Ed Murray’s election as Mayor means he’ll be stepping down as the 43rd’s State Senator—and the Precinct Committee Officers of the 43rd District Democrats will decide who fills the vacancy. Rep. Jamie Pedersen is seeking appointment to the Senate, and in turn I’m seeking appointment to the House.
Why I’m Running
I’ve served as the Chair of the 43rd District Democrats for almost three years now. Together we’ve built our local party organization into a powerhouse: We’ve registered thousands of voters, distributed tens of thousands of sample ballots, and elected progressive candidates in races from the Seattle School Board to the governor’s mansion. And, personally, I’ve led by example: I’ve knocked on doors, made phone calls, registered voters, and worked with other party leaders to organize events, share ideas, support good candidates, and revitalize our party at the city and county level. It’s been a real honor leading the 43rd and working with our members to make a difference.
I’ve also been a leader on my neighborhood community council, a small business owner, and a tireless activist for progressive causes, from marriage equality to marijuana reform to protecting our communities from gun violence. On all of the issues the 43rd District Democrats care about, I’ve walked the walk.
Building a better Democratic Party
I’m seeking appointment to the House to continue the work of representing our district and making our party more progressive. I think the Democratic Party has been on its back foot for the past 40-50 years. We’ve been fighting to defend the progress we made under the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act—fighting against a backlash that started with Goldwater, rose to power with Nixon and Reagan, and peaked under George W. Bush. Our Democratic legislators came home every year and talked about how it could have been worse: Our “victories” were that we stopped the GOP from completely slashing budgets for the programs and services we care about… but the funding got a little meaner each time, and in our state Tim Eyman helped to make sure of that.
In the past few years the tide has finally turned, and we’ve started, ever so slightly, to make progress on issues like health care and civil rights and other reforms—but we’re still playing a lot of defense. We still need to play defense, because the GOP is apparently eager to return to the Gilded Age and recreate problems we thought we solved years ago, like bank panics and sweatshops and lately even reinstating Jim Crow laws and trying to disenfranchise voters. But we also need Democratic leaders who can do something the party hasn’t done for a long time: To get out on our front foot and make the progressive case. We need progressive solutions on issues from education to transportation to jobs to social justice to climate change, and we need good Democrats who can go to Olympia, make those arguments, and win them.
And I’ve demonstrated I can do that. I don’t think I can go to Olympia and single-handedly talk the Republicans down off the ledge, but I can make our caucus more effective, make stronger arguments on the progressive side of debates, and encourage the GOP’s few remaining moderates to do the right thing for their constituents and our state.
How I’ll Represent You
A leader on the issues
I’ll be a progressive leader in Olympia on issues like higher education, transportation, climate change, and social justice, and I’ll be working to organize and unite the Democratic caucus in the legislature, especially with regard to Seattle and King County issues. We need to restore higher education funding to pre-recession levels, secure a transportation package that funds King County Metro and provides for light rail, pass the Reproductive Parity Act and the DREAM Act, and we need to make coal trains a thing of the past.
I’ll also continue Cal Anderson’s and Ed Murray’s and Jamie Pedersen’s legacy of the 43rd leading the way on LGBT issues: Marriage equality was a major milestone, but we need to make our streets and schools safe, to get homeless LGBT youth into shelters and support networks, and to use the progress we’ve made in this state to push for national reforms on immigration, employment non-discrimination, and marriage equality in every state.
Asking for Your Vote
If you’re a Precinct Committee Officer in the 43rd, I’d appreciate your vote at the upcoming special meeting. I’d also love to sit down for coffee, talk about the issues, and talk about why I’d represent you well in Olympia. Please drop me a line and we’ll find a time.
-- Scott Forbes