In many jurisdictions across Washington State, today is a special election day. While it is common knowledge that we hold a Top Two election in August and the general election in November of every year, state law also provides for two special election windows: one in February and another in April.
The February 2023 special election period concludes today.
Measures on this special election ballot include:
- King County
- Seattle: Initiative 135 (social housing) — NPI urges a yes vote
- Enumclaw School District No. 216 Proposition No. 1
- Snohomish County
- City of Arlington Proposition No. 1
- Marysville School District Proposition No. 1
- Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue Proposition No. 1
- Pierce County
- Steilacoom Historical School District Proposition No. 1
- Orting School District Proposition No. 1
- Peninsula School District Proposition No. 1
- Peninsula School District Proposition No. 2
- Clark County
- Woodland School District No. 404 Proposition 1, Replacement School Support Levy for Educational Programs and Operations
- Washougal School District Proposition No. 10
- Washougal School District Proposition No. 11
- Vancouver School District Proposition No. 6
- Spokane County
- Newport School District — Replacement of Expiring Educational Programs and Operation Levy
- Spokane Valley Fire District Proposition No. 1
- Spokane Fire District Proposition No. 1
Several other counties also have at least one measure on the ballot.
Most of the measures up for a vote today are school levies and bonds, as is customary for the February special election window.
If you were sent a ballot, please be sure to fill out and send it back in, either through a post office, or by taking it to a drop box. Then check on your family and friends. Make sure that they and you turn out for this special election if something’s on the ballot: vote and exercise your civic responsibilities!
Resources for returning your ballot
Ballots can also be returned through the U.S. Mail, no stamp needed.
Separate concurrent election for King Conservation District
There also happens to be a King Conservation District board election ending today for Seat #3 on the Board of Supervisors Voting. Note that you won’t see this on your ballot if you live in Seattle or Enumclaw, and if you don’t live in those jurisdictions, you won’t get a paper ballot from King County Elections at all.
This election is a separate, concurrent event which began January 24th, 2023.
We oppose online voting at NPI and we renew our standing objection to the manner in which conservation district elections are being conducted.
That said, we know democracy doesn’t work if nobody participates. So please vote. This election is open to all registered voters in King County except for voters residing in the cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific, and Skykomish — those cities don’t participate in the King County Conservation District.
Are you a Seattle voter? Please vote yes on Initiative 135
NPI urges a “yes” vote on Seattle Initiative 135.
“Initiative 135 takes the first step toward the dream of housing for all by creating a public developer equipped with the tools to ‘build, acquire, own, and manage’ housing that will stay affordable forever,” The Stranger’s Election Control Board noted in its endorsement of the measure last month. “Not market-rate housing, which people with low incomes can only afford when the economy crashes. Not government-subsidized housing, which developers can put back on the unaffordable market in 20 or 30 years. But social housing; publicly owned and operated, with rents forever capped at 30% of a tenant’s income.”
I‑135 is proposed by House Our Neighbors, a political committee of Real Change.
“We are people with lived experience and advocates who are committed to ending the homelessness crisis in Seattle,” the campaign explains. “We represent many organizations that have spent decades proposing concrete solutions to improve people’s lives, funded by progressive taxation, that provide paths for people to gain permanent housing, and end the conditions that lead to homelessness.”
The Economic Opportunity Institute, Poverty Action Network, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Sierra Club Seattle, The Urbanist, and many other civic and progressive organizations are supporting I‑135 along with Real Change, The Stranger, and the Northwest Progressive Institute.
At NPI, we believe in the value and utility of creating infrastructure to solve problems. We’re builders. We’re happy and honored to stand with House Our Neighbors in support of I‑135. We know we have an attainable housing crisis in the Emerald City and beyond that requires new and creative solutions.
I‑135 is such a solution, and it deserves voters’ support.
Seattle declared a homelessness emergency in 2015, yet our unhoused population has only grown since then — not better. Opponents have argued in the voter’s pamphlet and the press that the public housing developer I‑135 would create is unfunded and duplicative, but the I‑135 organizers weren’t legally allowed to propose a funding source as part of the initiative and Seattle would clearly benefit from more organizations working on addressing our housing crisis.
We agree. Please vote yes on I‑135 by 8 PM tonight, Seattle!
Thank you for being a voter in this special election.