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Press Releases

LWVSKC Response to Leaked Draft Decision on Roe v. Wade: President’s Statement of Solidarity

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

My name is Heather Kelly and I am the President of the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County. This week we learned that the Supreme Court is almost certainly going to overturn Roe v. Wade, decided almost 50 years ago now, which held that the right to an abortion is enshrined in the Constitution.

To all the women across the country who woke up yesterday to that news and realized that their right to an abortion is now in jeopardy, please know, you are not alone. If you are living in a state where lawmakers are rolling back access to abortion or threatening to do so, we know you’re feeling scared and angry. It feels personal because it is. We are here in solidarity with you, we will take action, and we are here to lift you up.

To the Black and brown women betrayed by this decision, we see you. We know the denial of abortion access compounds the systemic discrimination and disproportionately poor maternal outcomes that you already face. As we brace ourselves for this fight, I am calling on White folks to listen and follow BIPOC women and find ways to use our racial privilege to center their needs.

To the trans and gender nonconforming folks for whom the right to an abortion is the right to live as your authentic self, we see you. We know how much is at stake for you in this fight, and we are standing with you.

To the many League members and other activists across the country who fought for decades so that my generation and my nieces and all future women in the United States could have legal access to abortion, we see you and we thank you. You have charted our course and motivated us for the work ahead. We are here to continue your fight.

Personally, I just feel hollow. As a friend said, “I’m just so tired of fighting for the basics.” But we will. We won’t get it done all at once, but we will do it together so we can take turns standing up, stepping aside, recharging, and charging in again. And we’ll find ways to celebrate each other along the way, too. As Rebecca Solnit writes, “When you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated, and isolated, joy is a final act of insurrection.”

Take a breath, and when you’re ready, find your local League or other pro-choice organization and let’s dive in together. [Video statement available here.]


Monday, March 14, 2022

LWVSKC was asked to evaluate Intiative Measure No. 134 regarding Approval Voting which would allow you to cast a vote for any/all candidates you approve of in a given primary. After careful consideration, our board has voted unanimously to oppose the effort and urge Seattle voters to decline to sign petitions for Initiative 134.

Adoption of Approval Voting could erase the progress and momentum the League and partner organizations have made for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which has significant benefits in terms of electing more diverse candidates and making elections more equitable.

Approval Voting is largely untested, it could exacerbate confusion and distrust around elections, and it increases the opportunity for strategic voting.

This initiative is not a homegrown effort. To date, 82% of the $244,706 raised to promote the initiative has been donated by out-of-state donors, including over $170,700 from one organization. Only 16% of funding is from Seattle. Furthermore, the organization proposing this initiative, Seattle Approves, is operating unilaterally. The organizers did not meaningfully engage the local community already working on election reform, there is no information available about partner organizations who support it, and there was no consensus-building period or opportunity for people to discuss it.

“The League stands with the Washington Community Alliance Action Fund in recognizing that equitable election reform has to include a path to proportional representation; RCV offers that path, Approval Voting does not.” — Heather Kelly, President, League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County

In the News

Democracy: Thank election workers

The Seattle Times | April 15, 2022

"Election workers are the backbone of our democracy! Please join the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County in thanking these heroes, especially King County Elections Director Julie Wise and her staff, for their professionalism and bravery." LWVSKC Letter to the Editor.

The League of Women Voters Has Higher Standards Than Approval Voting

The Stranger | March 17, 2022

"The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County (LWVSKC) does not want you to sign Initiative 134, a ballot measure to bring Approval voting to Seattle elections."

Rain can't wash away local democracy

Real Change | November 17, 2021

“'The need is urgent,' Thein said. 'If this bill is not passed by December 10th, when Congress goes into recess for the holidays, it will be too late to change the redistricting efforts that are already under way and threaten to further disenfranchise minority voters.'"

How to fix Washington’s mental and behavioral health care system? 4 experts weigh in

The Seattle Times | November 8, 2021

"Even before the pandemic, the system for responding to mental illness and substance use disorders in Washington was stretched."

One Month On, Washington Police Reforms Get Mixed Reviews At Local Forum

South Seattle Emerald | September 12, 2021

“'We believe it’s important to monitor the laws we endorse,' Kelly said, kicking off the third of such forums, moderated by KUOW reporter Amy Radil."

Washington Police Divided On Banning Less-Lethal Ammunition Under New Law

KUOW | September 7, 2021

“I want to note we’re working to get that fixed and we’ll be at the table and that’s probably not going to be an issue too much longer here.” Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla.