Current Action: SUPPORT King County Charter Amendment 1 and Seattle Prop 1
On Sept. 7, the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County voted to endorse Seattle Proposition 1, Public Funding of City Council Campaigns, based upon longstanding positions of the League. The Seattle-King County LWV considers this proposed change to City election law to be a worthy step toward maximizing citizen participation, limiting the amount spent on campaigns, and encouraging better access to the ballot for candidates, and open, fair elections.
The Board voted to take no position on proposed Seattle Charter Amendment 19 changing the election of Seattle City Council members from all at-large to a hybrid of 7 elected by district and 2 at-large members.
The League position on city council elections, adopted in 1975, states, “Council members should not be elected exclusively by district.” This position requires neither support for nor opposition to the proposed amendment. The Board considered and was unable to reach consensus on the following two questions: “What are the problems essential to the citizens of this city that require changing the way its council members are elected?” And, “Do those problems warrant this change at this time?” Therefore, the Board voted to take no position.
On October 5, 2013 the Board voted to endorse King County Charter Amendment 1, Establishment of the Public Defender’s Office within King County Government, which will be appearing on the November general election ballot.
The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County encourages King County voters to VOTE YES on Charter Amendment 1, which fulfills important access to justice goals. Charter Amendment 1 concerns the establishment of the Office of Public Defense within King County government, while retaining important independence for the public defenders. After careful consideration, the League feels this measure is an important step in ensuring a public defenders’ office that is as independent as possible, while meeting the requirements of bringing the defender’s office under the umbrella of King County government as mandated by the Washington State Supreme Court. The League of Women Voters makes endorsement decisions on ballot issues based on League positions upon which members have reached consensus after careful study. Access to justice, including competent counsel for the accused, is a part of long-held League positions. This Charter Amendment contains the checks and balances necessary to maintain the independence and protect the quality of service our public defenders’ offices are known for.
The League has not taken a position on any of the other ballot measures for the general election.
For more than 90 years, the League of Women Voters has been an influential voice on issues such as election reform, ethics in leadership, transportation, education, land use, civil rights and more. All League action is based upon our positions which are developed through consensus discussions by members, after a thorough study of the issues. Read our positions.
Each year, the state League organizes a lobby day to fight for issues that we have taken a stand on. Lobby days generally include a briefing on the issues, meeting with legislators and attending committee meetings or hearings. The Lobby Team stays active during the legislative session. To find out how to join the Lobby Team, contact the state League office at (206) 622-8961 or email@example.com.
Letters and Testimony
The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County regularly communicates positions on public issues through letters and testimony to elected officials. Letters and testimony are available for review at our Seattle office.
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