National Women's Political Caucus of Washington

Our 2019 Endorsements: We're Building the Future

 

2019 may be an "off year" for federal races, but it's a big year for the city, county, and school board elections that are often the positions via which women enter politics. Check back often as we roll out our endorsements for this year!

 


Are you running for office and seeking an endorsement? We're scheduling interviews! You'll find helpful information on our Get Endorsed page. 


Volunteers Wanted
The endorsement process requires a great deal of volunteer assistance. If you're interested in participating on an interview team, or organizing one, your help would be appreciated. For more information, please email info[at]nwpcwa.org.


SHORTCUT TO ENDORSEMENTS BY POSITION

CITY POSITIONS

COUNTY POSITIONS

JUDICIAL POSITIONS


CITY POSITIONS

Janice Zahn
Janice Zahn

Bellevue City Council

Position No. 5

Janice was elected in 2017 to Bellevue City Council. She is an immigrant from Hong Kong with double Masters in Structural Engineering and Public Administration from the University of Washington. She has led Construction Management for the Port of Seattle for over a decade. Janice is on Youthlink Board, Disability Board and Sister Cities Association. Regionally she serves on the King County Flood District, 405/167 and Eastside Transportation Partnership boards. She shaped Transportation policy with the Comprehensive Plan, Vision Zero, Pedestrian and Bicycle Initiatives while on Bellevue Transportation Commission. She is an Advance Bellevue, Leadership Eastside and Leadership Tomorrow alumni. Janice helps others succeed. A mother of two daughters, Janice has served on several PTA boards, as a Girl Scout leader for over 10 years, led PEPs groups for new parents, and volunteered with local organizations committed to children and families, homelessness and food insecurity.

Name
Luisa Bangs

Des Moines City Council

Position No. 2

"Council member Luisa Bangs is from Spokane, Washington. She majored in Business Administration completing 3 years of college Luisa has had several management positions: Assistant manager with a California branch of Household Finance, experiencing first hand the practice of redlining Hispanic communities behind the scenes. This experience led her to focus on inspiring people of color, especially women from various cultural backgrounds to engage in the political process, to understanding how our city government works.

Luisa moved to New York for 7 years, then back to Washington, working as a Career Counselor at Everett CC. 5 years later she accepted a position with the Port of Seattle. She moved upward quickly, ending her 33 ½ year career as a Senior Maintenance Manager, leading 100 men and women in the Building and Auto Mechanic Trades.

Luisa has lived in Des Moines since 1996; been active in the community, volunteering on the Arts Commission and the Police Chief’s Advisory Board, was appointed to City Council in 2015 and then elected in 2016, and serves on the SCA Regional Law Safety and Justice Committee. She continues to work to educate her community on how our city government works and how their contributions make positive changes."

Name
Susan Honda

Federal Way City Council

Position No. 3

Susan Honda was elected to the City Council in 2011. Served as chair of the Parks, Rec., Human Services & Public Safety Committee (PRHSPS) for 4 years. She served on the Land Use & Transportation Committee (LUTC). Re-elected in 2015, Honda served on the Finance, Economic Development & Regional Affairs Committee (FEDRAC). She is currently the Deputy Mayor of Federal Way.

An advocate for volunteer community organizations, Honda attends and supports many events. She served as President; Soroptimists International and has served as Co-President of the Kiwanis Club. Honda also serves as an adviser to the Federal Way High School Key Club.

Honda has trained at the Association of Washington Cities and earned the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership. She is a member of the King County Board of Health, a member of the South County Area Transportation Board and a member of the Federal Way Domestic Violence Board. She was recently named State Director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators. Honda feels that it is an honor to serve the citizens of Federal Way and is always available to listen to concerns and issues of the citizens and business owners in the city.

Name
Wendy Weiker

Mercer Island City Council

Position No. 3

Council member Wendy Weiker was elected to the Mercer Island City Council in 2015. Her focus areas include environmental conservation, effective growth management, diversity and inclusion, and public safety. She also serves on the King County Emergency Management and Conservation District Advisory Boards. Wendy has over 20 years of professional public relations experience facilitating and leading community engagement programs for private companies and nonprofit organizations. As devoted mother of two teenagers, Wendy is committed to advancing social and economic opportunity for all people to fully realize their potential.

Name
Debbie Bertlin

Mercer Island City Council

Position No. 7

"Debbie Bertlin currently serves as Mayor of Mercer Island; she was Deputy Mayor 2016-2017. Her focus and career-long commitment has been on ensuring "good governance" through factual decision-making, transparent and public process, and consensus-based decision making. Debbie has been particularly focused on transportation matters, growth and growth management and has a growing involvement in housing affordability. She currently serves as Chair of the Eastside Transportation Partners, and is Sound Cities Caucus Chair for the King County Growth Management Planning Council. Debbie has had an extensive career in the tech industry. She has lived and worked for Oracle and Microsoft in Central Europe, Africa, and Asia focusing on technical and economic development, government relations, and business/operations management. Most recently she was responsible for strategy and planning for Microsoft's Enterprise and Partner organizations.

Name
Jessica Bateman

Olympia City Council

Position No. 2

No bio on file.

Vanessa Kritzer
Vanessa Kritzer

Redmond City Council

Position No. 5

Vanessa Kritzer is a longtime advocate for gender equity, human rights, and environmental justice. She has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to drive innovation that empowers citizens to take action. Vanessa is currently the State Endorsement Co-Chair for NWPC-WA and has loved working to elect women across our state. Now she is excited to have NWPC-WA’s support while running for office herself this year.

Vanessa has worked at the federal level on international women’s rights and environmental policy. She holds dual MPA-MBA degrees from the University of Washington and was appointed by Governor Inslee to serve as the sole student member of the UW Board of Regents. Most recently, she has been working at Microsoft on public sector technology.

Raised on the Eastside, Vanessa now lives in Downtown Redmond with her husband and young daughter. She serves on the Redmond Planning Commission and is running for office because she wants to ensure that as Redmond grows it can continue to be a thriving, accessible, and inclusive community. As a working mom, she hopes to bring a unique perspective to the council and show other moms that they can – and should – run for office whenever they are ready.

Name
Lisa Herbold

Seattle City Council

Position No. 1

No bio on file.

Kshama Sawant
Kshama Sawant

Seattle City Council

Position No. 3

Kshama has used her two terms in Seattle City Hall to build powerful movements of working people to win historic victories in the face of fierce corporate opposition. She led the way to pass a $15 minimum wage and many landmark renters rights, which disproportionately benefit women and workers of color. What's at stake this year is who runs Seattle — Amazon and big business or working people. Council member Sawant is campaigning to Tax Amazon and big business, not working families, to build tens of thousands of city-owned homes. Seattle needs rent control to stop displacement, which overwhelmingly impacts women and people of color. Kshama is working to pass a Green New Deal in Seattle, making our city a real climate leader by becoming 100% renewable by 2030.

Kshama is working to establish an elected, independent office to investigate workplace sexual and gender harassment, with full powers to hold corporations accountable. She’s fighting to end the gender pay gap, beginning with making big corporations open their books to carry out a full audit of party disparity in Seattle. As always, Kshama is “not for sale.” She does not take a penny from corporations, CEOs, business lobbyists or big developers.

Debora Juarez
Debora Juarez

Seattle City Council

Position No. 5

Council member Debora Juarez grew up on the Puyallup Reservation. She’s an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation. She was first in her family to attend college and then law school. She has two daughters. Working in legal advocacy and economic development, Debora considers advocating for disadvantaged women and girls one of her highest priorities and honors. After serving as a public defender, she represented Native American clients at Evergreen Legal Services and was then a King County Superior Court Judge. Debora led the Office of Indian Affairs under Governors Mike Lowry and Gary Locke.

Debora is honored to serve as the first Native American woman in the 150 year history of the Seattle City Council. She secured funding for women working in the sex trade on Aurora, for Native American women disproportionately affected by homelessness and for vocational education for women at North Seattle College. She advocated for appointing Seattle’s first African-American female police chief. Debora also successfully led efforts to build a new Seattle Center arena – home of 3-time champion Seattle Storm – and an NHL Northgate training facility with 3 rinks serving girls’ hockey – totaling $1.3 billion of private investment (no tax dollars) toward women’s sports in our community.

Name
Doris McConnell

Shoreline City Council

Position No. 4

No bio on file.



COUNTY POSITIONS

Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Jeanne Kohl-Welles

King County Council

Position No. 4

Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, is serving her first term on the King County Council representing District Four. She served the 36th Legislative District in the Senate from 1994 to 2015 after serving for three years in the state House of Representatives. She spearheaded some of the strongest human trafficking laws in the country beginning in 2002 and continuing through 2015.

She is the current chair of the King County Board of Health and the Council’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee. Jeanne is also a member of the UW Women’s Center Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the Statewide Coordinating Committee on Sex Trafficking and the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Statewide Coordinating Committee, both of which were created through her legislation. Jeanne worked as a public school teacher prior to pursuing her Ph.D. in the Sociology of Education at UCLA. She served as faculty for over twenty years in the Sociology and Women’s Studies departments and the College of Education at the University of Washington. She has been an expert witness in lawsuits on sexual harassment, discrimination and Title IX lawsuits as well as a national and international speaker on Title IX, sexual harassment, and human trafficking. She served as a Humanities Washington speaker for four years on topics relating to human trafficking and women as political change agents.

Julie Wise
Julie Wise

King County Director of Elections

Julie Wise has served King County voters for more than 15 years as a champion of best practices in elections. Wise, first elected as the King County Elections Director in 2015, after serving as the Deputy, began her career at Elections in 2000, working as a temporary employee. Since then, she has held positions across the organization. A Washington state and nationally certified Election Administrator, Wise has been recognized at the local, state and national level for her contributions to moving elections forward.

Driven to remove barriers while ensuring accuracy and security, Wise has pursued significant reforms and innovative solutions. She has expanded voter outreach and education through the Voter Education Fund, a government, philanthropic and community partnership, focused on under-served communities. Additionally, Wise has expanded ballot drop box locations from 10 to 66, successfully added two additional languages, and upgraded to a new tabulation and voting system that better serves the County’s growing voter population. Particularly noteworthy is how Wise worked with the King County Council and Executive to prevail in providing prepaid postage for all registered voters throughout the county. This record of proven accomplishments highlights Wise’s commitment to voter access and passion for her community.



JUDICIAL POSITIONS

Maureen McKee
Maureen McKee

King County Superior Court

Position No. 5

Judge Maureen McKee was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the King County Superior Court bench in 2018. She will stand for election to retain her seat on the bench in November 2019. Judge McKee served King County’s indigent communities as a respected Public Defender for nearly 16 years before joining the judiciary. She managed teams of lawyers and investigators and was known for insisting on a high level of representation for those who cannot afford counsel. She represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes and those facing involuntary psychiatric hospitalization for mental health issues. A graduate of Cornell University Law School, her work over many years has included a deep understanding of the disparate treatment of minorities in our justice system -- a significant asset to our Superior Court bench. Prior to her work in King County, Judge McKee worked with the American Refugee Committee in Bosnia and provided legal services to prisoners with children in San Francisco. Judge McKee lives in Seattle with her 6-year old son Amias.