Colin Alexander

Candidate for State Representative, Position 2

5th Legislative District

Prefers Democratic Party

A strong education system builds a strong state. When people have access to a high-quality education starting with K-12, people have a stronger chance of obtaining economic stability. In Washington, not all schools are meeting the challenge to build a strong foundation for success. Students of color and low-income students are disproportionately affected by the achievement or opportunity gap in Washington state. How will you reduce or eliminate the achievement gap and ensure that all people have access to a high quality education?

Increase state funding for schools so schools rely less on local funding and increase after school programs, especially for low income area schools.

Washingtonians need a strong infrastructure and the resources, critical investments, and community services to support a vibrant and inclusive community and economy. What changes will you propose to our state’s revenue structure to ensure that we can adequately invest in our communities?

The biggest thing that can be done is to tighten, if not close entirely, corporate tax loopholes and breaks. I also want to eliminate unnecessary spending from our budget, and hold parties responsible for cost overruns.

A strong safety net is the foundation of a strong state and workforce. Programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and similar programs such as Housing Essential Needs and Aged Blind Disabled (HEN and ABD), are keeping many of our families, children, and disabled adults alive. What will you do to protect funding for basic need services that provide a safety net for Washington families?

Keeping families safe and well is important for a prosperous economy. I would like to maintain the programs that are in place, and strengthen where they need to be strengthened. I would also like to reduce costs by cutting out bureaucratic processes.

Institutional racism is a daily burden that our communities face when accessing housing, credit, the ballot box, and interfacing with the criminal justice system. This oppression is often codified in the rules, allowances and governance of these institutions as “business as usual” and creates significant consequences for people of color. What will you do to address the consequences of institutional racism that create barriers for our members’ ability to prosper?

Institutional racism is an issue that lies deeply ingrained into or society, many individuals are completely unaware of their actions, and simply passing laws will not help. The solution needs to come from education and awareness for all.

Wages have stagnated while cost of living has increased, making it difficult for low income families to meet their basic needs.  What would you do to help low income families support themselves?

I support raising the minimum wage to accurately reflect the actual cost of living in this state while simultaneously closing welfare gaps to actually allow people to wean themselves off welfare.

Everyone, regardless of their income, should have fair and reasonable consumer protections when they borrow money. Fringe financial industries like debt settlement companies and predatory lenders push our communities into a cycle of debt. How would you protect Washingtonians’ ability to avoid this cycle of debt?

I would increase regulations on all financial institutions, hold executives accountable for the actions of their business, and impose stiff penalties for business that break the regulations.

People leaving the criminal justice system face many roadblocks to reentering their community.  This includes housing and employment discrimination and mounting debt from legal financial obligations.  What changes would you make to the criminal justice system?  Please include any ideas you have to reduce these roadblocks to reentry.

The biggest change would be to change Washington prisons and jails to rehabilitate and train people leaving the criminal justice system. Provide them with education and training. Also, state placement programs for individuals that do not have housing or jobs.

Health and well-being is critical for all Washingtonians to thrive. Everyone should have high quality, essential health care services including reproductive health and preventative medicine.  What will you do to ensure that all Washingtonians have access to affordable, high quality, and culturally appropriate health care?

The main issue with healthcare is our runaway costs. I would like to introduce cost controls to make healthcare affordable for everyone. I would also support making all birth control pills an over the counter drug, giving anyone access.