Many thanks to those who attended our meet and greet holiday lunch with elected officials on Dec. 3 at Ambrosia Catering in East Bremerton. It’s a busy time of year for all of us, but we were pleased that State Rep. Dan Griffey of Allyn, Kitsap County Commissioners Rob Gelder and Ed Wolfe and Mayor Patty Lent of Bremerton all attended. We heard about lots of exciting plans in store for Bremerton, the county and the state. It was an informative meeting as well as a social get-together for about 25 League members.
How does money
influence state, local and national elections, especially since the
Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010?
The League of Women Voters of Kitsap will take up this subject with four guest speakers at a public meeting Thursday, Nov. 19, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.
Here are the guest speakers for the meeting:
– Katrina Asay, chairwoman of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. She is a former member of the state House of Representatives and former mayor of Milton in Pierce County.
– Lori Anderson, communications and training officer for the PDC. The commission maintains a database of registered candidates, political committees and their campaign contributions and expenditures.
– Dean Nielsen, principal of Cerillion N4 Partners, a political consulting firm. He has worked on more than 1,000 campaigns in 34 states and five foreign countries.
– Serena Larkin, a senior communications associate with Sightline Institute. She was a member of the communications team for the Honest Elections Seattle campaign.
The meeting promises a lively discussion about a timely issue
affecting political campaigns at all levels. Please plan to attend
and bring a friend.
This event will be recorded for future broadcast by BKAT, Comcast Ch. 12 and WAVE Broadband, Ch. 3.
Information: Visit our website, lwv-kitsap.org, or e-mail Kim Abel at email@example.com.
The League of Women Voters of Kitsap’s next community meeting
will focus on Money in Politics and how it affects our democracy.
We will have guest speakers, a PowerPoint presentation and audience
This event will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 at Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St.
It is free and open to the public. Please plan to attend and bring your thoughts and questions about the role of money in politics at the national, state and local levels.
Our co-sponsors are the Kitsap Sun and Kitsap Regional Library. The discussion will be recorded by BKAT for rebroadcast on Comcast Ch. 12 and Wave Broadband Ch. 3.
For information visit our website, www.lwv-kitsap.org, or contact Kim Abel, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 360-874-6774.
From the Kitsap Sun, Oct. 11, 2015
Tim Eyman’s latest ill-conceived idea, I-1366, is an attempt to force the Legislature — and therefore the state — into choosing between two disastrous options. If I-1366 is adopted, the initiative would decrease state revenue by $8 billion over six years, resulting in a loss of billions for K-12 education and other programs — unless legislators send to voters a Constitution amendment that would require a two-thirds supermajority to adjust taxes and fees.
In simple terms, Eyman is holding the Legislature hostage — allowing a 17-member minority (of 147) to dictate budget decisions, or face billions in cuts. We could see $8 billion in revenue stripped from the state’s operating budget over six years. Cuts of this magnitude would create major holes in bipartisan efforts to fund K-12 and higher education, health and human services, law enforcement, along with many other essential services that our communities depend on. The state Supreme Court saw what parents see every day, that K-12 is already desperately underfunded, and is holding the Legislature in contempt of court for its failure to find adequate funding. Losing billions in resource makes our kids the real victims of Eyman’s I-1366.
I-1366 also creates an unfair hurdle to tax reform. Eyman seeks to require a supermajority vote to adjust taxes and close loopholes for wealthy corporations. A two-thirds majority vote would reverse the Legislature’s tradition of majority rule, and transfer control over the outcome of decisions on raising or recovering revenue into the hands of a few. I-1366 would prevent changes to our state’s regressive tax system and allow extremists from either party to block attempts at making taxes more equitable for middle- and low-income families, or to help small businesses by replacing outdated business and occupation taxes.
This is not a new idea: Eyman has tried and failed with several initiatives to force changes to our legislative process and budgeting, losing at the ballot box and in court. Similarly, I-1366 is constitutionally flawed — if it is approved by the voters, the legal question alone will cost taxpayer resources better invested elsewhere. Previous rulings have already deemed the idea of a supermajority as unconstitutional, and as a result Eyman’s new efforts are to change the Constitution or allow the public to suffer an $8 billion loss. Initiative promoter Eyman is hoping voters will look past recent headlines that exposed his financial misdeeds and support his latest ill-conceived idea.
I-1366 is politics at its worst — a profit-making scheme for Eyman that undermines our Constitution and threatens hard-won gains for our kids and communities. Voters should send a clear message that enough is enough, and join the bipartisan coalition opposing I-1366. Let’s reject this false choice and take positive steps to make our government more accountable, fair and focused.
Myra Howrey is president of the League of Women Voters of Kitsap County.
Copyright 2015 Journal
Founded by activists who secured voting rights for women, the League of Women Voters has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative government. The League believes in an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive – one that assures opportunities for citizen participation in government decision-making.
Because of these deeply held convictions, League of Women Voters of WA opposed the charter school initiatives of 1996 and 2000, the referendum of 2004 and the initiative that passed in 2012 and was a party to the lawsuit on which the State Supreme Court ruled last Friday, September 4, 2015. League’s position was based in part on the following:
Washington’s founders adopted unique State Constitutional provisions governing public education in Washington. These provisions required a school system that was controlled by and accountable to the voters whose taxes support the schools, that was general and uniform among all Washington’s children, and that was fully funded by revenue that was protected from diversion to other uses.
This founding vision for the State’s public schools was confirmed shortly after the State Constitution’s adoption by the Washington Supreme Court which stated that a common school is open “to all children . . . free, and subject to, and under the control of, the qualified voters of the school district” and held unconstitutional a publicly funded experimental school whose management was not controlled by and accountable to the voters. (School Dist. No. 20 v. Bryan, 51 Wash. 498).
Charter supporters in drafting the initiative that passed in 2012 ignored the unique provisions of the State Constitution and long-standing Washington Court precedent. Private boards selected by non-profit corporations rather than publicly elected by citizens will govern charter schools. Voters will lose their right to elect representatives to oversee the spending of their taxes.
Charter schools will be exempt from state statutes and rules applicable to school districts and boards, creating a separate and unequal school system – even though Article IX of the Washington state Constitution requires a general and uniform system of public schools.
For these same reasons, LWVWA agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision that affirmed the King County Superior Court’s ruling of December 13, 2013 that Charter Schools are not common schools and therefore are not eligible to receive restricted common school funding from the state.
It is unfortunate that parents and schools were not notified before school starting that the Supreme Court held its hearing on the case in October, 2014. It was clear that the case was pending before the Supreme Court and that the ruling might affect charter school funding when it was issued.
LWVWA has worked hard for many years to assure that Washington State amply funds education, its paramount duty in the State Constitution. Since the legislature was unable to address this sufficiently and the State of Washington is still in contempt of court in the McCleary lawsuit, LWVWA disagrees with calls for a Special Session of the Legislature to deal with the Charter School issue. A plan to fully fund our schools that serve one million-plus students, as the McCleary decision calls for, is what is needed for all of Washington’s students.
The League of Women Voters of Kitsap will present the following
forums in October. They are free and open to the public. Please
come and bring your questions for the candidates.
The forums will be recorded and broadcast by BKAT on Comcast Ch. 12 and Wave Broadband Ch. 13.
Co-sponsors for the forums are the Kitsap Sun, Kitsap Regional Library, NAACP Bremerton Chapter and the Kitsap Historical Society and Museum.
For information see the LWVK website at www.lwv-kitsap.org.
Oct.1 – Port Orchard City Council and Mayor
Port Orchard City Hall,
216 Prospect St.
Oct. 5 – Poulsbo City Council and North Kitsap School Board
Poulsbo City Hall
200 E Moe St.
Oct. 6 – Bremerton City Council and Bremerton School Board
Norm Dicks Center
345 6th St., Bremerton
Oct. 8 – South Kitsap School Board
Port Orchard City Hall
216 Prospect St.
Oct. 13 – Port of Bremerton, Central Kitsap Fire District
Norm Dicks Center
345 6th St., Bremerton
Oct. 14 – Bainbridge City Council and Bainbridge School
City Council Chambers
280 Madison Ave. N, Bainbridge Island
It’s time again for the Primary Candidate Forums for Kitsap County so mark your calendars. All of the forums will be held at the Norm Dicks Hall at 345 6th Street in Bremerton.
Below is the forums schedule. BKAT will be recording each forum and the recordings will be available for viewing by going to our website at www.lwv-kitsap.org and clicking on the “Program Videos” tab.
Learn about the candidates and be an informed voter.
Monday, July 14 United States Congress, District 6 6:30 p.m.
Marty McClendon (R)
Douglas Milholland (Green)
Monday, July 21 35th District State Senator 6:30 p.m.
Irene Bowling (D)
Travis Couture (R)
Tim Sheldon (D)
35th District State Representative, Position 1 7:30 p.m.
Kathy Haigh (D)
Dan Griffey (R)
Josiah Rowell (R)
Tuesday, July 22 Kitsap Prosecuting Attorney 6:30 p.m.
Russ Hauge (D)
Tina Robinson (R)
Bruce Danielson (I)
Bob Scales (D)
Kitsap Assessor 7:30 p.m.
Paul Andrews (D)
W. Sean Smith (R)
Gary Sobeck (D)
Phil Cook (R)
Monday, July 28 26th District State Representative, Position 1 6:30
Bill Scheidler (R)
Jesse Young (R)
Nathan Schlicher (D)
By Rachel Seymour
POULSBO — Bev Cobain, a retired Bremerton nurse, can’t stress how important it is for people to educate themselves on how to handle suicidal thoughts and depression.
Cobain, who specialized in mental health nursing, has not only battled suicidal thoughts herself but lost three family members to suicide — two uncles and a second cousin, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
“You don’t have to live in fear, but you need to be aware,” she said.
Cobain will be one of four speakers at a suicide prevention forum Saturday at Poulsbo City Hall.
Saturday’s forum will address warning signs, how to support those struggling with suicidal thoughts, local services, survivors of suicide and crisis intervention with local law enforcement.
Suicide was not something Cobain’s family talked about, even after it affected them directly. The taboo is slowly fading, she said, but not nearly fast enough.
People still lower their voices when they talk about suicide in public, she said.
“When you are talking about your loved ones, don’t lower your voice,” Cobain said.
According to a report from the Kitsap Public Health District, 20 percent of the county’s 10th-graders reported they had “seriously considered attempting suicide” in 2012, and 32 percent of them felt “sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities.”
Teens are more likely to attempt suicide than other age groups, highlighting the need for more youth outreach, according to according to Kelly Schwab, program manager for the Crisis Clinic of the Peninsulas. Local and national increases in senior suicides also have been noted.
The county health district reported the highest rate of suicide deaths in people 65 and older from 2002 to 2011 with 20 deaths per 100,000 people. The county also had significantly more male deaths, 21 per 100,000 people, from suicides than females, five per 100,000.
And this time of year is especially difficult for those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. As spring changes to summer, the number of suicides rises across the nation, Schwab said.
A lot of people think there is a spike around the holidays, he said, but not as many during this time of year.
It’s uncertain exactly why this trend happens, but Schwab has a theory.
People expect to be stressed or depressed during the winter or around the holidays, and the Crisis Clinic does take more calls during these times. But when spring and summer arrive, people don’t expect depression to stay, Schwab said.
They realize it’s not the weather, he said, it’s internal.
Another misconception about suicide is that it is a choice.
Suicide is the only option a suicidal person sees at that point, Schwab said.
And suicidal people don’t see it as a selfish act.
They convince themselves everyone around them would be better off without them, Schwab said.
Saturday’s forum will discuss other myths about suicide as well as prevention.
Suicide can be shocking, but if you know what to look for you are more apt to notice the signs, Cobain said.
Those signs could help save a life.
What: Suicide prevention and community education
When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday
Where: Poulsbo City Hall, 200 Moe St. NE