Published on May 21, 2018

Saying thanks & getting ready for the long 2019 legislative session

Contact: Dave Williams

Without the help, leadership, and partnership of many individuals and groups, AWC’s 2018 session accomplishments wouldn’t have occurred. We are grateful to this year’s City Champion Award recipients listed at the bottom of this article. We’re also preparing for the first meeting of AWC’s new Legislative Priorities Committee on May 30 and will be reporting on their deliberations and ideas in the months ahead.

Legislative candidate questionnaire and ways you can use it

On May 22 we sent out our Legislative Candidate questionnaire to the hundreds of people who have filed to run for office to represent your communities when legislators return in early January of next year. This questionnaire serves as both a way to educate candidates on key city issues and provides them a chance to let you know where they stand.

We are asking legislative candidates to fill out the questionnaire out and return it by the 4th of July. It contains some brief background on Washington’s cities and towns and asks them to answer several questions about how they view key issues like local control.

We’ll post responses as they come in and ask city officials to use the questionnaire as a tool to approach candidates who may be seeking your endorsement or support. We’ve found that several candidates – often incumbents, choose not to respond, but will answer the questions when posed in person by a city official or group of them from home. Our aim is to get city issues on candidate radar screens and the questionnaire tool can be useful to strengthen or establish relationships with legislators coming to Olympia to represent your interests.

As a reminder – personal endorsements of legislative candidates

Local elected officials may choose to support candidates in their private capacity, as is allowed by law. City officials may use their title for identification purposes, but should not use public facilities or equipment for communications, and should make clear that it is their personal view. (Read our guidelines for elected and appointed officials’ participation in elections to understand what you may and may not do.)

CityChampionAwardCongratulations 2018 City Champions!

AWC’s fifth annual City Champion Awards acknowledge the hard work and dedication of legislators and others who championed critical city issues during the 2018 legislative session. This year we’re recognizing and thanking an unprecedented 16 legislators and 5 organizations that helped address key issues for our 281 cities and towns. We’re working to schedule presentations and will share information about them as they occur.

Securing water for future growth
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee), Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake), and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) are recognized for their leadership in the Hirst and Foster “fix” legislation, work to find common ground, and recognition that cities must secure sufficient water to accommodate future growth.

Providing tools to address homelessness
Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle), Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), and Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) are recognized for their outstanding work to give local governments tools to address homelessness in our communities.

Preserving the Public Works Trust Fund
Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim), Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis), Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia), Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline), and Rep. Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver) are recognized for leading a legislative workgroup to reform the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF). This centerpiece infrastructure investment program was at risk of being eliminated. Now it is preserved to provide future benefits to cities and their residents.

Advocating for local control
Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue) and Rep. Mike Steele (R-Chelan) are recognized for their leadership in advocating for local control and responsible use of the public right-of-way when siting and regulating telecommunications facilities. Their diligent work protected city local control and ensured that cities were at the forefront of policy discussions.

Sustaining strong cities
Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) is recognized for her career of service in support of sustaining strong cities through targeted transportation investments and local decision-making.

Advancing and protecting city interests
Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) is recognized for her effective and steadfast advocacy efforts year after year to advance and protect city interests. This is her third City Champion Award.

Partners for progress

Finding common ground
The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC), the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), Washington Realtors, and Washington Farm Bureau are recognized for their partnership to help pass the Hirst and Foster “fix” legislation and for their efforts to ensure that city challenges were considered during the process.

Advancing housing and homeless service programs
The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is recognized for their outstanding leadership to advance housing and homeless service programs to help increase resources that address the challenging situations Washington’s cities face.

See the press release

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