Redmond: Bicycle Capital of the Northwest
Redmond: Bicycle Capital of the Northwest (Photo: Chris Miceli, reproduced under a Cretive Commons license)
Flyer for the Republicans' event at Willowcrest Stables
The event fly­er cre­at­ed by Let’s Go Wash­ing­ton for tonight’s event

Tonight, right wing Repub­li­cans from around Wash­ing­ton will be gath­er­ing at mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Bri­an Hey­wood’s Wil­low­crest Sta­bles prop­er­ty just out­side of the cor­po­rate bound­ary of Red­mond, Wash­ing­ton for what they’re billing a “Sum­mer Free­dom Fest” — real­ly a large evening pic­nic with lots of anti-tax rhetoric, can­di­date speech­es, food trucks, and  musi­cal performances.

The Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty, King Coun­ty Repub­li­can Par­ty, and oth­er Repub­li­can groups are all offi­cial spon­sors of this shindig, as you can see from the event fly­er, so it is very much a par­ty gath­er­ing. Speak­ers will include Dave Reichert, Semi Bird, and Raul Gar­cia, who are all run­ning for statewide office, along with right wing media per­son­al­i­ties John Carl­son and Bran­di Kruse. And NPI under­stands there will be a num­ber of addi­tion­al unad­ver­tised speak­ers as well.

For­mer ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er Tim Eyman thinks this event is so impor­tant that he sent out not one, not two, but three invi­ta­tions to his list urg­ing peo­ple to come.

“This week, I sent out two updates about this event. I’m send­ing it again just so to make sure every­one sees it. Hope to see you there,” Eyman wrote, adding that for him and his daugh­ter Riley, who helped him cam­paign in 2020, “Sat­ur­day will be like going to Wood­stock in the 60’s” because “pol­i­tics is in our blood.”

Red­mond is the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s home­town and has been our head­quar­ters for the entire­ty of our twen­ty-year his­to­ry. When NPI was found­ed, the East­side was still con­sid­ered a very Repub­li­can area and Red­mond was rep­re­sent­ed in the Leg­is­la­ture and on the King Coun­ty Coun­cil by Repub­li­cans. Parts of the East­side were also rep­re­sent­ed in Con­gress by Republicans.

That has now changed. Red­mond and East King Coun­ty are now rep­re­sent­ed by only Democ­rats at the coun­ty, state, and fed­er­al lev­els. Sarah Per­ry and Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci are our King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­bers. Man­ka Dhin­gra (a North­west Pro­gres­sive Foun­da­tion board­mem­ber), Pat­ty Kud­er­er, Lar­ry Springer, Roger Good­man, Van­dana Slat­ter, and Amy Walen are our state leg­is­la­tors. And Suzan Del­Bene, Adam Smith, and Kim Schri­er are our rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the U.S. House.

For the ben­e­fit of those unfa­mil­iar with who we are and what our val­ues are (espe­cial­ly Repub­li­cans com­ing to town tonight!), here are some note­wor­thy facts about Red­mond, its vot­ing his­to­ry, and its polit­i­cal identity.

  • Red­mond is locat­ed on the ances­tral lands of the Coast Sal­ish peo­ples. Near­by is the Sno­qualmie Tribe’s reser­va­tion. The Sno­qualmie Tribe obtained its fed­er­al recog­ni­tion short­ly before the new mil­len­ni­um. Learn more about the Tribe and its his­to­ry here.
  • The City of Red­mond incor­po­rat­ed in 1912 and acquired its name from one of the first Euro­pean set­tlers to build a home here — Luke McRed­mond, who arrived in 1871. The Red­mond His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety main­tains a page where you can read about the ear­ly years of Red­mond on their web­site.
  • Red­mond could have just as eas­i­ly been named “Per­ri­go,” after anoth­er one of its ear­ly Euro­pean immi­grants. Per­ri­go Park, where NPI holds its annu­al Sum­mer Anniver­sary Pic­nic, is named in hon­or of the Per­ri­go family.
  • Red­mond’s nick­name is the “Bicy­cle Cap­i­tal of the North­west” because we love cycling here. It’s an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly way to get around. We have thir­ty-three miles of bike lanes on our streets, the only velo­drome in the region at near­by Mary­moor Park, and the longest run­ning bicy­cle race in North Amer­i­ca, part of our sum­mer Der­by Days celebration.
  • Speak­ing of Der­by Days, that’s been going on for more than three quar­ters of a cen­tu­ry, and is tra­di­tion­al­ly held this month, in July. It includes parades, a drone show, booths, and lots of activ­i­ties for kids. The city also orga­nizes a win­ter­time fes­ti­val in Decem­ber called RedmondLights.
  • Red­mond is home to the east­ern ter­mi­nus for Sound Tran­sit’s Line 2, the project that will bring Link light rail to the East­side, and con­struc­tion is cur­rent­ly under­way on sev­er­al sta­tions that will serve neigh­bor­hoods in the city, includ­ing Over­lake and Down­town. Light rail is a key com­po­nent of the city’s sus­tain­abil­i­ty-focused growth strategy.
  • A super­ma­jor­i­ty of Red­mond’s elect­ed city offi­cials iden­ti­fy as female, includ­ing the cur­rent may­or and five of sev­en mem­bers of the city coun­cil. Both can­di­dates for may­or this year also iden­ti­fy as female.
  • Red­mond is home to one of the first Mus­lim women ever to be elect­ed to any posi­tion of pub­lic respon­si­bil­i­ty in the PNW: Coun­cilmem­ber Var­isha Khan. She is com­plet­ing her first term this year and not seek­ing reelec­tion. Khan was able to pre­vail over an entrenched incum­bent who iden­ti­fies as Repub­li­can even in an odd-year, low turnout election.
  • 74.84% of vot­ers in Red­mond sup­port­ed the Biden-Har­ris tick­et in 2020. That’s almost three-fourths of the city’s elec­torate. If there’s any data point that best reflects how Demo­c­ra­t­ic Red­mond is, it’s prob­a­bly this one.
  • Sim­i­lar­ly, oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates do extreme­ly well in Red­mond. In 2020, Jay Inslee received 21,898 votes in Red­mond, while his ultra MAGA Repub­li­can oppo­nent Loren Culp got only 6,809 votes.
  • Even for­mer Repub­li­can Sec­re­tary of State Kim Wyman, the last Repub­li­can to be elect­ed to statewide office in Wash­ing­ton, lost in Red­mond despite win­ning statewide. She received 11,730 votes in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in the city; her Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger Gael Tar­leton, a found­ing NPI board­mem­ber, received 16,163 votes.
  • In 2022, Red­mond again enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly vot­ed for Democ­rats for statewide and fed­er­al office. Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray earned 16,019 votes, while Tiffany Smi­ley man­aged just 5,230 votes. Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress­woman Suzan Del­Bene received 16,157 votes, sim­i­lar­ly wal­lop­ing her Repub­li­can oppo­nent Vin­cent J. Cav­a­leri, who got 4,967 votes. All of Red­mond’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors were reelect­ed to new terms by com­fort­able margins.
  • In 2018, Red­mond was sup­port­ive of cre­at­ing a cap and invest sys­tem, vot­ing to approve Ini­tia­tive 1631, which failed statewide. (The Leg­is­la­ture lat­er vot­ed to pass a cap and invest sys­tem as part of the Cli­mate Com­mit­ment Act). The oil indus­try’s well-fund­ed oppo­si­tion cam­paign was unable to con­vince a major­i­ty of vot­ers in Red­mond to vote no.

Red­mond is opposed to the nasty, mean-spir­it­ed pol­i­tics of divi­sion, exploita­tion, and big­otry that have come to epit­o­mize the Repub­li­can Party.

Here in Red­mond, we believe in free­dom and mutu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty. We favor pool­ing our resources to get things done. We are an inclu­sive, wel­com­ing city, striv­ing to cre­ate a com­mu­ni­ty that is friend­ly and safe and gov­erned in accor­dance with the pro­gres­sive val­ues that Amer­i­ca was found­ed upon.

In Red­mond, we care about tak­ing cli­mate action, repro­duc­tive free­dom, and look­ing after our most vul­ner­a­ble neigh­bors. Equi­ty and tol­er­ance are impor­tant to us. Gun respon­si­bil­i­ty is impor­tant to us. LGBTQ+ rights are impor­tant to us.

Tonight, Repub­li­cans, you’ll be at the edge of a car­ing city of over 73,000 peo­ple that believes in cre­at­ing a com­mu­ni­ty of good neigh­bors. Wel­come to Red­mond, one of the most pro­gres­sive and Demo­c­ra­t­ic places in the Pacif­ic Northwest.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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