Intimidated by all those initiatives? Listen to these debates
Not sure how to vote on the slate of initiatives on your ballot? To help you decide, we went straight to the sources.
This year's ballot contains several measures that are more complicated than they appear. We invited proponents and opponents of each measure to lay out their arguments to give voters a road map.
Listen to the debates, which originally aired on KUOW's The Record, below.
Ballot Initiative Debate 940 - Police Use of Force
I-940 would change Washington state law so prosecutors would no longer have to prove a police officer acted with "malice" in order to charge that officer over their use of deadly force. It would also require officers get de-escalation and mental health training. We talk with Monisha Harrell from De-Escalate Washington in favor of I-940 and Teresa Taylor from the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, who opposes the measure.
Ballot Initiative Debate 1631 - Carbon Fee
Closer to home, Washington state may become the first in the nation to charge a fee for carbon emissions. Whether you call the ballot initiative a fee or a tax tends to depend on whether you’re for it or against it, and the messaging continues to be very different from both sides. Becky Kelley is president of the Washington Environmental Council and is in favor of I-1631; Dana Bieber is the campaign spokesperson for “No on I-1631.”
Ballot Initiative Debate 1634 - Soda Tax
A “yes” vote on ballot initiative 1634 is a vote against the power of local governments to levy taxes on distributors for retail food and drink items. That dry language masks a passionate debate that wraps in public health, grocery bills, regressive taxation, and Big Soda. Pete Lamb of Teamsters Local 174 argued in favor of I-1634, while Jim Krieger from Healthy Food America argued against. And KUOW's Ruby DeLuna provided context.
Ballot Initiative Debate 1639 - Gun Control
Should Washington put more limits on the buying and storing of some guns? Paul Kramer is the campaign spokesperson of Yes on I-1639. Jane Milhans is a personal firearm instructor, and volunteers with a group that opposes the measure.