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City of Vancouver

General ELECTION: November 6th, 2018

The Washington Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

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Statewide Ballot Measures

Initiative #1631

Vote YES for Jobs and Clean Energy

Initiative 1631 is our best opportunity to accelerate clean energy solutions and build healthier communities for everyone in Washington.

This initiative will charge our state’s largest corporate polluters a fee that will be used to create local jobs by investing in clean energy, healthy forests, and clean water. I-1631 is essential to pass a clean and healthy Washington on to future generations. It will create 40,000 jobs by investing in water and forestry projects, energy efficiency, and clean transportation. These investments are a practical first step to ensure clean air and clean water for everyone in Washington. These will look different in every community, from energy efficiency upgrades for our homes and businesses to keeping our forests healthy so they clean our air and investing in cleaner transportation options for more communities.

The oil industry is spending tens of millions of dollars to confuse voters about I-1631 so they can continue polluting for free and raking in record profits. We can't wait any longer to act. Vote YES on I-1631.

Campaign Information

Initiative #1634

Vote NO on I-1634

Initiative 1634 would prevent cities and counties in Washington from passing new taxes on sugary beverages. Such taxes are aimed at discouraging people from buying sweetened drinks that have been linked to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and tooth decay.

I-1634 is backed primarily by millions of dollars from a handful of big soda companies. It also has support from some labor unions that represent workers whose jobs could be impacted by soda taxes. The campaign’s highly deceptive ads focus on grocery taxes despite the fact that groceries have been exempt from sales taxes since 1977.

Progressive advocates oppose efforts like this to use state laws to prevent localities from taking action that’s right for their communities. In recent years, Republican legislators have sought to use similar legislation to reverse Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and progressive paid sick leave laws in Tacoma and Spokane.

We’re sympathetic to the concerns of union workers in the beverage industry and we agree that our tax system is upside-down and disproportionately hurts low-income families. However, we don’t think that preempting local legislation that taxes sugary drinks is the way to fix it.

Don’t be fooled by Big Soda’s misleading ads. Vote NO on I-1634.

Progressive Opponents

WA Federation of State Employees, The Stranger, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Children’s Alliance, El Centro de La Raza

Campaign Information

Initiative #1639

Vote YES to Reduce Gun Violence

Initiative 1639 is the most comprehensive gun violence prevention measure put forward in Washington state history. It's a commonsense initiative that will reduce gun violence and keep our schools and communities safe. I-1639 would raise the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles from 18 to 21 and require enhanced background checks and safety training for purchasing these particularly lethal weapons. It will also incentivize secure storage of all firearms by holding gun owners accountable if a child or other legally prohibited person uses their weapon to harm themselves or someone else.

Someone is killed with a gun in Washington state every 14 hours and more than 200,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine. Unfortunately, the gun lobby has prevented our elected officials from acting to prevent it, so we'll do it ourselves. Vote YES on I-1639 to keep our schools and communities safe.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Initiative #940

Vote YES for Police Accountability

Last year, more people in Washington were killed in encounters with law enforcement than in 45 other states, and almost one-third of them were experiencing a mental health crisis. Initiative 940 would improve de-escalation, first aid, and mental health crisis training for law enforcement and help save lives.

Currently, officers are only required to receive eight hours of "crisis intervention training." Initiative 940 would ensure that every officer receives extensive training and continuing education in de-escalating potential confrontations. The primary goal is preventing tragedies in the first place, but when a tragedy does occur Initiative 940 would also create a fair and independent investigation process and bring our use of force standard in line with 27 other states.

Vote YES on Initiative 940 to improve training for law enforcement and help save lives.

Campaign Information

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #19

Maintain Funding for Oil Spill Prevention

A bipartisan group of legislators passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6269 to fund oil spill prevention and cleanup. The legislation directs the Department of Ecology to improve prevention for oil spills in Puget Sound, as well as around oil refineries, railroads, and pipelines. This bill was funded by a $0.05 tax per 42-gallon barrel of oil used by boats and marine terminals.

Because of a Tim Eyman initiative the Legislature is required to submit any bill it passes that closes tax loopholes or raises revenue to a non-binding advisory vote. Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 19.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters


U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell

Maria Cantwell photo
Senator Maria Cantwell was first elected in 2000 and continues to represent our state's progressive values in our nation's capital. Sen. Cantwell has been a leader on a wide range of issues including reproductive rights, supporting the Children's Health Insurance Program, defending net neutrality, passing oil spill legislation to protect our water, working on clean energy policies, and many more.

Sen. Cantwell is opposed by Republican Susan Hutchison. Hutchison is a former news anchor and past chair of the state Republican Party. She ran for King County Executive in 2009 and lost by twenty points. Hutchison is well-known for being a party-line Republican and for her fierce defense of President Donald Trump, including calling fellow Republican Ted Cruz a "traitor" for not supporting the president's campaign.

Sen. Cantwell has been a tenacious advocate for the people of Washington state and is the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

3rd Congressional District

U.S. Representative, 3rd Congressional District

Carolyn Long

Carolyn Long photo
Democratic Carolyn Long is an associate professor at the School of Politics at WSU Vancouver. Her platform includes protecting the health care of those with preexisting conditions, stabilizing the Affordable Care Act, and providing effective health care for those with addiction and mental illnesses. She is also prioritizing treating gun violence like a public health crisis, caring for veterans, reforming the tax code to make it fairer for middle-class families, and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Long is running against incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, an extremely conservative Republican who has consistently sided with far-right members of her party on important issues. In particular, Rep. Herrera Beutler voted in favor of congressional Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy few.

Long is the best choice for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.

Campaign Information

17th Legislative District

State Representative, Position #1

Tanisha Harris

Tanisha Harris photo

Community leader Tanisha Harris is running for the 17th Legislative District House Position 1. Harris works with the Clark County YWCA helping guide families and others through the complicated court system. With more than 10 years of experience working in the Evergreen School District, Harris has been an outspoken advocate for working families struggling to make ends meet. If elected, Harris would fight to improve local health care options, protect abortion access, and work hard to support the people of Clark County.

Harris is running against Republican Rep. Vicki Kraft, who fought against progressive economic reforms like raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Rep. Kraft worked for the Freedom Foundation, a conservative anti-worker organization. Harris is the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

State Representative, Position #2

Damion E. Jiles, Sr.

Damion E. Jiles, Sr. photo

Democrat Damion Jiles, Sr. is running for the 17th Legislative District House Position 2. As a political newcomer, Jiles Sr. is running on three key issues: infrastructure, education, and health care. He believes that partisan politics has prevented the Legislature from fully serving the needs of Southwest Washington residents, including rebuilding the Interstate 5 bridge.

Jiles is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Harris, who opposes most progressive reforms, including fixing our state's upside-down tax code by closing wasteful tax loopholes for special interest groups. Jiles is the clear choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Campaign Information

Clark County

Clark County Assessor

Peter Van Nortwick

Peter Van Nortwick photo
There are no progressive choices in this race. First elected in 2010, incumbent Republican Peter Van Nortwick is running for reelection. Van Nortwick has focused on increasing efficiencies and streamlining the office's operations. While he's not progressive, Van Nortwick's re-election campaign has received support from local labor unions and he has publicly sought to maintain a positive relationship with his unionized staff.

Van Nortwick is being challenged by Army veteran and former economist Darren Wertz. Wentz is a three-term sitting Ridgefield city council member who has already run for this seat twice and lost. Wertz says that he is running because he wants to create a more responsive office that prioritizes the voices of homeowners.

Van Nortwick is the more reasonable choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Clark County Clerk

Barbara Melton

Barbara Melton photo
Democrat Barbara Melton is running for the position of Clark County Clerk. Melton has worked as a legal secretary in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for 17 years. Melton is running because she wants to reduce staff turnover in the Clerk’s office by creating a healthy work environment through effective management. A devoted union member, Melton has served as her union's shop steward and is currently serving her first term as president. If elected, Melton plans to continue efforts modernize the Clerk’s office and advocate for sustained funding for services that help residents navigate the court system.

Melton faces a competitive race against three-term incumbent Republican Scott Weber, who was first elected in 2010 when he ran on a platform of abolishing the Clerk’s office. Looking forward, Weber is focused on streamlining services and creating processes to make court documents more accessible.

It’s time for new leadership in the Clerk's office. Melton is the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Clark County Prosecuting Attorney

Tony Golik

Tony Golik photo
First elected as the County Prosecuting Attorney in 2010, Democrat Tony Golik brings with him more than 23 years of legal experience prosecuting major crimes and misdemeanors as a criminal justice attorney. Golik is the board chair of the Clark County Elder Justice Center and also serves as board co-chair of the Clark County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative. He seeks to improve legal services offered to survivors of domestic violence and works hard to identify ways to "keep youth in the community" when incarceration is not appropriate. Golik is unopposed and has earned another term in office.

Campaign Information

Clark County Treasurer

Alishia Topper

Alishia Topper photo
Vancouver City Councilmember Alishia Topper is running to replace retiring eight-term Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher. First elected to the city council in 2014, Topper is known for her record of leadership, public finance expertise, and commitment to public service. Currently, Topper is a full-time Tax Services Manager at the Clark County Treasurer’s Office where she manages the collection and billing of more than $792 million in revenue. In 2017, Topper was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, where she oversaw a multi-million dollar program that supported affordable housing tax credits. If elected, Topper will focus on streamlining outdated processes, modernizing taxpayer services, and working on legislation to reduce foreclosures.

Topper is opposed by nonpartisan candidate Robert Hinds, a market analyst and planning manager at HP who also chairs the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. Topper’s progressive vision and extensive experience in financial management makes her the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Clark County Council

Clark County Council, Council Chair

Eric Holt

Eric Holt photo
Eric Holt is a Precinct Committee Officer and vice-chair of the Washington State Progressive Caucus who, if elected, would be the only Democrat on the council. He is prioritizing creating more union jobs and living wage jobs. He recognizes that while unemployment is falling, the average renter in Clark County does not make enough to afford a studio apartment in a 40-hour workweek. He is also focused on protecting farmland from development and replacing the aging jail in order to provide additional mental health and substance abuse assistance. Holt also advocates for lifting the moratorium on marijuana in the county and fixing infrastructure issues.

Holt is running against real estate broker and Clark County councilmember Eileen Quiring. She is also a former planning commissioner for Clark County as well as a former state senator. Quiring's campaign is mostly crafted around fiscal responsibility, property rights, and fully funding law enforcement.

Holt is the best choice for Clark County Council.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Sierra Club
Other: 49th Legislative District Democratic Central Committee

Campaign Information

Clark County Council, District #1

Temple Lentz

Temple Lentz photo
Temple Lentz is the host and producer of Hello Vancouver, a live talk show in Southwest Washington. After a vote by Clark County residents in 2014, the county was mandated to establish a council-manager form of government, and Lentz was elected to the board of freeholders that worked on the new Home Charter Rule. She also currently serves on the Clark County Commission on Aging. If elected, Lentz is prioritizing attracting new jobs, building more middle- and low-income housing, building public-private partnerships to support the homeless, and supporting universal design that accommodates the elderly. Lentz also supports increasing density where appropriate to accommodate the county's growing housing needs.

Lentz is running against incumbent and former Vancouver city councilmember Jeanne Stewart. Stewart is a Republican who sometimes trends independent, earning ire and praise from both sides of the aisle on the county council. She voted against lifting the marijuana ban in Clark County in unincorporated areas. Though her website has not been updated for the current election, Stewart has stated in debates that she supports additional senior housing and preventative public health care.

Lentz, with her broad support from progressive groups, is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Sierra Club, Equal Rights Washington
Other: 18th Legislative District Democrats, Young Democrats of Clark County, Sierra Club - Loowit Group

Campaign Information

Clark County Council, District #2

No Good Choices Elisabeth Veneman

Elisabeth Veneman photo
There are no good choices in this race. Elisabeth Veneman is a deeply conservative candidate who worked on Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign. She does not support abortion access, even in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother's life. She also does not support light rail in the county and her homelessness and addiction platform consists of discouraging its symptoms instead of addressing the root causes.

Incumbent Republican Julie Olson sat on the Ridgefield School Board for eight years, including as president and vice president. Like her opponent, Olson holds very conservative views on women's health and LGBTQ rights. She previously opposed marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples and opposes abortion unless the mother's life is in danger.

Campaign Information

Court of Appeals, Division Two, District Three

Court of Appeals, Division Two, District Three: Judge, Position #1

Rich Melnick

Rich Melnick photo
Judge Rich Melnick is running unopposed for re-election to the Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 3, Judge Position 1. Prior to serving on the appellate court, Judge Melnick served as a prosecutor in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for more than two decades and served as a Clark County District and Superior Court judge. He is also a commissioner and the education chair for the Washington state Supreme Court's Gender and Justice Commission. Judge Melnick is known for his strong work ethic, commitment to public service, judicial expertise, and deep ties to Southwestern Washington. Judge Rich Melnick deserves your vote.

Campaign Information

Vancouver City Council

Vancouver City Council, Position #1

Laurie Lebowsky

Laurie Lebowsky photo
Clark County Planner Laurie Lebowsky was appointed to the Vancouver City Council after candidate Scott Campbell passed away during the election cycle last year but was posthumously elected to the council. She has worked as a planner for more than 20 years and is putting a special focus on issues of growth and inclusion. In her retainment campaign, she is prioritizing increasing affordable housing, supporting family wage jobs, promoting policies that help residents age in place, and enhancing the park system.

Lebowsky is running against Sarah Fox, the Senior Planner for the city of Camas. Fox has held several leadership positions in the community, including her current roles as President of the Camas Public Employees Association union, President of the SW Washington Section of the American Planning Association, and Commissioner of the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. She is seeking to ensure that Vancouver has a variety of housing types for all income levels, updating infrastructure, and supporting local business.

While Fox has a strong background in public service, we lean towards Lebowsky in this race because of her support from local progressive advocates.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

WA State National Organization for Women PAC
Other: Southwest Washington Central Labor Council

Campaign Information