The Data Daily

Mathematics for Liberation; A voting guide

Mathematics for Liberation; A voting guide

The following voting guide was created by students enrolled in a math course at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, taught by WAESN board director, Shraddha Shirude, called Mathematics for Liberation. The course syllabus defines the course as such:

Mathematics for Liberation engages students in mathematical discourse and critical analysis. This course is designed to prepare students to actively engage in mathematical analysis when looking at data & statistics in any field of study, use mathematical discourse as a process for critical thinking, and support the search for liberation through the study of mathematics. One of the goals of this course is to redefine and interrogate the definition of a mathematician from a socially constructed perspective.

The first unit of the course is called “The Election Cycle: The mathematics of political campaigns & races.” Students were asked to analyze data about issues they are concerned about in their city and make a recommendation for the best candidate to move towards a solution. Below are some of their recommendations.

An advisory question is a type of ballot measure in which citizens vote a non-binding question. Advisory question also known as advisory vote allows voters to voice their preference and allow the state legislature or local government to gauge public opinions on the issue being presented. These measures are automatically referred to the ballot as required under initiatives 960, an initiative sponsored by Tim Eyman that was approved by voters in 2017.

Advisory Vote 36 is a non-binding question asking voters to advise the legislature on whether to uphold or repeal House Bill 1477, passed by the Washington State Legislature in the 2021 session.

To maintain the house bill would advise for a tax to be collected on telephone calls to be allocated, to repeal would advise for no tax to be collected on telephone calls, for voters who wouldn’t want a tax to be collected.

HB 1477 was designed to “implement the national 988 system to enhance and expand behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services.”

 HB 1477 also created The Statewide 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Line Tax (988 Tax) to fund 988 calls. The tax was designed to be collected on every telephone line and prepaid wireless retail transaction as well as VOIP (voice over internet protocol) providers. The tax was set to be 24 cents per line per month between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022, and 40 cents per line per month beginning on January 1, 2023.

Consolidating suicide hotlines into one number across the country would decrease the suicide rate. Without this measure, we would not be able to support the “988” number in Washington state. While this may increase taxes, it is essential for public health and is an important step in suicide prevention. It is more specific to the people that are having a mental health crisis to call 988 than calling 911 because 911 isn’t really allowed to take emergency from people in a mental health crisis. 

If we’re being honest here, we can’t trust most police officers to handle an emergency call without causing more harm than help. Individuals who may need to call the number 988, will have someone dispatched who is adequately prepared to handle more delicate situations, such as a mental health professional. It is important to have appropriate emergency response systems so every type of situation can be handled appropriately, and to where the person in need of help gets the right kind.

We recommend bill 5096 because over time almost every person will have contributed to the funding of schools in their state. In the future you’ll have noticed a quality increase in schools nationwide more choice classes, custom/lunch schedules, a double in staff, more up to date classes, supplies, more college/trade school information, the teaching of alternative future routes and more. 

Advisory Vote 37 is a non-binding question asking voter to advise the legislature on whether to uphold or repeal senate bill 5096. SB 5096 was made to impose a tax of 7% on capital gains over $250,000, with certain EXCEPTION. The first $500 million of revenue collected from the tax received each year were set to be allocated to the Legacy trust account with the remainder to be deposited into the Common School Construction Account. Beginning with taxes due in 2024, the $500 million amount was set to be adjusted by inflation. The ten-year cost of Senate Bill 5096, which Advisory Vote 37 concerns, is estimated to be $5.736 billion. This impacts education and childcare, children affected by this and they legally cannot vote leaving them to have to just go with the way things go with the way things go. We recommend you vote for advisory vote 37 because it can either maintain or repeal vote advises the legislature to repeal a 7% tax on capital gains above $250,000 with revenue allocated to education and childcare services.

Being Garfield students, we find ourselves in the perhaps unexpected situation of asking you not to vote for the Garfield alumnus in this election. However, this decision was far from hard to make, given that Bruce Harrell’s campaign for Mayor has very little substance beyond“I grew up & attended high school here.” That, in & of itself, is no reason to vote for a candidate.

As mayor, Lorena González, the first Latina elected to Seattle city council, would be devoted to addressing and improving major crises in the city of Seattle. She understands that homelessness is an ongoing problem and presents a plan on how to reduce it, providing more resources to help the houseless and to cut down to the core reasons some individuals lose their homes or are on the street in general. As many may know Seattle is not a cheap city to live in, but Lorena wants to create affordable housing by changing outdated laws. Furthermore, González supports and actively voted for the defunding of SPD, which means that we expect her to continue that work in the future.

As a Councilmember, Bruce Harrell enacted very little major changes, generally falling in line with the same policies employed by current Mayor Durkan. His homelessness plan simply reiterates previously failed city amendments and utilizes inhumane treatment such as encampment sweeping, implementing physical force, and seizing the houseless’ property. Harrell’s idea of police reform consists having officers watch the video of George Floyd’s death, go through more anti-bias training, &“sign a pledge;”everything else he’s said has been confusing & inconsistent, but he has no intention to demilitarize or defund. The major donors to his campaign are wealthy former-Trump-donor landlords, including members of the Seattle Police Foundation, who’d rather sweep the important issues under the rug & pretend progressives are the problem, which is more than enough reason for us to not vote him into office. Therefore, we ask you to vote for Lorena González. For more information on Lorena’s homelessness plan visit: https://lorenaforseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Gonzalez-Homelessness-Plan.pdf

Nicole Thomas Kennedy works as a public defender. Nicol Thomas has never lost a trial and she has record over 200 civil cases and 400 criminal cases. Nicole Thomas will make sure to fight for our rights no matter what situation, she stands for colored rights, LGBTQ, etc.…

In her past experience, she saw poor people not just arrested but prosecuted for stealing socks in the winter or food when they were hungry. Over and over again, the current City Attorney’s Office pursues prosecutions that are ineffective, damaging, and costly — both inflicting hardship on our most oppressed communities and wasting millions of dollars that could be spent on community-led, evidence-based programming, which she intends to pursue.

Before coming to Seattle, Thomas-Kennedy bounced from city to city, waiting tables, at times unstably sheltered, until she landed in Seattle at age 22. It was in Seattle that Thomas-Kennedy found stability for the first time and was finally able to grow roots and build a life. She got her GED and continued her studies at Seattle Central Community College, entered law school with an infant, determined to create a better future for her child. Thomas-Kennedy became a public defender because she knew that without a stable place to live, a loving community, and an amazing partner, she would not be where she is today, and she wanted to give back to the community that had given her so much. Thomas-Kennedy knows, firsthand, that positive change for everyone comes from stability, community, and compassion. She centers that knowledge every day in her law career. Thomas-Kennedy has been the attorney of record on over 200 civil cases, and 400 criminal cases. She has never lost a trial, which she attributes to the absurdity of the types of cases prosecutors filed as much as her own legal prowess. She saw first-hand how the destabilizing effects of overly aggressive prosecutions reverberated through their lives, their families, and their communities.

Teresa Mosqueda is a labor activist from Seattle, her father teaches political economy and social change, while her mother is also an educator. Teresa works to push for the right of workers getting treated fairly. Also she was elected to Seattle city council in 2017, in 2013 she was the only member to vote for not raising the salary of the health exchange.

Teresa Mosqueda was elected in 2017 to serve the over 725,000 in Seattle as the citywide councilmember in position 8 for a 4-year term. Her priority is to promote healthy communities and create more affordable housing. She is also working to make an economy that will work for everyone in the city and to amplify the voices of the most vulnerable in our community. Kenneth Wilson graduated from University of Nevada in 1993 and completed a graduate degree at University of Washington in 1996. He has experience in primarily engineering and his focus is to assist Seattle’s infrastructure. He got 16.2% of the primary vote. 

Teresa cares about the homeless issue in Seattle, not only the fact that they are living on the streets but also the trauma and stress they have endured during this time in their lives. She also wants to work to make sure BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, etc. are all getting treated fairly in a chance to gain housing and shelter.

We recommend Teresa Mosqueda because she fights for two of the largest issues ongoing in Seattle, in the forms of affordable housing prices and police accountability. She has many examples of previous policies passed in efforts to make our city more equitable (Banned Sub-Minimum Wages, Moratorium on Rent Bidding, Flexibility on Affordable Housing). She is also endorsed by our current Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, as well as Senator Bernie Sanders, who has openly fought for progress policies as well.

Nikkita Oliver (they/them) graduated from Seattle Pacific University and University of Washington. They have experience in community organization, education, and as an attorney and their focus is to assist housing, public health and safety as well as addressing inequality. They got 40.2% of the primary vote. Sara Nelson graduated from University of California and University of Washington. She has experience as a legislative advisor to a former councilmember and assisted in founding a brewing company. She says her focus is on more pragmatic progressive policies instead of “the same extremist policies and empty rhetoric.”

We recommend Nikkita Oliver: They are a candidate who relates to the struggles that they are attempting to solve; Being a Non-Profit Executive Director, an Attorney, a Community Organizer, and more, they have an extensive amount of experience with issues related to social and economic justice. They are heavily engaged in the community of Seattle and the people within it (Notably Co-Founding the Seattle Peoples Party) and have progressive policies which relate to safety for children, labor protections for freelancers, and prevailing wages and healthcare for workers.

Song-Maritz was born in Ohio grows up as an Asian American in auto-manufacturing town during the era when Japanese competition was forcing factoring to shut down. Vivian Song-Maritz has been hearing impaired her entire life.

Song-Maritz hopes that we prioritize funding so that the last things that are cut are the things that directly impact the classroom.

She wants Special education funding to also not be where it needs to be. This is an issue dear to Song-Maritz because she is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids.

The reason she is running for School Board is the lack of Asian representation on the board or in senior leadership positions.

She said that our students were feeling unsafe and really felt I could bring that representation to our district.

She is also serious about bringing racial justice to the district.

Song-Maritz also wants the School Board to set reasonable goals when hiring its new superintendent.

Sarju is a Seattle public school mom of three and has experienced the promises and fails out of our public schools.  Her child has faced disparate punishment compared to their white peers. She believes that every child deserves high-quality public-school education that supports their quest to learn. I recommend this vote because unlike Dan Harder who doesn’t believe in racism Michelle is a person of color and has gone through the hard ships of being a person of color, she wants to help the people that have a limited education due to race, abilities, and status. 

Seattle school board district 5When taking in mind whom to vote for, when voting for the school board. Michelle Sarju is the best candidate.

● The district five school board covers the sound lake through the Capitol Hill area.

● The boards job is to make and adopt policies based on the needs and wants of students.

● Sarju’s opponent Dan Harder believes in making sure that every child knows they can succeed, and they’re not held back or defined by their background. He also says if elected he wants to prioritize academic excellence over activism. He also doesn’t believe in racism which is not needed in Seattle public schools, which is why he isn’t a good fit for the position because he believes in all the wrong things.

● Sarju believes that mental health is a big part in student success. She has also lived in the central district of Seattle for 35 years, and has also raised kids in the Seattle school district. Sarju knows how schools work and knows how to make a change. So when putting in your vote for Seattle public schools district five school board vote Michelle Sarju.

Hersey is currently a member of the Seattle public schools Directors and is working as a teacher in the Federal Way district in Washington. Hersey says, “south Seattle is his home.” He tells people that he is committed to making sure that all of the kids have bright futures and watched young men develop into what he loves the most “future leaders.”  Hersey wants to improve educational outcomes for his students, he knows that he has the responsibility and being a leader who shows experience of working directly with families and students. Hersey learns that as a teacher and as the state of Washington “if we continue to fail to fully fund education, we must go to Olympia and fight for it.”

Why we recommend this vote is because we feel as if Brandon has a lot to offer to students and schools in his community, and we also feel that he has a better connection with others and the youth because he is still a teacher at the same time. He knows that he needs leaders who are prepared to push the district to focus on what’s important. Why we also go with this candidate is because candidate (2), Genesis Williamson, has no information about herself in the election. The only info we found was her being an assistant dean of arts at Seattle University, which means Brandon has more to bring to the table and would a great director.

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