November 20, 2009 Volume 110 Number 22

Labor reacts to Washington election results

On election night Nov. 3, labor activists throughout Washington rejoiced at voters’ rejection of a ballot initiative sponsored by longtime union adversary Tim Eyman. I-1033 would have placed strict limits on government spending, cutting billions of dollars out of state and local budgets that pay for education, health and public safety.

The measure had 54 percent support in Clark County, but just 42 percent statewide.

In Southwest Washington, Vancouver City Council member Tim Leavitt, 38, was elected mayor, defeating incumbent Royce Pollard with nearly 54 percent of the vote.

Pollard, 70, has served as mayor of “Vancouver USA” for 14 years.

Labor was divided on its support of the candidates, resulting in no endorsement action by the Clark, Skamania, West Klickitat Labor Council.

Leavitt’s supporters included Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, UNITE HERE Local 9, AFSCME Local 307 VC, and the Vancouver Police Officers Guild, while Pollard was endorsed by Vancouver Fire Fighters Local 452, District 6 Fire Fighters Local 1805, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4, Painters District Council 5, Iron Workers Local 29, Iron Workers Shopmen’s Local 516, Cement Masons Local 555, and the Washington Machinists Council.

For Vancouver City Council, labor-endorsed Jack Burkman won 53 to 46 percent. And Jeanne Harris won with backing from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, Vancouver Fire Fighters Local 452, and IBEW Local 48; the labor council had backed challenger Anne McEnerny-Ogle.

For Battle Ground City Council, incumbent Bill Ganley won re-election with Labor Council endorsement, as did Michael Ciraulo, who ran unopposed. But Labor Council-backed candidates Adrian Cortes and Michael Dalesandro lost their races.

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