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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Category: Local

Seattle-area election news covered through the eyes of UW students and faculty.

October 15, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Monday Eye Openers: Romney and Ryan in Ohio, Obama preps for debate, Clinton hits the road, Arlen Specter dies, and WA Governor race

Each Monday we feature several important stories in US politics — ones that just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. We call these Monday Eye Openers. Romney and Ryan hammer Obama in Ohio This weekend, Mitt Romney jump-started his campaign by skydiving from 128,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Wait, no—that was…


Comments | More in Local, National, State | Topics: Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Jay Inslee

October 13, 2012 at 7:15 AM

It’s time to talk about guns

The fear of gun violence is an ever-present reality to parents, kids, teachers, neighbors, passers-by in America.  But our politicians are not discussing it in any serious manner – even during the presidential campaign.  It is time to change that.

Courtesy of

SHORELINE — Last May, when I had just finished a meeting at work, I received a text message from a friend saying that there had been a shooting in Shoreline the previous evening, and two youths had been shot.  One of them, a 17 year old girl, had died.

She was a student in my daughter’s high school at Shorecrest.

The shooting had taken place on the same street on which my daughter’s Metro bus travels from school to home every day.  At that moment the police had no suspect or motive – it looked like a random act of violence.

I was petrified.

I texted my daughter, “DO NOT TAKE THE BUS” home after school, and that I would pick her up.  I left work early with an uneasy feeling in my stomach: something terrible had just happened and my life was directly affected by it.  I could not control the events in my neighborhood, and I could not protect my daughter from the reality of gun violence and death.


Comments | More in Local, National | Topics: brady center to prevent gun violence, gun control, million mom march

September 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM

WA governor candidate forum going social with a Google+ Hangout

SEATTLE — The YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish (YWCA) and their advocacy network, Firesteel, are hosting two round table discussions with the 2012 candidates for Washington state governor, Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. Each one will answer questions about women’s socio-economic issues, domestic violence, and homelessness.

A roundtable with gubernatorial candidates is not a new thing, but this roundtable will be unique because of where it will take place: over Google+ Hangout.

So what makes this Google+ Hangout so exciting? Over the past four years, social media have been hyped for their ability to allow presidential campaigns to reach out and have two-way conversations with citizens. The reality is, with a constituency as large as the United States, it’s challenging to have legitimate conversations with potential voters. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research study, the current presidential campaigns rarely interact on Twitter. President Obama’s campaign retweets about 16% of the time, while Romney’s campaign only retweeted once in a two week span.


Comments | More in Local, State | Topics: Firesteel, Google hangout, Jay Inslee

August 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Seattle Times – UW Election Eye Meetup Survey

SEATTLE — It’s campaign season, and this election figures to be an important one. With so much on the ballot, from gay marriage to a potentially historic governor’s race, The Seattle Times and the University of Washington Election Eye are teaming up to host meetups to help voters understand what’s at stake. We have a…


Comments | More in Local | Topics: election, meetup, seattle times

July 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM

A suggested better response to McKenna staffer’s tweets

This post is by Madeline Moy, a recent graduate of the UW Department of Communication’s digital media Master’s program.

SEATTLE — While scanning Facebook the other night, I took special notice of a post celebrating the departure of Kathlyn Ehl from the campaign staff of Washington state gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.

The controversial tweets by Ehl have since been deleted.

These are screen captures of Kathlyn Ehl’s controversial tweets. Both tweets have since been deleted.

Ehl recently came under fire for authoring two offensive tweets that denigrated Asians and elderly people. The Stranger broke the story on Monday, The Seattle Times editorial board called for Ehl to be fired on Tuesday, and Ehl resigned on Wednesday.

I was especially disappointed and disgusted by Ehl’s tweet: “shut up and speak english #asians.” It unfortunately reminded me of the “Asians in the Library” rant that UCLA student Alexandra Wallace posted on YouTube last year.

I am a second-generation Filipino American who was born and raised in Washington state. It hurts when I’m reminded that many of my fellow Americans will always view me as a foreigner. It also makes me angry to know that recent and not-so-recent Asian immigrants have to deal with this kind of bigotry and ignorance.

As a communications professional, I find it appalling that Ehl apparently thought nothing of posting such a comment on Twitter, an international public platform.

However, while many of my friends—especially those who are Asian American like me—cheered and applauded when they heard that Ehl resigned, to me it felt like a hollow victory.

So we publicly shamed and cowed a junior staffer of the McKenna campaign. So what? Is this something that we really want to celebrate?


Comments | More in Local | Topics: ageism, Asians, Kathlyn Ehl

June 29, 2012 at 7:05 AM

A high school student climbs the local political rungs

Daniel Warwick is pure politics and persuasion, and he has the necessary skill: he has a handshake to remember.

The squeeze of his hand is fine, but it’s the character of his stare and the calmness of his brow that seal the deal. It’s a handshake moment that makes you wonder if you met his expectations, and recount how many times you pumped to make sure you at least are on his level.

For him, politics and persuasion are fun, challenging, rewarding and the best way to spend his high school years. Warwick is 18 years old, you see, and has already participated in more public service than most of us will in a lifetime.

He’s a suburban kid who attends Interlake High School in Bellevue. It’s hard to imagine him doing anything bad in his community, but for many it’s harder to imagine him doing all the good that he has tried to do. That is the hurdle he seeks to overcome. Warwick is climbing the mountain of local politics that is dominated by an older generation.


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Bellevue, Democrats, Election 2012

June 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM

A Seattle woman named Melanie: young, pregnant, and homeless

Melanie, a homeless woman on a Seattle street corner on May 3, 2012. (Photo by Thor Tolo/UW Election Eye)

During election cycles, much attention is paid to the economy, and more specifically, job creation. UWEE talked to a homeless woman in Seattle about how she found herself on the street after her career faltered, which provides a sobering reminder of how easily it could happen to others.

SEATTLE — Melanie has bright eyes, a welcoming smile, and a wicked laugh. She is 27 years old, a jewelry artist, an expectant mother, and a self-proclaimed Republican. A former Whidbey Island resident, Melanie currently lives on the streets. She panhandles for a living, sleeping in doorways with her boyfriend and her dog Duke.

Five years ago, Melanie’s life was very different. She explained that she owned her own home and a successful jewelry business. Then the economy turned.  “The tourists started buying cheap key chains and stopped buying my jewelry,” she said.  Without reliable income, she found herself struggling to make ends meet. First, the career she built was lost. The house followed.

While standing on the corner of 45th and University Way, a stone’s throw from the University of Washington campus, Melanie and Duke hold court. Melanie displays a sign asking for money for marijuana and beer. She says that the sign is more for the amusement of those that pass her on the streets than anything else: local college kids will give to a cause when they readily agree with the sentiment. A young man stops and gives Melanie two cigarettes and she tucks one behind each ear. He laughs, then gives her two more to which she responds, “I only have two ears!” and pretends to give them to her dog. A college-aged young man hands Melanie ten bucks and tells her to buy Duke dog food, to which she smiles and says, “I will! Thanks!”


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Homelessness, Republican, Seattle

May 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

June 1st means new liquor distribution; join UW Election Eye for conversation

SEATTLE — On Friday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will end its liquor store and liquor distribution operations. Resulting from the passage of I-1183, this means that liquor will be sold in newly licensed privately owned stores that have at least 10,000 square feet of retail space. For Washingtonians of legal drinking age, that means…


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Booze, I-1183, Washington liquor law

May 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

An immigrant family’s journey to citizenship and the right to vote

As new American citizens, an Albanian family reflects on the journey that brought them to the United States and the rights they will never take for granted.

Merita and Naim Hyseni were sworn in as United States citizens on October 27, 2011. Pictured with their sons Oltion (left) and Julian (right). (Photo by Lara Underhill/UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — Naim and Merita Hyseni are from Albania and they will be voting this year for the first time as American citizens.

The Hysenis are also my parents-in-law.

Last week I went to their home to talk to them about how they got to the United States and what it means to them to exercise their right to vote in their new country.

But first…we eat.

I grew up in the Southeast and I thought that was a culture of food. But I learned early in my relationship with my husband Julian that Southern hospitality has nothing on Albanian food traditions. Just when you think you’ve finished the meal, another delicious course comes out of the kitchen.


Comments | More in Culture, Local | Topics: Albania, communism, democracy

May 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM

CascadiaNow! advocates shift in culture, not secession

Cascadian secession shirt

University of Washington CascadiaNow! leader Rob Foxcurran sports his secession shirt from Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland. (Photo by Alicia Halberg/UW Election Eye)

The Cascadia movement wants to unite the Pacific Northwest from Northern California to Alaska. Ideas on unification vary from separatist factions to those seeking a broad cultural identity.

SEATTLE — “Organic Secession: Cascadian Dark Ale,” reads a label on one of Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewing Company’s popular brews. It’s also a logo on a shirt worn by University of Washington senior Robert Foxcurran, head of the UW chapter of CascadiaNow!

Cascadia is the proposed name for an independent state composed of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. Some maps include portions of California, Idaho and Alberta.


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Beer, Cascadia, Independence

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