EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.


By Andrea H. Reay

August 4th is fast approaching and soon we will be casting our votes for the Primary with Election Day not far behind on November 3rd. Presidential election years tend to draw larger voter turn-outs and, now more than ever, it’s imperative that we cast our vote.

No one party or candidate has all the answers to all the questions we face as a community. But, when we come together every election day to cast our vote and make our voice heard, we are exercising one of our most basic and fundamental opportunities as Americans. Please don’t take it for granted. Please participate.

Just in case you were thinking of not returning that ballot sitting on your kitchen counter, I wanted to offer 3 reasons why you need to vote and get that ballot in.

Government and policy choices directly impact your life—your daily life. Now more than ever that impact is very evident. Choices and policies regarding schools, budgets, health and safety, and our economy all converge as we work together to both mitigate and recover from the human and economic crisis of this global pandemic. Government, in short, holds your money and has the influence to decide how it is spent.

Local government can lead when the Federal Government can’t (or hasn’t yet). Civil rights, marriage equality, environmental protection—these are all issues that began locally and then expanded nationally. Our country and our community is still reeling from the tragic loss of George Floyd and numerous others as a result of racism. Even more than before, we have been challenged to maintain the semblance of “business as usual”, a challenge that is especially trying for our communities of color and primarily the Black members of our community. As individuals, as an organization, and as a community, we must stand for equity, justice, and understanding that our lives and our success as a community are bound together. What do you want your local government to take the lead on? Local government can move quicker and respond to the needs of their constituents more directly, but only if you make your priorities known, and only if your voice is heard, only if you vote.

Your vote matters. Often people think it’s not that big of a deal to not participate “this once”. We’re all busy and it can be overwhelming to sift through all the information available to educate ourselves and vote responsibly. Your vote does matter, and although it does take a small investment of time to research the candidates and issues, it is time well spent. Please take the time to make an informed decision. There are also many non-partisan agencies that are dedicated to sharing information about candidates. One of the most reliable agencies to review candidates is to visit the PDC (Public Disclosure Commission) website: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/. On the PDC website, you can see who has financially contributed to the candidates and initiatives on your ballot. Following the money is one of the most effective ways to understand who and what is behind each candidate. We are happy to direct community members to other sources of information as well. For information on how and where to return your ballot, please visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/ballots/returning-my-ballot.aspx

Advocacy is a large part of what we do here at the Chamber for our community and our members. We advocate at all levels of government and appreciate the time, dedication and courage of all the candidates running for local office.

If you are interested in learning more about the Chamber’s legislative priorities and hearing directly from our local Mayors, I would like to invite you to our Mayors and Elected Officials Reception. Thank you to our sponsors, Puget Sound Energy and South King Media. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and a great way to connect and engage. This year we will host virtually and hope you can join us virtually on September 23rd.

WHAT: Mayors & Elected Officials Reception

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020: 5:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Virtual via Zoom

REGISTER HERE: https://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/events/details/mayors-reception-3717?calendarMonth=2020-09-01

We hope to see you in September and at the ballot box. Vote!

This article was written by Andrea H. Reay, the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988. For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com.