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 am a champion for quality public education. We can make education our priority by supporting working families, reducing class size, and ensuring school programs help children that need them the
most. Beyond K-12, I will support early learning programs, affordability in higher education, and increased access to vocational opportunities.
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 face a decision on how we spend our money: we can give big oil and large corporations tax breaks, or we can properly fund education, transportation, public services, and more. Closing tax loopholes is a priority of mine. I am also open to discussing new funding options.
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 support legislation and budget decisions that retain basic needs funding.
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?
Supporting programs, policies, and legislation that allow people of color to succeed in school, family life, and the workforce will help to offset challenges. At the same time, I will look for opportunities that change parts of the system that are broken.
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 will support incremental increases in the minimum wage that will bring us closer to a living wage, as well as other legislation that aims to help low income families get ahead.
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?
Working for a credit union for 36 years, I feel strongly that our financial institutions serve people equally, and protect those that may be financially vulnerable. I will support efforts to even the playing field and discourage the cycle of debt.
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.
Making it easier to get a stable job, to pay bills, and to maintain housing is essential for ensuring that people can be successful post-incarceration. I will support efforts to increase the chances of success in securing and maintaining employment, for financial empowerment, and securing a safe place to live.
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 will work to preserve the current health care safety net in our state budget, and support appropriate legislative efforts that focus on increasing affordability and access.