Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

The Primary Election is Coming Up – Are You Informed? July 18, 2013

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 2:07 pm

Tuesday night was a one-two political punch! First we attended CityClub’s Mayoral Debate at the downtown library, followed by Washington Bus’s Candidate Survivor at Showbox at the Market.

city club debatesurvivor(photos courtesy of Deborah Wang/KUOW Photo)

The two events presented information regarding the Primary Election in VERY different contexts. For example, at Candidate Survivor, we learned that Peter Steinbrueck is the only candidate who has (admittedly) gone skinny-dipping in Lake Washington.

The agenda of the quick, ninety minute CityClub event was driven by the audience, both in advance to determine the topics and during the debate, as each audience member had cards to hold up to choose which candidate needed to elaborate on their ideas. One hot topic among the candidates was the selection of Seattle’s next police chief. They agreed that the police force needs to be held accountable for their actions on the job.

Following the debate, six mayoral candidates let their guard down and participated in Candidate Survivor, presented by The Washington Bus. McGinn, Murray, Harrell, Steinbrueck, Martin, and Gray all vied to gain support from the young people of Seattle. Currently, 48% of Seattle residents are UNDER the age of 35.

This was also an audience-driven event. After each round, the audience had the chance to text in to choose which candidates “survived” to the next round. McGinn, Murray, and Harrell all made it to the final round, with McGinn eventually winning Candidate Survivor.

Mayoral Debate                                            Candidate Survivor


Look for your Primary Election ballot in the mail!

Be informed.

The Seattle Voter’s Guide:

The Municipal League of King County Candidate Ratings:

Track your ballot! They’re on their way:

Mark your calendars for One Stop Ballot Shop – Tues 10/15 for the General Election.


Election Committee Debriefs and Looks To Next Year! November 3, 2012

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 10:00 am

Thursday night the dedicated volunteers of the Election Committee met across the alley from the gum wall to debrief our election season events and their experience on the committee!

We discussed what went well at One Stop Ballot Shop:

- attendance (over 275 people)!

- location: Seattle Center was awesome

- photo booth was a hit

- candidate participation was impressive and appreciated

- and the list goes on for pages…

And we talked about what we should improve upon next year:

- different interactive elements to keep things lively

- better understanding of what people want out of the event

- more outreach earlier on so that we can include more groups into one event instead of having multiple debate watch parties across the city

- and so much more!

From left: Holly, Anna, Ivan, Jessica, Bevin, Megan and Carlo

And because we’re Seattle Works, and the quality of volunteer experience we provide is incredibly important to us, we asked for feedback on their committee experience.  We have some things to work on, like a longer lead time for planning, more actionable items for each member of the committee and working meetings.  Overall though, there was a lot of pride in the event that these volunteers crafted and executed!

The committee is amped about the mayoral race coming at us next year, but for now we have a current election to focus on!  If you’re interested in getting involved with this awesome (and fun) group of people, email and we’ll get you connected early next summer.

BIG THANKS to the committee volunteers: Ivan Barron, Neely Beltran, Anna Boone, Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Holly Decker, Nathan Hambley, Jessica Jones, Eric Shellan, and Megan Szerwo!


Informed Voting is the Best! Recap of One Stop Ballot Shop October 18, 2012

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 2:47 pm

Tuesday night featured a debate double header! First up was the Presidential Debate followed up by the Gubernatorial Debate (aka the Washington State race for Governor). We livened things up a little by adding interactive polling, a live twitterwall, raffle prizes, sound off station for people to give their thoughts to the next governor, a photo booth, food vendors and of course a beer garden.

We had a great turn out! Over 275 interested people came out to watch the debate with fellow community members. Plus a ton of candidates and measure representatives to talk to people about what they’ll be voting on. See the full list below! This kind of involvement and turnout warms our civic heart.

Our live twitterfall and polling questions were entertaining.  Check out our storify recap! Or search for #1StopBallotShop to see it all.

And we got some great photos! Thanks to Seattle PI for sending a photographer and capturing great shots of the event.

We even had news coverage! King5 did a story on the event and captured the thoughts from both sides. Big thanks to the folks at King5 and Natalie Swaby for coming out and covering the story.

The One Stop Photo Op was a hit!


Round of applause for our volunteer committee for help making this event possible: Ivan Barron, Neely Beltran, Anna Boone, Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Jacob Day, Holly Decker, Nathan Hambley, Jessica Jones, Eric Shellan and committee lead: Megan Szerwo.

And thank you to our partners at The Next50, Seattle Center and CityClub!

 Thank you to all the candidates and ballot measures that joined us!

-Ron Bemis, US Congress 7th Congressional District

-Jim McDermott, US Congress 7th Congressional District

-Bob Hasegawa, State Senate 11th Legislative District

-Kristin Thompson, State Senate 11th Legislative District

-Reuven Carlyle, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 1)

-Noel Frame, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 2)

-Gael Tarleton, State Representative 36th Legislative District (Pos 2)

-Steve Strachan, King County Sheriff

-John Urquhart, King County Sheriff

-Sheryl Gordon McCloud, State Supreme Court, Justice Position 9

-Yes on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-No on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-People for our Public Schools, no on 1240, Charter Schools Initiative

-Vote No on 1-502, Marijuana legalization

-New Approach Washington, yes on I-502, Marijuana legalization

-Preserve Marriage Washington, no on Referendum 74: same-sex marriage

-Washington United for Marriage, yes on Referendum 74: same-sex marriage

Did you make it? What did you think? We’d love to hear. Email


Ballot Party Recap! August 2, 2012

Filed under: Election — seattleworks @ 12:55 am

First of all, thanks to everyone who helped make our Ballot Party last night a success!   Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their evening to come out, and special thanks to all the volunteers on our Election Committee for planning the event and making it happen!

The happy hour Ballot Party was hosted by Seattle Works and took place at the Nabob on 819 5th Avenue North in Queen Anne.  Guests came out for a fun evening of mixing and mingling with fellow voters while learning about the election and having a few drinks.

Don’t worry if you missed out though, because we’ll be planning more election related activities in the near future..  Just follow us and keep a look out for what’s to come.

Lastly, a reminder that Primary Ballots must be postmarked by August 7!


Voter Registration On Facebook, First for WA! July 27, 2012

Filed under: Election — seattleworks @ 7:27 pm
Tags: ,

Here’s some cool election policy news for the state of Washington!

“Washington State will become the first in the nation to use Facebook for voter registration. The secretary of state will soon unveil an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends, according to this Seattle Times article. While you’re at it, make sure you like United Way of King County too!”

- Public Policy Update,United Way of King County

While we’re on the topic, here’s some important dates to note on your calendars:

Primary Election

July 30 - Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only)

August 7 - Primary

General Election

October 8 – Deadline for voter registration, address change and other updates

October 19 - Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day).  Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.

October 29 - Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only)

November 6 - General Election

For my voting information, visit


Washington State Gubernatorial Candidates Accept Invitation to Participate in Next 50 Debate 2.0! June 4, 2012

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 1:01 pm

Seattle Works has been partnering with lots of great community groups over the past few months to work on Civic Action Month for the Next 50 celebration which is happening in October 2012 at Seattle Center.

One of the key events of that month will be the Debate 2.0 Gubernatorial Debate! Stay tuned for more information, but this will be a can’t miss event with both an in person and online piece designed to give you a non-traditional debate.

What does that mean? It means audience participation, talking about the issues you care about – not arguing about them, it means making it accessible to both the politically active and yet to be politically active, and much more!

Full Press Release:

May 2012

Organizers of the Debate 2.0 gubernatorial debate event announced today that both major candidates for Governor have accepted invitations to participate in a unique debate event. Following Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s acceptance on Mar 26 of the Next 50 Debate 2.0 invitation, former U.S. Representative Jay Inslee accepted and confirmed the live and online event set for October 2012 in the Intiman Playhouse at Seattle Center.


A coalition of more than a dozen civic groups is producing Debate 2.0, and more than 200 institutional supporters and nearly 700 community volunteers of the Next 50 support the event. The goal of 2.0 is to build a culture of civic engagement around election debates, where citizens are active participants.


“You’re not being a Good Citizen just because you listen to both attack ads before voting,” said Mike Mathieu, Chairman of Front Seat, and co-chair of the Debate 2.0 Organizing Committee.


Debate 2.0 starts by rethinking the very structure and process of these vital civic events, reimagining debates as conversations, implementing several structural innovations and adding innovative technology that encourages meaningful dialogue between candidates and citizens — and between citizens themselves.


“Debate 2.0 lets candidates hear from citizens too. It’s less about winning and losing the debate, and more about informing and engaging citizens,” said Diane Douglas, Executive Director of CityClub, and co-chair of the Debate 2.0 Organizing Committee and Next 50 Civic Action Month.


In support of this format, the candidates will simultaneously address a large live audience of 450, a broadcast audience on Q13 FOX, and an online audience throughout the state. Q13 FOX Political Correspondent C.R. Douglas will facilitate the event.


“We’re very excited to be working with Next 50 on something that is so important to the future of our state.  Thanks to C.R. Douglas and the unique format built to engage the people our next Governor will serve, this event will be the definitive debate of the fall at the perfect time to give voters the information they need to make their choice and get that ballot in the mail,” said Q13 Fox News Director Jon Brady.


Debate 2.0 partner organizations include: CityClub, Ashoka Seattle, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Compassionate Action Network, Countrywide Community Forums, Front Seat, Humanities Washington, Puget Sound Civic Communication Commons, Seattle Works, Social Venture Partners, Transportation Alliance, True Patriot Network, University of Washington Department of Communications Digital Media Program, Washington Bus.


Debate 2.0 is the centerpiece event of the concluding month of the Next 50, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The month’s theme, Civic Action, is planned to precede the November elections. For more information on The Next Fifty and Seattle Center, visit or call 206 684-7200.


About Seattle Center, The Next Fifty, and Debate 2.0

Since its beginning 50 years ago, Seattle Center has served as a cultural and civic gathering place at the core of our region. In 2012, The Next Fifty at Seattle Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair and the physical legacy it left. The 74-acre Seattle Center campus, home to more than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations presenting nearly 5,000 events annually, exists to delight and inspire the human spirit in each person and bring together our rich and varied community. The 12 million visits to Seattle Center each year generate $1.15 billion in business activity and $387 million in labor income for King County.


Next 50 premier partners include:  Bartell Drugs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, Grousemont Foundation, Microsoft, Samsung, Seattle Center Monorail, T-Mobile, TPN (The Production Network) and World Vision. Funding and participating partners include:  206 Inc., 4Culture, City of Seattle, Global Health Nexus, Hill & Knowlton Strategies, KOMO 4 TV, KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, One to the World, Safeco Insurance:  A Liberty Mutual Company, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Washington Economic Development Commission.


Tomorrow Night’s Lineup! October 17, 2011

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 11:19 pm

We’re throwing an improv show for YOU at the Triple Door tomorrow night with the hilarious peeps at Jet City Improv.  We guarantee that you’ll leave knowing more about what is on your General Election ballot, and we promise multiple laughs.  Not too shabby for a Tuesday night!

Whose Ballot


Tomorrow night! Tues 10/18 6.30pm

Triple Door Musicquarium Lounge – 216 Union Street



The candidates & issues who will be there (or be represented there)!

Bobby Forch

Bruce Harrell

David Schraer

Tim Burgess

Sally Clark

Harium Martin Morris

Marty McLaren

Families Yes!

Streets for all Seattle

Yes on 1163

Protect our Communities

Tickets also available at the door – see you there.


Russian Roulette, Submarines, David and Goliath, Red Herrings – so just your average Thursday night… August 8, 2011

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 9:06 pm

Boy what a night it was!

Last night we kicked off elections season with ‘Cheers to the Primary’ – we got a chance to mix and mingle with panelists, and even more importantly – you!

We had various elections materials on hand to guide you to make your own decision about the tunnel referendum, as well as the help of the campaign managers, Dan Nolte (from the Let’s Move Forward – Approve campaign) and Esther Handy (from the Protect Seattle Now – Reject campaign) who were on hand to offer last minute advice and information!

See Bevin, Angela (from City Club) and me above at the event! This image is from Earica Brown Photography, and all of her photos from the event can be seen here: Earica Brown Photography

Our political evening began with two debates, sponsored by City Club at the Seattle Public Library, about the legislative process and the tunnel. And things got slightly heated! Over 100 people turned up to listen to the panelists discuss the issues. Afterwards we headed to Fado to talk it out, meet new people and get the inside scoop!

We’ll forgive you if you weren’t able to make it this time, but we still want all of our Seattle Works friends to get the update! Check out below this link Publicola for the Publicola report of the evening, and check out below for my notes/points that we found particularly interesting!

Tim Eyman and Senator Adam Kline – The Initiative Process

- Senator Kline wants people to be heard independently of their legislatures. He talked about the issue of getting support, and argued that voters are often too quick to give their signatures to different causes – *real* elections fraud is committed when people forget signatures on those pieces of paper. Kline doesn’t like the idea of signature gatherers being paid – they should be spontaneous and grass roots operated. The purpose of not paying signature gatherers is to try to enforce honesty and accountability.
He also drew an analogy of a bus. It has 20-30 people and they vote who will drive the bus. People nominate themselves and eventually someone is elected. After driving for a while, the people at the back of the bus don’t like it anymore. They want to go a different route. This leads to an inherent tension between democracy and efficiency. Legislators have been elected to drive the bus, not because they are elite, but because they were chosen by their peers. But you can’t drive the bus normally when people at the back are arguing about which direction to go. There needs to be democracy, but a controlled, efficient democracy. Not an authoritarian control with a whip, but with order – legislatures need time to make policy work.
There is a difference between quantity and effect when it comes to initiatives. Initiatives are the big things that get voters to the polls. Although there are many bills that are looked at and Washington residents only get to see a few of those, the numbers should not look like David and Goliath. The pieces of legislature that were passed by the voters were huge and influential.

- Tim Eyman appealed to Senator Jacobson who described the current legislative process as Russian roulette: a bad gamble that we need to take from our state’s constitution. He does not like that people are trying to introduce difficult hurdles to the process. Eyman commented that in 13 years there was only 1 case of voter fraud – Josh Feit, the Publicola moderator, points out that Eyman had voter fraud in his own Spokane office – but Eyman retorted that people need to police themselves.

The initiative process is not just about passing laws, but is about putting the spotlight on issues. Out of 3000 bills in our legislative session, only about 500 become law. Washington residents get to see about 3 of those. All we can do is vote for those initiatives as citizens and the legislators have the power to ignore us, but at least our voices get to be heard. Government is like a battleship; try to move the ship in one direction or another and get some impact. We, as voters, are innocent bystanders but yelling ‘Hey you’re off track!’ is better than sitting at home eating potato chips.


Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Kate Joncas – The Viaduct Referendum

For O’Brien the question is simple: do we want to spend our money on education or transport? He thinks we should step back and work on our priorities in the city. People in this region like transit and yet want to fund education. There is a 2 billion $ gas shortfall on tolling. We cannot spend all of our money on everything that we love – he views the viaduct as a silver bullet system which will not work, and that there must be a better way to spend our money. The debate is exhausting, but it is irresponsible to walk away from a disaster.
The tunnel is a transportation solution that doesn’t solve a problem. Why don’t we spend smaller amounts of money on fixing I5? Diversification of projects and money will work more efficiently. It is hard to get on a bandwagon for 2 years and then suddenly say no, but this is the chance for citizens of Seattle to step away from the table.
O’Brien also comments that there is zero money in the tunnel: having a toll will simply make people drive downtown or choose other options – this will worsen the traffic options. There will be a clear picture after the referendum and he will work for the tunnel if that is what the voters want – but he wants to spend the money on priorities and the real problems that need a solution.

- Kate Joncas disagrees and argues the tunnel is great for the environment and will bring jobs to Seattle. Most importantly, there are no other options. The surface option is terrible as it will increase both traffic and pollution, and if people vote for this it is unclear what they are voting on. After all, it is a state highway so it is up to the state about whether they will move forward. If there is a toll, worst case 60,000 cars will use the tunnel rather than 100,000 – but she does not see this as a tolling issue. Ultimately, having no plan is not an option for downtown. Although drawn out by O’Brien, the cost overruns are not a big issue, according to Joncas, and says they are red herrings in the whole debate. Joncas says it is unfortunate that we cannot use gas tax money for education. Ultimately the Viaduct project is already underway and they are 6 months ahead and under budget. She says the problem with the no campaign is that they are promoting a project which has no money and no plan.


So that’s a lot of information! I’m still thinking on it. We’re not going to tell you which side to take, but what we *will* encourage you to do is to research the issue, think about what it means for you and the residents of Seattle, choose a campaign, and go out and vote!!


Did I hear you say.. after-party? August 2, 2011

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 6:22 pm

Over at Seattle Works we still haven’t quite recovered from Jean ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Sext Drunk’ Godden and Tim ‘Khalifa’ Burgess’ talents from Candidate Survivor… but what might help us is if we get our hands on some more voter knowledge!

That’s why our Seattle Works Elections Season programing is officially kicking off this Thursday at 6pm. We will be co-sponsoring City Club’s ‘The Viaduct Referendum – What is it really about?‘ event at the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library in the Microsoft Auditorium.

Where do you stand on this issue? Approve? Reject? Unsure? What the what? What tunnel? (Hopefully not..)

Wherever you stand, don’t fret. For many of us, the facts about the tunnel are blurry and we want all of our Seattle Works friends to be as informed as possible before they cast their ballot! So come along, bring your friends, and learn more about one of the most important issues on our ballot.

You will get to hear from Tim Eyman, Senator Adam Kline, Kate Joncas, and Councilmember Mike O’Brien about their views on what is happening. There are sure to be some lively debates and discussions that you don’t want to miss! Register here -
City Club Registration

But that’s not all….

Join Seattle Works for the **after-party**!! Even if you are unable to come to the City Club event, join us after work at Fado’s downtown (1st and Columbia) from 7.30pm onwards for our ‘Cheers to the Primary!’ event. After the library event we will be heading over there to mix and mingle – panelists from the forum have been invited so this could be your chance to ask any of those lingering questions you might still have!

Oh… and did I mention happy hour priced drinks? And free appetizers? It’s a big deal.

So join us! Head on downtown this Thursday and join us as we gear up to kick-off the elections season! Check it out on Facebook here: Cheers to the Primary!

Stay posted for more elections events coming your way…




Candidate Survivor: featuring Tim Burgess rapping, foil swans and tough political questions July 29, 2011

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 7:04 pm

Ohhhh wow I did not see this one coming.  I had heard that Candidate Survivor was a cool event, but it was SO much more.  In case you were not among the 500+ people at Neumos, here are two recaps from Candidate Survivor.  Go ahead and join the cool kids club who know which City Council candidates have skinny dipped in Lake Washington, as well as which ones support the tunnel and paid sick leave.

Seattlest Recap - featuring Jean Godden’s lesson on safe sexting:

Photo recap from the Washington Bus: OHMYGODITWASAMAZING:


Best part of the event – it was hilarious, there were real answers to tough questions and I left feeling better prepared to cast my vote in the August 16th Primary Election.  To that we say: Rock on Bus. We like the way you roll!




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