Stable Homes Federal Way initiative certified for the November ballot

Organizers and tenants with the Stable Homes campaign are celebrating Thursday, after learning that King County Elections certified that Initiative 19-001 qualified for the November ballot. 

Organizers and volunteers knocked on more than 30,000 doors and collected about 10,000 signatures in roughly two months. Martin Luther King County Labor Council, Federal Way Education Association, tenant organizations, and Federal Way City Councilmembers Martin Moore and Jesse Johnson, endorsed the initiative.  

The Rental Housing Association (a landlord lobbying group with two-thousand fewer members statewide than the number of verified signatures on the initiative) sued to block Initiative 19-001 from getting on the ballot. But, the courts denied a restraining order Monday, and denied RHA’s motion for an injunction on Thursday. In his decision, Judge Michael Scott said, “RHA has also not shown that the equities favor an injunction. On the contrary, the equities way in favor of denying preliminary injunctive relief. While the holding of an election will preserve RHA’s legal claims, since they can be effectively reviewed post election, withholding an initiative from the ballot threatens to permanently deprive Sponsors and thousands of voters of their First Amendment rights.


Background:

Once passed, this initiative will create good cause eviction protections for renters by requiring landlords to provide reason before evicting tenants; ensure renters have the ability to live with family; protect tenants from retaliatory evictions; and protect members of the military, first responders, seniors, family members, health care providers, or educators from discriminatory evictions.  

Erin Fenner