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Articles in category "politics":



Tacoma Idealists Unite!

· Posted Tuesday April 10, 2007 by jamie

Idealist.org is sponsoring a series of start-up meetings for the week of April 23-29 to “help launch a global network of people who want to change their communities and the world by connecting people, ideas, and resources in every possible way”, and it just so happens that one of these meetings is in Tacoma. This is an awesome opportunity to network with others at the grassroots level towards a sense of community that can impact our city, our country, and our world.

Date: April 23, 2007
Location: Engine House Number 9 (611 N Pine St)
Start time: 7:00pm
End time: 9:00pm

For more details and/or to register to attent, visit the event page on Idealist.org.


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Government Leadership Sessions at UWT

· Posted Thursday January 25, 2007 by jamie

So going through my email, I found something that I got a while back, but sort of forgot about, regarding some cool public sessions about local government going on at UWT. The first couple have already happened, but it looks like there’s lots of good stuff remaining:

The Government Leadership Institute, a cooperative effort between the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Council Office and the University of Washington Tacoma’s Urban Studies Program, is again offering eight free public sessions on Mondays from 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at UWT’s Keystone Building – Carwein Auditorium, 1900 Commerce St.

The institute seeks to educate and inform citizens on the basics of City of Tacoma government operations, services and public involvement opportunities. The schedule:

  • Jan. 10, Urban politics, policy, and government – The history of urban government.
  • Jan. 22, Looking forward: the future of Tacoma — A discussion on current and future plans for positive growth in Tacoma.
  • Jan. 29, Emphasizing the “local” in local development — Views from current leaders on economic development concerns and existing and potential development projects.
  • Feb. 5, Land use in Tacoma — A description on how land use policies and priorities are set and the impacts on residential and commercial conditions in the city.
  • Feb. 12, No place like home: Housing affordability in Tacoma — A discussion on plans for securing and maintaining affordable housing in Tacoma.
  • Feb. 21, Finance in Tacoma — An exploration of the budgeting process in Tacoma.
  • Feb. 26, Safety on the streets of Tacoma — How public safety is secured in Tacoma, the local criminal justice system, and how justice is understood and maintained throughout the system.
  • March 5, Fit for living: Keeping Tacoma in good shape — Information on how city leaders go about maintaining and improving the urban infrastructure and environment in Tacoma.

These sessions are available on a drop-in basis. For more information, contact Elton Gatewood, coordinator, Neighborhood Council Office, at egatewoo@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5229.


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An Inconvenient Truth @ King's Books

· Posted Tuesday December 12, 2006 by jamie

King’s Books will be hosting a conference call with Al Gore followed by a showing of his movie this coming Saturday.

The details from MoveOn:

An Inconvenient Truth @ Kings Books

Kings Books
16 Dec 06:00 PM
Kings Books, Tacoma’s progressive book store will host this event. Kings Books does have 2 very nice cats that like to join the crowed at any event. Parking is limited at the store but can usually be found within a few blocks. Kings books will often update people on any last minute event details through their events newsletter. You can sign up for this newsletter by visiting their website at http://www.kingsbookstore.com/. This newsletter is used for events only.

Location: Tacoma, WA 98401
Host: Jon Brandon
Status: Public, open for RSVP (Max 80 guests)

More info from MoveOn (RSVP here) and King’s Books.


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Get Out And Vote...

· Posted Monday November 6, 2006 by jamie

Here’s a friendly reminder to everyone to get out and vote. Polls are open tomorrow from 7am-8pm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked or dropped off tomorrow as well. There’s a lot of exciting stuff, local and national, at stake this time around. Let your voice be heard.


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Pierce County Instant Runoff Amendment Gets Coverage in Seattle Press

· Posted Monday October 2, 2006 by jamie

Seattle Times editorial columnist Ryan Blethen (who it seems like I should mention is the son of the Times’ publisher) writes a very favorable column on Pierce County’s Amendment 3, which is the Instant Runoff Voting bill. I’m liking it not only because I’m a big supporter of the amendment, but because it describes the “killer view” from the building I work in, albeit from a few floors lower and in a different direction than the one I look… Anyway, the article is worth a read, especially if you’re still trying to grasp what Instant Runoff Voting is all about.


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Smells Like IRV

· Posted Monday September 25, 2006 by jamie

I never saw Nirvana live, but almost did. It happened a few years after Kurt Cobain died when I was at Bumbershoot watching to Foo Fighters. In addition to Dave Grohl, the band at the time included Pat Smear, who had played on some of the late Nirvana sessions. Suddenly, toward the end of the set, Krist Novoselic ambled out onto the stage to sit in, and we had the closest thing to a Nirvana reunion possible. They played…Purple Rain.

Krist ambles back onto stage again tonight, albeit without his bass, to kick off a forum in Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) at the UWT Bookstore, where he will be introducing election reform veteran and author Steven Hill. Hill was instrumental in passing measures to use IRV in San Francisco elections. In addition to a reading from his book, Hill will be answering questions about IRV and how this exciting electoral reform has gained overwhelming voter satisfaction.

This event is also intended to promote Pierce County Charter Amendment 3, which will appear on the ballot this November and would convert all county elections to IRV.

Learn more about IRV and election reform. See how we can avoid the pick-a-party primary by eliminating the primary altogether. Get involved in the exciting campaign to make it happen. And, of course, see that guy from Nirvana. Tonight only!

Steven Hill: 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy
Special guest Krist Novoselic
6pm, Monday, September 25
University of Washington Tacoma Bookstore (1754 Pacific Ave.)

For more information about IRV and Amendement 3, visit http://www.yesonthree.com/.


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Don't Forget to Vote

· Posted Tuesday September 19, 2006 by jamie

It’s Primary Election Day. This may not be the most exciting election ever, but there’s still a lot of options. Wanna show your partisan colors? Vote the party line. Feeling powerless but still want the “I Voted” sticker? Go for the most amusing candidates (see here for my analysis). Fed up with your lack of choices within your party? Choose the other ballot and pick all of the wackos. Pissed off about the pick-a-party primary? Intentionally invalidate your ballot by not picking (or picking both)...they’re keeping statistics on this stuff. Hmmm….maybe there are more choices than I thought.

Get out and vote. Polls close at 8pm.


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Tacoma Better Than Seattle: If It's In The Voters Pamphlet, It Must Be True

· Posted Saturday September 2, 2006 by jamie

The voters pamphlet for the September primary election showed up at ThriceAllAmerican headquarters yesterday, so I took a few minutes to sit down and check out the choices.

Choice number one of course is which ballot to use in the pick-a-party primary. We really need to get rid of these primary elections if the only purpose they serve is to publicly fund the Democrats and Republicans picking their official candidate. (We need IRV!) Sadly enough, once the ballot is narrowed to one party, the majority of races that I get to vote in are automatically narrowed to a single candidate…

But beyond my gripes, a few things caught my eye.

Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson is one of a few candidates running against Maria Cantwell for the Democratic ticket for U.S. Senate. That’s right, “Goodspaceguy”. Apparently his big thing is orbital space colonization. Good luck with that, dude…

On the Republican slate for the same seat, we have a couple of interesting options. Tacoma resident William Edward Chovil is a self professed expert on government: “American government, un-American government, socialism, communism, the New-World-Order conspiracy, and International Trade Agreements.” Methinks I might qualify as “un-American” in his book. Just below Mr. Chovil on the page is Gordon Allen Pross, who appears to have been running non-stop for federal office since 1998. His “personal views” statement contains some sort of allegorical comparison between the American population and 100 pennies, but I was lost by the second sentence. I don’t think this guy is all there.

But enough with the U.S. Senate seat. Things really get good when we jump to the 27th Legislative District, which covers North Tacoma, Northeast Tacoma, Central Tacoma, Downtown, the Tideflats, and portions of the South End. Here, Dennis Flannigan has thrown quite the nugget into his personal views:

Tacoma’s better than Seattle.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Dennis. And if it’s in the voters pamphlet, it must be true…

Link to the voters pamphlet


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Get Involved In Local Politics: Become a PCO

· Posted Wednesday July 19, 2006 by jamie

So I was looking around on the Pierce County Auditor’s website this morning checking out what offices we will be voting for this fall in the primary and general elections, and happened to come across a page with information on filing to run for Precinct Committee Officer. The PCO is a member of the County Central Committee for either the Republican or Democratic party, which has various authority towards nominations and filling vacancies for positions within the county for their respective party.

I seem to recall that two years ago, the precinct I live in did not have anyone running for this position. Sounds like an easy bid to me… But can I set my independent tendencies aside and finally cop to being a Democrat (albeit sometimes significantly progressive than the party line)? Only time will tell…but I don’t have much time to think about it.

Here’s the deal: It costs $1 to run, and you need to file the paperwork by July 28th. (Filing week is July 24th-28th.) That’s just about it…

I’m thinking I’m probably not the only one in the Tacomablogosphere who might be interested in this, and I think a lot of us, bloggers and readers alike, have some great perspectives on the local community to offer in local political forums. So consider this a challenge. Let’s see if we can leave no ballot slot empty for PCO in Tacoma for either party!

Check out more info and get the paperwork here


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Voting on Runoff Voting

· Posted Wednesday June 28, 2006 by jamie

Old news, but can I just say how excited I am that the county Charter Review Commision advanced a proposal to use Instant Runoff Voting for county elections to the November ballot?

For more information:


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