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2017 Endorsements – Ballots Due 11/7 – Equal Rights Washington
We Need Your Voice Today
January 22, 2016
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2017 Endorsements – Ballots Due 11/7

We are at a significant inflection point in our country and in our state – this next election will really show who we are and what we stand for. Today’s water commissioners and school board members, will be tomorrow’s city councilmembers and state representatives. We have to build our pipeline and protect our rights at all levels of government, and ensure that those equality-minded leaders who have stepped forward have the support they need to succeed for us.

With so many important races this year, please remember to vote, and turn in your ballots by Tuesday, November 7th.

A few endorsements we’d like to highlight:

Seattle City Council, Position 8 – Teresa Mosqueda
Teresa is the definition of an intersectional leader. She understands how the deep and interconnected levers of city policy impact real social change, and has demonstrated her abilities to build sustainable progress through a marathon of hard work. Teresa is smart, diligent and thoughtful, and would be an outstanding asset to a city that needs her vision and tenacity.

King County Sheriff – Mitzi Johanknecht
Whenever a challenger faces an incumbent, you have to ask yourself, has the incumbent earned another term. For this race, the answer is “no”. Though we were unsettled by the accusations of sexual assault by the incumbent, John Urquhart, accusations are not convictions. What bothered us were not the accusations, but the “mistake” of trying to hide the accusations by instructing deputies to not document the complaint. That is not a process error or a mistake, that is an abuse of power. Further, when our board chair expressed concern around the allegations being made against the incumbent, his campaign offered to send the victim’s medical file to prove that she was ‘crazy’ and ‘not credible’. You should know that we said “no”. Sending civilians a complainant’s medical file is an incredible violation on so many levels, and we could not in good conscience receive that very personal and private information.

Another information point we took into consideration was the tragic shooting death of Tommy Le. Though we can’t comment on the circumstances that led to that incident, we do take issue with the narrative built around the victim afterward. Immediately after the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office reviewed the scene and saw Le was carrying a writing pen, yet still reported to the press that he had a knife. This is the type of victim shaming that reinforces bad narratives in public media around black and brown communities. There was no justifiable reason for not telling the truth, and respecting the families and communities at the center of that tragedy.

At a time when we are trying to build transparency within law enforcement, and hold its leaders more accountable – we have to know that who we are working with will not just tell us what we want to hear, but can be counted on for the truth. Even when we disagree, to disagree in honesty gives us a better place to start in conversation for change. That is why we are strongly endorsing Mitzi for Sheriff.

Bellingham City Council, At Large – Roxanne Murphy
Roxanne shows up and puts in the hard work. Her leadership in supporting marginalized communities is real leadership. When we were fighting against Initiative 1552, Roxanne didn’t wait to be asked to step up, she brought her resources to the table and said ‘this is what I can do’. She wrote, sponsored and passed the first resolution in the State opposing 1552, and then asked what’s next. Leaders like Roxanne give LGBTQ communities a fighting chance to build equity across Washington State. We are proud to endorse Roxanne for another four years.

If you would like to see our full list of endorsements, please visit:

Don’t forget to get your ballots in by Tuesday, November 7th.

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Monisha Harrell
Monisha Harrell
Monisha Harrell is the board chair of Equal Rights Washington.