Well it’s Election Day and polls close at 8pm. Find your nearest ballot box here or drop it in the mail box in time to get postmarked today. No postage necessary this year. There’s no rule against procrastination. Get that ballot in.
Here how The Urbanist Election Board landed in our endorsements:
- Yes on I-1631 – Carbon Pollution Fee that invests in clean energy
- Yes on 1-1639 – Gun Safety
- Yes on 1-940 – Police Accountability
- Adam Smith for 9th Congressional District – “Rep. Smith spoke in depth about a federal approach to preventing sprawl and making sure our communities are connected through robust transportation. He supports a higher capital gains tax on all real estate, nationwide inclusionary zoning, and phasing out the home mortgage interest deduction.”
- No endorsement in LD21 – ” Even with his car tab chicanery, urbanists probably will end up holding their noses and voting for Strom Peterson in Legislative District 21A. But we’re not telling you to be excited about it.”
- Melanie Morgan for LD29A – “[Morgan’s] personal experience and perspective is that of someone who values affordable housing, public transit, and equity in education.”
- Victoria Mena for LD31A – “Victoria Mena absolutely nailed our questionnaire. She opposes cuts to Sound Transit 3 budget and supports “massively” increasing the funding for the state Housing Trust Fund, I-1631 (and further climate action), and safe bicycling infrastructure.”
- Rebecca Saldaña for LD37 – “The Urbanist is excited to endorse Rebecca Saldaña in her race for State Senate in the 37th district. Saldaña has been a champion for issues we care about, such as affordable housing and transportation. Prior to her first election, she led Puget Sound Sage and pushed Seattle to pursue land value capture via a linkage fee. Over time and through negotiation, that effort morphed into inclusionary zoning and the Seattle for Everyone coalition. Without Puget Sound Sage’s political organizing, none of that would’ve happened and she deserves an immense amount of credit.”
- Nicole Macri for LD43A – “In the midst of a housing and homelessness crisis in communities across Washington with people struggling to pay their rents or mortgages, Macri was at the forefront of legislative efforts that yielded the most resources to address these problems in over ten years. As prime sponsor of a bill that included the biggest increase in funding for homeless and housing assistance providing $27 million in new resources annually, Macri intends to further her efforts in the 2019 session.”
- Vote Yes on Shoreline Proposition 1 to Fund Sidewalks
- Vote Yes on Intercity Transit Proposition 1 in Thurston County
- Vote Yes on Lewis County’s Twin Transit Expansion
Nationally, progressives are anxiously anticipating a Blue Wave, but polls are close enough that nobody is certain, especially after 2016 polling proved misleading. Political activists are taking nothing for granted.
For issues related to urbanism new political faces in Congress, in local legislative bodies and in governor seats would likely prove most welcome. It’s clear the Republican party doesn’t believe in transit, especially under Trump; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao won’t even route previously secured funds to transit agencies, let alone approve new grants. And of course bike infrastructure is a perennial conservative punching bag as if that’s where all the transportation money is going. [Hint: It’s still cars.]
While Matt Yglesias suggested Republican governors like Maryland’s Larry Hogan and Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker are popular in Blue States because voters in these states prefer the status quo and a conservative check on their Democrat legislatures, we should push back against this complacency. One of Hogan’s signature initiatives is a massive freeway widening effort. We can do better.