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September 23rd, 2020

Full of nature's beautiful lanes.
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IN THIS ISSUE OF THE FLAME:

Rise Up WA: Introducing Ignite Legal and Housing Justice

Op-ed: "Why Homeowners Hate Their HOA's"

Washington Supreme Court Candidate: Judge Dave Larson

Rise Up WA Team Highlight: Sid Wambach, VP

Ignite Candidate of the Week: David Wiley, 38th District

Ignite Events: Candidate Training This Sunday!

Introducing Ignite Legal

Ignite Legal is a group organized to advocate, educate and inspire activism. We focus on the most pressing issues affecting Washingtonians. We do this by sponsoring, recruiting, organizing, training and raising funds to support legislative and legal activities in our state.

Ignite Legal Presents: Housing Justice

Housing and homelessness is a critical concern for Washingtonians. The first step to addressing homelessness is to keep people in their homes. Ignite Legal aims to restore fairness, justice and dignity to Home Owner Association (HOA) governance and the foreclosure process in general. HOAs are in fact government entities that have none of the oversight of city, county, state or federal governments. This leads to severe abuses of power and damage to property owners. Unfair foreclosure processes in general cause thousands of Washington homeowners to be displaced unnecessarily simply because they lack the resources to defend their properties or access to the resources they need. We all know a large number of foreclosures are likely to occur in the near future if we don’t take action now. Homeowner associations, lenders and trustees currently have too much power. Ignite seeks to collaborate with homeowners, policy makers and other organizations to advocate for housing justice and fairness for all in our state.

Why Homeowners Hate their HOAs

Written by: Raelene Schifano, Michelle Darnell and Patrick Johansen

Edited by: Desiree Lindsay

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Recent study shows a large number of homeowners hate their HOAs.

17% of baby boomers, 32% of Gen X and 27% of Millennials feel negative about their HOA. This equates to roughly 25% of total HOA property owners who are unhappy with their associations, mostly due to feeling that the benefits they received from their HOA were not worth the extensive fees.

But WHY are they unhappy? In Surfside HOA in Ocean Park, WA, several owners were forced to take down their shed roof extensions. Some had been up for many years, even though the board could find no covenant that they violated. One refused and fought them in court over a period of about 5 years. In the end they dropped the suit, apparently knowing they could not win, leaving the property owner with about $10,000 in attorney’s fees. The property owner sued in court and recovered their fees, but this created severe and unnecessary stress spanning 5 years.  The property owner sold his property and moved to a property outside the HOA.

In another case of HOA retaliation, a HOA board member wanted to buy some wood from one of the property owners, who turned down his offer. A few days later the board member trespassed on the property owner’s property, took pictures of his property and filed four false complaints against the property owner. The property owner showed the HOA that none of the violations were valid but the HOA continued to send him threatening letters and eventually attempted to fine him. They later attempted to sue him to force him to comply with the non-existent covenants. Dropping charges just before court proceedings were to begin, the HOA left this property owner to pay attorney fees to protect himself against felonious charges. He also filed in small claims court and was able to recover his fees.

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The current HOA laws appear to violate the Washington Constitution. HOAs are corporations that have been given the right to violate our Constitution and are being treated as public government bodies, (according to the Uniform Act, HOA and Condo Laws), independent of the oversights that all other governmental bodies in the USA have. HOA/Condo Associations have been given the power of the municipality by legislators and is unconstitutional per this WA State Constitution:

“Washington State Constitution Article I Section 12   SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES PROHIBITED. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.”

An alarming number of these horror stories occur every year to unexpecting homeowners throughout Washington state and even, nationwide. Washington, along with many other states, allow non-judicial foreclosure. This means that one’s home may be taken away, with no opportunity for the homeowner to defend themselves in court. Many people lose their homes and don’t realize they are being foreclosed until they receive a notice of the Sheriffs sale.

Judge Dave Larson is Running for Supreme Court, Position 3 in Washington State.

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Rise Up WA Team Member Highlight: Sidney Wambach, VP of Rise Up WA 

Sid Wambach - Development Director - Rise Up WA headshot

Sid, Co-Founder and VP of Rise Up WA, is a dynamic marketing and technology professional and business owner who is passionate about giving back to the community. He is proficient in e-commerce, website creation, analysis, marketing communications, event planning, and business development.

David Wiley is running to represent you in the 38th District. His philosophy stems from first-hand experiences with the court and his passion for change is unmatchable.

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Written By: Natalie Gauvin

Edited By: Desiree Lindsay

David Wiley has always considered himself to be a well-informed citizen with interests in political happenings, both locally and federally. When he found himself experiencing the court system first hand going through a messy divorce, the spark was lit. His goal, as he was dragged through the Washington family court system, was to one day help and serve others by running for office. He wants to be the change. Five years, multiple court hearings and judgments later, his fight has centered around achieving a ‘fair trial via a jury’.

Both our federal and state constitutions 'guarantee’ a fair trial. Article 1 section 21 states “In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person, or by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance …” David Wiley's fair trial request has been denied...more than once.  His passion these last several years have been to help expose the corruptions of the court system which he encountered. His temporary stint with homelessness and couch surfing whilst working and continuing to raise 3 children to be healthy adults, taught him a lot as well. He realized just how many homeless single parents there are out there and how under the radar this demographic is. Included in his group are the gainfully employed singles who have much of their gross income attached to liens by family court judgments, so much so that it makes it an exceeding challenge to remain within a home in an constantly rising housing market. Wages are garnished. No one sees a line item of what is taken out for child support. There is little to no transparency from the child support programs. He demands better.

So you are thinking about running for office? This is an entry level class for people interested in running for office in 2021 or 2022. We will be discussing the A,B,C's of setting up a campaign, PDC regulations, setting up your website, social media and other platforms, recruiting volunteers, asking for money and developing your platform. Space is limited and we will be live streaming. $10 deposit includes a digital copy of our candidate manual.

You Wont Want To Miss This!

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