Municipal Elections--What's Up?
Dear Group, The municipal Primary Election due date is August 6, just four weeks from tomorrow. Ballots will appear in mailboxes in just a little over two weeks. In Spokane, we will select those who will appear on the General Election ballot in November for the positions of Mayor (head of the executive branch of city government), City Council President (head of the legislative branch of city government), three of the six city council seats, and several school board members.* It's time to start doing your homework. See who and what are on your particular ballot and check out voters' guide statements at MyVote.wa.gov. These elections are important. The outcome will strongly influence the function of the communities in which we live. On top of that, these are often the positions from which candidates are later attracted to state and federal positions. It behooves us to pay close attention. These are nominally non-partisan races. What that means in our current partisan environment is only this: there is no statement on the ballot for each candidate that says "Prefers ____ Party." That makes it harder for voters who subscribe to an ideology rather than the particulars of a candidate. However, in the current partisan climate a quick visit to a candidate's website or listening to a stump speech ought to make partisan leanings abundantly clear. Researching these candidates is time-consuming...and it comes just as we're all trying to enjoy the summer (before smoke season). But understand this: These summer, off-off year elections suffer from apathy and low ballot turn-in (what is elsewhere called "turnout"). The results of the voting can express the opinions of just the zealots, leaving us in November with irritating choices. In addition, how candidates do in the August Primary affects campaign donations and voter perceptions for the General Election in November. We have no right to complain if we don't do our research and vote. Where to start? The League of Women Voters provided the links I've copied below. They make it easy to see the candidate forums the League has held. Watching them as videos is a great way to shorten your study time by using the option to skip around and re-play as needed. I plan to watch and comment on several of these videos over the next few weeks, but don't wait for me. Watch them. Then talk with friends and neighbors about your impressions. If you wonder which City Council District you live in check out MyVote.wa.gov or, for the broader map view, click here. Recently, the League of Women Voters sponsored the 2019 Primary Candidates Forum (June 25th and 27th) and we wanted to share with the full membership opportunities to watch the activity. Videos Spokane Mayor Spokane City Council President Spokane City Council District #1, Position #1 Northeast Spokane Spokane City Council District #2, Position #1 South Spokane Spokane City Council District #3, Position #1 West Spokane Spokane School District #81 School Board Television https://my.spokanecity.org/citycable5/schedule (This links to CityCable5's schedule Spokane LWV Website (under What's New) http://lwvspokane.org/New.html Keep to the high ground, Jerry *The City of Spokane has had a "Strong Mayor" form of government since 2000, a governance structure similar to state and federal governments with an executive and legislative branch. Here's the link to the current City of Spokane city council roster. It also shows a map of the districts. The City of Spokane Valley's governance structure is "Council Manager" with the Mayor essentially the chairman of the council. In Spokane Valley three of the seven city council positions are at stake in this year's election. Here's the roster of current officials in Spokane Valley.