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?
I believe in targeted funding and personnel choices based on environment. Involvement, responsibility, and accountability at the top. Ask our teachers and children to do more, lessening technology, returning to math tables, sentence diagrams, and essay questions. Prioritize teaching fundamentals to children, regardless of sex, skin tone, or income.
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?
We can begin by rescinding Boeing’s $8.4B tax break and stop the $4.35B on a tunnel in Seattle. I’d propose a revenue neutral Single Business Tax that eliminates the special exemptions, credits, and treatment. This would lighten the burden on small businesses, the true jobs generators.
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?
Everything I possibly can. I would also seek to create revenue neutral programs that would enable these sorts of families to create a better life for themselves, lifting themselves out of economic hardship. I am a candidate of the 99%.
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?
Our law enforcement and our judicial system must be mindful to impartiality in handling each instance of interaction with both eyes blind to color. Actions of the moment and evidence must be the primary motivation for institutional action. I would be happy to support removing codified racism from our 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?
Raise the minimum wage, spur the creation of trainable, low and medium skill production jobs. Eliminate the B&O Tax. Improve mass transit options, improving employment options and viability. Invest in the education of their children.
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 seek or support legislation to restrict interest rates at paycheck level loans, and through my proposed Single Business Tax, ensure that a portion of the profit made by these businesses are returned to the public for common good.
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.
People leaving jail or prison are making good already to their communities in the restitution of their crime. As were committed to serving their time, and perhaps continued monitoring, we should also commit to helping them reenter society in a prepared manner, similar to the Armed Forces’ TAP (Transition Assistance Program).
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?
Again, everything I can. Access to full health care is a human right, and the privacy of it cannot be over emphasized. I do not support the recent judgment on reproductive medical coverage, and would do what I can to ensure that Washington citizens cannot have those rights circumvented.