Improving our schools
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled our legislature was failing at meeting our most basic duty—funding public education. Five years later legislators are still dragging out the legislative session in a standoff that costs taxpayers money, and doesn’t help our students, families or schools. Five years later, we continue to fund our schools with box tops, fun runs, and raffles. Five years later, we’re still trying to manage without the funding we desperately need. Classrooms are packed, students are using old textbooks and schools are understaffed.
As a mom and PTA President, I see the gaps in our schools firsthand and I know our kids deserve better. I want to be students’, schools’, teachers’ and families’ advocate in Olympia. In one of the most innovative states in the country, we better be able to provide the education our students need and deserve.
Our legislature is not doing enough to make sure we have the tools and resources our students and teachers need to be successful. I intend to fight for our kids every chance I get.
Getting our transportation system moving again
Getting to work and school is taxing on our community – in more ways than one! Workers and students spend hours each week stuck in traffic, rather than being home with their families. The legislature’s approach to addressing infrastructure challenges has been to raise gas taxes and car tabs to fund mega projects in cities like Seattle and Bellevue. A gas tax hits residents living in the suburbs and rural communities the hardest. Car tab taxes can only be increased so far before they’re just simply unaffordable.
We need to be more creative in coming up with solutions. We can’t keep imposing regressive taxes on families trying to get to work, and we need to pay attention to the different transportation needs within the rural areas and suburbs.
I intend to fight for solutions that will clear our roads without adding more regressive tax burdens.
Building a strong local economy
While Seattle-based corporations continue to receive multi-billion-dollar tax breaks, our local mom and pop shops are struggling to keep their doors open. This dynamic doesn’t help small businesses or workers trying to make ends meet. Small business owners should be at the table when it comes to B&O tax discussions, so they know lawmakers will take their needs into account. At the same time, we must close corporate tax loopholes and ensure that corporations making billions and shipping our jobs out of state pay their fair share.
As a former small business owner myself, I know the hard work it takes to keep our local businesses alive. It’s no small hurdle to set up your own shop, get everything in order, manage employees, stock inventory, and market your brand all while navigating the government red tape.
We need to make it easier for small businesses to flourish, thrive, and create good jobs in our community. We can do that by listening to small business owners and their workers and prioritizing our local community over national corporations’ interests. As your next State Senator, I am committed to making it easier for small-town businesses to thrive so we can work where we live and achieve our American dreams.
Protecting the environment for our children and setting Washington up to lead in clean energy
I am concerned about the growing number of communities in our country that have gone without clean drinking water for years. In the small town of Carbonado, sewage is leaking from their 100-year-old clay sewer lines. While I would expect leaders in our state, particularly the Senator representing the town, to be more concerned about residents of our state potentially having sewage leak into their water source, Fortunato said “Well, we’ve waited this long we can wait a little longer.” In Auburn, the coal trains run right by our elementary schools, layering coal dust on our kids’ play areas. That is unacceptable. When elected, I will not put political games over the wellbeing of our residents and the environment.
I believe that Washington is uniquely poised to be a leader in the green economy. There is significant potential for workers in industries that are fading, particularly the fossil fuel industry and other manufacturing that is becoming more automated by the day, to be retrained and placed in clean energy jobs. These jobs should and can be family wage jobs with benefits. I would like to invest in our K-12 system and CTEs to provide strong STEM curriculum, to build thriving apprenticeship programs, and to make the idea of retraining a little more accessible and a little less scary those who will be needing to make a career change in the coming years.
I am also committed to raising and nurturing our next generation to be good stewards of the environment. As PTA President at Ilalko Elementary, I led the establishment of Green Teams, which were groups of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders who did weekly collection and sorting of recyclable items. Many of the recyclable items, such as Capri Sun pouches, were then turned in in exchange for donations to the school.
In our personal lives, we endeavor to reduce, reuse and recycle and are raising our boys to be good stewards. In that vein, I am also very active in our local Buy Nothing group.