Don't miss the last few General Election forums before you vote.
Congressional District 8 - Kim Schrier and Jesse Jensen - Saturday, October 17, 10:00 am. Register here.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Pos. 4 - Bryan Chushcoff and Brady J. Horenstein - Monday, October 19, 6:00 pm. Register here.
Tacoma Community College student government forum with Legislative District 28 candidates - Wednesday, October 21, 3:00 pm. Register here.
Pierce County Sheriff - Cyndie Fajardo and Ed Troyer - Wednesday, October 21, 6:00 pm. Register here.
If you interact with any of our co-sponsors (see logos below), please thank them for their support.
After each forum, a link to the video will be posted on our League website here. Please share this with all who might be interested.
Stay Informed with our Observer Reports
Our Observer Corps volunteers attend meetings of elected officials and appointed Boards and Commissions and reports on what they are doing. Find out what is going on in local governments within the county by reading our Observer reports. These reports have been published since the last Voter. These and prior reports are found here.
There is a lot going on in each of our municipalities and in Pierce County. Our Observer Corps is more important than ever, since we have so little local journalism. In some jurisdictions, the League Observers have been called the "conscience" of the Council. If you would like to contribute to the community by serving as an Observer, only a brief training is required. Please contact Cynthia Stewart, email@example.com.
Here are our recent observer's notes, with thanks to Lydia Zepeda, Liz Knox and Ann Williams:
Note: We also post these on Facebook when we get them, so you can read them sooner there.
Rita R. Robison
Honorary League member Rita R. Robison joined the League of Women Voters in 1964 just after graduating from Washington State University. She worked for Ora Mae Orton at WSU’s Housing and Food Service. Ora Mae advised her to skip joining PTA and go straight to the league. Since then, Rita has been a dedicated and active League member. She is also a prolific writer and avid traveler.
Rita led the Thurston League study on Olympia’s commission form of government. After the League decided the council-manager plan would be a better form of government for the city, she formed a citizens’ group called Olympians for Council-Manager Government, which worked on changing the city’s from of government. Rita considers this project to be one of the most valuable she’s done for the League.
In 1977, Rita ran for Olympia city commissioner based on the interest she’d gained in local government from her League work. Although her race wasn’t successful, she learned how difficult it is to run for public office and why more people should do it to help our democracy and government function as well as possible.
After Rita earned a journalism degree at Eastern Washington University in 1981, she worked for The Spokesman-Review and The Anchorage Times. At The Times, Rita wrote a column called “Tell It to Bud,” “Bud” being short for ombudsman. In the column, she answered questions from consumers. Since then, among Rita's writing career, she contributed a monthly senior consumer column for The Tacoma News Tribune as a free-lance writer and has written more than 6,300 articles as a consumer-focused blogger.
What Rita likes about the league is that is provides such important information through its research on governmental issues and such valuable work in carrying out its positions. Read much more about Rita here.
Memorial: Mary Ann Leskie
Long-time League member Mary Ann Leskie died on October 8 at the age of 77. Mary Ann was a volunteer in the office during the first five years of her 15-year membership.
Before she retired, Mary Ann worked in a bank. She enjoyed investigating stocks and bonds and for a short time was a member of the LWVWA Investment Group.
Mary Ann was politically minded and researched candidates, particularly in the 28th Legislative District where she lived. She would have wanted to vote in this General Election. We are so sad that she died before receiving her ballot.
For health reasons, Mary Ann had been living in the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community (TLRC) for the past two years. Before she died, she had good conversations with Ca, a Vietnamese nurse who worked at the TLRC. Ca and Mary Ann enjoyed talking with each other and had common interests. Ca is in the process of obtaining a college degree, and Mary Ann was helping him improve his English to help him succeed in his college courses. Mary Ann was encouraging Ca to become more interested in voting. They both had an interest in the stock market.
Mary Ann will be missed.
Help Tacoma Public Libraries
Tacoma’s City Manager presented the City of Tacoma’s 2021-22 proposed budget to the City Council in early October. This budget reflects the anticipated $67 million deficit caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This proposed budget reduced Tacoma Public Library’s appropriation by $2.2 million. If adopted, this will lead to likely reductions in programs and services and the elimination of 22 library staff members, including three library managers and 18 public services staff. The City Manager’s budget is currently being reviewed by the City Council and is scheduled for adoption at their November 17, 2020 meeting.
In response, Tacoma Public Library has launched the Tacoma Needs Strong Libraries campaign, and asks for our help. Here are some ways you can advocate to keep Tacoma Public Library strong:
Join this event sponsored by St. Leo's Church Homelessness Workgroup to share your ideas about how to provide shelter for all. Register here.
Two League of Women Voters of WA Virtual Events to Watch
Citizen Initiative Review: Judicial Review and Quality Control Options October 19, 2020, 11:45 am - 1:45 pm
• Kathy Sakahara | Elections, Voting Rights & Campaign Finance Chair, WA LWV
• Linn Davis | Program Manager, Healthy Democracy
• Marge Easley | Action Chair, Oregon LWV
• Nick Brown | Litigation Partner, Pacifica Law Group
• Judge Carol Murphy | Judge, Thurston County Superior Court
• Julie Wise | Director, King County Elections
This is a discussion about the Citizens Initiative Review (CIR), the CIR process, and the practical applications of CIR in Oregon, which has used CIR since 2008, including policy initiatives and other aspects of initiative reform that are at the forefront of the League of Women Voters’ efforts.
Also to be discussed are the existing procedural process for initiative review in Washington State: impediments and advantages of the current system and potential reforms including pre-election judicial review, changes to filing requirements and notice and comment periods for initiatives and the considerations underlying those reforms.
Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org)
Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner on the Federal Elections Commission
Carl Parrish, Community & Social Activist
UnRepresented investigates the mechanisms that give political insiders enormous, unchecked power. Join us for a virtual screening of this important new film and take part in a panel discussion following the movie to hear about grassroots movements taking shape to break this cycle. LWVWA Elections and Campaign Finance lead advocate, Kathy Sakahara will also discuss LWVWA’s legislative efforts in next year's legislative session.