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I have been working with a group called Revolution Vashon.  We are Berniecrats that are promoting the political revolution that Bernie Sanders called for.  We agree with Bernie that it is vitally important that Hillary Clinton be elected president.  We are also actively supporting the candidacies of progressive candidates down-ballot to win progressive majorities in Congress and state and local offices.  I think we learned a hard lesson in 2008 that electing a president of “hope and change” was not enough to get it done.   Although we Bernie and Clinton supporters were on opposing sides during the primaries, we want to join forces to bring about a political revolution. We also need to find common ground with our more conservative compatriots if we are to move forward.  Or maybe the alternative, gridlock and dissolution, is preferable?

Voting knowledgeably in the coming election is not only very important for us but for the world in general.  At the same time, it is maybe a bit more difficult than in the past.  In some cases, none of the candidates you have to choose from are clearly acceptable.  Some of the issues are complicated and a right or wrong position on them is not clear.  You can decide to pass on the whole thing because you think it is too difficult or depressing, or that it won’t make a difference.  That is exactly the wrong thing to do! There will be many angry and fearful people who definitely will vote this year, and you may not like the results of their vote.  Our ability to live on this planet, democracy, world order, food security, and much more hang in the balance.  Cooler heads must prevail.

You may notice in the voting guide that, unlike the federal positions, all state races have only two contestants.  That is the result of the “top two” primary initiative, sponsored be the Washington State Grange, passed some years ago.   Critics of the initiative pointed out that it could result in voters have to choose from two candidates of the same party.   Two such instances occurred this year.   In our own congressional race, both candidates are Democrats:  not surprising given the nature of our district.  The other is the State Treasurer race in which both candidates are Republicans.  In this case, the majority of the votes went to three Democrats, but the plurality went to the two Republicans.

It would be best for each of us to do the research and make our own informed decisions.  If you don’t have the time or inclination to do that, there are groups of different political persuasions that have done the research that you can consult.  If you are for the political revolution that Bernie Sanders called for, we have put together a sample ballot for you.  Most of the choices on our ballot were based on ballots suggested by the Progressive Voters Guide, an 8-year-old annual project of Fuse Washington, and The Stranger, a Seattle progressive newspaper.  

Two choices were based on a survey sent to our 200 Vashon supporters.  We required a 2/3 majority of survey respondents to make an endorsement.  The first, of course, was the presidential election.  Clinton got 54%, Stein got 27%, both short of a 2/3 majority so we made no recommendation.   However, we are unanimous that Clinton must be elected and do not recommend a Stein vote if it would jeopardize Clinton winning our state.

 The second item was I 732, the carbon tax initiative.  In this case, most of the state environmental organizations (including Fuse), and several national organizations, have recommended a no vote because they felt that, instead of being revenue neutral, it should have raised money that we could used to finance the transition to renewable energy. We on Vashon agreed with the Stranger editorial board that something was better than nothing, and we can’t afford to wait another two to four years before a better proposition might be offered.  Also, voting this initiative in doesn’t preclude passing a better solution later.  Our survey recommends YES on I 732.

In our congressional race, where two democrats, Jayapal and Walkinshaw, are running, we had earlier decided to endorse Pramila Jayapal.  Although Walkinshaw is also a very good candidate, maybe better than any other running in our state, we felt that Jayapal was more knowledgeable, a better communicator, more competent in general.   
Our recommendations for all other issues and offices are on our sample ballot which can be found at or posted around town.  Hopefully, it will be available at the library.  
If you would like to join our group, our next meeting is Oct 25, 5:30-7:30 pm at Sheila and Brian Brown’s house, 19834 Vashon Highway SW.  

Comments or questions?