Have you been paying attention to local politics? If not, you’re in luck. We have you covered. Ballots for Seattle-area primary elections should have arrived in your mailbox, and you have plenty of time to get up to speed on the candidates and ballot measures for the Aug. 6 primaries. Even if you have not registered to vote, there’s still time to get a ballot. For the first time Washington state will offer same-day voter registration.
Seattle City Council
One incumbent has already stepped down and others are not seeking reelection to the Seattle City Council, opening a crowded field of 55 candidates. They are offering a diverse range of solutions to problems such as homelessness, housing affordability and transportation.
King County Council
King County faces problems similar to Seattle, but has a budget twice as big. Even salaries of County Council members are bigger, yet only 10 candidates are running for the four seats on the Metropolitan King County Council. Read more about the races here.
Port of Seattle Commission
Port commissioners will have to deal with an expanding Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as well as a trade war with China. For the primary, voters will need to select two finalists from the seven candidates running for Position 2 and three for Position 5, including incumbent Fred Felleman.
Seattle Library Levy
In April the Seattle City Council unanimously agreed to send a seven-year $219 million library levy to the Aug. 6 ballot. The new levy would replace the existing $123 million measure, which will expire at the end of this year. The new levy would expand hours at seven Seattle Public Library branches, pay for seismic renovations at three branches and allow the library system to eliminate fines for overdue books.
Redmond and Renton mayor
Seattle School Board
There’s just one incumbent among the 12 people vying for the four open seats on the Seattle School Board this fall. If elected on Nov. 5, board members will have a direct role in the future of the city’s youngest residents and oversee $1 billion of taxpayer funds annually.
King County Parks Levy
A portion of the $810 million levy on the Aug. 6 ballot would go toward programs to increase access to parks, open spaces and trails for communities that historically have been underserved. The proposed levy would replace the current levy that expires at the end of the year, but homeowners would pay more than they do now. If the levy is approved, a homeowner would pay 18.32 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. The owner of a home valued at $500,000 would pay $7.60 per month, which is about $2.25 more than the current rate.