Submitted Candidate Statements to KCYD

Candidates were asked to respond to the following prompt:

We at King County Young Democrats believe that young people and their issues have been ignored and pushed aside in politics. What have you done to advance youth issues in King County?

King County

Dow Constantine for King County Executive

Let’s start with the work I’ve done to support young adults, youth, and children. With hundreds of millions of dollars invested through more than 500 community-based organizations, Best Starts for Kids is navigating youth through challenges and helping with the difficult transition to adulthood, higher education, and employment.

Best Starts is central to our nation-leading work to prevent legal criminal system involvement. My zero youth detention plan has helped reduce the number of people detained on youth charges from about 90 to when I took office to fewer than 15 this year.
And Restorative Community Pathways, co-created by trusted community partners like Choose 180 and Community Passageways, will divert 800 more youth away from the criminal legal system every year.

But, we also have to leave my 1st grade daughter and her generation a healthy world. As Senator, I introduced the first climate bill in Washington State. As County Councilmember, I led the battle to stop sprawl and save our forests. As Executive, I’ve launched our ambitious climate plan to cut carbon emissions in half this decade alone. I’m proud that WashPIRG and Environment Washington recognize me as a national leader for my work to transition Metro to a 100% electric fleet.

And we created ORCA LIFT and a new free fare card to make sure everyone has access to that clean transit. Speaking of transit, I built partnerships that led to the creation and passage of Sound Transit 3, to complete the 3-county high capacity zero emission rail system we have always needed.

I’m excited about the rapid progress this moment of crisis makes possible, taking our shared values and making them real.

Joe Nguyen for King County Executive

Joe Cohen for King County Council Position 3

Hey King County Young Democrats. This is Joe Cohen and I’m running for King County Council, District 3. I’m running because our community here in King County faces unprecedented challenges right now, and it’s clear that we need people on the Council who are up to these big challenges, particularly in the areas of criminal justice reform and housing insecurity.

I took the values I learned growing up here, and began a lifelong commitment to public service, and will bring with me to the council my 10 years of experience on criminal justice reform, including my work at the U.S. Department of Justice leading oversight investigations into federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and Bureau of Prisons, in addition to my work on Senator Maria Cantwell’s legislative staff, and in the Obama White House. I’ll use this experience to demand transparency and accountability in the King County Sherriff’s Office.

As an attorney in private practice, I continued my commitment to service by representing people facing eviction. By representing people on the brink of homelessness, it’s frustrating to see that 6 years after a homelessness emergency was announced in King County, the number of people experiencing homelessness has only gone up. As a councilmember, I’ll demand results that are consistent with our values.

I’d be proud to take my experience and values to the King County Council. Thank you.

Sarah Perry for King County Council Position 3

Hi, I’m Sarah Perry and I am running for King County Council, District 3, because our district needs a champion, a champion who embraces diversity, economic opportunity for all, and will fight climate change with all the urgency required to protect the future of our youth.

I’ve spent my life working in university settings and non-profit settings, building community and building solutions to move us all forward. But at heart, I’m an organizer and I’m a mobilizer and I believe what will cure what ails us is a representative government, which includes enough folks bringing their voices forward from our youth leaders.

In 2016 I became the 5th LD PCO Chair and helped to organize 150 volunteers to give 3 hours once a month to flip that district. That included making sure we had enough 18-35 year-old PCOs to represent the 30% we had in the district. That was very important, and in 2019 we held a canvass every single weekend to elect Kristiana de Leon and Zach Hall as our youngest city councilmembers for Black Diamond and for Issaquah. And we’re about to elect two more: Tanya Lavoy and Jo Johnson, and I couldn’t be more excited about that! I also worked to make sure we had enough youth voices represented on our 5th LD Executive Board.

I would be so honored to have the endorsement of the Young Dems because lifting the voices of young leadership is a core part of my value structure. I want to work together to organize what we do so that we ensure that young leaders have their voice at the table for all of our decisions.

Dave Upthegrove for King County Council Position 5

Hi. I’m Dave Upthegrove. King County Councilmember from South King County. I made history as the first out LGBT legislator outside the City of Seattle in the history of our state. What drove me then, still drives me today: a passion for justice; LGBT equality, racial equality, gender equality, fighting for tribal treaty rights, labor rights and dealing with income inequality. In the Legislature I was a leader of a progressive caucus, pushing our own party leadership to do better on labor and environmental issues. Seven years ago, the people of our community elected me to be their voice on the King County Council, where I’ve centered my work in communities of color and immigrant and refugee communities– building authentic relationships, trust, and delivering results. That’s what I am proud to have early endorsements from more than 75 leaders from communities of color in South King County. It is critical to me to elevate the issues that are important to young people. I do that by funding a Youth Advisory Council in my office. It is not just performative; this is a critical source of information for me. I also champion issues that I believe are important to the next generation like climate change. I led the effort to shut down our state’s last coal plant. I successfully led the effort to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure in King County. And I’ve championed progressive criminal justice reform, such as banning private prisons, decriminalizing fare enforcement, and expanding diversion programs into South King County. I would love the support of the Young Democrats to build a brighter future together. Dave Upthegrove, King County Council.

Shukri Olow for King County Council Position 5

Saudia J Abdullah for King County Council Position 7

My name is Saudia J. Abdullah and I am running for King County Council District 7. I am running because it’s time for new leadership in this area. District 7 is rapidly growing and changing, and the success of this community depends on the strength of its leaders. It’s time for new ideas, new perspectives and new solutions.
Too many of our students don’t have access to broadband or strong internet services. The county must support cities in increasing access to technology. As schools prepare to fully reopen in the fall, it is essential that the county step in and fill the gaps to ensure student, teacher and staff safety. It’s time to invest in pre-apprenticeship programs and technical and vocational training for students who choose not to go the traditional college route.
As a community member I am active with Gradtechs a college access program that assist students with enrollment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I work with Delta Sigma Theta’s Tacoma Chapter of GEMS. The program focuses on young women who are interested in developing leadership skills; who are actively pursuing college and/or career options; who need encouragement and support in the pursuit of higher learning.
As a leader in criminal justice I have mentored and provided career support to young professionals interested in advancing.

As a elected official I will continue to create career advancement and learning opportunities. I will create internships for those interested in a career in politics. And lastly I will continue to clear a path for those behind me.
My name is Saudia J Abdullah and I am running for King County Council Seat District 7.
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Chris Franco for King County Council Position 9

Kim-Khanh Van for King County Council Position 9

Ubax Gardheer for King County Council Position 9

Hi King County Young Dems, happy Friday! I’m doing this last minute.
I am doing this video to ask for your endorsement. I am Ubax Gardheere, and I’m running for King County Council, District 9, on a just transition framework. We only have 90 seconds so I’m not gonna go through that, but I’ve worked with youth since I was a youth myself. I used to translate when I was in Foster High School for parents and youth, 5 years ago I started the Community Leadership Institute with Puget Sound Sage, that trained young leaders of color to be placed in boards and commissions to advance a racial equity agenda. I started a non-profit organization that works with East African Youth in Seattle and South King County, and we have worked with thousands of youth. Most of them were the first ones in their families to go to college and graduate. A lot of the cohorts that came out of the Community Leadership Institute either ran for office and won or they are running currently. So if you endorse me, and vote for me, I will not disappoint you.
Ubax for King County District 9, thank you.


Nancy Backus for Auburn Mayor

Hello, I’m Nancy Backus, Mayor of the city of Auburn, and I am running for re-election. I am proud of the youth and young adult involvement in our community.

Eight years ago, the Auburn City Council approved the formation of the Auburn Junior City Council. Current eligibility includes a member from each high school, middle school and those who are home schooled. The goal for the AJCC is to have the youth voice be heard and to inform the City Council and Mayor on issues facing our community from the youth perspective.

In the past few years, we have increased the level of activity and the frequency of meetings and also funded annual trips to the National League of Cities conferences in WA DC so they could network with other youth councils.

This year we’ve chosen to do remote monthly town halls this year on varying topics. The April town hall was totally youth driven – our AJCC Chair and Vice Chair designed the programming, invited the panelist, created the questions, moderated and did a fantastic job!

We have also created board & commission positions specifically for youth on our Transportation Advisory Board and the Planning Commission. Youth are also eligible to be on all of our boards and commissions.

I have often said that we are simply the caretakers of our city for the next generation, so it’s critical that we engage with them on how we move forward!

Kate Baldwin for Auburn City Council Position 2

Larry Brown for Auburn City Council Position 6

Hello King County Young Democrats. My name is Larry Brown, I use he/him as my pronouns. I respectfully request consideration for your endorsement of my 2021 Primary and General Election races for my first reelection to the Auburn City Council Position #6. I request your support because the voices of young people are important to me and are vital to the future of our community, state and nation.
In my fulltime day job I am the President of the Washington State Labor Council and prior to that I was the legislative and political director for the Aerospace Machinists 751. I am a lifelong Democrat. As both a labor leader and as a Democrat I have always supported young people. I have a combined 24 years volunteering as a trustee at Green River College, a member of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and currently serving on the Washington State Workforce Training Board. There I have advocated for funding for academic, professional and technical and apprenticeship type postsecondary tracts for young people. I am a supporter of the Auburn Youth Council and a longtime supporter of the Institute for a Democratic Future and the Washington Bus, both organizations promoting youth political involvement.
I would be proud to receive your endorsement. Thanks you again.


Hugo Garcia for Burien City Council Position 1

Charles Schaefer for Burien City Council Position 3

Hello, I’m Charles Schaefer and I’m running for position 3 on the Burien city council. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about young people in politics because I have a personal story. When I was in high school I served on the Burien teen leadership council. At first, it was just an extra-curricular activity for me, but as I got involved and saw the things that were going on in my community, it interested me, and obviously I’ve continued to be involved to this day. A few years ago, when the council was considering bringing the youth council back, I went as a citizen in support and offered testimony in favor. And two years ago, in my previous city council run, I attended a candidate forum hosted by the youth council and got to discuss my positions on the issues with them and hear some dialogue and some comments from them as to what they were concerned about. I think youth are an underrepresented portion of the community and anything the city can do to reach out to them. I know the city already has a good social media game, but I think continuing that would be one possible way to get youth involved, and also if elected I would go to high school civics classes, community college civics classes, just to engage with people and just hear what their thoughts are so that’s sort of my engagement ideas and I hope for your endorsement, thank you.

Jimmy Matta for Burien City Council Position 3

Hello King County Young Democrats. My name is Jimmy Matta, Mayor of the city of Burien running for re-election of Burien City Council, Position #3. Key issues I’ve been working on is addressing youth-on-youth violence after the tragic death of our beloved community member 13 year old Elizabeth Juarez and 19 year old Eveona Cortez who were both murdered on March 28th 2018. I’ve organized as vice-chair of the Latino Civic Alliance that pressured the King County Prosecutor’s Office in charging those that have wronged our community and most importantly stripped these young women’s lives from their families. Additionally to the Latino Civic Alliance, I have supported Burien Youth Council in organizing Latino Legislative Day Youth Conference where students all over Washington go through a series of workshop, this year being anti-blackness and communities of color, mental health, and activist turnout, and many more relevant youth community dialogue. I stand for policies, leadership, actions that reflect all voices, not just the loudest and most dominant ones at the table. As I continue throughout this campaign election season, I am intentionally making opportunities for communities of color and our young generation. I remember not being afforded the space or opportunity to participate in politics because of my race and age. This is not a barrier I wish upon any of my campaign staff or community members. Our youth platform continues to grow with the campaign, count on it. We’ll continue to reach out and highlight more local campaigns and groups for young people. Thank you so much.

Krystal Marx for Burien City Council Position 7

Hi everyone!
My name is Krystal Marx, I use she/her pronouns, and I am running for re-election to the Burien City Council, Position 7. I was first elected in 2017.
As an out bisexual woman, mother of four, executive director of Seattle Pride, current Deputy Mayor of Burien, Washington and former KCYD Vice Chair, I know what it’s like to have a lot on my plate.
None of that compares to the issues facing the youth in King County right now.
During my time on Council, I have gone into our high schools and listened to the things our youth are struggling with – gun violence, gang pressure, housing instability and racism in education. I then shared ways to get involved in local politics, helping them to bypass the roadblocks set in their way by a system designed to minimize public engagement, and helped to champion a full suite of tenant protections (including being only the 2nd city in Washington state to pass a Just Cause Eviction ordinance).
I have also spoken with youth from outside of my city, as I believe issues that impact Burien are not unique to Burien by any means. Most notably, I met with queer youth interns at the White Center Community Development Association, showing them an array of career and political opportunities available to queer youth.
We continue to need bold, progressive leadership in all levels of government, now more than ever. I am asking for your endorsement and support for my re-election to the Burien City Council.
Thank you for listening.

Des Monies

Soleil Lewis for Des Moines City Council Position 7

Hi My name is Soleil Lewis. I am running for City of Des Moines City Council. I am running because I want to ensure and assure that young people are really considered in the conversation when comes too politics in general. Specifically what I do currently engagement to enforce the movement for young people so young people can feel involved in local politics. There are three things one the things that I do is I engage with the Seattle King County NAACP NYC local coalition to empower students to engage with local school districts across South King County to implement racial ethnic studies.

I work as an English Second Language Teacher and Kindergarten Teacher.

Thirdly I work as a Special Education Teacher I have always had a great passion for involving young people’s lives. It is something I live truly. Thus that is why I am running for City of Des Moines City Council, I would love the King County Youth Democrats endorsement.

Federal Way

Gregory Baruso for Federal Way City Council Position 2

Hello, King County Young Democrats –
So the question is, “What have I done to advance youth issues in King County?”
In 2018, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, I marched with my wife and daughter in the March for Our Lives protest for gun control in Seattle.
Pre-apprenticeships is important to me and apprenticeships because not all high school graduates can afford college so going for a CWA, a community workforce agreement as the Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee chair for Capital Projects in Federal Way, it is important to me, not everyone can afford college, so I’ve tried, I’ve been doing that for quite a while now.
As President of the Citizens for Federal Way Schools, it’s important to me that we address youth homelessness. Again, being chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee, that’s a good thing for me too because I can work with now, Dr. Phieffer, Dani Phieffer, who is now the new Superintendent, to try to work this out now that our children are coming back next year for school we need to address homelessness and lunches and things like that, we make sure that they can eat and be successful because again, a hungry child cannot learn.
So that is what I have been doing and that’s what I continue to do, and that is what I need your assistance with.
Thank you very much.

Leandra Craft for Federal Way City Council Position 5

Hi my name is Leandra Craft and I’m running to retain my seat for Federal Way City Council, Position 5. I very proud to say that I’m a second generation Filipina American and the first Asian American woman to be on the Federal Way City Council. My entire professional career has been focused on advancing issues that are important to the youth in our community. I consider myself as a part of the millennial generation and I am the youngest individual on the Federal Way City Council at this time at the age of 30. In my entire professional career at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a Deputy Prosecutor, I’ve very much focused on reforming the criminal legal system by being involved in collaborative justice programs such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, the Familiar Faces Program, and King County Drug Diversion Court which are non-traditional programs and alternative to traditional incarceration. On Federal Way City Council, I was happy to be a part of passing a budget that allowed for a part-time Diversity, Equity and Inclusion staff person for the first time in Federal Way City History. We’re also working on a Climate Action Plan for the City of Federal Way and I’m happy to say that I’m spearheading one of the larger, more controversial issues for the City of Federal Way which is police accountability. I would be happy for your endorsement and look forward to meeting you all. Thank you.

Renae Seam for Federal Way City Council Position 6


Barbara de Michele for Issaquah City Council Position 3

Hi! I’m Barb de Michele and I’m running for re-election to the Issaquah City Council, Position 3.

I have been involved in supporting young people for most of my adult life. A former public middle school teacher and school district administrator, in 1995 and 1999 I was elected to serve on the Issaquah School Board. From 2010 to 2019, I served as the Executive Director of the Issaquah Community Network, a state-funded organization focused on at-risk youth. In that capacity I founded our community’s youth drug prevention network, initiated a youth mental health awareness program, and helped to found the Garage, A Teen Café located in downtown Issaquah. High school students worked on my 2019 campaign committee as the campaign videographer, social media manager, and event manager.

Since my election to the council, I’ve promoted inclusion of youth and young adults in city decision-making. For example, I successfully supported the inclusion of reserved seats for youth on the city’s new Environmental Board. I supported the election campaign of Zach Hall, at 24 the youngest person (and also a Democrat) ever elected to the Issaquah City Council.

I’ve been endorsed by the 5th District Democrats, and I would be honored to have the endorsement of King County Young Democrats.


Nigel Herbig for Kenmore City Council Position 4

My name is Nigel Herbig, and I’m running for reelection to the Kenmore City Council.

From talking to young adults, finding and keeping an affordable place to live is one of the biggest issues they’re facing.

I’ve been a leader on affordable housing. I led efforts to:

Protect our mobile home parks;

To make it easier for accessory dwelling units to be built by eliminating the unnecessary parking requirements;

And I pushed us to address the issue of missing middle housing in our largely single-family zoned city, which we will be doing later this year.

I am also working on legislation right now, partnering with the Keep Housed Keep Healthy coalition, to protect tenants as the eviction moratorium comes to an end.

I recognize the intersection between housing affordablity and transportation – too many folks are forced to live far away from their jobs to afford a home, and that’s not fair. The way we’ve built our cities almost forces car ownership on folks. It’s not good for the climate or our health. This is why I have been a leader on expanding our sidewalks and bike lanes – we have built over 3 miles of both since I was elected, and we are in the process of building another 3 miles right now. I was also involved in both getting the 522 Bus Rapid Transit project into the Sound Transit 3 package, and in the campaign to pass ST3.

We have to reorient how we build our cities, to allow for more diverse and affordable housing options, and to not force the cost of car ownership onto folks. I am committed to this work so that anyone who wants to live in Kenmore can find a home, and get around without needing a car. I hope that answers your question, and I hope I can earn your endorsement.

Jon Culver for Kenmore City Council Position 6


Dawn Bennett for Kent Mayor

Hello King County Young Dems, my name is Dawn Bennett. I would love to get endorsed by you, because I’ve seen all you young people in the streets asking for equity and equality, and having equity and equality built into policy. I would do just that as the Mayor of Kent, and I’ll also have a team that will come with me, to help me, engage with the young people, engage with those, who are of culture, and everyone else. So with your endorsement, it shows that I’m in the fight with you, I want to fight alongside you, and I want to be with you.

Cliff Cawthon for Kent City Council Position 4

Hello fellow Young Democrats, my name is Clifford Carl Cawthon, but you can call me Cliff, and I’m running for Kent City Council, Position 4.
Now why am I running?
Because I see the city of Kent as a place of opportunity for everyone. And let me say this again, I see this as a place of opportunity for everyone, and we can do that by putting policies in place that actually make housing a human right. Where we are able to hold police accountable and reimagine public safety. Where we have a robust web of human services, that are funded, and that we come up with a plan to support our most vulnerable residents as well as to improve what we have in place right now. And that’s what’s important here, and that’s what at stake, making sure that our community as a whole is listened to, in that only a few people aren’t the only ones with their voices in the room. As young people, we are going to be a core of my campaign, transforming the electorate. That’s why I need you, and that’s why I want to bring your voice to Kent City Council. So, I would love your support. Please check out my website, and I hope to see you out there.


Jay Arnold for Kirkland City Council Position 1

Neal Black for Kirkland City Council Position 5

Hi. I’m Councilmember Neal Black. I’m up for re-election to the Kirkland City Council.

While there’s much overlap between youth issues and issues that concern society as a whole, it’s true that many issues that young people in King County care deeply about, from climate change to affordable housing to gun violence to racial injustice, have not always received the attention they deserve. As a member of the Kirkland Council, I’ve supported a number of policies to help ease these issues.

Last year, I and other Kirkland leaders completed a multiple-year effort to adopt a city-wide Sustainability Master Plan to help reduce Kirkland’s carbon footprint. I’ve also pushed for sustainable development and green building construction around walkable neighborhood centers and worked to create transportation options that reduce congestion and are cleaner, greener, and more efficient.

The creation of affordable housing has also been a priority of mine and other Kirkland leaders. In March 2020, with the Council’s adoption of a Missing Middle Housing Initiative, we took significant steps to encourage development of the greater mix of housing types needed to create more affordable homes throughout the city.

As a former member of the board of Washington Ceasefire, I’ve long been an ally in efforts to adopt common-sense gun safety legislation.

Finally, my colleagues on the Council and I have worked to make Kirkland a more inclusive and just community. In August 2020, we adopted Resolution R-5434, affirming that Black Lives Matter and establishing a framework for implementing specific strategies – involving transparency, accountability, inclusivity, community dialogue, and funding – that will help ensure that everyone who lives, works, and visits Kirkland feels safe and welcome and, just as importantly, knows they belong.

Jon Pascal for Kirkland City Council Position 7

Lake Forrest Park

Larry Goldman for Lake Forrest Park City Council Position 7

Hello King County Young Democrats. My name is Larry Goldman and I am running for Lake Forest Park City Council Position 7. I’m a lifelong Democrat and a first time candidate. I’d love to receive your endorsement. You’ve asked me to talk about youth issues. Something I’ll mention is that I teach at the University of Washington Seattle. And in a fully nonpartisan way I do everything I can to encourage voter turnout. I teach relatively large classes and I encourage and remind students about upcoming deadlines, elections, things like that. If elected I would definitely emphasize a lot of environmental issues. I have a four year old nephew and I wonder and worry about what the world’s going to look like when he’s voting age and older. And so I will prioritize anything we can do to make the city of Lake Forest Park more environmentally friendly. More emphasis on public transportation, things like that. Also I think a way to get people more involved in politics is to show them what it’s all about, and I would, if elected, I would definitely support the Lake Forest Park city council having some outreach events. Maybe instead of having 1 of our meetings at city hall, have a meeting at Shorecrest High School to get some of the high school students to see what local government is about. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.


Paul Charbonneau for Newcastle City Council Position 6

My name is Paul Charbonneau, and as a 24 year old running for Newcastle City Council I will be the only member of the council that has been raised in Newcastle or is under 40, when I win in 2021.

I have dedicated my adult life to advancing the issues of mental health, AND youth engagement.

I worked in the 2016 and 2017 elections organizing as an intern for Planned Parenthood Votes.

In 2018 I struggled with mental illness and attempted to take my own life. Having survived, I began presenting for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (the largest mental health nonprofit in the country). Working as a mental health advocate, I have spoken in schools and nationally to thousands of students.

I now work for the nonprofit in organizing our educational programs in King County, and serve on the state’s public policy committee as their youth engagement representative!

In 2020 I managed the successful campaign of Democrat Dan Bronoske for State House in the 28th legislative district. But, I most proudly had six college-interns ALL of which I made sure were paid for their internship.

I’ve been engaged with my community as a Volunteer Wrestling coach at Hazen high school since 2017 working with young men and women, and hope to prioritize mental health in public safety, public health through increased community programming, and provide a youth perspective to the city of Newcastle as we undergo rapid change.

I appreciate the consideration of the King County Young Democrats!


Jeralee Anderson for Redmond City Council Position 6

Hi, I’m Jeralee Anderson, my pronouns are she/her, and am delighted to submit this request for your endorsement of my re-election to Redmond City Council Position 6, where I serve as Vice President.

I’m a construction engineer with a passion for sustainability and I absolutely LOVE infrastructure! In my day job, I am the chief executive and co-founder of a nonprofit startup from the University of Washington called Greenroads International.

I am running because I believe that climate change, social equality and economic justice are the most important issues of our time and of generations to come.

Since I have held office, here are some youth issues I have worked on in those areas.

When it comes to climate change, I’ve worked with the Sustainability Ambassadors program through Redmond High School as a guest speaker and advocate, preparing teens with leadership and public speaking skills.

When it comes to racial equality and social justice, I’ve been advocating for safe accessible transit and infrastructure throughout the City, County and State, by ensuring we are investing tax dollars in underserved and unserved parts of our community.

Youth and teen programming is also part of our parks and recreation economic recovery plan. Our Council restored funding and staffing for the teen center this summer after downtime last year due to COVID. We also reviewed tech startup pitches from Redmond High students who proposed a mental health app for teens.

I am a proven builder, a teacher, a rainmaker, and changemaker. You can learn more about me on my website at Thank you so much for your consideration and support.


Carmen Rivera for Renton City Council Position 2

Hello, my name is Carmen Rivera and I am a candidate for Renton City Council Position 2.

I have spent my entire life working with and learning from youth, both at the State level and within King County. I have learned the importance of moving from performative action to transformative change.

I began my career working with incarcerated youth at Echo Glen Children’s Center, where I learned how institutionalized racism and systemic inequities impact our most vulnerable and marginalized youth across the State. I helped develop their LGBTQ youth programming, contributed to progressive policies around working with gender non conforming youth, and created the *first LGBTQ youth group that is still active today.

Then I worked for King County as a WIOA case manager, working with youth across the South King County region who had not finished high school. I worked with them to find a reengagement program that was the best fit for them and helped placed them into paid internship in areas of work where they had the most interest.

I have learned from working with youth as a social services professional the importance of meeting people where they are at.

Through my professional experiences, I have learned the importance of not only engaging youth, but having them at the table to have an impact on the decisions being made. I have pushed, as an ally and advocate for youth, to have them at the table at every level so their valuable voices can be heard and incorporated, and will continue to do so as an elected official. I am not an expert on youth issues, and I will use my power and privilege to make sure youth have a real impact on the issues that most effect them.

Thank you

Max Heller for Renton City Council Position 2

Good morning, my name is Max Heller.
Please excuse my attire, I work for delta airlines and I am currently at work but wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, I am running for Renton city council position #2 , this is not a position I have held before, I am currently an elected Democratic PCO from Renton ,
I am running for this position because we have a lot that’s going on in our city, homelessness and crime, and our current elected officials are simply not getting the job done, we have a lot going on and need solutions and results , I will get the job done and I am asking for your support,
There’s not a lot I can say In one minute so please feel free to call or email me any questions that you may have
Thank you


Jacob Simpson for SeaTac City Council Position 2

Hi, I’m Jake Simpson and I’m running for SeaTac City Council.

I’m 30, my wife and life partner, Jessica, is 29 and our daughter, Sophia, is 5. We decided I should run largely because we believe that young people are left out of the picture in politics in general and especially in SeaTac City Hall.

My good friend and labor brother Takele Gobena was the first guy to ask me to run for city council and he’s the only person on the council with school-aged kids.

I really believe in making this a city that is attractive for young, working families to put down roots in, and that starts with access to affordable housing and low rent prices, increased access to public transit (which I know the importance of because I was without a car for 10 years and as a struggling father, already struggling to pay the bills and working fulltime with my partner working fulltime, we were dependent on public transit to get us to work), and I want my daughter to just grow up in a place where she reflects fondly on her childhood and the nice parks she was able to play in and she feels like she’s able to put roots down in when she grows up.

I’m looking forward to collaborating with such a wonderful group like yours. I’m a lifelong progressive democrat voter. My door is wide open for suggestions and input on how to make this vision a reality for SeaTac.

Iris Guzman for SeaTac City Council Position 6

Hi, my name is Iris Guzman and I am running for SeaTac City Council. Ever since I was young, I have believed in the power of youth. Growing up in East LA in the 1990s was rough, however, I had a teacher who believed in me. My English teacher at the time helped me apply for college and even helped me pay for the trip when it was time to go.
After that experience, I learned how important it was to recognize the potential in young people and to do everything I could to support others in reaching their dreams as well. I have worked exclusively with youth and young adults since the year 2000 to the present. Over the years, I have worked directly with high schoolers in providing them pathways to post-secondary education and long-term employment opportunities. I have also helped recently arrived Spanish-speaking immigrants’ study for and obtain their GED. I have created and co-led grief groups for young people who have experienced loss of loved ones and I have attended rallies in support of youth-led initiatives. As a school social worker for the Highline Public Schools, I keep young people at the forefront of everything I do.
Currently, I continue to work with young people by uplifting their voices at city council meetings, during protests and demonstrations in the community, and by including youth in my current campaign for SeaTac City Council. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Andrew Grant Houston for Seattle Mayor

Colleen Echohawk for Seattle Mayor

Hi, I’m Colleen Echohawk and I’m honored to have the opportunity to speak with all of you.

In the Native community, being a leader is an obligation. It is a sacred promise you give to your community, that you will uphold the values and defend the land and the people. It is not something to be taken up lightly, or for personal gain.

Leadership requires you to forward, but also to look back. Look back to your ancestors and actively engage with those who have come before you. Remembering that you stand on their shoulders, that you belong to their struggle, that you are associated with their pain and their strength.

This quality of leadership for others, for your community, was perhaps exemplified best to me by my adopted grandma Katie John, the Alaska Native land and water rights activist and Matriarchal chief of Mentasta village.

I called many elders when I was thinking about running for mayor, one of them was my Uncle Fred John – who is Grandma Katie’s son. And he told me, “Colleen, there is no word in the Athabascan language for leader. In our language, the word for leader is ‘servant’. Because the leader is the person that serves everyone in the tribe. And it’s their job to make sure the young people, and the old people and the sick people are taken care of.”

As you all move into leadership positions in our lives, I ask you to think about carrying these words with you.

And if you are interested in bringing a new generation of leadership, and transformational change to Seattle, please consider joining our effort. We will welcome you with open arms.

Don L Rivers for Seattle Mayor

Hello. I am Don L Rivers, your candidate for Seattle Mayor. I like to congratulate you. You have shown yourselves to be part of excellence. No longer will you be ignored or overlooked by people who think you don’t matter. Look, I was alone with marching for Black Lives Matter and students Marching against Gun Violence and fighting against racial profiling across this nation. I want to thank you for standing strong for Washington State. My doors of my administration will be open for you. I am looking forward to working for and along side of you in the future as we prepare Seattle to be another City of Destiny. I need your support. Let’s get this thing done together. Thank you.

Jessyn Farrell for Seattle Mayor

Lance Randall for Seattle Mayor

Hello King County Young Democrats

My name is Lance Randall, and I am running for Mayor of Seattle to provide leadership to create a more viable and sustainable future for our city.

When I was in my 20’s I was a member of the Bibb County Young Democrats in Georgia, where I served as president for 2 years. During that time, we also felt that our issues were being ignored and pushed aside, and unfortunately it is still happening today. Because of this firsthand experience, I made a commitment that as a I move forward in my career, I would never ignore the issues of our young people, and I have kept that commitment. Here is what I have been doing to advance the issues of our youth in King County.

• For 4 years I have been the board president for Southeast Youth and Family Services providing mental health services for youth in Southeast Seattle.

• I have provided opportunities for students at Seattle University and the University of Washington to be interns and work with me on projects. and I helped some of them find jobs.

• I partnered with the Seattle Neighborhood Group and A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth program to keep our youth safe in Rainier Beach.

• I helped Youthcare find a facility in Southeast Seattle for to house our homeless youth.

I have done a lot of things to address the issues of our youth in King County and I am committed to do even more as the Mayor of Seattle. Your endorsement will help me get elected and together we will make a difference.

Lorena González for Seattle Mayor

Hi King County Young Democrats. I’m Lorena Gonzalez. I am proud to be a candidate for Mayor of Seattle and would love to earn your endorsement. What have I been able to do for youth here in the city of Seattle? I am proud to say that I have stood with young folks here in our city and young voters for many many years. First and foremost I’m really proud of the work that I was able to do as the prime sponsor to get the Families Education Preschool and Promise Levy passed by voters in the City of Seattle. That funds additional enhancements and supports in the K-12 public education space, and importantly provides a sustainable revenue source to be able to fund our free college program for every graduate from our public school system. I also supported teacher diversity the first of its history so we have cultural learning within through K-12 system. I have also been hard at work criminal justice reform. We know criminal justice reform impacts our youth the most. And lastly I have been focused on making sure that I am investing in community safety initiatives to prevent youth violence, to create employment opportunities for our youth, and I look forward to be able to build on that record as mayor and make sure that youth are at the center of our policies. Thank you.

Rodney Holt for Seattle Mayor

Hi, I’m Rodney Holt Mayoral Candidate Seattle 2021 and I’m working for a better tomorrow, a better future. As you know we are in the middle of a mental health crises. As a result, this is what I currently do; I’m always counseling, informing and advocating for young people. Almost every day we tell young people, It all starts with the vision, then the goal, then the knowledge and strategy it takes to accomplish the intended feet. But first, and foremost you have to surround yourself with a good environment. I say emphatically to the listeners, “When you’re doing right by friends and family, and you surround yourself with good people that want something out of life then you can create an energy that will result in your success then that good energy will permeate and give you the inner strength to overcome unavoidable obstacles, you will then be blessed with an inner passion that can’t be denied”. Furthermore, I’m currently in talks with veteran advocates as it relates to the implementation of hybrid apprenticeship programs 30% classroom 70% on the job training that goes from the public school’s pipeline straight to the corporations. So, I’m asking you to join me in changing the future of young people all across the city.

Kevin Soini for Seattle City Council Position 8

Teresa Mosqueda for Seattle City Council Position 8

Thank you so much for all of the work you do every single day fighting for more equitable policies and fighting to make sure that youth are centered in our public policymaking. One of the things that I did with you in the very first policies that I passed at City Council was to bring in the voice of students from the University of Washington, who called me the week after I got sworn in to tell me about a rent bidding platform that was increasing the cost of rental units in the area, creating an eBay for rental units, which is just wrong. So with your support, we stopped it. We made sure that the voice of youth was at the table to identify problems and the solution. And that’s what we need to do more of. With your support, we’ve helped increase the number of rental units throughout the city, because we know that the city’s made up of more than 50% of renters, and most of them are youth, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and women. We need to create more rental units and more affordable first time home buyer options. With your support, I’ll continue to fight for these things and access to good living wage jobs, making sure that we have more investments in Green New Deal priorities like we did through Jumpstart. I will fight with you to make sure that we have good access to living wage jobs from union work, even in gig economy, domestic worker and hotel work like I’ve done before and making sure that every job is a good job here in our city and everyone has access to afford to live in the city that they work and study in. I look forward to continuing to invest in Green New Deal priorities like we did through Jumpstart because everyone deserves access to a high quality, healthy community and environment. Thank you for all you do. I look forward to having your support.

Brianna Thomas for Seattle City Council Position 9

Claire Grant for Seattle City Council Position 9

Hi, my name is Claire Grant, I am a 26-year-old Master’s in Public Health student at The George Washington university and I am running for Seattle City Council position 9. So often, young people’s voices are spoken over or ignored in politics, but it’s time to change that. Much of my previous political advocacy has been focused the climate crisis, the burden of which has fallen to young people to address, and it is these exact transgenerational injustices that I hope to address with my campaign moving forward. However, I really hope that my solutions to the mitigation and adaptation of the climate crisis, as well as my campaign and my candidacy itself, that will encourage young people to move forward in our democracy and fight to make their voices heard. Whether it is contacting your local elected officials, voting, getting others registered to vote, or running for office, I want to show young people that our voices really do matter, and it is our time to lead.

Corey Eichner for Seattle City Council Position 9

Hi, my name is Corey Eichner, and I am running for Seattle City Council, position 9. For the last 18 years I have gone to work every day serving our students as a teacher and administrator in our public schools. I have had the privilege of working with students and families across our region from Shoreline to South King County.

As an educator, I know the value and importance of youth voice throughout all of our communities. There is no better way to improve our society than to listen to and invest into our young people. As an educator, I have fought for equity and our schools and helped to advance the issues and topics important to our young people through our student advocacy groups and as part of their post-secondary planning.

Much like you, I got my start in advocacy in my late teens and early 20s. As a student at Western, I served as our Associated Student Body President and helped organized student leaders across the state in advocating for equitable access to our state college system through tuition control in our state legislature.

Helping to empower our young people and encouraging them to be part of the democratic process is not just a belief of mine, it’s been part of my life’s work. I invite you to visit us and share your views in our “Lets Listen” space. Thank you for this opportunity. I’m hoping for your support and certainly to hear from you soon. Thank you.

Nikkita Oliver for Seattle City Council Position 9

Hello, King County Young Democrats. My name is Nikkita Oliver, I use they/them pronouns, and I’m excited to share with you how we’ll lift up youth voice here in Seattle/King County.

I have done work in partnership with young people on ending the school-to-prison/to-deportation pipeline – not on behalf of young people, but very much in partnership; lifting up youth voice, youth creativity, and youth imagination of a world beyond the one that we’ve inherited.

As Executive Director at Creative Justice we’ve had a youth leadership board that strategically leads our organization, and where young people are compensated for their time. And I deeply believe in honoring the time and brilliance of young folks.

Youth are central and essential to our campaign and we take their contributions seriously. We are hiring at prevailing wages for our youth organizers; we’re supporting them with resources and volunteer time, and we’re ensuring that young people have equal voice in our campaign – determining our strategy and our vision.

We are endorsed by the Emerald Youth Organizing Collective, who I’ve partnered with in the State Legislature to end truancy policies that feed young people into the school-to-prison pipeline. And I’m excited to continue to build our relationship with young people in King County to uplift youth voice and to build accountable and transparent youth elected partnerships through our Council office.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to partnering with you in the future.

Nicole Thomas-Kennedy for Seattle City Attorney

Hi, my name is Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, and I’m running for Seattle City Attorney. I decided to run for city attorney, because after being a public defender in Seattle for several years, I’ve come to the conclusion that many have come to, that the system is deeply broken. And I think that we need to abolish the system. I’m running on an abolitionist platform, meaning that I think we should abolish the police, I think we should abolish the carceral system, we should abolish prisons. We need to start working on defunding these, all of these things that have confused punishment with justice, and start over, and imagine new futures.

There are people with ideas right now for how to bring transformative justice into our community. And I would like to partner with those people, and stop wasting thousands of dollars prosecuting people for things like stealing a sandwich or sleeping under an awning. That kind of thing doesn’t make us any safer, we need to build a better future, and it would mean a lot to me to have the support of the youth. Thanks.

Pete Holmes for Seattle City Attorney

Ryan Calkins for Port of Seattle Commissioner 1

Hamdi Mohamed for Port of Seattle Commissioner 3

Stephanie Bowman for Port of Seattle Commissioner 3

Peter Steinbrueck for Port of Seattle Commissioner 4

Hey there, Young Democrats, I am Peter Steinbrueck, I am a progressive Democrat from the 43rd LD, and I am running for re-election to the Seattle Port Commission, Position 4.
My top 3 priorities going forward are:
• Equitable Economic Recovery
• Greening the Port, and
• Open Ethical Government
Here are just a couple of my commitments to you
I have publicly signed on to the Green New Deal and am working hard to fulfill its urgent mandate.
I will continue work for more job training, internships, and employment opportunities for youth.
Turning to climate change, unless we act now, the coming climate apocalypse will be devasting to future generations, especially poorer countries, and communities.
WE ARE the last generation that can do something about it, and WE NEED A CLIMATE REVOLUTION NOW!
As chair of the Port’s Energy and Sustainability Committee, I have a bold new Green Port Green Jobs initiative to decarbonize the port by 2035 I would like to share more wit you about…
Nothing is possible in government without the confidence and trust of the those we serve, especially you.
That is why as Port Commission President, I have made commission meetings more open, transparent, and accessible to the public, and required our Port Police to provide annual reports on policing activities such as use of force, and complaints over police misconduct.
Finally, my commitment to you: I have never ignored the needs and interests of youth in my public life and never will. I look forward to sharing more with you about my accomplishments and bold plans! Thank you.

Toshiko Hasegawa for Port of Seattle Commissioner 4


Tanya Lavoy for Snoqualmie City Council Position 5

Hi, I’m Tanya Lavoy, she/her, and I’m running for Snoqualmie City Council Position number 5. First of all, I am a young Democrat and I
think that’s part of the start – is making sure that we’re at the table in the room making decisions. That’s part of why I’m running because I right
now don’t see anybody on the Council that represents my perspective. But, more than that, I’ve been involved in engaging youth and young adults to participate in political campaigns and with the 5th Democrats. For example, we’ve created a Discord space for our younger members to be able to engage not just on politics but to really build connections. Their support is part of why I’m running today. In my professional life, over the past year I’ve been helping folks navigate problems with their unemployment benefits. A lot of younger folks, some still in college, navigating the UI system for the first time.

Jolyon Johnson for Snoqualmie City Council Position 7

Hi I’m Jo Johnson and I am running for City Council in Snoqualmie.
Since my wife and I moved to King County, I have become deeply
involved in local politics. I joined our local chapter of Indivisible
soon after it was founded and organized multiple rallies for
affordable healthcare, college, firearm safety, and holding elected
officials at all levels accountable. I served for two years as the 5th
LD Democrats representative to the King County Young Democrats and
have been a PCO for the last four years helping get good candidates
elected who understand issues facing young people today. As I became
increasingly involved in city politics, I was appointed by the
Snoqualmie City Council to the Planning Commission where I have served
as Chair. In that position I advocated for a new youth health services

But where I believe I have had the greatest impact on young people in
King County is through my position as a high school physics teacher. I
work every day with students struggling with all kinds of issues and
help them navigate the transition from teen to adult. I’ve seen
personally the toll the pandemic has taken on our youth and I will
continue to advocate for youth services in Snoqualmie. Thank you for
considering my application for your endorsement.


Armen Papyan for Tukwila City Council Position 1

Hi, my name is Armen Papyan and I am running for Tukwila City Council position number 1.

As a young candidate, through this grassroots campaign I want to inspire youth to get involved in government. I want to empower young people to develop their skills and talents; participate in political, economic and social conversations; and become positive change makers in their community.

I want to point out some of the youth issues that I have advanced in King County.

I have lobbied in Olympia with the Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council on issues concerning, food insecurities, the opioid epidemic, support for K-12 students, increasing teachers of color. I have seen first hand the difference that (us) young people can make.

I also organized lobbying efforts to boost financial aid for low income students, winning $18.5 million for the State Need Grant (SNG).

That is why I have been endorsed by State representative David Hackney, Steve Bergquist, Tukwila Council Members Verna Seal, Zak Idan, Cynthia Delestino-Johnsnon, Kathy Hougardy and many more

We should encourage young people to stand up and come forward with their fresh and creative ideas in politics. I promise to continue championing youth issues in King County. As a young, passionate, progressive and hardworking leader, I would be humbled to have your King County Young Democrats Endorsement.

Tosh Sharp for Tukwila City Council Position 1

Mohamed Abdi for Tukwila City Council Position 5

Hey what’s up everyone my name is Mohamed Abdi. I’m 24 years old and
I’m running for Tukwila City Council this year. A little bit by myself, I’m the oldest of eight children in my family, I am going to be graduating from University of Washington this year with a major in American Ethnic Studies and a minor in diversity. The reason why I’m running for Tukwila City Council is because I think that leadership is very important. You know, my whole life I was raised in Tukwila and at a very young age, all the way from age seven, when I graduated from foster high school at the age of 18. And growing up uh you know being elders of eight all my leadership skills stem from being the eldest you know being a role model being setting the example as the older brother and that that leadership skills kind of followed me through in my adulthood you know whether it was doing school board representative when I was in high school to being a Community Leadership Institute graduate and you know working with a lot of the Muslim people in our community and there’s a lot of people in our community and the African-American people in my community within my intersectionality being Somalia black and Muslim. Again I think it’s very important to get your guys support because I am the youth just such as you guys and I think that leadership is very imperative and ultimately changing our world for the better and as us as the youth we’re not only just the future but we’re the president as well so I’d love to get you out of support uh love to you know work with you guys. I think that we have a lot of things that we could change in this world and we could do it together thank you.

De’Sean Quinn for Tukwila City Council Position 7

Hello King County Young Democrats my name is De’Sean Quinn and i am running for reelection for Tukwila City Council Position # 7. Twelve years ago my wife and I chose Tukwila as a place to raise our family, great neighborhoods and the Diversity and for the last 12 years i’ve been a champion of elevating the voices of community. I also have been working on the issue that we democrats care about housing addressing climate change. I am asking for your formal endorsement for my run for reelection.


Robin Lynn White for Woodinville City Council Position 3

Sarah Arndt for Woodinville City Council Position 5

Hello my name is Sarah Arndt and I am running for City Council in Woodinville and looking for the endorsement of the King County Young Democrats.

Over the past year I noticed that as our government worked to help fight Covid and keep the economy going, children and youth were really being left behind. Government agencies, were really focused on groups with more political and economic clout. Over the summer, when businesses began to re-open there were times when young people had literally no places that they could go. So I began to campaign for the re-opening of our Sparks and playgrounds.

I used my position on the public spaces commission, wrote to the paper, gathered support, and worked with the city staff to find ways safely reopen places for young people to gather, play and express themselves. Because of my work, Woodinville re-opened their Skate park and playgrounds. City staff shared my work with other local cities, helping them to push for reopening their places.

It is very easy for elected officials to overlook the voices of youth people because their voices are absent, excluded or discounted from public discourse. If elected to the city council I want to be a voice for children, families, and youth who otherwise might not be heard. Their rights and concerns are just as important as other residents and businesses.