34th District Democrats endorse North Highline South Annexation

FIRST REPORT: We’ve been at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting all night covering their long-running endorsement meeting (4 1/2 hours so far). Still to come – whether they will endorse the North Highline South Annexation vote. We’ll publish results here as soon as that vote’s done. 11:36 PM UPDATE: Speaking in favor of the annexation proposal, King County Council Chair Dow Constantine says he believes Burien will do a good job handling the extra area. Sharon Maeda is now speaking against it, saying she disagrees that Burien will be able to handle it. 11:42 PM UPDATE: A majority of those who are still here – 66 out of 70 voters – have voted to endorse the annexation proposal. However, there’s a challenge to whether there’s enough of a quorum here for that to count (it’s less than half the number of people who were here earlier in the evening). Update – They do have a quorum, so the 34th District Democrats officially endorse the annexation proposal.

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13 Responses to “34th District Democrats endorse North Highline South Annexation”

  1. The King County Democrats also support a “Yes” vote on the annexation ballot measure.
    http://wa-demchairs.org/kcdems/2009/2009endorse.pdf They endorsed it at their June meeting.

  2. I have lived half a block out of the Seattle City limits in unincorporated for the past 13 years. I don’t want to be part of Burien. The 34th Democrats have no business getting involved in this annexation debate. Most of them don’t even live in our neighborhood (they are already part of Seattle).

  3. Karen, it is very common for the Democratic Party to take positions on ballot measures even when the ballot measure may not directly effect all of the members in that specific organization. For example, all the members who attended the 34th District Democrats meeting this month also got to vote on Seattle Ref. 1 (the bag tax) even those members who live on Vashon or in White Center and Burien. The vote on that ballot measure turned out to be that the 34th Democrats wouldn’t take a position.

    If you are Democrat and don’t think things are being done correctly by the local Democratic Party, I suggest you join the 34th District Democrats http://www.34dems.org/ and get involved and work to bring about the changes you want to see.

  4. Thank you 34th Dems for your support of endorsement! Many people will be pleased.

  5. First of all, Karen, the proposed annexation doesn’t include you either if you live half a block outside Seattle. Second of all, legislative districts make endorsements on any measure that is on the ballot anywhere in the district.

    But even if that weren’t so, given the margin by which annexation was endorsed, it’s certain that the 34th Dems who live in the proposed annexation area overwhelmingly supported the motion to endorse annexation to Burien.

  6. Karen:

    I don’t know why you think the 34th district Democrats “have no business” taking a position on annexation. It has an effect on our District. After asll, we also have members who live in White Center, Boulevard Park, and the other neighborhoods in the affected area.

    Vashon people vote on West Seattle or Burien issues, and vice versa. We take pride in thinking district-wide. We are there for each other on many issues that might not affect our immediate neighborhoods.

    Benjamin Franklin told the Continental Congress that “if we don’t hang together, we most certainly will hang separately.” In that spirit, we take active interest in each other’s neighborhoods and help each other out as needed.

    We sure stuck up for Highland Park and White Center when the City of Seattle thought it could put a jail in one of those neighborhoods. Was it somehow less than OK to do that? If it was OK to do that, then it’s OK to take a position on annexation. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean we aren’t entitled. I hope this is helpful.

  7. For anyone who might not be aware, the Municipal League of King County, which is a nonpartisan organization, also supports the annexation ballot measure.

  8. Stephen Lamphear Says:

    What’s that saying about trying to talk sense to a fool?

    I moved to what is generally referred to as North Shorewood in unincorporated King County 18 years ago from white bread and mayo Ballard. I was delighted to find a diverse community with shops and stores that fed my curiousity.

    Then, Burien became a city and I was 4 blocks outside the distrimination protections enjoyed in King County. Suddenly, what had been one community became two with an artificial line down the street. I continued to cross that boundary and shop in White Center. North Highline residents continued to shop in Burien, use the senior center, youth programs, library and other public services.

    Time passed and I became a Burien City Councilmember. In 2004, I accomplished a goal of enacting an anti-discrimination ordinance that is still stronger than state law. I also was the principal advocat for the re-unification of Highline by bringing the unincorporated area into Burien.

    Unbiased research shows that the large majority of North Highline residents favor unification with Burien. That option is now being made available to NH voters.

    I welcome my neighbors to join me in Burien and become politically active. Together, we can take back the city government from the wealthy special interests and build a stronger, welcoming city for everyone.

    Vote “Yes” on Burien Annexation.

  9. Rebecca Wells Says:

    I live 2 blocks south of Seattle and I WISH that this half of N. Highline was part of this annexation to Burien! We should be so lucky. Now we will have to wait for possibly several years until the folks in Burien realize that the sky isn’t falling after the annexation measure passes. Progress is painful, isn’t it?

  10. Karen,

    I am a member of the 34th District Democrats and the person that took the minutes for the Endorsement Meeting. I completely disagree with you that the district had no right to make this determination and that none of the members of the district live in the area being considered. I live in the area and I voted “yes” to endorse. I agree with those above, if you think differently, then join with us, if you are a Democrat, and voice your opinion.

    I very much believe that Burien would make a great home for our community. Stephen Lamphear said something that I think was quite poignant when he spoke for the endorsement that night, though it is not included in this recap. He said that our neighbors are the same demographic, and he is right. Burien knows the needs of our community far better than Seattle does. With Seattle, we would have no voice how our community is shaped. We would be a voice among many, most of whom don’t share the issues that we face and don’t care. With Burien, we would make up close to half the electorate. Now, we have no voice.

    King County is broke. They cannot continue to support us. We need a home where we can make a difference. Where we can take a stand on the issues that are most important to our community and our neighbors, with a voice.

    Vote “Yes” on Burien Annexation.

  11. I used to be a Precinct Committe person for my distrct and was a member of the 34th District Democrats and I stand by my comments. But I quit because one of the candidates for the Highline School District came to talk to the people and a bunch of the other PCs wouldn’t endorse him unless he pledged that he was a democrat and it was a non-partisan race. So I decided to make more effective change outside of the party.

    Luckily we live in a place where we can disagree. And I do live in the 2nd half of the proposed annexation area and I don’t want to be part of Burien, and neither do mos of my neighbors. We want to be part of Seattle. That’s why we are having an election on it. So people can decide.

  12. The primary reason the Democratic Party exists is to elect Democrats even in races that may be nonpartisan. Karen, the 34th District Democrats by-laws are quite clear about the mission of the organization.
    See Article 1, Section 3 which states:
    “The governing principle of this organization which shall guide our policies and actions is to promote the ideas of the Democratic Party, especially via the election of Democratic candidates who support those concepts, and/or the platforms of the county, state, and national Democratic Party.

    If you look at the governing documents of other party organizations, be they Democratic or Republican, you will find similar wording.

  13. Stephen Lamphear Says:

    @Karen. Tsk, tsk. Please follow this issue more closely. Those residents of N. Highline not within the southern proposed annexation area DO NOT get to vote — not on Burien, not on Seattle. Someday you will get to vote, and Burien will be in the forefront of that agenda.

    And, as Rebecca said, residents of the remaining northern area also chose Burien as their preferred city in a door-to-door survey.

    That you think Seattle would serve you better is certainly your right. But I have yet to be informed of your reasoning for that opinion. May we know it?