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 agree with the Supreme Court ruling that the State of Washington is violating the constitutional rights of children by failing to amply fund the education of all K-12 students. Additional funding is needed for school operations, additional staff, supplies, full-day kindergarten and smaller classes in the lower grades.
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?
Our state receives revenue from property and sales taxes while retail sales tax is Washington’s principal tax source. I-502 would allow the Liquor Control Board to collect 3 new excise taxes for recreational marijuana sales and I would like to see this money be invested into our communities.
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 believe by being aware and educated on the importance of these issues I will do my best to prevent any reduction on funding for basic needs services and to encourage an increase in funding to provide more services that are greatly needed.
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?
Institutional racism is any system of inequality based on race and I have seen this in my own community and this is one reason I am running for State Representative to change this in my community.
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?
Washington State enjoys the highest state minimum wage in the United States. Raising the minimum wage too high and too fast could put small business at risk. Gradually raising the minimum wage would pull people and families out of poverty, and to lower the risk of loss of 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 support strong regulation of predatory debt collection practices to protect our people in Washington State from high interest rates that make it hard to save their hard earned money.
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.
I would support policies that would help people with a criminal record to receive services they need to succeed in their community such as food, housing, education, etc. and to take a new look at the debt they need to repay and finally encourage them to register to vote.
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?
Work with agencies and/or organizations that expand access to healthcare through advocacy, education, support and professional networking. To cover everyone, to reduce the rate of health-care cost growth by managing competition better and to improve health care outcomes.