Week In Review – Labor Day Weekend Edition


While Democrats are made up of a diverse tapestry of cultures, causes, and issues, we as a party have a core set of values based on fairness, economic justice, and social equality. That’s why the Democratic Party is a big supporter of organized labor. Since their beginning in this country, labor unions have amplified the voices of workers in so many industries all across the nation. They have consistently stood for fairness and equality, and have provided American workers agency on par with some of the world’s largest corporations through collective bargaining. From the New Deal to the new age of computers, Democrats have fought for organized labor and today we continue to proudly stand by their side.


In honor of Labor Day, we’d like to recognize candidates with backgrounds in organized labor in races throughout the state and update you on the progress of their campaigns. Some of these candidates are poised to do very well in the general election. Some of them did not advance past the primary. We are proud of every candidate whose labor background drove him or her to seek a career in public service.

Teresa Mosqueda (Seattle City Council)

Teresa Mosqueda, the Washington State Labor Council’s political campaign director and member of OPEIU, led the field of candidates for Seattle’s City Council Position 8 in the August 1 primary election. She advanced with 31.7% of the vote. Teresa says that her activism in economic issues instilled in her an “economic justice perspective” and a “desire to constantly fight back.”


Yesterday, Washington Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski personally endorsed Teresa, saying “Teresa has built a resume of hands-on, proven progressive leadership—and strong coalition building— that will make her an excellent City Council member.” Click here to read the full endorsement.

Larry Brown (Auburn City Council)

Larry Brown is the legislative and political director for Aerospace Machinists District Lodge 751 and a former employee of Boeing. He is running for Auburn’s City Council Position 6. A U.S. Navy veteran and serious Seahawks fan, Larry says he want to get to work “on education, transportation infrastructure, and economic development.” Larry is a good friend of the Democratic Party, and he will be a tremendous elected official.



Pedro Olguin (Burien City Council)

Pedro Olguin is running for Position 1 on the Burien City Council. He’s the current organizing coordinator with Teamsters Local 117, and he led a field of four declared candidates in the primar. He advances to the general election against candidate Joel Manning. Pedro hopes to use his position to better address homelessness and poverty in Burien. He says that being a part of Teamsters Local 117 has instilled in him the importance of “advocating for dignity and respect…as well as learning to strike a fair balance and willingness to reach an agreement with those you may not agree with.”


Jimmy Matta (Burien City Council)

Jimmy Matta is a member of the Carpenters Union and the former president of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. He is running for City Council Position 3 in Burien. Jimmy says he is running to strengthen the Burien economy, develop a robust community policing program, and explore ways to increase access to affordable housing.



Tye Whitfield (Kent City Council)

Tye Whitfield is running for Position 4 on Kent’s City Council. A member of SEIU 775, Tye is currently serving on Kent’s Parks and Recreation Commission. She is involved in advocacy work on behalf of families and young people, and she champions mentoring, skill-building, and job training programs.





Anna Trenouth (Arlington Fire Commissioner)

Anna Trenouth is running to become the Arlington Fire Commissioner and is part of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Anna says of firefighting, “For me it’s more life experience, maturity, dealing with children, dealing with the elderly, and communication skills.”




Matthew Hepner (East Wenatchee City Council)

Matthew Hepner is running for Position 7 on the East Wenatchee City Council. He is a member of IBEW 191 and the executive director of Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. Matthew is the only candidate in the race, so he is well positioned to win the general election.




Clint Bryson (Montesano City Council)

Clint Bryson has lived in Montesano his entire life and is a business representative for IBEW Local 76. He was appointed to the city council earlier this year to fill the vacancy left by former council member Chris Hutchings’ resignation. Montesano will be fortunate to have Clint continue in his role on the Council.





Karl de Jong (Sedro-Woolley Council)

Karl de Jong is one of two people running for Sedro-Woolley Council, Ward 6, and he will therefore advance to the general election. Karl is a member of IATSE and IUPAT. He is a Democratic grassroots activist, former King County Democratic Party chair, and a recent host of one of our Summer of Canvass events. Way to go, Karl!





Anne Backstrom (Silver Lake Water & Sewer District Commissioner Position 3)

Anne Backstrom is a member of Teamsters Local 763 and is running for reelection to Commissioner Position 3 for the Silver Lake Water & Sewer District. She is also president of the Board of Commissioners, as well as a jazz performer.





Chris Roberts (Shoreline City Council)

Chris Roberts is currently the mayor of Shoreline, and he is running for reelection to the Shoreline City Council from which he was selected to serve as mayor. He is a member of the National Writers Union and UAW Local 1981. He is running unopposed for the position and holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington.



Chris Beale (Tacoma City Council)

Chris Beale is running for Position 5 on the Tacoma City Council. The current chair of the Tacoma Planning Commission and a member of UFCW 367, Chris says he wants to work toward a “more sustainable and equitable future” for Tacoma.




Zak Idan (Tukwila City Council)

Zak Idan is running for Position 5 on the Tukwila City Council. A Somali-born refugee who moved to the United States at the age of 11, Zak is currently a project control engineer for King County’s Department of Natural Resources. He is a member of the Technical Employees Association, and he is active with Tukwila’s immigrant communities as well as a volunteer soccer coach. Zak advances to face fellow labor candidate Dennis Martinez.



Dennis Martinez (Tukwila City Council)

Denis Martinez is also running for Position 5 on the Tukwila City Council. Dennis is a retired steamfitter and UA member. A part of the Tukwila Planning Commission, Dennis mentors at-risk tradesmen and has been active in programs that have helped U.S. military veterans find trade jobs after their service has ended. Dennis advances to face Zak Idan in the general election.




Labor candidates who didn’t make it to the general election:


We also want to recognize the labor candidates who did not advance past the primary and thank them for answering the call to public service. Running for office is a demanding a grueling activity that requires candidates to prioritize their communities above all else. Please help us congratulate each labor candidate on an outstanding display of effort and poise, whether or not they will be running in the general election.


Sharry Edwards (Federal Way City Council)



Shaunie Wheeler (SeaTac City Council)



Bob Hasegawa (Seattle Mayor)

Teamsters 174


John Persak (Seattle Port Commissioner)



Brooks Salazar (Seattle Port Commissioner)



Patty Dailey (University Place Council)



Resistance Event at Labor Temple


We will be having a Resistance event with DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on Friday, September 15th at the Labor Temple. We hope you’ll join us!


Finally, check Facebook and Twitter on Labor Day as we honor the Labor Movement!