ELECTION 2018: Lem Charleston announces run for 34th District State Senate seat

Here’s the fourth official announcement of candidacy we’ve received for the 34th District seat in the State Senate:

Today, Lem Charleston begins his campaign to bring years of community leadership, activism, involvement, and diversity to 34th Legislative District.

I am running to be your next State Senator because I am convinced we can do better. Senator Sharon Nelson did a great job with the tools she had available to her but we need to progressively move her legacy to the next level by doing more in and for our communities here in the 34th district.

I love having a family. I love being a devoted husband and father. I’m a proud union member, a community member, an associate chaplain with Seattle Police Department (SPD). I served my country in the United States Marine Corps. I don’t look like a regular politician because I am not a career politician. I have different experiences than some politicians. I have been working in aerospace for over 30 years. I worked in Everett for 25 years and I am now in Renton and a proud member of District 751 of the International Association of Machinists. I was a Union Steward in the International Association of Machinists for 20 years. I have been a minister since 1992 and was the Pastor at the United House of Prayer For All People, Seattle, WA until 2008. I had a pretty good career as a volunteer soccer coach in the West Seattle Soccer Club (WSSC) as well.

Right now there are ZERO African Americans in the State Senate and the 34th Legislative District has never elected a person of color. It’s time for realistic diversity. We have to work together and not just believe in the creed of this district, but bring that creed to fruition.

I’m running be your next State Senator because I believe we can do better because our community members and our city and State needs us to do better.

We have traffic problems, classroom overcrowding problems, bike lane sharing problems. We also have one of the highest homelessness rates in the nation. We have obscene housing prices, and the property taxes that go with them. There is gun violence that is leaving our communities with grief, anger, and fear like never before. We can’t remedy all these things in one day, but working together, looking at our problems and facing them one by one, for what they are, I am confident we will find a remedy to each and every one of them.

Housing: The 34th district is one that has millionaires on the beach on the west end, and people living on the streets on the east end of this district. We can do better. We need to find solutions that cure that disparity. Seattleites and many people throughout the region are working hard to solve this problem, and I’ll work hard at the state level to find solutions to these issues. Housing is becoming a state issue. The Stranger reported in 2017 that, ”The Seattle area is the ninth fastest-growing metro in the nation, gaining about 1,100 residents per week according to population estimates issued this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.” It’s not my goal to simply have another food bank for the homeless but how about giving them the tools to start a business or get a job so they can get off the streets and be able to provide adequately for their families.

Education: Seattle needs stronger educational resources and we need our schools to be completely funded. The levy’s just don’t get the job done anymore. I’ll work to make sure they have the resources they need to serve all of our community members. A strong community that is built by the people who serve in it, live in it, and love it is bound to prosper. It is my goal to not only expose the achievement gap between white students and students of color as this is important, but to also partner with the appropriate people everywhere reasonable to remedy this problem.

Revenue: We need to stop giving tax breaks to huge corporations with no way to get that money back if they don’t follow through on the deal. And yes, we need to fix our broken and regressive tax system. Taxing big corporations in a fair and equitable manner in a way that will not cost the middle class living wage jobs. We all must research and study to find economic solutions to remedy our concerns so that we build a stable and collective balance, with these corporations and create income equality here in Seattle.

I believe we can do better because I have lived here in the 34th district for over twenty-one years. As a soccer coach, I watched the parents of kids playing soccer teach their kids how to win and how to lose, all with dignity and fairness. Those lessons we learn as children are the ones we need to apply as adults we need to understand our problems and wisely find remedies for them.

Lem Charleston was born in Seattle and has lived in West Seattle for over 21 years. He’s been a pastor and a minister in the community for sixteen years, a volunteer soccer coach for six years, and is currently serving as a volunteer assistant Seattle Police Department chaplain for the past twelve years. He’s been married for 21 years and he and his wife have two children attending West Seattle Schools.

The three candidates from whom we previously received announcements are Shannon Braddock, Joe Nguyen, and Lois Schipper. Official filing week is under way through Friday; here’s who’s turned in paperwork so far. The seat is open because Sen. Sharon Nelson has announced she is not running for re-election.

18 Replies to "ELECTION 2018: Lem Charleston announces run for 34th District State Senate seat"

  • Howard May 16, 2018 (9:15 pm)

    Well he sounds promising, hope to hear more! 

  • Meegan May 17, 2018 (9:09 am)

    I have known Lem for many years. He has an intense passion for helping others and enriching his community. He is a hard worker and I know he will do great things if elected! 

  • Chris L May 17, 2018 (9:26 am)

    I’ve worked with Lem Charleston for many, many years at The Boeing Company. You could not find a better person to represent you in the State Senate seat in district 34.  As a Union Steward in the Boeing Company he would be by your side as an arbitrator if there was any discrepancies with management and fight for your rights. Lem is extremely caring individual that has strong family values, and work ethic. I would vote for him if I could but I am not in the 34th district. I am very proud of his compelling willingness to serve the good people of West Seattle into a future that I feel will benefit both Community and Business as a whole. I am proud to call him a friend.

  • Catherine Keers May 17, 2018 (10:11 am)

    I have known Lem for sometime. He is a passionate, kind, generous and extremely honest man. I feel blessed to have met him, worked with him on some projects and have him in my life. Lem does what he says he will do, he always follows through. I can’t say enough good things about this man, his ethics are impeccable, I trust him implicitly.   

  • Malachy May 17, 2018 (10:34 am)

    If elected, I’m confident Lem will be a hard working and effective advocate for the citizens of his District, as well as the entire State. He has the knowledge, compassion and common sense to address the many issues facing the legislature and will do so in a professional and respectful manner.

  • Rickie Hall May 17, 2018 (2:20 pm)

    I have known Bro Lem sense 1989,when I started work for Boeing. I remember him as a very hard working guy. Works he has done for our union are to many name,he was always in great demand. He’s someone who you can depend on. You pick the right person for the job. He will give his very best. I already call him Senator Lem.

  • Elder F. D. Arnold II May 17, 2018 (3:04 pm)

    Minister Lem Charleston has always been full of passion and dedication to the people of Seattle, and the State of Washington as a whole. This was evident from the first day I met him, right up until now. His determination and ideals are exactly what is needed in the Senate, during these trying days and times.

  • MJ May 17, 2018 (6:00 pm)

    Do any of the announced candidates own a small business?  Or even work for a small business? 

    A small business owner perspective would be good to see in this race!

  • Jennifer Trise May 18, 2018 (9:51 am)

    I have known Lem Charleston for over 10 years.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to observe and evaluate the perspectives and agendas of the various candidates in the upcoming elections. Lemuel’s honest, pragmatic, and hopeful insight into our community’s problems and needs, and his willingness to examine the issues and listen closely to the public’s questions and concerns, sets him far apart from the other candidates’ expected techniques and talk.  So, I am posting today to express my support for his campaign and my intention both to vote for him in the upcoming elections and to spread word to others of the value of his policies and abilities.

    Here’s to your success Lem!

  • Mike Brennnan May 18, 2018 (10:30 am)

    I met Lem while serving  as an SPD associate chaplain.  He is an outstanding leader and makes decisions after considering all possible solutions for any proposal.  Also a loving and devoted husband and father. He has high moral standards and a great sense of humor.

     

  • Kulhoon Lee May 18, 2018 (12:30 pm)

    I have known
    Lemuel for the past two decades as both a colleague and close friend. Lem is a
    true optimist, and it is his positive attitude that helps him accomplish
    whatever tasks he has been assigned.
    Above all his
    professional qualities and achievements, the thing that I admire the most in
    Lem is that he displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition.
    He is definitely a leader rather than a follower.
    In the years
    that I known and worked with Lem, I have developed an enduring respect for both
    his work ethics and his problem solving abilities. I can confidently say that
    Lem would make an excellent addition as State Senator and he has
    my highest recommendation.

  • Kulhoon Lee May 18, 2018 (12:59 pm)

    I have known
    Lemuel for the past decade as both a colleague and close friend. Lem is a
    true optimist, and it is his positive attitude that helps him accomplish
    whatever tasks he has been assigned.
    Above all his
    professional qualities and achievements, the thing that I admire the most in
    Lem is that he displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition.
    He is definitely a leader rather than a follower.
    In the years
    that I known and worked with Lem, I have developed an enduring respect for both
    his work ethics and his problem solving abilities. I can confidently say that
    Lem would make an outstanding addition as State Senator and he has
    my highest recommendation.

  • John Sullivan Good May 24, 2018 (1:19 pm)

    Awesome incredible wonderful man. We need lem in the state legislature for positive change. I’m positive he will make great changes. Our communities will benefit for many years. When you meet Len you will see.

  • Dietrich Schmitz May 30, 2018 (9:02 am)

    I’m very happy to see Lem running for State Senate as I know he will be a fine representative of our district.  I’ve known and worked with Lem for well over a decade.  He brings energy, wisdom and sense of community to every activity I have worked with him on.Having him in the Senate would give me a sense that we had someone there who would truly represent the community which we have here.  He has a good ear for listening and a sharp mind for working out solutions which benefit the community.  He does not shrink from hard tasks and is able to deal with difficult situations, some of which we have here in the state of Washington.  Not only to I know he would represent us, but I also believe he would be a fine leader for other members of the legislature.  I hope you support this endeavor.    

  • David Eddines June 4, 2018 (9:59 am)

    Hello and congratulations on your drive and determination to pursuit the 9th District State Senate seat of office, and a seat worthy of a straight talker, and a straight – minded man of Faith and Courage who has a Upright walk with all the unified body of the local union as a outstanding union represented. As a straight – minded man and very well respected neighbor of his surrounding neighborhoods neighbors, I David Eddines have known  Lem Charleston for several years in the courses of civil right  for the rights and the walks of all citizens with a greater sense of high respect for any and everyone’s opinions of the modern issues that our great State and neighboring surrounding cities. I would like to express at this time sometimes we a people forget the most important part about living as responsible people, when issues are better in the 9th district neighborhoods, that the worst of  issues will get better in our worst of neighborhoods will benefit the total wholeness of the our 9th district under new Leadership that is not opposed to understanding that we are Human Beings first, before we start seeing the colors, divisions of our lesser and deprived neighborhoods which need new blood and a new voice in order to improve as a whole rather in parts. Lem Charleston believes that when the weaker are made strong and able, then the whole 9th district is made greater as whole in all areas of our great and wonderful State of Washington. I hope you support this endeavor.

  • David Eddines June 5, 2018 (7:04 am)

    Retraction of previous statement by myself David Eddines was in error mentioning the wrong district. The 9th district was a msitake in my facts, and the corection has been reinstated in this blog as follows the  34th Legislative District in support of Lem Charleston and community support for his campaign which will bring years of community leadership, activism, involvement, and diversity to 34th Legislative District.Hello and congratulations on your drive and determination to pursuit the  34th Legislative District State  seat of office, and a seat worthy of a straight talker, and a straight – minded man of Faith and Courage who has a Upright walk with all the unified body of the local union as a outstanding union represented.  As a straight – minded man and very well respected neighbor of his surrounding neighborhoods neighbors, I David Eddines have known  Lem Charleston for several years in the courses of civil right for the rights of all citizens with a greater sense of high respect for any and everyone’s opinions on the modern issues that our great State and neighboring surrounding cities. I would like to express at this time sometimes we a people forget the most important part about living as responsible people, when issues are better in the  34th Legislative District neighborhoods, that the worst of issues will get better in our worst of our neighborhoods will benefit the total wholeness of the our  34th Legislative District.Under new Leadership that is not opposed to understanding that we are Human Beings first, before we start seeing the colors, divisions of our lesser and deprived neighborhoods which need new blood and a new voice in order to improve as a whole rather than in parts. Lem Charleston believes that when the weaker are made strong and able, then the whole 34th Legislative District is made greater as whole in all areas of our great and wonderful State of Washington. I hope you support this endeavor in voting for the right person Lem Charleston a man of new change.

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