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?
Pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade needs smaller class sizes, experienced and dedicated teachers. In middle school students should have options for alternate on-line college classes. Students should have the opportunity to complete a high school diploma with college level work. Creative students should have opportunity to develop passions into life-long professions.
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?
I propose that we investigate use of a swap of local education levy’s to become state education supported funds. A redirection of funds to support early childcare through elementary school. More funding into on line education methods and vocational programs to reach all levels of students. Evaluate a carbon tax.
3. SAFETY NET
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?
I support these program, although to assure that the appropriate level of assistance is given to those in need, a cloud based tracking system of public and private assistance is developed to assure that some individuals are not abusing the system at the expense of those in need.
4. RACIAL JUSTICE
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?
Legislation creates new laws that are subsequently implemented by those who have been chosen by those in authority. The complexity of the system is in itself a method to create injustice. When new legislation is proposed, keep it simple, understandable, and readable by almost any level of education.
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?
Raising the minimum wage is only a temporary fix to a symptom of the consumerist import based economy. We needs more jobs that create and make wealth. Growing and cooking your own meals, creating and manufacturing goods locally, is a way we can increase the standard of living.
6. DEBT AND LENDING
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?
Debt is beget from desire. We need to make Washingtonians more self-sufficient, save more and spend less on credit. This can be done with education and through the use of influential role models who save to purchase an item instead of using easily obtained credit.
7. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
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.
With the number of individuals with criminal records, the ability to find work for established companies is difficult. The criminal justice system needs to be more educational with programs on successful entrepreneurship.
8. HEALTH CARE
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?
Health is valuable, and each person needs to take steps to live a healthy life. I support the State’s health care exchanges and Medicaid expansion. The appropriate level of health care is an individual choice, there should be more options for individual choices.