Wednesday, December 24, 2008

eNews from King County Elections

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The Election Connection: King County Vote by Mail

Important Dates

Dec. 25, 2008
King County Elections closed for the holiday.

Jan. 1, 2009
King County Elections closed for the holiday.

Jan. 2, 2009
County furlough. Office closed.

Jan. 3, 2009
Deadline for mail-in and online voter registrations and address transfers for the Feb. 3 special election.

Jan. 3, 2009
Overseas and military ballots mailed for the February 3 special election.

Jan. 14 - 16, 2009
Mail ballots sent for February 3 special election.

Feb. 3, 2009
Special election. Mail ballots must be postmarked.

Feb. 18, 2009
Special election certified. New elected director takes office.


Next Issue

Video voters guide

Elections Director candidate debates


The two-year effort of transitioning King County to vote by mail will be put to the test in the Feb. 3, 2009 special election. Preparations are well under way to conduct the Feb. 3 election entirely by mail. An estimated 1.1 million mail ballots are scheduled to be mailed on Jan. 14, 2009.

Voters will be able to experience new features of King County's all mail elections environment in the February election: receiving their ballot by mail, the ability to track their mail ballot packet online, early and accessible voting options, and ballot drop off locations.

Online mail ballot packet tracking
Beginning in the February election, voters will be able to track their ballot packet at three points as it is processed by our office. Visit for more information.

  • Track point #1 – Your ballot packet was assembled and delivered to the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Track point #2 – Your returned ballot packet was received by King County.
  • Track point #3 – The signature on your returned ballot packet was verified.

Accessible voting centers
Voter will automatically receive their ballot in the mail for the upcoming election and must return it by Feb. 3. To ensure every voter has the opportunity to cast a private and independent ballot, three accessible voting centers will be available at Union Station in Seattle, Bellevue City Hall and election headquarters in Renton to assist voters with disabilities.

Bellevue City Hall, Room 121
450 110th Avenue NE
Jan. 30, Jan. 31, Feb. 2:
    10 am - 5 pm.
Feb. 3: 7 am - 8 pm

Union Station
401 S Jackson Street
Jan. 30, Jan. 31, Feb. 2:
    10 am - 5 pm.
Feb. 3: 7 am.- 8 pm
King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Weekdays, Jan. 14 – Feb. 2: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Feb. 3: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

24-hour secured ballot drop boxes
Ten ballot drop boxes will be available throughout the county to provide voters with a way to securely return their ballots without the cost of postage. Ballots can be returned starting at 6 a.m. on Jan. 16. Drop boxes will close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Feb. 3.

Algona Pacific Library
255 Ellingson Road
Lake Forest Park
Lake Forest Park Library
17171 Bothell Way NE
(on the lower level, near the
mall entrance)
Library Connection @ Crossroads
15600 NE 8th Street
(outside of Suite K-11)
King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Black Diamond
Black Diamond Library
24707 Roberts Drive

›› King County Administration Building
    500 Fourth Avenue

Des Moines
Des Moines Library
21620 11th Avenue S
›› Delridge Neighborhood
    Service Center
    5405 Delridge Way SW
Fall City
Fall City Library
33415 SE 42 Place
›› University Neighborhood
    Service Center
    4534 University Way NE

An insert featuring the addresses of accessible voting centers and ballot drop boxes will be included with every mailed ballot.

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For more information please visit or call our office at 206-296-8683.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leg Action Committee Meeting, December 14th

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and waited an extra half hour for someone to open the IAM Machinist Hall in South Seattle this past Sunday! Speaker Frank Chopp attended along with Senator Adam Kline from the 37th and Representative Larry Springer from the 45th.

Here are the notes from the meeting as taken by Sarajane, and here is a post on Steve Zemke's blog, Majority Rules.

This entry is cross posted on Blogger and MSN Spaces. If you have additional information or comments, please comment below, or post on your own blog and create a link!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Homelessness Advocacy Action Alert

Dear King County Democrat:

As the Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness ably says below, General Assistance-Unemployable (GA-U), currently budgeted at $167.6 million, is on the chopping block. This funds the pitiful $339 a month that the state provides for people with mental, physical and emotional disabilities who are not yet eligible for Social Security (SSI often takes 2 - 3 years). Since many transitional housing programs charge 30% of their government checks, this also threatens most of the transitional housing beds in King County.

The King County Democrats' platform under Human Services says we support affordable housing and GA-U:

4. We must work actively to end homelessness and ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable housing.
5. State public assistance for people with disabilities (General Assistance-Unemployable or GA-U) must be more than doubled. The current level of $339 a month has not been increased for more than 15 years — it offends human dignity.

Please remind each of your King County legislators (as well as the Governor) that this is the platform they ran on and that we elected them to support.

The Priorities of Government ranking for all Human Services programs is here:


As you will see, GA-U is ranked "low" at 84th after the 65 "high-priority" items tied for 1st:

CategoryRankAgency NameActivity TitleStrategyCurrent/New ActivityStateTotal
Low84Dept of Social and Health ServicesGeneral Assistance - Interim SSI (GA-U/X) (77%)Provide emergency cash, food, and shelter assistanceCurrent Activity$167,583,000$169,858,000

How did it get ranked "low" and who decided the priorities? See the Framework document for Children & Vulnerable Adults:


Here are the criteria they used:

"The team used the following criteria and considered what was known about the activity’s performance."

  • Imminent safety: immediate health and safety needs
  • Vulnerability: those clients least able to care for themselves
  • Least restrictive: placement options or services which support the needs of the client
  • Self-sufficiency: provides those we serve with the capacity to make it on their own
  • Cost effective: expenditures in these activities provide same or better results now or in the future
  • Core responsibility of the state: the primary activities a state should undertake
  • Evidence-based/ promising outcomes
  • Feasibility/timeliness
  • Cost shifts: adjustments that may save in one area but cost in another
  • Performance: evidence that program achieves results

General Assistance-Unemployable is the only income many of these folks have. They are often disabled by mental illness and/or addiction. GA-U often provides access to shelter, access to case management, access to medical coupons, etc. All of these folks are disabled. Many are very ill and living at survival level. They are about as vulnerable as you can get. Take a look at the list and see if you don't agree that the low-priority ranking is in error.

Thank you for letting our governor and our legislators know what King County Democrats stand for.

Sarajane Siegfriedt

King County Democrats Legislative Action Committee co-chair

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 16:47:16 -0800

Dear SKCCH Members and Friends:

ACTION ALERT: GAU (General Assistance ~ Unemployable) is a Washington state program which supports low income people who are too disabled to work for at least the next three months. This program is vitally important for many people who are homeless, at high risk of becoming homeless, or are stabilizing in housing. GAU recipients receive some medical coverage, and $339 a month to live on. This is barely enough to keep body and soul together.

The current word in Olympia is that the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is considering a TOTAL ELIMINATION of the GAU program on January 1st. Advocates believe that the legislature must act before DSHS can cut the program. Even if this is so, GAU is most definitely at risk when legislature starts in early January. Expect to be fighting for GAU every minute of this session. Here are TWO important ways providers and advocates can take action THIS WEEK:

  1. Call or e-mail Governor Gregoire TODAY and ask her to:

    • preserve GAU
    • keep $200 million in the Housing Trust Fund, and
    • invest in transitional and low-income housing, emergency shelter and homelessness prevention programs.

    Remember to thank the Governor for her past support of affordable housing and vital human services, and of ending homelessness.

    You can contact Governor Gregoire by phone at (360) 902-4111 or through her website:

    It is very important to call or email the Governor TODAY regarding these budget items. Governor Gregoire will release her 2009-2011 biennial budget on or around December 15. The State is faced with a $5-$6 billion deficit. Human services and affordable housing are often put on the chopping block in the face of a deficit budget. The State must not reduce or eliminate funding for the Housing Trust Fund, GAU, ESAP, THOR, and homelessness prevention! Such cuts would make it impossible to meet the 2005 State Legislature's mandate to reduce homelessness 50% by 2015.

    Do not balance the state budget on the backs of the most vulnerable Washingtonians!

  2. Help put real people's faces and stories in front of legislators, staffers, and the public as they weigh the cost of GAU -- and the terrible costs of cutting it.
    • Between NOW and DECEMBER 20, Robin Zukoski from Columbia Legal Services is looking for GAU recipients who are willing to tell their stories on videotape.
    • Robin is putting together a video to put real people's faces and stories behind the $339 a month benefits. The video, or clips from it, can be used to educate legislators and the public about how this modest benefit helps people. If you work with people (veterans, women, people living on the streets or in emergency or transitional programs) who receive GAU, and know someone who is willing to speak from experience, please contact Robin Zukoski at: or 360-943-6260 ext 202
    • Robin can meet people to interview them on film at an agency or other public setting, or, if necessary, go to someone's home. She will ask each person a few questions and create several 2-3 minute clips for a 15-20 minute video.

Angie Burnside
SKCCH Advocacy Committee Co-Chair
Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness

The Compass Center
77 S. Washington Street
Seattle, WA 98104

More Information

'''The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness''' (SKCCH) works collaboratively to ensure the safety and survival of people who are homeless and to end the crisis of homelessness in our region.

Please help SKCCH fulfill our mission by making a secure, tax-deductible CONTRIBUTION on line at



Mailing Address:

77 South Washington St.
Seattle, Washington 98104

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Congratulations to the Newly-Elected KCDCC Officers for 2009-2010

The King County Democrats re-organized December 6th at the IAM Hall in South Park. Newly elected officers and committee chairs are:


  • Chair - Susan Sheary
  • First Vice Chair - Chad Lupkes
  • Second Vice Chair - Joel Ware
  • Third Vice Chair - Rosemary Blackwell
  • Fourth Vice Chair - Emily Willoughby
  • State Committeeman - Javier Valdez
  • State Committeewoman - Ann Martin
  • Treasurer - Andrew Peabody


  • Secretary - Kier Matthews
  • Parliamentarian - Genessa Stout
  • Sergeant-At-Arms - Ivan Weiss

Committee Chairs:

  • Affirmative Action - Joanne Cisneros
  • Endorsements - Dean Willard
  • Legislative Action Committee - Sarajane Siegfried and Stephen Zemke
  • Procedures - Joel Ware
  • Recruiting - Dick Gidner
  • Training - Bryan Kesterson, Sharon Mast, and Jean Thomas

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Blogger Account

If MSN's blog works well enough, we'll keep it. If not, this is an option.