Fixing Our Regressive Tax System and Preserving Housing Affordability
As housing prices skyrocket low income and fixed income renters– and many would-be homeowners– are being priced out of our community. Adding to the burden are increases in property taxes, making families and seniors wonder if they’ll be able to afford to continue living in our neighborhoods.
While there are many factors fueling the rising cost of housing, our regressive tax system is at the root of many inequities– the State must stop balancing the budget on the backs of middle and working class families while corporations and high-earners aren’t asked to pay a fair share.
As your State Senator, I will go to bat for a capital gains tax and work to lower property taxes for low and fixed-income families, which are the first steps in a long fight towards the progressive tax system Washington needs. In the State Senate I will oppose tax exemptions that don’t provide public benefit, and will work to sunset exemptions that were created simply to benefit wealthy corporations.
Investing in Early Education
As a PTA parent and mom to three Seattle Public Schools kids, I’ve seen firsthand that the best investment we can make is in our children’s early lives. At King County I helped shape the Best Starts for Kids programs that connects prenatal and youth resources to low-income families and schools. As a Board member for WestSide Baby, it’s a privilege to be part of a community organization in West Seattle that provides free diapers, clothing, and cribs to new parents.
In the State Senate, I will push to fund public education beyond the basics of K-12, because every kid, no matter their zip code, deserves an exceptional education and well-paid teachers. As well, I’ll continue to fight to reduce class sizes and hire more educators to fulfill our commitment to I-1351, approved by voters (but never funded by the legislature) in 2014. Finally, as a single mom I know the State must prioritize making quality and affordable child care and early learning programs, and I’ll work to make those services accessible to all families.
Reforming Our Health Care System
The ridiculously high and obscured price of health care is hitting all families hard, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of letting insurance companies and secret middle-men take advantage of our medical system to profit off of sick individuals, we must be working towards universal coverage. Too often unexpected and expensive surgeries and treatments are bankrupting families and fueling the homelessness crisis. In the State Senate I’ll also collaborate with our health agencies to address local issues, such as the lack of home care workers on Vashon Island.
Ending Gun Violence
My son shouldn’t have to walk out of his high school to get his legislators’ attention, and my daughter shouldn’t have to practice hiding in the corner of classrooms while politicians prioritize NRA contributions over her safety. In the Senate I will support banning assault weapons, raising the age for buying, strengthening background checks, safe-storage requirements, and holding gun owners accountable when their weapons fall into the wrong hands.
I’m proud to be a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction, and to have the sole endorsement from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. It is past time gun responsibility was a priority in Olympia, and common-sense reforms will be among my top priorities.
Expanding Transportation Options
For too long our district’s transportation needs have gone ignored. The Vashon Ferry has been understaffed, causing ridiculous wait times and boats leaving the dock half-empty during rush hour. In West Seattle, White Center, and Burien we’ve been waiting a decade to receive transit services other neighborhoods have had access to for years. Public transportation is critical to our district, particularly because so many of our residents commute to work downtown where parking is not an option. In the State Senate I hope to serve on the Transportation Committee, and use the policy expertise and relationships I’ve built with our transit agencies while working at King County to design an equitable system for our community.
Preserving Our Environment
Last year the State Senate failed to take action to curb climate change and protect Washington’s environment and native species. Now, it is voters who have been leading the charge for climate justice when the majority of our elected officials will not. I’m proud to support Initiative 1631 for clean air and clean energy. The initiative provides an emphasis on directing actions to protect those communities most impacted by adverse environmental impacts and prioritizes clean energy over fossil fuels. In the State Senate I’ll work to preserve our waters from plastic pollution by supporting a ban on polystyrene foam take-out containers. The passing of Tahlequah’s baby calf was a wake-up call to us all — we must continue to act on increased monitoring and funding to preserve our shorelines, including emphasizing stormwater management, to restore salmon populations. We must evaluate the impact noise from our boat traffic is having on our resident orcas. The Legislature also needs to take more seriously the wildfires that are getting worse each year. Wild fire season begins it’s a hazard not just for our forests, but for our residents. My son and I both have asthma, as do many in our region, and the smoke has gotten to dangerous levels for our community’s safety. We know that climate change is a major factor, but there are further actions we can take to get all residents on the same page about prevention and action.
Fighting for Women’s Rights
One of my most core beliefs is that every woman has a right to reproductive freedom and autonomy to make private health care decisions. I will always vote pro-choice and will work to protect access to safe, legal abortions, including supporting public funding to offer that and other family planning services. Unfortunately many women are unaware of all their options, so in the State Senate I will support requiring hospitals and health centers to provide patients with medically accurate and comprehensive health information, as well as referrals, regardless of religious affiliation.
As a single mom of three, I provide a unique perspective about the experience of women and the challenges of being treated equally in the workplace while caring for their families. We must strengthen family leave and equal pay. While Washington has made some great strides to address unfair pay, there are still gaps in our laws that allow the pay gap to worsen that must be addressed, including banning employers from requiring applicants to disclose their salary history before getting a job offer.
Addressing the Homelessness Epidemic
The homelessness crisis needs the attention of every official, at all levels of government. We cannot continue to pay lip service to fixing the crisis while failing to provide solutions or put our money where our mouth is.
At King County I was proud to play an integral role in passing the 2017 Veterans, Seniors and Human Services levy that connects seniors with job training, behavioral health treatment, and affordable housing. I have experience working with community organizations serving the homeless and housing insecure in King County and believe I am best equipped to bring this conversation to the state level.
Workers deserve to make a livable wage that allows them to provide for their family while saving for the future. In the State Senate I will fight for wage and scheduling protections so Washington workers can have reliable schedules that take into account their other responsibilities such as caring for family members, arranging for child care, and pursuing education.
I will also oppose conservative right-to-work policies that are aimed at undermining the power of workers to unionize and collectively bargain for fair wages.
I’m proud to be endorsed by the most unions in this race, including the Washington State Nurses Association, Seattle King County Building and Construction Trades, UFCW 21, Aerospace Machinists 751, IUPAT District 5, Central Puget Sound Carpenters, and Laborers Local 242.