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Friday, June 30, 2017

Tri-Cities Young Democrats Candidate Forum

The Tri-Cities Young Democrats hosted a forum for candidates vying for city council seats in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and West Richland. Click on the color-coded hyperlink to see a video of the forum.

Candidates participating in the forum included: Dori Luzzo Gilmour (Richland P-7), Willian 'Dan' White (West Richland P-1), David Milne Pasco P-5/5), Bob Hoffman (Pasco D-6), Rhoda Williams (Richland P-1), Jim Millbauer (Kennewick P-4), Michael Alvarez (Richland P-7), Ryan Lukson (Richland P-4), Kalen Finn (Richland P-1), Steve Lee (Kennewick P-2/2), Craig Maloney (Pasco P-6), Sandra Kent (Richland P-3), Rick Rios (Pasco D-3), Jess Monterey (Richland P-1), Shir Regev (Richland P-3), Eldon Eskeli (Richland P-7), Ginger Wireman (Richland P-4), Blanche Barajas (Pasco D-1), Mike Luzzo (Richland P-4), and Kate Moran (West Richland P-6).

Candidates made opening remarks and then participated in a lengthy question and answer session. Again, to view the forum, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhdhDqMhXk&feature=youtu.be

One can read the statement of candidates who chose to make them on the Benton County On-Line Voters Pamphlet, and/or the Franklin County On-Line Voters Guide.

City Council positions are ostensibly non-partisan. Nevertheless, it isn't too difficult to see that the candidates' political positions tend to align with conservative or progressive values. For example, ccandidates not participating included Richland Mayor Bob Thompson (P-1), who's been in a bit of hot water over an unfortunate remark he made at the State of the Cities gathering at the end of May this year.

In my opinion, his remark illustrated a pro-growth bias at the expense of environmental and sustainability concerns, as well as a disdain for community members who voiced concerns about this. The Richland City Council under Thompson leadership has also been reluctant to take up the issue of inclusiveness -- an important value for progressives.

The primary for 2017 elections opens in just two weeks. Ballot drop boxes open Wednesday July 12th. Voting runs for 18 days.

Do your due diligence, determine for whom you'll cast your ballot, and VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (please only vote once, but do it).

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