A moderated candidate forum of those seeking outgoing Sen. Sharon Nelson’s state senate seat will be hosted by the new Unifying for Democracy group tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Ober Park.
Ahead of the Aug. 7 primary election, the forum will host several of the 11 candidates for an event that organizers say will be family-friendly and informal. They also stress the importance of young people becoming involved with matters of civic engagement.
Islanders are encouraged to bring food; additional food will be available from Farmer’s Market purveyor Arron of Aeggy’s. Live music will kick off beginning at 6 p.m. with the forum running from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Islander Lisa Devereau, will not attend the forum as she will be out of town. She intends to send a proxy in her absence.
Several candidates have made their presence known to Vashon voters in recent weeks. Lois Schipper, a public health nurse and longtime resident of White Center, attended the Farmers Market on July 14, where she spoke with market-goers and distributed pamphlets. The next day, Shannon Braddock met with a small number of islanders at J. G. Commons. Braddock has worked for the county for eight years, including six years as the chief of staff for King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. She has several major endorsements, including from King County Democrats, 34th District Democrats and The Seattle Times.
According to a press release, islanders will have the opportunity to hear the positions of each candidate on issues that matter to Vashon. Namely, topics will range from improvements to the ferry system, school funding, healthcare, affordable housing and taxes, to replacing fossil fuels and restoring the Puget Sound ecosystem. The audience will be invited to submit their own questions and meet the candidates as well.
“Unlike the current tenor of national politics, the [forum] is likely to result in discussions of positive solutions for the issues facing Vashon, the 34th District, the Puget Sound Region and Washington State as a whole,” the press release said.
— Paul Rowley