Margarita Prentice to face off against Juan Martinez

Margarita Prentice will face off against fellow Democrat, Juan Martinez in the general election.  Although many are aware of the annexation issue regarding the unincorporated parts of White Center, few readers are likely aware of the critical role that Margarita Prentice played in the political machinations regarding whether Seattle would continue to vie for annexation of White Center.  Senator Prentice was responsible for legislation which basically made it unfeasible for Seattle to annex White Center.  Subsequent legislation, House Bill 1139 was introduced to allow Seattle the same access to annexation incentive funds as other cities.  Prentice was also at the heart of Seattle negotiations with the Sonics and controversy regarding predatory lenders.  “Juan Martinez, is an affable working-class guy from the South Bronx who’s pounding the pavement in an effort to make up the fundraising gap between his campaign and the Prentice juggernaut.” (The Stranger, August 6, 2008 – endorsement below).   For more information regarding Prentice and her challenger, Juan Martinez I invite readers to check out the following sites (and please feel free to suggest others):  Prentice, Martinez in Legislative District 11, Senator MoneyTree, Sen. Margarita Prentice website, Senate Democratic Caucus and Municipal League of Seattle Guide.  Information on candidate, Juan Martinez can be found at:  Juan Martinez website, State Sen. Margarita Prentice Likely to Face Challenger, Juan Martinez, Municipal League rating, The Bottom One Primary, The Stranger Endorsements.   While much attention is being paid to upper reach races, this is an important race and deserves our attention.

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27 Responses to “Margarita Prentice to face off against Juan Martinez”

  1. So let me get this straight, Ricardo. You seriously think the voters of the 11th District should replace the Chair of Senate Ways and Means, who has done more people more good over a longer period of time, with a newbie who just moved to the 11th District, who has no legislative or public service record to speak of, no accomplishments in the private sector, no record of Democratic Party sctivity in the 11th District, and who is TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED to sit in the State Senate?

    “Affable working class” won’t cut it. I know and respect a lot of “affable working class” guys who I wouldn’t want writing my state’s laws for me.

    Martinez didn’t even bother to show up and make his case at the 11th District Democrats’ nominating convention, and in the primary just eked out a candidate who didn’t even campaign, and whose only issue was online gambling.

    Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, Ricardo, but you have to earn the right to be taken seriously. Martinez hasn’t earned it and neither have you.

    Margarita Prentice, who got the Food Bank that walk-in cooler when no one else could, is White Center’s best friend — unless your name is Greg Nickels — and don’t you forget it. Voters in the 11th should run, not walk, to re-elect her.

  2. I am not endorsing Juan Martinez but I do think that voters should look carefully at Prentice’s record. Your argument is the classic one of the power of the incumbent. If she is so powerful why is it that the best she can offer is a walk in cooler for the Food Bank? Then there are the shenigans involving predatory lenders and her bidding for the Oklahoma Sonics.

    As for incumbency, one has to wonder what constituency she is serving. As a Latino, I don’t feel she is particularly effective in advancing issues of interest to me. Nor do I feel that she is particularly keen on addressing some of the difficult economic issues in her district.

    As for Martinez, if he is so unqualified how is it that the Municipal League gave him the same rating — “Very Good” — that they gave Prentice? Clearly he impressed some people – never mind the endorsements he has received. I think this race deserves some attention and it may be time to rattle some cages — especially that of a fat cat incumbent.

  3. Sure sounds to me like you’re endorsing him, or else you’d be ignoring him, like the voters appear to be doing. Suppose you point to one single accomplishment this guy has that would induce anyone to make him a state Senator.

    The Municipal League is a self-appointed group whose ratings mean nothing to me. The endorsement of working men and women means a whole lot more. That might be why the Washington State Labor Council has endorsed Margarita.

    Margarita’s record is not perfect — no one’s is — but you can cherry-pick any legislator’s positions to make a case. Whatever you can come up with, there’s no reason whatever to replace her with this guy. This guy is nothing. He is not even remotely qualified, and nothing you might say will make him so.

    Some people like him. Big Whoop! Some people like me, but that doesn’t make me a state Senator.

  4. Ricardo, there seems there might be some confusion here. Sen. Prentice never sponsored any legislation to stop Seattle from getting a sales tax rebate for annexing North Highline. She sponsored SB6686 three years ago for the smaller suburban cities in King County because the smaller cities asked for this bill, which provides them with a sales tax rebate for 10 years if any of the smaller cities annex an area with a population of at least 10,000 people. The City of Seattle never asked to be part of that original sales tax rebate bill SB668 Many people are confused about this, so let me repeat: Seattle wasn’t left out of this bill, they never asked Sen. Prentice or any other legislator to be included. Please watch the video of the Ways and Means Committee hearing on TV-W dated Feb. 29, 2008 where this gets explained. Sorry, I cannot provide you with a direct link to the video, but you can look it up on the archive.

    Then, two years ago the City of Seattle got HB1139 sponsored by legislators in 34th Legislative District because Seattle had decided at that they wanted a sales tax rebate for annexation too.
    The prime reason HB1139 didn’t pass the year it was introduced was that Seattle initially asked for a whopping sales tax rebate of approximately $9 million a year for 10 years ($90 million total) for annexing all of North Highline, when Burien would receive under the original bill only $1.2 million a year for 10 years ($12 million total) if they annexed the same area. The legislators rightly found this to be unbalanced and simply not fair that one city would get so much more money than another for annexing the same area. Please read the fiscal notes on the above link. Since its introduction, HB1139, although it has been amended several times, it currently states that Seattle would get approximately $2.4 million a year for 10 years, which is still twice the amount that Burien would get ($1.2 million a year). Because it is still unbalanced, is the reason it isn’t passing.

    I have to agree with private24. Martinez just moved to the 11th Legislative District and hasn’t been engaged or have any history there. There is good reason that 11th District Democrats gave Prentice a sole endorsement. They know her and know she has worked tirelessly and effectively for the people in her District for years. Ricardo, I suggest you consider attending the next 11th District Democrats ttp:// meeting on Sept. 16th and talk to the people there.

  5. This is an interesting discussion. I voted for Prentice in the primary. I didn’t realize how involved she was in the annexation issue, so I did some research. Apparently HB 1139 passed in the house with flying colors. Prentice agreed to a hearing in the Senate but refused to schedule a vote on it, where it died.

    It seems that the gambling industry has been a heavy supporter of Prentice. Let’s see…..cardrooms, casinos, gambling….gee could that be why she refused to schedule the vote, knowing that if Seattle annexes, the gambling will be gone. I know that one post here complained that there would be some jobs lost in the gambling industry, but personally, I think that would only help White Center to get rid of the gambling. There have been problems with crime in and around the card rooms as well as the casino in Boulevard Park.

    Also, she was the only senator in Seattle to support a Tim Eyman initiative.

    I’m with Ricardo, I will be voting for Martinez on election day.

  6. I’ll propose the same question to Valkyrie that I posed to Ricardo: Suppose you point to one single accomplishment this guy has that would induce anyone to make him a state Senator. I haven’t heard an answer yet, and I don’t expect to.

    Margarita Prentice is a champion of smaller cities, while also representing part of Seattle. She represents Tukwila, Renton, and unincorporated areas that face annexation to one city or another under the GMA. Her constituents there look to her to defend their interests, and that’s just what she does. Apparently you think there’s something wrong with that.

    Passage of HB1139 would have destroyed all semblance of any level playing field between Seattle and any smaller city in an annexation battle.

    My guess is that most North Highline residents don’t want to get rolled by Seattle. You appear to think it’s good if they do. I’m also guessing that will put you in the minority on election Day.

  7. Martha Koester Says:

    Has anyone bothered to ask people who actually live in unincorporated North Highline how they feel about incorporation? Senator Prentice listened to her constituents on this issue, 99% of whom are not card room owners. I’ve been canvassing my neighborhood since 2003 every year, odd-numbered years and even alike, and the general sentiment is that mostly people don’t want to be incorporated anywhere at all, but if forced to choose, prefer incorporation into Burien by about 60/40.

    In the Voter Guide he says he’s “struggled with” tough problems. He didn’t see fit to let us know if he had actually solved any of them. It takes more than a Lone Ranger with good issue positions to get anything done about those issues. It takes political party organizing at the precinct level to grow the numbers of people who stay involved in electoral politics and follow the work of legislative sessions, even during non-presidential election years.

    2008 has been an intensively busy year for Democratic Party organizing in the state, with a large influx of new caucus participants, many of whom have become active with voter registration and canvassing. Martinez has contributed absolutely nothing to this process. Our two House representatives chaired or helped organize their precincts, and Senator Prentice was an area caucus convener, a job that was so demanding that a couple of our conveners forgot to sign in with their own precincts. For many years she has been intensively devoted to party organizing from the ground up, serving on the Democratic National Committee as a representative of Washington State well before she ever ran for public office.

    Being an outsider is no excuse for his non-participation in party organizing. In 2004, Bob Hasegawa joined the 11th LD organization when he ran for state representative against two other well-qualified candidates who were long-time members. He probably suspected that he might get a less than warm reception as a newbie, particularly since many of the older members were uniformly unimpressed by his union’s endorsement of Nader in 2000. But guess what? He came around ANYWAY and stated his qualifications and asked for our endorsement. I successfully argued for a triple endorsement which passed on a second vote. The big difference between Bob and Juan is that Bob had extensive experience as a union negotiator and a solid reputation as a leader of Teamsters for a Democratic Union to recommend his candidacy. Juan has no known experience in any similar capacity.

  8. I’ll bet if you polled most of the residents of North Highline on cardrooms and gambling in their area, they would prefer not to have them. Those people are Prentice’s constituents.

    I’ve lived in North Highline for three years, and no one has ever telephoned me, written me, emailed me, or come to my door to ask my opinion on annexation. I disagree with you that the percentage is 60-40 in favor of Burien.

    Maybe the 11th and 34th districts need to do another poll.
    It seems to me that the North Highline UAC did selective polling. Many of the people on that board are special interest people such as firemen and King County police, who would be adversely affected by a Seattle annexation.

  9. Roxbury Lanes and Roxy’s Casino are in the 34th District, not the 11th.

  10. Private24, you state that Juan Martinez is totally “TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED” to sit in the State Senate. And you question my right to speak out on this issue as I, per you, have not “earned” the right to be heard on this issue. I’ll forgo the snark on your latter point and focus on substance. Way back when, I was associated with a Latino group who would regularly get solicited for endorsements by political candidates. At one of our meetings we had the pleasure of receiving a novice candidate seeking our endorsement. This person was completely green with absolutely no experience in government or public affairs. In fact her only experience was as a nurse. She did not even have a degree in political science or public affairs and she had never run for public office. She spoke passionately about wanting to work to better the plight of migrant farm workers in Eastern Washington. She seemed earnest in her concerns and so we decided to throw our support behind her despite her lack of experience or education. That was the first election win for Margarita Prentice. She did some work on farm worker rights and then she settled into her career as a lifetime politician. Since then, well let’s say, she has been kind of out of touch with working families.

    Today, we have someone who also speaks earnestly about trying to address issues of genuine concern to working families – the overwhelming majority of Prentice’s district. Unlike Prentice, however, Juan Martinez is actually more qualified to seek office today than Prentice was when she began her political career. Martinez actually has experience in public affairs, which Prentice was completely lacking when she initially sought political office. Martinez served as interim co-director for the Washington Tax Fairness Coalition, where he advocated for tax cuts for the working families of Washington. He currently serves as a housing commissioner for the Seattle Housing Authority and is a board member for the Seattle Central Community College Foundation Board.

    Martinez also has considerably more knowledge of public affairs than Prentice did when she sought our endorsement. After graduating from Evergreen State College with a degree emphasis of Political Science, he went to work with Congressman Jim McDermott as a Washington State staff member. His work for the congressman focused on housing and labor relations. Prentice had no such experience or education. While working on his degree at Evergreen State College, he worked with homeless families for Washington State Department of Social Health Services. He became active in the union working for better working conditions for his fellow state employees and the union members elected him president. Martinez, like most of the families in the 11th district comes from working class stock. He has an earnest desire to better the conditions of average people, something which Prentice appears to have forgotten.

    But what really catches my eye with regard to Juan Martinez is that he is not Senator Margarita Prentice.

    NB: I like a lively discussion but nasty, offensive or just plain mean comments will be deleted.

  11. Private 24, my point was that I bet most North Highline residents would prefer that cardrooms and casinos didn’t exist in their area. With heavy support from gambling interests, it’s possible that Prentice would be less likely to vote for a Seattle annexation. Parts of the 34th district are in North Highline, and the criminal element that can be attracted to card rooms and gambling (not everyone)spills over to the 11th district as well.

  12. Also, what about Rascals Casino in Boulevard Park, is that in the 34th District or the 11th District where a man was murdered a few months ago? See link.

  13. Ricardo:

    Please go back and read what I posted, and you will see that I did NOT say you didn’t have the right to speak. Of course you have the right to speak. I said I didn’t take your position seriously, nor did I take Martinez seriously as a candidate for state Senate.

    You also said you weren’t endorsing Martinez. Are we to take that statement seriously in light of your subsequent posts?


    Anyone can look at the police reports and thereby determine EXACTLY how much of a “crime problem” these casinos and cardrooms are, instead of just engaging in guilt by association, and projecting your personal point of view onto an entire population. Or, you could get a professional opinion from the police.

    Rascals is in the 11th District. All King County Legislative District maps, which show the boundaries of each precinct, are available here.

  14. Private 24, you really didn’t read my post. “Projecting my personal point of view onto an entire population” had the disclaimer (not everyone). How did you get entire population out of that?

    You were the one that got specific about Roxy’s casino being in the 34th District. It’s just a fact that a man was murdered at Rascal’s Casino a few months ago. I honestly didn’t know if it was in the 34th or the 11th District.

    I will check the police reports. In fact Tracy Record put the links on her post today.

  15. Private24, my original post was an attempt to engage people on the candidates. The is why I cited to both candidates’ websites.

    My response to you was merely to show that Prentice’s opponent is indeed qualified to hold office. And that perhaps people should stop and think about their choices before casting a ballot for the very well-entrenched incumbent.

    Prentice has done some things which clearly indicate that she values certain contributors more than she values constituents. On this issue, I see nothing that you’ve posted which would indicate otherwise.

  16. Ricardo, your comment about Prentice forgetting the working class is not borne out by her endorsements. All the labor organizations which have endorsed in this race have endorsed her and not Martinez. She has received the endorsement of the WA State and King County Labor Councils, and the machinists, teachers, electrical workers unions–just to name a few of her labor endorsements.

    I’m not suggesting that Martinez isn’t pro-union or pro-working class families because I know he is, but the fact remains that he doesn’t yet have any labor organization endorsements. If it remains that way, that could end up being an important factor for voters in the 11th LD when it comes time to make their decision as to which candidate they will vote for in the general election.

  17. Alcina, very good point. Clearly Martinez is at a tremendous disadvantage and I do not know he has the chops to pull something like this off. Prentice has been at it for 20 years and she clearly knows who to go to for the endorsements. But your point is very well taken.

  18. Sharon Maeda Says:

    Due to some ongoing misinformation, a lot of electeds in Seattle and the legislature have been given the impression that we all want to go to Burien. I have sat through many Burien and Seattle City Council meetings and its amazing the difference – even if you don’t like a particular councilmember or their stand on specific issues: With one or two exceptions, Burien City Council members have one clear agenda: power with no particular agenda behind it. Democracy, community input, legislation that follows a clear responsive strategy, etc…are clearly beyond their capacity.

    In Seattle, by contrast, all of the members are smart – even when we might disagree with specific policies – are working to make Seattle a better, greener, and responsive government. While they have their turf battles with the mayor and are sometimes study an issue to death, they are consistent in what they believe in and work toward solving problems and getting results.

    In Burien, I would hear totally different numbers, criteria and rationale for an issue from one meeting to the next. It was like a whole new group of people sitting up there. Granted, the Burien City Council is an all volunteer council, but they are whistling in the wind when they think they can handle a large influx of additional populations.

    Oh, and get this: when asked about how Burien was going to address human services needs of annexed communities, I was told that they would “rely on our nonprofit partners.” Well, I know a number of those nonprofit directors and they were stunned to hear that they were being expected to serve additional populations when they are struggling for survival. Now that the economy has adversely affected all nonprofits, it is really unbelieveable.

    Take a look at the government pages in the phone book. Seattle has many pages full of programs to serve its people: arts/culture, neighborhoods, housing, human services, small business, environmental, etc…. Then, take a look at the Burien services and offices: a few lines!! That tells the story my friends.

    I’ve also heard that some people don’t like the current Seattle mayor. Well, mayors come and go and annexation is PERMANENT………and, if we are Seattle citizens, we an vote in or out a mayor. How about a future mayor or Seattle City Council member from White Center or Boulevard Park or Salmon Creek or Shorewood? Why not!

    Don’t let the cabal of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council control your ideas, issues and communities. They were elected by just a handful of their peers. They discredited themselves by the mean spirited, lying and duplicitous ways they treated newly elected members who represented different constituencies. The NHUAC represents no one but their petty selves.

    Think for yourselves. Do you want access to City funds to build a safely bump or traffic circle on your street, do you want your youth to have access to summer jobs, do you want access to minor home repairs for elders in your neighborhood that can’t afford new gutters. Do you want arts grants to put on concerts and movies in the parks, do you want access to small business assistance or to grow your own veggies in city gardens, do you want free energy saving supplies and seminars, do you want human services for low income families in your neighborhood? If the answer is yes to any of these few of thousands of programs, you want Seattle, not Burien. Oh, and how about every small business having to change their stationary, business cards and advertising to Burien; the last time changed addresses, that cost alone was over $1,000 just for the printing.

    THINK folks. Don’t be the sheep who follow Burien to slaughter.

  19. “We” all want to go to Burien? Sharon Maeda isn’t “we.” She lives in Seattle and has close ties to the Nickels administration.

    It is an indisputable fact that White Center/North Highline would hold the balance of power as 50 perecent of Burien and would be at or near the bottom of Seattle’s pecking order.

    The thought that WC/NH residents need to be part of Seattle to grow veggies in city gardens, or anywhere else, is nothing short of preposterous.

  20. Sharon Maeda’s comment about small businesses in North Highline having to change the city in their address to “Burien” from “Seattle” and that they will incur a cost for having to do so if annexed by Burien is not correct. Businesses in Burien can use either Seattle or Burien as their city on their letterhead, businesses cards, etc. The Post Office doesn’t care and the mail always gets delivered with whatever city a business wants to use on their mailing address.

    For example, some current Burien small businesses choose to use Seattle

    and others Burien

    In other words, this is simply a not an issue when it comes to annexation. North Highline businesses, if annexed by Burien, will have a choice. They can continue to use Seattle as the city on their mailing addres or they can choose to use Burien. It is up for each business to decide.

  21. “In Seattle, by contrast, all of the members are smart” Really? All of them? Every single one? So the contrast is that people in Buiren’s are dumb. Wow.

    Sharon what services do you really think Seattle will bring to White Center. Will they move the SAM over here? Nope. They will build a jail. They probably will make this area the zone that gets strippers. Community police? Not from Seattle. We would see a brutal fascist police presence that is over paid and under worked. Maybe we could get the same policing that has worked so well in the CD. If we wait long enough they might come when you call them. Unless some one in Queen Anne called first. If white Center was very lucky, and very patient , we could have a library like South Park. This time I am sure it won’t take them 100 years.

    White Center would be decimated if Seattle were to take it over. Jails and ghettos don’t make a good incubator for small business, unless your business is selling twenty rocks on the corner. Property values will plummet, and crime will rise. g.

  22. I get tired of hearing about how Seattle was cheated out of its chance to get a sales tax rebate.
    The proposal Seattle pushed for would have given the annexing City a rebate based on retail sales tax revenue city wide. Seattle’s sales tax revenue is over 100 times that of Burien. If Seattle was really interested in a ‘fair’ rebate it would have asked for one based on sales tax revenue from the area annexed. That way any city would get the same benefit.
    Another thing that has bothered me about this is that if Seattle can provide so much more because it is so much bigger, then why would it even need another 3 million ($3,000,000) per year in a budget of 3.5 billion ($3,500,000,000) per year. That is less than one tenth of one percent of their total budget, or about what they spent on those self cleaning toilets. For Burien on the other hand, $3,000,000 is about one tenth of their entire budget.

  23. I have always been perplexed by those who claim that North Highline annexation to Burien will mean that everybody has to change their Seattle address to a Burien address. That makes no sense. My family lives in Burien and has been using a Seattle address for 50 years. The post office in Burien is officially called the “Seattle Post Office — Burien Branch”. The US Postal Service doesn’t deliver mail based on the boundaries of incorporated areas, so that tired and false argument should be put to bed.

    Also, I think Sharon Maeda’s ad hominem and unhinged personal attacks against the North Highline UAC (‘cabal’) and the Burien City Council (‘power-hungry’) do a disservice to people on both sides of this issue who want to do the right thing for their communities.

  24. Back to discussing Margarita Prentice v. Juan Martinez, I’ve hearned from someone who attended every hearing on the funding legislation for the sales tax credit for Seattle, in Olympia, that 12 legislators agreed to meet with community members. Only one refused to meet or even make an appointment… That was Margarita Prentice. She talked about only one issue at the Senate Hearing about tax funding for annexation…..casinos. Her question was “what will happen to the casinos if Seattle annexes”? But she had no comments about the other 200 businesses.

    It would be interesting if the 11th District could sponsor a debate between Prentice and Martinez.

  25. Valkyrie,
    You must not understand what a “sole endorsement” means. The 11th District Democrats gave Prentice a “sole endorsement”, meaning they are supporting her and only her. Therefore, they would not be interested in sponsoring a debate and Martinez because they have already decided they are supporting Prentice and working hard to make sure she is re-elected.

    Were you at the Senate Ways and Meaning Committee hearing on HB1139, Seattle’s sales tax rebate bill? I was and my recollection of what Prentice said is different from yours. If you weren’t there and are just hearing from someone else what she said, go to TV-W and look up in the “archive” the video of the Ways and Means Committee hearing on Feb. 29, 2008, which is the date of the one and only Ways and Means hearing on this bill.

    Please tell me the precise time (hour and minute) on the video where Sen. Prentice says what you claim she said, “What will happen to the casinos if Seattle annexes?” While watching the video I cannot find her ever saying that.

  26. Correction to my post above. The third sentence should read:
    “Therefore, they would not be interested in sponsoring a debate between Prentice and Martinez because they have already decided they are supporting Prentice and working hard to make sure she is re-elected.”


  27. Martha Koester Says:

    RE: Prentice vs. Martinez. Before being a state representative, Prentice had been a union negotiator (a skill that readily translates to being a successful legislator), and had been very active in building local Democratic Party organizations, including representing WA State on the Democratic National Committee. I haven’t noticed that Martinez has done anything other than move into an apartment in the 11th LD a year ago.

    Had he wanted to participate, we could certainly have used more help with the caucuses, and we could really use more active precinct committee officers. Sharon Nelson got appointed as a state representative in the 34th LD by bringing 40 new PCOs into the organization. She also had considerable street cred from community organizing on Vashon against that gawdawful gravel pit. It isn’t at all surprising that she is standing with the local community on resisting putting a jail in a residential area with poor public transportation far from any court-related services.

    Had Martinez bothered to bring any new blood into the organization, he might well have gotten an endorsement in addition to Prentice–many of our members are strong proponents of endorsing all potential candidates that seem basically competent. I’m one of them, but I’m certainly not going to exert myself for someone who has shown no interest in building local party structures. Without that, how do you expect to get organized public pressure from people who are constantly paying attention to the activity in the state legislature?

    RE NHUAC: It happens to be unbelievably difficult to get people to be active in an organization that has no actual legislative power. If there was a lot of sentiment in favor of annexing to Seattle, it would be no big deal for those who favor it to doorbell and phonebank and replace the present members with other candidates more to their taste. That they haven’t yet done so tells you all that you need to know.

    My own canvassing is usually multitasked, focused this year on getting Democrats elected locally and statewide. On the issue of annexation, mostly people would rather it went away. I’ve heard from many people concerned about being subject to a lot of new laws if annexed either way–I’m seriously considering adding a “legal fireworks” issue category to my VoteBuilder precinct files if one more person mentions this to me.