Seattle media may not care about what happens east of the mountains, but we certainly do. We’re incredibly excited to report tonight that change is coming to Yakima… big change. As a result of the city’s adoption of district elections (ordered by a federal judge), it appears Yakima will soon have its first female Council majority in history. It will also have its first two Latina councilmembers!
This is a big deal. A really big deal.
Take a look at the early results in the Yakima City Council races:
|#||Winning Candidate||Losing Candidate|
|1||Dulce Gutiérrez: 252 votes (81.82%)||Russell A. Monteiro: 45 votes|
|2||Avina Cristal Gutiérrez: 215 votes (61.08%)||Maud Scott: 136 votes|
|3||Carmen Méndez: 597 votes (51.38%)||Kelly M. Rosenow: 549 votes|
|4||Bill Lover: 498 votes (61.79%)||Tony Sandoval: 297 votes|
|5||Kathy Coffey: 868 votes (62.76%)||Reed C. Pell: 511 votes|
|6||Maureen Adkison: 1,292 votes (56.89%)||Gavin D. Keefe: 952 votes|
|7||Holly N. Cousens: 1,001 votes (58.16%)||Gunnar Berg: 705 votes|
“Until Tuesday, Yakima had never elected a Latino or more than three women to the council. At least five of the seven seats will now be held by women if early results hold; a sixth seat remains too close to call,” notes the Yakima Herald-Republic.
I had the pleasure of hearing both Holly and Dulce talk about their campaigns earlier this year when the Washington State Democrats met in Wenatchee. I’m really pleased to see them both doing so well. And so is the state party.
“Congratulations to Dulce Gutiérrez and Avina Gutiérrez on their amazing victories,” said Washington State Party Chair Jaxon Ravens. “Largely due to the Voting Rights Act, a community that had been disenfranchised will now have a voice in their local government. That’s progress, but we are not done.
“This result further underscores not only the continued need of the Voting Rights Act, but also the need to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), which has been stalled in the state legislature. We need what happened in Yakima to ripple across the state, and that will only happen if we pass the WVRA.”