Voters need Municipal League | Bob Roegner

Do you care about good government?

Do you care about electing good candidates to public office?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you should get involved in the Municipal League of King County.

The League is comprised of Democrats, Republicans, independents, liberals, moderates and conservatives. They all care about good public policy and providing objective ratings of candidates for public office.

This is the League’s 100th year of serving as the region’s cornerstone for those who truly care that government works and works well. The League recently kicked off its centennial celebration with a reunion of past board members and staff. I served as co-host for the event along with two other past board chairs, Fred Jarrett, currently deputy county executive, and A.J. Culver, formerly mayor of Issaquah and past chairman of the Elections Oversight Committee.

As I scanned the room and read the list of those serving on the host committee for the League’s annual recognition program, I was awed by the intellectual level and commitment each person held to the goal of government as it should be. Supporters of the League over the years include U.S. senators, former governors, mayors, state legislators and a "who’s who" from the private sector. It was humbling to be included in the same group.

But why should you care? Because the Municipal League is the only place you as a concerned voter will get objective, thoughtful and non-partisan information and ratings on public policy issues and candidates for public office. The League’s candidate evaluation system is performed by regular citizens who receive in-depth training on issues. They research candidates’ qualifications as they focus on candidates’ knowledge, community involvement and ability to be effective. The rating system ranges from “not qualified” to “outstanding” and is the most sought-after rating in the election process by any serious candidate.

With this year’s Federal Way mayoral race potentially yielding a wide field, the League ratings of the candidates will give voters a good guide to follow. The same is true of candidates for the Legislature. Over the years, the league has also broadened its board of directors, which now includes Mary Gates of Federal Way.

Lastly, the League publicly recognizes outstanding performance by elected and appointed officials along with public service organizations. Past suburban leaders recognized as public officials of the year include council members Doris Cooper from Kirkland, Doreen Marchione of Redmond, Nan Campbell from Bellevue, and this year’s winner, city council member Jeanne Burbidge from Federal Way.

If you want to become involved in good government leadership, call the League office at (206) 622-8337 and volunteer for the candidate evaluation committee. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

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