Legislative District 8
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?
K-12 schools must be fully funded consistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in the McCleary case. Washington must commit to returning funding for higher education to at least 75% of the tuition cost. Tuition should be low enough that students can work their way through college and graduate debt free.
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 will support all mechanisms that achieve more progressive taxation. For over three decades, multimillionares have seen their incomes grow to stratospheric heights while working peoples wages have stagnated. This hollowing of the middle class must be reversed.
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 will work to insure state tax revenues are sufficient to fund basic need services. I will also work to to insure that every full time worker in Washington State is paid enough money and provided sufficient benefits by their employer that they have no need for public assistance.
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?
More state resources must be devoted towards making members of marginalized communities productive citizens instead of punishing them if they aren’t. Taxpayers are better served when we build schools and invest in worker training than when we build prisons and ignore the need for every citizen to have job skills.
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?
The most effective help we can provide low income families is to raise their incomes. I will support any measure the insures that every full time worker in Washington State is paid enough money and provided sufficient benefits by their employer that they have no need for public assistance.
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?
I would work to create a bank owned by the State of Washington which would be manadated [sic] to provide low-cost banking services to low income citizens in their communities. The charter and operation of the bank would be modelled [sic] after the State Bank in North Dakota.
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.
All monotary[sic] fines levied by the State of Washington should be adjusted according to the defendant’s ability to pay, and should not earn interest. When a college student and a multimillionare are both given a $1000 fine for the same offense, it is not equal justice under the law.
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?
I would support the creation of a single payer health care system modelled [sic] after Vermont. I would also support the creation of a public option administered under the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. It makes no sense to pay 40% of our health care costs to for profit insurance companies.