The Church Council of Greater Seattle has taken affirmative positions on three initiatives on the November 2018 ballot:
Initiative 940 would require law enforcement to receive violence de-escalation, mental-health, and first-aid training, and provide first-aid; and change standards for use of deadly force, adding a “good faith” standard and independent investigation.
The Church Council supported this measure in the last legislative session, with appreciation to the De-Escalate Washington coalition that proposed it. Although an amended piece of legislation was passed by the State Legislature through successful negotiation with law enforcement, Washington courts required that I-940 be placed on the November ballot. We believe this measure will expand training, enhance social equity in enforcement, and provide for a just standard toward greater accountability when deadly force is applied.
Initiative 1631 would charge pollution fees on sources of greenhouse gas pollutants and use the revenue to reduce pollution, promote clean energy, and address climate impacts, under oversight of a public board.
In Washington State, the impacts of carbon emission from fossil fuels have been and are felt through increased pollution and greater health vulnerability for our state’s people. Certain geographical areas, made up particularly of low-income and/or predominantly communities of color, have experienced the greatest adversity. I-1631 ensures that fossil-fuel producers who pollute pay a fair share toward creating a clean energy infrastructure in our state. Fuel and energy costs would rise by an average of $13/month per household by 2020. The initiative provides for an equitable and inclusive way of returning fees from emitters back to the affected communities.
Initiative 1639 would require increased background checks, training, age limitations, and waiting periods for sales or delivery of semiautomatic assault rifles; criminalize noncompliant storage upon unauthorized use; allow fees; and enact other provisions.
The Church Council has supported common sense measures to reduce gun violence and to enhance the health of our communities. This initiative for the common good increases safety by enhancing background checks before the purchase of semi-automatic assault rifles, ensuring regular training and incentivizing firearm storage. Importantly, it raises the age for possible purchase of such assault rifles to age 21. We support life-affirming measures that address the reality that in the 20 years since the Columbine shooting, 200,000 students have experienced gun violence at school. Access to guns by youth and children from home or a friend or relative, and which may be used to cause harm, can and must be curtailed.
Friday, October 19 is the start of the 18-day voting period through election day, Tuesday, November 6. Ballots must be postmarked by November 6, or in a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on November 6.
Find ballot dropboxes, accessible voting centers, information about what is on the ballot, and more information through your county elections department:
Deadline for new Washington State voter registration (in person only): Monday, October 29.