From May 15-19, Washingtonians will be allowed to file for any of the 2,865 elected offices up for grabs this year. Most will be elected on Friday because they are the only one who files. See the list of positions available by county here. King county positions are listed here.
The values of liberty, free enterprise and effective government are enhanced or eroded by those elected to these local offices. Commonly, the ideologues of the Left are intentionally seeking to fill these positions to prepare the next generation of state and federal lawmakers.
These positions can allow for reforms in support of freedom and accountability, or they can allow the power-hungry to sacrifice the citizens' interests to other interests. To cite just a few recent examples:
- Councilmembers in Seattle have imposed unionization on rideshare drivers, mandated scheduling for employers, criminalized employment worth less than $15 and adopted the beginnings of a targeted income tax.
- City officials in SeaTac facilitated the job-killing minimum wage.
- Olympia city officials nearly imposed an income tax, but ended up being instrumental in its defeat.
- Local officials in Chelan, Sequim, Blaine and Shelton fought against transparency for government union negotiations.
- County officials in Lincoln County created the most transparent process for union contracts in the state.
- The Spokane City Council has entertained regulations to dictate employment terms for employers in the city.
- School directors in Seattle imposed a 9.5 percent pay raise from capped resources, and then lamented their huge unfunded budget.
- School directors in Steilacoom and Davenport have offered their employees the ability to work in the district without a forced payment to the union.
- While school directors in LaCenter announced their intention to make union payment optional, those in Eatonville decided to start forcing employees to pay the union.
- School directors in Pullman have invited employees, taxpayers and journalists to observe union negotiations.
- School directors in Snohomish reduced the wages of younger teachers to increase the wages of the highest-paid teachers.
- School directors in West Valley Yakima have adopted the best school calendar in the state while many others load their calendars with partial school days or shorten the school year.
In these and a host of other example, one sees a contest between socialism and government restraint in local jurisdictions. Even smaller jurisdictions like cemetery districts, park districts and fire districts are places where the values of effective, accountable government are important.
The Freedom Foundation believes the most impactful government involvement is at the local level. If the principles you hold dear are important for the United States Government, they are also important for your local government. We owe it to these ideals to offer guidance to all levels of government.
Find out which positions are open here for most counties and here for King County, and consider filing for local office. While the Freedom Foundation does not engage in elections, we would be willing to discuss policy issues related to liberty and accountable government in your community. Please call us at (360) 956-3482.