2015 Candidate Questionnaire

 2015 Candidate Questionnaire
Municipal Level Candidate Name
Phillippa Kassover
Position Sought
Lake Forest Park City Council Position 4
Home Legislative District
Are you a Democrat?
Are you known as a Democrat?
I have been a member of the 46th District Democrats Executive
Board for more than two years and currently serve as the Vice
Campaign Name
Phillippa for LFP
Campaign Contact Information
Mailing address:
18422 47th Place NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
Phone: 206-245-8217
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @
Campaign manager or point of contact
Phillippa Kassover
Part I – Candidate Background
Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union
affiliation, and other relevant experience. Attach a resume with more complete history.
I began my university education at the London School of Economics and completed my undergraduate
degrees in Political Science and Sociology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
I worked as a broadcast journalist in my early career, covering local and state politics in Colorado. I was
fortunate to learn a great deal about the workings of local and state government, including city and county
land-use planning, budgeting, human services, public utilities and public safety. I attended numerous
meetings, and built lasting relationships with elected officials, city and county staff, and law enforcement
As my children entered elementary school, I moved away from the unpredictable schedule of a news
reporter into the more stable schedule as a public information officer for the University of Colorado. I was
then recruited for a position in grant-writing and fund-raising at Colorado College, a national liberal arts
college, where I remained for 14 years. During this time, I was also a partner and analyst in Rocky
Mountain Research, a public opinion research firm working for local government, newspapers, and nonprofit organizations, conducting and analyzing public opinion surveys covering voter preferences, and
environmental and women’s issues.
In 2004, I was recruited to become the director of fundraising and communications for the Keystone
Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, an internationally respected scientific conference series, where
I raised millions of dollars from government agencies, corporations and private foundations to support
conferences addressing the biomedical science, including public and international health issues such as HIV-
AIDS, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Malaria and bird-flu.
I worked at Keystone Symposia for 3 years before moving to Washington in 2007 to take a job at the
University of Washington as a senior director for fundraising and communications, first for UW Technology
and UWTV, then for the UW School of Nursing. I retired from UW in December 2013. In my work at
Keystone and UW, I was a member of the senior management team, with responsibility for institutional and
department budget planning and decision-making, as well as institutional branding, federal and state agency
relations, constituent relations, and crisis management and communications.
I have held numerous volunteer and board roles both in Colorado and here in Washington. For more than
ten years, I served as a board member for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in both the Pikes Peak
Region and in Summit County, Colorado. I have served on numerous committees at Colorado College,
including socially responsible investing. My focus here in Washington State has been the Democratic Party,
where I have served as a member of the executive board of the 46th LD, as well as a delegate to the
KCDCC, and now as Vice Chair of the 46th LD.
I also campaigned for I-594, the universal background check bill, and remain active in the movement to
improve gun safety and reduce gun deaths in our community. I am a member of Moms Demand Action.
Describe your history of involvement in Washington state politics. What offices have you previously sought
election or appointment to? What campaigns have you worked on?
I moved from Colorado to Washington State in 2007 to take a position at the University of Washington. In
Colorado I worked on the campaigns of Democrats Governor Dick Lamm, Governor Roy Romer, and US
Senator Gary Hart, as well as local Democratic candidates for the State Legislature.
After spending a few years learning about Washington politics and working very hard at UW, I attended my
precinct caucus in 2012 and began to attend meetings for the 46th District Democrats. In early 2013 I was
elected as an at-large member of the executive board and volunteered to manage the membership database. Following the resignation of another member, I also volunteered to become the Female Delegate to
the King County Central Committee, a position I held throughout part of 2013 and all of 2014. During reorganization in early 2015, I was elected as Vice Chair of the 46th LD by the Precinct Committee Officers of
the district.
After retiring from UW at the end of 2013, I volunteered for the combined campaigns downtown phone
bank in 2014 and also hosted a phone bank at my home to get out the vote for Democratic candidate Matt
Isenhower in the 45th LD. I helped my own PCO distribute the 46th LD voters’ guide in both 2013 and 2014,
and took on another precinct in Lake Forest Park as well.
I collected signatures for Initiative 594 and remain active in the gun violence prevention movement.
What prompted you to run for this office? What priorities are you seeking to address with your campaign?
Following my regular attendance and provision of testimony at City Council meetings and my 46th District
involvement, I was contacted by numerous members of the community and Lake Forest Park City Council,
and encouraged to consider running for Council.
I am an advocate for good government and wish to serve my community in a meaningful role. City
government affects the daily quality of life for residents as well as their pocketbooks. When combined with
the aforementioned encouragement, I knew that now was the time to run for office.
My priorities are to:
• collaborate with both elected and staff colleagues;
• encourage a more open, communicative and collaborative environment in local government;
• support a safe and welcoming city for all residents, including affordable housing for families and
• improve mobility choices and tackle transportation safety concerns;
• support local business, including exploring the option of municipal broadband;
• adequately fund responsible city budgets; and,
• preserve and protect the ecosystem and especially the trees, natural water sources, wildlife
corridors, open spaces, streams and lakeshore that are the defining characteristics of the City of
Lake Forest Park.
List the notable endorsements you have received to date. Who are you planning to ask for an endorsement?
I have been endorsed by King County Council member Rod Dembowski, 46th LD State Senator David Frockt,
46th LD State Representatives Jessyn Farrell and Gerry Pollet, Lake Forest Park City Councilmembers Mark
Phillips, Catherine Stanford, Hilda Thompson, and John Resha, and Kenmore City Councilmember Nigel
I am planning to ask for endorsements from the 46th District Democrats, the King County Democratic
Central Committee, Cascade Bicycle Club, Sierra Foundation, Conservation Voters, and Women’s Political
Describe the progress of your campaign and campaign goals. For instance, how many doors have you
knocked on? What earned media has your campaign received? How much money have you raised?
My campaign is at the very early stages, and specific campaign goals have not yet been determined. I
believe in direct voter contact and plan to walk every precinct in LFP to meet voters, introduce myself and
learn more about their hopes and concerns for our city. I also plan to attend all community forums or
gatherings whose aim is to connect candidates and voters.
I will also use online communications and social media, as well as mailing printed materials to connect with
Have you ever been a member of any other political party? If so, what party? Have you ever given money to
a candidate from another party in a partisan race? If so, to whom and when?
I have never been a member of another party here in the US. Before I came to the United States in 1972, I
voted for the British Labor Party and was a member of the National Union of Students, which was allied with
the Labor Party.
I have not donated money to a candidate for another party.
Please answer the following questions.
Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?
Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal
Election Commission or Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?
* If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, please explain your answer:
Part II – Local and State Issues
Do you support amending the U.S.
Constitution to lessen the influence of money
in politics, and declare that corporations do
not have the rights of natural persons?
Do you support the right of public workers,
excluding military, to bargain and strike?
Do you support increasing the minimum
wage in your jurisdiction to $12/hr or higher?
Do you support legislation at the local and
state level to require equal pay for women
and people of color?
Are you willing to undergo and ask your staff
and peers to undergo training to understand
and combat institutional racism?
Do you support raising revenue at the city
level to expand transit service?
Do you support development impact fees to
pay for schools, roads, and parks, as allowed
under the Growth Management Act?
Do you support building a municipally owned
and operated broadband system in your city?
Do you agree that municipal government
should use its borrowing capacity to fund
additional units of affordable housing?
Do you support protecting what is left of our
urban tree canopy with strong tree ordinances
that require property owners to consult with
city government prior to cutting down trees? x
Do you support infrastructure to make it
easier to walk and bike on your city’s streets?
Do you support allowing coal or oil to be
exported from Washington State’s ports?
Do you support requiring police officers in
your jurisdiction to wear body cameras?
Do you support Tim Eyman’s I-747, which
artificially limits property tax increases to 1%
per year, regardless of population growth,
inflation, and need?
Once elected, will you work to get diverse
candidates elected to office?
Do you support women's right to
reproductive freedom?
Qualify your response
Do you support all municipalities in King
County implementing a “Ban the Box”
program as is already in place in Seattle and
Will you form a task force to gather input
from disabled persons to identify and remedy
hazards for pedestrians, and will you work to
have these suggestions implemented?
Part III – Free Response Questions
Please review the 2014 King County Democratic Platform, approved by the delegates to the King County
Convention and available from KCDCC’s website. List which planks, if any, you disagree with, and why.
I support the core principles of the Democratic Party at the national, state and county level. I have read the
KCDCC party platform and agree with all sections.
As an elected leader, what will you do to promote increased awareness of the climate crisis, and what public
policy would you endorse to reduce emissions and penalize producers of pollutants?
Maintaining a healthy ecosystem is one of our best defenses as we face a changing climate. As an LFP
council member, I would take every opportunity to strengthen and promote the ordinances we have in place
that protect the tree canopy and promote healthier streams and the retention of wildlife corridors. I would
welcome the opportunity to work with other jurisdictions considering similar ordinances and believe that
regional collaboration on these topics is important for us all.
To slow the pace of climate change, we must reduce carbon emissions in every way possible. I will support
pedestrian walkways and biking routes that are safe for children going to school and for all residents who
wish to bike or walk to transit hubs or local businesses and facilities. I will also advocate with regional
agencies for improved transit to serve LFP, particularly bus connections to the growing light rail system. LFP
residents have long wished for a Park and Ride facility in our city. I would support continuing this effort until
we are successful.
I would support providing additional safe bicycle parking at the transit stop near City Hall, to encourage
commuters to use bikes to access public transit, and reduce the number of cars on our local highways.
I am very intrigued by the recent proposal from the Governor Jay Inslee for a carbon tax and if the
legislature accepts a bill for debate in future sessions, I would encourage my colleagues on city council to
join me in reviewing the proposals and if warranted, ask them to support or endorse the legislation.
Describe your vision for tax reform and tax fairness. What changes to the state’s tax system would you ask
the Legislature to make? If you were in charge of putting together a budget proposal for your city or district,
what would it look like? Would you be willing to raise revenue to avoid harmful cuts to public services?
I deeply regret that Washington State ranks so poorly in tax policies. The tax burden unfairly impacts the
poor and disadvantaged and I do not believe we can solve this without state-wide tax reform that includes a
tax on the wealth of our highest income residents. Property and sales taxes are not sufficient to fund the
necessary functions of government in our state and unfairly burden those least able to pay. I support an
income or wealth (capital gains) tax, which asks our most advantaged residents to bear their fair share of
providing necessary state services, all of which benefit both individuals and business.
Public Education is critical to the continuation of a healthy democratic society. We can no longer accept
being the most regressive tax state in the nation and being close to the bottom of all states in education
funding. This is not how a great state functions.
What important state and local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren't
getting enough attention from elected leaders and the media?
I was very disappointed that WA House Bill 1857, which would have allowed family members or law
enforcement to petition the court to issue an “extreme risk protection order” temporarily enjoining a person
from possessing dangerous weapons, was not allowed onto the House floor for a vote. This bill would give
family members the opportunity to petition a judge if they believe a loved one is in imminent danger of
harming themselves or others. This bill would have saved many lives here in Washington State where our
suicide rate is higher than the rest of the nation, and we have had a number of domestic violence and mass
I am also a passionate advocate for protecting and increasing our tree canopy to provide a healthy
ecosystem for all living things, including humans! Lake Forest Park is a leader in maintaining our tree
canopy, but even here we face risks and need to improve our ordinances. I hope that we can solve our
current inadequacies, help educate and inform other municipalities, and become a respected leader in this
effort. A healthy and adequate tree canopy is an important marker of a community’s commitment to a
healthy environment.
I am also concerned about issues of human trafficking, both for enforced labor and for prostitution. We
need to remain vigilant in monitoring businesses and industries where this has proved to be a problem.
Finally, having been married for 35 years to a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, I am very aware that
mental health services in our state are woefully inadequate. This is a stain on our state community and we
must find a way to adequately care for those who cannot care for themselves. Prison is not the answer.
What would you do to address social justice issues?
Social justice has been my focus since my first political activism as a high school student in the UK. I believe
that social justice depends on access to education, health care, housing, and sustainable employment. I
work every day to strengthen the Democratic party, the only party committed to social justice in our nation.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected as a Council Member in Lake Forest Park, I will review every decision
through the lens of social justice, to ensure that no group is excluded from opportunity and that the city of
LFP contributes appropriately to regional solutions and services that address social justice concerns. I will
also take an interest in how our LFP Police Department interacts with all segments of our community and
collaborates with regional agencies.
If elected, I will reach out to the local school district and colleges to see how we might partner to ensure
that the quality and affordability of education meets the needs of all our residents. I will also encourage
meaningful collaboration with the county and other public health systems to make sure that the residents of
my city have the access to care they need. I will advocate for affordable housing within LFP to serve the
needs of working families and the elderly.
I affirm that all the information provided in response to this questionnaire is true, complete
and correct, to the best of my ability, and that no relevant matter has been omitted.
Phillippa M. Kassover
Printed Name
Phillippa M. Kassover
Date: May 6th, 2015