – reduce assault weapons violence

YES on City of Bellingham proposition 2018-5 – low income housing levy (Bellingham Home Fund)

 

 

 

Let’s Flip the 42nd in 2018!

The Riveters Collective is doing it! We have ONE goal for the 2018 campaign season: FLIP THE 42nd DISTRICT by increasing voter turnout with a proven strategy We need to raise $21k!  STAT!

DONATE HERE: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/riveterspac

DETAILS:

Pledge-to-Vote Campaign to Flip the 42nd LD

We will go door to door to ask low turnout voters to pledge to vote. They fill out a postcard promising to vote, we mail it back to them so it arrives with their ballot. The front of the postcard recommends voting for RC-endorsed candidates (Pinky Vargas, Sharon Shewmake, Justin Boneau, Eric Richey and Carol Frazey), initiatives (Yes On 1631, No on I-1634 (endorsement in-process), and Yes on 1639) and the Bellingham Home Fund.  Research has shown that pledge to vote campaigns are more effective than traditional get out the vote strategies, and no other local campaign is targeting infrequent voters. Our goal is to turn out 2,000-3,000 votes that would not have otherwise been cast. Our postcard will include our voting recommendations so that these votes go to our candidates.

Riveters Collective is the only organization doing this work in the 42nd. These are votes that otherwise wouldn’t show up in this election and they could be the difference between winning or having Doug Ericksen (and Vincent Buys and Luanne Van Werven) back in Olympia. This will bring the turnout we need to win. We expect to spend $21k on printing, postage and staffing for this effort.

Want to volunteer?  Send us an email at riveterscollective@gmail.com, we’ll be in touch in September.

Thanks to Becky Kurle at Liet Unlimited for design work.  We now have tens of thousands of these beauties on hand.

***UPDATE: When we initially published this post, we had two goals, the second being to prompt the PDC to clarify that childcare is an allowable campaign expense.  Since we planned our campaign season activities, the PDC added this to their guidelines!  Given that this goal is now met, we will focus entirely on flipping the 42nd district.***

2018 Endorsement Process

Riveters Collective 2018 Endorsement Process and Information

  • Riveters Collective has Washington Nonprofit Corporation status, which allows electoral activity, including endorsements.
  • RC Member Jae Heidenreich volunteered to be the Endorsements Committee Chair.
  • RC recruited endorsement committee members by an open call to members through Facebook and email.
    • RC excluded anyone from the committee who had already begun working on a campaign, is a candidate for a local office, or has a formal leadership role in a major political party. For this reason, RC board members Lisa McShane and Stephen Jackson were excluded from the Endorsement Committee, and abstained from involvement in the process.  Michael Peñuelas began working on Tim Ballew’s campaign halfway through the endorsement process and excluded himself from participating in the 42nd district senate race endorsement work. Elizabeth Hartsoch and Eowyn Savela supported the committee’s work, but did not serve on the committee. Elizabeth actively worked on the campaigns of Tim Ballew and Carol Frazey, and excluded herself from assisting the committee’s work on the 42nd district senate race and the county council race.
    • Eleven people responded to the call, met the criteria, completed the application and were appointed to the endorsement committee.  Three of the eleven committee members, also serve on the RC board: Lisa Van Doren, Michael Peñuelas, and Towhee Wean. The other committee members were: Jae Heidenreich, Arlene Feld, Julie Batten (who had to resign from the committee early for personal reasons), Debbi Anderson-Frey, Galen Herz, Amy Rydel, Mehar Singh, and Maggie Davis-Bower.
  • Endorsement committee members formed sub-groups to work on the six different positions.
  • Recognizing that the RC leadership team and endorsement committee are not sufficiently representative of the larger community–and more importantly the more marginalized and vulnerable members of the community–and recognizing that many local progressive groups are prohibited from making candidate endorsements, RC solicited feedback from groups representing diverse interests.  We received and incorporated input from Recreation Northwest, Susan Marks, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, the Lummi Nation, Racial Justice Coalition, Gender Diversity, Bellingham Tenants Union, and NAMI Whatcom.
  • The Endorsement Committee built questionnaires based on responses from community groups and RC’s platform.
  • The RC board invited the following candidates to participate in our endorsement process:
    • All progressive candidates who filed to run for 40th district representative, 42nd district representative, 42nd district senator, and Whatcom County prosecutor.
    • All candidates who filed to run for Whatcom County council (except Eric Bostrom, due to his hateful and discriminatory public statements and actions).
  • Final questionnaires were shared on the RC website and in the facebook group.
  • Declared candidates were sent RC endorsement questionnaires on May 10th and others were sent at the end of filing week.  Questionnaires were due May 25th.
  • The endorsement committee developed a rubric to rate how well each candidate’s questionnaire responses aligned with the RC platform.
  • The endorsement committee developed candidate interview questions and rubrics.
  • Eleven candidates submitted materials to the endorsement committee by the May 25th deadline.
  • The endorsement committee interviewed candidates June 4-7.  The interviews were recorded on video and will be made available to the public, along with the questionnaire responses.
  • Each endorsement committee member scored candidate written and interview responses.
  • Following extensive conversation, the endorsement committee recommended endorsements  to the RC Board on June 10th.
  • The RC Board used the recommendation of the endorsement committee to vote on the final endorsements.

 

2018 Primary Candidate Endorsements

Riveters Collective 2018 Endorsed Candidates

Whatcom County Council

Carol Frazey

Whatcom County Prosecutor

Eric Richey

40th LD Representative

Debra Lekanoff

Alex Ramel

42nd District Representative

Justin Boneau

Sharon Shewmake

42nd District Senate

Tim Ballew II

Pinky Vargas

 

We have a cheat sheet for you! Click on the image below to download a shareable image for social media.

 

Want to know a little more about these candidates and why we chose them? Click here to read their questionnaire responses, along with the responses of several other candidates whom we interviewed.

Click here to view our candidate info sheet for all local candidates.

Click here to view a summary of the endorsement committee’s impression of each candidate who sought our endorsement.

Cover photo credit: Kjersten Hayes

Policy on Ethical Behavior for Campaigns

Our endorsement process is underway! This is one of the main ways that our collective shows solidarity with a specific candidate or issue. In other words, an endorsement is our way of saying “Hey, we like your vision for our community, we want to align ourselves with the actions you will take to achieve that vision, and we respect the way you conduct yourself as a candidate.” If you haven’t checked out the questionnaires – find them on our site!

In that vein, we think it’s important to be clear and open about our zero-tolerance policy for some behaviors. These are behaviors that will automatically disqualify a candidate from being eligible for, or may result in the withdrawal of a Riveters’ endorsement.  If a candidate or affiliated campaign employee, consultant or volunteer:

  • Engages in sexual harassment or sexual abuse;
  • Makes hateful or negative comments based on race, gender, sexuality, ability, or any other personal characteristic;
  • Engages in clearly unethical, illegal, or manipulative behavior.

We believe in a political environment and community where people are respectful of one another. We believe in a political environment and community where people are free to be themselves without fear of harm. We will work for a future that reflects those values. We will stand with candidates who believe in that same future. We are doing it!

RC 2017 Endorsement Process

Riveters Collective 2017 Endorsement Process and Information

  • Riveters Collective has Washington Nonprofit Corporation status, which allows electoral activity, including endorsements.
  • The RC Board voted to do endorsements on April 13, 2017.
  • RC Member Susan Wood volunteered to be the Endorsements Committee Chair.
  • RC recruited endorsement committee members by an open call to members through Facebook and email.
    • RC excluded anyone from the committee who had already begun working on a campaign, is a candidate for a local office, or has a leadership role in a major political party. For this reason, RC board members Lisa McShane, Stephen Jackson and Jenn Mason were excluded from the Endorsement Committee, and abstained from involvement in the process.  Board members Elizabeth Hartsoch and Eowyn Savela supported the committee’s work, but did not serve on the committee.
    • 11 people responded to the call, met the criteria, and were appointed to the Endorsements Committee.  One of the 11 committee members, Lisa Van Doren, also serves on the RC board.
    • Recognizing that the RC leadership team and endorsement committee are not sufficiently representative of the larger community–and more importantly the more marginalized and vulnerable members of the community–and recognizing that many local progressive groups are prohibited from making candidate endorsements, RC solicited feedback from groups representing diverse interests.
    • The Endorsement Committee built questionnaires off of these responses and RC’s progressive mission. The questionnaires were shared with the RC Facebook group and were amended based on the solicited feedback.
  • All candidates who filed for open positions on the Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Port of Bellingham Commission, or Bellingham Public School Board were contacted with an invitation to request the RC endorsement.  Final questionnaires were shared on the RC website and in the facebook group.
  • Candidates were sent RC endorsement questionnaires in mid-May, immediately after candidate filing week.
  • The Endorsement Committee met to develop candidate interview questions.
  • Eighteen candidates submitted materials to the endorsement committee by the May 30th deadline.
  • The Endorsement Committee interviewed candidate interviews June 5-7, 2017.  The committee declined to interview candidates in uncontested races, and declined to interview candidates whose values were fundamentally opposed to the values of the RC.  
  • All interview questions were asked in exactly the same manner to all candidates.
  • The Endorsements Committee considered questionnaire responses and interviews in making endorsement decisions. Following extensive conversation, the Endorsement Committee made their endorsement recommendations to the RC Board.
  • The RC Board formally voted to approve all endorsements as presented by the Endorsements Committee.

2017 Endorsed Candidates

***Riveters Collective *** 2017 Endorsed Candidates***

Bellingham City Council

Ward 4: Pinky Vargas

Ward 6: Michael Lilliquist

At-large: Roxanne Murphy 

 

Bellingham School Board

Position 4: Jenn Mason

                Teri Hill-McIntyre

                (Dual Endorsement)

Position 5: Douglas W. Benjamin  

 

Port of Bellingham

District 1: Michael Alvarez Shepard

District 2: Barry Wenger

 

Whatcom County Council

District 1: Rud Browne

District 2: Todd Donovan

District 3: Rebecca Boonstra

At-large: Barry Buchanan

 

We have a cheat sheet for you! Click on the image below to download a shareable image for social media.

 

Want to know a little more about these candidates and why we chose them? Click here to read their questionnaire responses, along with the responses of several other candidates whom we interviewed.

Cover photo credit: Kjersten Hayes

2017 Candidate Endorsement Questionnaires

The RC sent endorsement questionnaires to candidates on 19 May 2017.  Our endorsement committee is still hard at work, building rubrics for evaluation of responses and scheduling interviews.  You can see the questions linked below.

Introduction

Candidate Information

Bellingham City Council

Whatcom County Council

Port of Bellingham

Bellingham Public Schools