Michelle Caldier in the 26th
Michelle Caldier
Legislative District 26
Prefers Republican 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?

We need to fund education first, as it is our paramount duty.  I was in foster care as a child and later became a foster parent.  I understand the achievement gap that exists in lower socio-economic communities.

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 need to improve our economy and have job opportunities available to all people in our state.  This, in turn, will have a greater base of gainfully employed people who will contribute to our revenue base.

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?

As a nursing home dentist, I understand the importance of having a strong safety net for our most vulnerable population.

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?

I promise to thouroughly [sic] read and evaluate all legislation that I am voting on and will have an open door policy to listen to how each piece of legislation will effect the people.

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 understand how difficult it is to live on a low-income wage, as I used to support myself and my sister on minimum wage jobs.   I will work hard to make sure that we have a vibrant economy and that better job opportunities are available for all.

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 grew up in poverty and had little knowledge from home or our school systems on how to balance a budget or plan for retirement.  I believe there needs to be a preventative educational component so people to not begin the cycle of debt in the first place.

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.

I believe there should be a plan for the individual prior to reenty [sic] into the community, as well as an opportunity to work off some of the legal debt while incarcerated

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 am a dentist and got involved due to some bills that would have reduced the quality of care for the nursing home population.  This is a passion of mine and I will work hard to improve the health care system we have in our state.