How to Vote YES for Homes – Seattle Prop. 1 – Turn in your ballot by Tuesday, August 2 & important info to share!

yes for homesVote YES on Prop. 1: YES for Homes!  It’s the last item on your ballot, but the most important!

The Housing Levy is the single most important source of funding for affordable housing in Seattle. Your YES vote renews the levy for another 7 years. See www.yesforhomes.com for more information. (the campaign needs your help and you can sign up online to volunteer!)

The Coalition on Homelessness needs YOUR help to make sure that everyone in our community knows how to vote in the August 2, 2016 Primary Election.  In June Coalition volunteers helped 123 homeless and unstably housed people register to vote, and we want to make sure that each of them, and anyone else you work with, know how, when, and where to turn in ballots, as well as what to do if they haven’t received their ballot. PLUS, we want to make sure that everyone votes YES on Seattle Prop. 1 to renew the Housing Levy!

Please share this information and call King County Elections (206) 296-VOTE (8683) if you have any voting related questions.


IMPORTANT ELECTIONS DATES:

  • Tuesday, July 19 Ballots are mailed to registered voters 20 days prior to the election.  If you have not received your ballot by Tuesday, July 19, call King County Elections (206) 296-8683. SPREAD THE WORD – put up a sign in your building (write in ballot drop box closest to you) to alert folks to call King County Elections if they haven’t received their ballot, and to let them know where to drop off ballots near your location.
  • Monday, July 25 In-person voter registration deadline for people not currently registered in WA State.  Your new registration must be received in-person at either the Renton office:  919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057-2906, or Seattle office: 500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle, WA 98104.
  • Tuesday, August 2  Election Day! Ballots must be dropped at ballot drop box (by 8pm) or postmarked by August 2, 2016.

Need to read more about your candidates and issues? 


HOW TO TURN IN YOUR BALLOT: 

Ballots can either be mailed in (with first-class stamp, postmarked by Tuesday, August 2), or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box by 8 p.m on Tuesday, August 2. Drop boxes are open 24 hours/day.

Click here for a map and list of ballot drop boxes around King County. 

Here are four drop box locations in Seattle:

Downtown: King County Administration Building
500 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Ballard Branch Library
Corner of NW 57th Street & 22nd Ave  NW, Seattle, WA 98107

University of Washington Campus
1400 NE Campus Pkwy, Seattle, WA 98105

South Seattle: New Holly
Learners Building, 7058 32nd Avenue S. Seattle, WA 98118

 

ACCESSIBLE VOTING LOCATIONS: 

If you need special equipment to vote, or you have not received a replacement ballot by election day, you may request a provisional ballot in person at one of these locations. Visit King County Elections for more information and hours.

Seattle Union Station
401 S. Jackson
Seattle, WA 98104

Bellevue City Hall
450 110th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Renton – King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057

2016 Community Resource Exchange: Wed. April 6 at CenturyLink Field

The 2016 Community Resource Exchange will be held Wednesday, April 6th at CenturyLink Field.  Please register HERE as a service provider. Download, post, and share the 2016 Community Resource Exchange Outreach Poster.

This is a day where barriers are reduced to haircuts, dental checks, free shoes, a hot meal, transportation, and so much more! Click here for more info about the exchange, run by United Way of King County, or email exchange [at] uwkc [dot] org.

The Coalition on Homelessness will be hosting a Voter Registration table!  Email Hillary if you’re interested in more information about our voter registration work for people who are unstably housed, or if you’d like to volunteer.

Outreach Poster 2016-page-001

Julia’s reflection on the 2015 Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit

Six weeks into my internship with the Coalition on Homelessness, and my experiences have been above and beyond any of my expectations a month ago. Two weeks ago, I was excited to be a part of the 10th Annual Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit (October 5-6, 2015). While doing advocacy work in Minnesota, I learned that I would constantly learn and grow by witnessing folks advocate around issues that impact their lives, and my time at the Youth Advocacy Summit proved to be no exception to this rule!

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Having just supported the Coalition’s 2015 Voter Registration drive, one of the highlights of the Summit for me was witnessing young people choosing to participate in advocacy by exercising their right to vote. Over the course of the Summit, I was particularly excited to watch people think in a different, new way about voting. On the first day of the Summit, one participant was pretty vocal in their choice to not register to vote, feeling that their vote wasn’t enough to make change. Through conversations with other Summit participants, discussions about our elected officials in city and county government, and time to reflect, this participant changed their mind and decided to register! They are ready to have their voice heard in the upcoming election, and will do so through their vote as well as their conversations with Councilmembers during and beyond the Youth Advocacy Summit.

Participants at the Youth Advocacy Summit took on no small task! I was impressed by these advocates’ commitment over two very full days (three days for Peer Leaders!) of discussing some of the hard work that needs to be done in this community. Advocates worked on and presented one of four issues throughout the Summit:

1 – Need for an increase in the numbers of available permanent and affordable housing units
2 – Issues specifically impacting People of Color and LGBTQ youth
3 – Need for increased access to low-barrier, supportive resources
4 – Street safety and public space use.

22286526835_09d42f0467_oAdvocates met with King County Executive Dow Constantine; King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Dave Upthegrove, Kathy Lambert, Joe McDermott, and Rod Dembowski; Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien; and senior staff from the Seattle Human Services Department to discuss their topics.

On the second day of the Summit, I was able to sit in on the meeting between the advocacy group focusing on issues impacting People of Color and LGBTQ youth and Councilmember Kshama 22124339060_7c780765bc_zSawant. Councilmember Sawant was clearly invested in the conversation, and engaged with participants through asking questions and sharing her observations. Our meeting with Councilmember Sawant was incredibly driving; at the end of our meeting she stated that the work being done that day in the office was the groundwork to making change. She asked participants to continue to speak up, and made it clear that she supports their efforts to work towards a community where all are safe and treated equitably. Councilmember Sawant reminded myself and the people that I was with that change may not happen quickly, but that it is made possible through the long efforts of folks like those meeting with her in that moment.

After the Youth Advocacy Summit, I went to my first City Council budget hearing. As a newcomer to the city, I find myself constantly learning from the locals who have experienced firsthand the impact of the City of Seattle’s budget. Several advocates from the Youth Advocacy Summit were present to speak up, as well as representatives from all over the city who care about creating a budget that adequately responds to the state of emergency in this city. Seeing folks testify for a budget that actually responds to the state of emergency, instead of taking the usual stance of “business as usual”, has helped me to understand the impact that this budget will have on the city. More than anything, these testimonies serve as a reminder to me that people need to continue to speak up! The next, and final, public budget hearing will take place TONIGHT, October 20th, at 5:30 PM (sign-in begins at 5:00!), and we need you to show up to speak up for Human Services and housing and homelessness issues. Join us, wear red to declare the state of emergency, and be ready to tell City Council that “we are in a state of emergency; we must have an equal response”.

Voter Registration 2013: Complexity in ensuring every voter counts.

Voter Registration ButtonsIf registering to vote or voting itself were as easy and simple as we would like to think it is, then I would not have needed to volunteer on Friday or Monday. It has been over four years since voting rights were restored for people with Washington State felony records so long as they are no longer under Department of Corrections. (Even more, a person with a federal felony conviction or felony conviction in another state never lost their right to vote in Washington.) And still, on Friday and Monday, I stunned a handful of individuals when I told them, “No, you can actually vote! Here’s a pamphlet about it – I’m not lying to you!”

One man, older in age with a youthful spirit and appearance, looked at me with a wide-eyed, winded expression and quietly said, “I’ve never voted, never been able to. I can’t believe this.” We shook hands and smiled, one registered voter to another.

Although voting rights were never revoked for people who are homeless, it takes a lot of extra understanding to know how to register.

Another man, who apologized for smelling ‘wet’ because he had been out in the chilly Seattle rain the past three days, told me that he could not vote because he is homeless. “You absolutely can, no matter your housing status!”  Still surprised by this news, he and I walked through the form, using the 2013 Voter Registration Guide to explain the difference between ‘residential address’ and ‘mailing address,’ and how to fill both of them out when one is homeless. After the form was signed and dated, the gentleman thanked me for walking over to him in the first place. His wheels still turning, he inquired, “Can the Voter ID card help me get a license?” I looked at him, smiled and said, “Yes, it counts as an alternate document.” “Awesome,” he said while nodding his head. I could not agree more.

I am so grateful that I was able to be at the same place at the same time as each of these gentlemen, and the many other individuals who share similar circumstances and (mis)information.

Others updated their registration. Quite a few learned that General Delivery [through the USPS] has limited availability. Many more gave a thumbs-up, indicating they were registered, updated, and ready to vote come November.  A handful of individuals, proud of their vote, pulled out their Voter ID cards as proof! Some even shared their well-informed views on current candidates and policies relating to homelessness. Still, I approached individuals who deeply felt the systemic nature of their disenfranchisement, and had little interest in voting, whether it was available now or in the future:

“They [elected officials] do not really care about me.”
“My one vote is not going to matter.”
“Not one person in those buildings or on that ballot represents me.”

I recommit myself to the work I do each and every time I hear a human being speak their truth, especially when hope feels lost among those who are so deeply affected by the substantial barriers created within our society. We create the world we want to live in with every decision, non-decision, and mis- or under-informed decision. I may be one person but, on Friday and Monday combined, I assisted 24 adults who were invoking their right to vote, many for the very first time. Together, each of us will make a difference on November 5th, 2013 and beyond.