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?
Properly targeted funding, smaller class sizes, and committing ourselves to cradle to career education will start the process. A greater focus on community and parental involvement must play a part. Regressive revenue sources must be avoided as to not place extra burden on the working class.
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?
Other than the closing of outdated tax loopholes and a lottery bond for education I purpose no systemic change to our revenue sources, instead my focus is on increasing wages and therefore consumption and thereby increase state revenue.
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 consistently push back against any legislation that puts a greater burden on the working and middle classes.
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?
Educating people about the laws already in existence and to ensure proper enforcement of these laws.
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?
Advocating for Fair wages, safe workplaces, and secure retirement is my paramount duty. These issues of the middle class and working poor address poverty, education, crime, social services, and revenue generated from our consumption based tax system. Increased wages creates demand and demand creates jobs.
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 categorically oppose the existence of debt settlement companies that provide no actual benefit and predatory lenders whose practices amount to usury. Making sure full time workers are paid a living wage is the best way to avoid the need for these companies.
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.
In our current system monetary fines are levied against people least able to afford them, resulting in a cycle of poverty. We need to focus more on rehabilitating people and less on punishing them.
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?
Our current system is better than most, we must now focus on streamlining the system.