NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, the state’s leading pro-choice advocacy and political organization, is excited to announce our endorsements for the August 4, 2015 primary election.
Starting this year, seven Seattle City Council members will be elected by geographic district, and two will be elected citywide. All nine seats are up for grabs–an unprecedented opportunity for pro-choice voters to have an impact on the future of the city and vote for pro-choice champions.
Local races matter. Although city and county officials don’t often vote directly on laws affecting the availability and access of reproductive health care, their advocacy can make a huge difference in the policies that impact women and their families at the regional, state, and national level.
For example, county health departments are often the primary source of health care, including family planning services, for low-income women and families. Cities lobby state legislatures directly for funding for the services they consider priorities, which can mean the difference between a budget that funds reproductive health care and one that does not. And local government advocacy, such as the resolution the Seattle City Council passed last year opposing the federal Hyde Amendment, which bars programs like Medicaid from paying for abortions, can help determine the direction of federal policies.:
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington chose candidates to endorse based on several key questions:
• Did the candidate hold 100% pro-choice beliefs, including support for the right to choose when and whether to have children; opposition to fake clinics (known as “crisis pregnancy centeres”) that attempt to shame and misinform vulnerable pregnant women; opposition to parental notification mandates for minor women to obtain abortion care; and support for policies that not only preserve but expand access to the full range of reproductive services?
• Did the candidate express a deep knowledge and understanding of the pro-choice position, including the ways in which economic, racial, and social justice interact with reproductive freedom?
• Was the candidate enthusiastic about preserving and expanding the right to choose as part of his or her role as an elected official, both as a vocal advocate for choice and by sponsoring pro-choice legislation, and did he or she have specific ideas about how to accomplish that goal in the office he or she was seeking?
Candidates who were not endorsed but were pro-choice are listed as 100% pro-choice.
For Seattle City Council, NARAL endorses:
District 1: Dual: Brianna Thomas, Shannon Braddock
District 2: Dual: Tammy Morales, Bruce Harrell
District 3: No endorsement
District 4: Dual: Jean Godden, Michael Maddux
District 5: Dual: Mercedes Elizalde, Halei Watkins
District 6: Mike O’Brien
District 7: Sally Bagshaw
Position 8: No endorsement
Position 9: Lorena Gonzalez
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington also made endorsements in city and county races across the state, including Bellevue, Bellingham, Spokane, Tacoma, and Olympia.