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State Candidates Comments, LDs 26-49

WA Legislative Candidates:
Top Three Priorities & Comments

Legislative Districts 26-49

Comments are as received without edits.

Legislative District 26

Connie FitzPatrick, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: My top priorities include ensuring students have access to an education system that works for all, creating more affordable healthcare opportunities for veterans and working families, and reducing transportation costs while increasing options for members of our community.

Comments: Thank you for your time and I appreciate the opportunity to receive your endorsement.

Legislative District 27

Laurie Jinkins, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: The most important issues for the office I seek are affordable housing options, an increase in access to justice, and solutions to the achievement gap, homelessness and the broken mental health care system.

Comments: I would need to review the specific content of any proposed bill before deciding but I was a co-sponsor, however I generally support the notions.

Kyle Paskewitz, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Smaller more efficient government, Homelessness, Addictions and Crime as Community Health Issues, and Family Court reform.

Comments: N/A

Jake Fey, State Rep. Pos. 2  
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Continuing work on transportation projects that need more funding and construction, increasing clean energy resources and clean-up efforts for our district’s port, as well as looking into solutions to the affordable housing crisis and homelessness issue in our district and state.

Donald Golden, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Taxation, Education, Gun Control

Comments: The US should move quickly toward a single payer system.

Legislative District 28

No candidates responded to this survey.

Legislative District 29

Melanie Morgan, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Affordable housing, Adequate transportation, Fully funded K-12 education

Comments: People are being taxed out of their homes in my district, increasing the number of homelessness. People in my district are unable to get to viable jobs due to the lack of adequate transportation. K-12 education needs to be fully funded, including programs such as special education.

Legislative District 30

Claire Wilson, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
Education and early learning: ensuring that all children have access to the support they need to succeed, fully funding our schools, and preparing students for the careers of the future
Transportation: South King County has been left behind when it comes to transportation investments and we have some of the worst traffic in any part of the state. We need to fund the road and transit projects our region deserves, and ensure they come in on time and on budget.
Health care: health care costs are through the roof, both insurance premiums and out of pocket costs. I will work to expand health care coverage, lower costs, and protect essential benefits like coverage of pre-existing condition

Mark Greene, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1. Making sure we have a well-oiled economy that will ensure that citizens can get good-paying, full-time jobs, and have first priority for jobs.
2. That all citizens have access to good, affordable health care.
3. That all citizens' sense of well-being and security is always at the top of the Legislative agenda.

Legislative District 31

Immaculate Ferreria, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1) Fully fund education including early/pre-k and quality childcare to college/career.
2) Accessible, affordable, universal healthcare. I support Initiative-1600.
3) Economic Growth

Comments: You may publish my answers. Not one person should be forced to file bankruptcy because they had to pay to survive! Not one parent should have to struggle to either put food on their table or pay for the medication they need to live and continue to support their family! Thank you for stepping up and standing up for all Washingtonians to receive the care they need.

Victoria Mena, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1. Quality, full-funded public education for all Washingtonians regardless on where you live or what your family income is.
2. Affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare. I believe healthcare is a human right and I am in favor of universal, single-payer healthcare coverage as an ultimate goal for our healthcare system.
3. Labor rights. All Washingtonians deserve the fullest, most robust labor protections, workplace protections, and strong collective bargaining agreements.

Comments: In terms of healthcare, I fully support the ACA and am grateful for the tremendous advancements in health insurance coverage it has achieved. As a person without healthcare coverage myself, I deeply support the expansion to underserved and entirely uninsured populations in Washington State. Healthcare is a human right, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. On the state level, increasing access to the ACA via our state healthcare exchange is a state-level response to ameliorate the wide gaps in our healthcare system. For example, increasing the level of Medicaid expansion and including undocumented and immigrant communities would be good steps to take. We are a wealthy, prosperous state which can afford to provide healthcare coverage for all its people.

Longer term, I do support a vision for healthcare in our country like "Medicare for All". Because, ultimately, our country does not deserve a system of health insurance, but a system of healthcare. A system of care not built or managed by private insurance corporations concerned with profits, but instead a public system that works for the benefit of everyone and does not turn a profit off the backs of the sick. Medicare for All would ensure that every person in the US is covered, that care is free at the point of service, and no family or individual would go bankrupt simply because they got sick. It is a less expensive, more efficient way to manage our healthcare system. We would be able to save money and ensure every person got the care they need.

Legislative District 32

Maralyn Chase, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
Inequality of income and wealth and tax reform
Health care for all
Justice and fairness in education, the environment and the economy

Comments: N/A

Frank Deisler, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Lowering taxes, Ending sanctuary state policies, affordable housing

Legislative District 33

Karen Keiser, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Improving the economic security for working families, and the increasing costs of prescription drugs and health care is one of the threats to our families & economic security.

Comments: N/A

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Equal access to housing, food and healthcare. Education should be affordable. Tax system needs to be less regressive.

[No Comments.]

Legislative District 34

Shannon Braddock , State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
Reform of our regressive tax structure
Universal access to healthcare - including expanding mental health coverage
Responsible gun ownership legislation - I support I-1639

Comments: I am passionate about advocating for universal access and affordability for health care. We need to protect and expand the rights of women to access reproductive health care, expand Medicare options for seniors, and find a path that will provide all of our residents with access to quality health care options.

Joe Nguyen, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Heath Care for All, Progressive Tax Reform and Fully Funding Education.

Comments: Health Care is a deeply personal issue for my family. My father was in a car accident that rendered him quadriplegic and experiencing a health care crisis meant we had to exhaust our savings to keep him alive. Nobody should have to choose between the care they need and bankruptcy. We are living in one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest nations. There is no reason why anybody should be too poor to live.

Joe Fitzgibbon, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: fighting climate change, protecting and restoring Washington's environment and endangered species, and reforming our broken tax structure

Comments: N/A

Legislative District 35

Irene Bowling, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:

Providing equal high quality education and job training to ALL students regardless of where they live in the state.
Finding solutions to the terrible cost of healthcare in our state.
Developing job opportunities and the training and infrastructure needed for stemming the tide of high unemployment in the 35th L.D.

Comments: Affordable healthcare, affordable and high quality education K- college, and having a living wage job that ensures a good retirement are the issues all of us are facing. In my work over the years as an educator and small business owner, and in my own family, these are the main concerns I have learned must be addressed and resolved NOW! I am running for precisely these issues. 

James Thomas, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities:

Jobs for the 35th legislative district
Robust education funding through a baccalaureate degree or equivalent
Prompt and aggressive attention to our environment, especially water, salmon habitat, and greenhouse gases
Universal health care

I know you asked for the top three but there is more to a campaign and more to a legislative agenda than three items. I've spent most of my adult life in the health care industry, I understand health care metrics on outcomes and spending. I am convinced that universal health care is in our future. We need to make our future today.Comments:Universal healthcare is not just ethically right, it is economically smart. Essentially all of our OECD peers provide some form of universal health care. This assures a healthy population across socio-economic strata and frees people of crippling financial burdens that accompany unexpected health crises that in the US can lead to bankruptcy.

Comments: Universal healthcare is not just ethically right, it is economically smart. Essentially all of our OECD peers provide some form of universal health care. This assures a healthy population across socio-economic strata and frees people of crippling financial burdens that accompany unexpected health crises that in the US can lead to bankruptcy.

David Daggett, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: protecting our safety net, fair taxes, improving the local economy

Comments: We have purchased Rx from Canada at a fraction of the cost

Legislative District 36

Sydney Gillman Wissel, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Public School Reform, Public transportation, infrastructure spending

Comments: Healthcare in this country is a huge mess. We need to get the pharmaceutical lobbyists and for-profit insurers out of the business. The only way I see this working is taking the power to allow or disallow medical services AWAY from the government. People deserve free choice and we'd all have a lot more of our paychecks coming home were we not supporting the circus in Washington DC and all those getting rich off corruption.

Gael Tarleton, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities: 
Affordable, accessible higher education and healthcare
Combating climate change by creating a clean-energy economy
Funding nurses, mental health counselors and special needs educators in our schools and colleges.

Comments: We must give all our people equal access to opportunities to pursue their dreams. Access to education and healthcare at any age give people the skills and peace of mind to work, raise a family, save for retirement, and participate in their community life. We must take action to deal with climate change. We live in a beautiful part of the world and nation, where diverse cultures and communities have thrived for millennia. Everything we do today will change the choices of future generations. I believe we have the ability to give future generations a chance to pursue their dreams. We must have the courage to move toward a society where equal access to opportunity prevails.

Legislative District 37

Rebecca Saldaña, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities: My top legislative priorities, if elected, are opening up our democracy to every Washingtonian, fighting for gender equity, protecting workers' rights, protecting our beautiful environment, ensuring available and affordable health care, and building an educational system that closes our achievement gap.

Comments: I am an economic and social justice advocate who knows our success is rooted in facing race and undoing institutional, structural and systemic racism.

Sharon Tomiko Santos, State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Quality Public Education, civil rights, economic and environmental justice

Comments: I am a strong advocate for providing quality early learning programs for young kids, ensuring a well-trained educator workforce, and closing the opportunity gap. I believe that Washington state must strive for providing education excellence and opportunities for all students to learn.

Legislative District 38

John McCoy, State Senator

Top Three Legislative Priorities: Internet access for all, education, mental health

Comments: N/A

Mike Sells, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:Access to education for sustainable family wage and salary jobs. Workplace standards that are fair and protect people from exploitation. Infrastructure that is maintained and up to date for moving people, goods and services.

Comments: I don't have any further comments. I am currently the House Chair of the Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.

Legislative District 39

Claus Joens, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Close 50% of tax loopholes; paid maternity leave, state paid child support; universal health care; support salmon recovery

Comments: We must take care as we solve one problem not to create another. Universal Health Care is of primary concern. The implementation must be done in such a way as not to further increase taxes (above what families are paying for health care now).

Ivan Lewis, State Rep. Pos. 1

Top Three Legislative Priorities: Universal healthcare -- healthcare is a human right and everyone in the state of Washington should have easy access to comprehensive healthcare.

Tax reform -- we need to reevaluate our regressive taxation system and find a better way of ensuring we fund the things we need without making it too expensive to live here and raise our families.

Ensuring the health and safety of our vulnerable populations -- while this is a somewhat broad category, the opioid epidemic, sex trafficking and comprehensive immigration reform are high priorities that need to be addressed for the betterment of our society.

Comments: N/A

Legislative District 40

No candidates responded to this survey.

Legislative District 41

My-Linh Thai, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
Education for All. Healthcare for All. Climate Change and its impacts

Legislative District 42

Pinky Vargas, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1. Healthcare
I grew up in Canada with a single-payer healthcare system, and because of this, I know access to healthcare makes a huge difference in equity and well-being, when everyone has access to healthcare. As a state, I would like to see the Legislature support and move towards this system, so that we are taking care of our residents. If elected, I would support a bill that implements such a system and advocate for funding, so that everyone has access to affordable healthcare. It is absurd that people are dying and going bankrupt, just because they do not have the insurance, coverage, or funds to pay for medical bills and procedures.

Additionally, I think it imperative that we are funding reproductive health care, and that we are publicly funding it. It is responsible to help women and families make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, their lives, and their futures. It’s also the smart financial choice, and actually saves us money as a society. It results in fewer unintended pregnancies, less disease, reduced burden on our social programs, as well as decreasing maternal mortality. This also includes supporting funding for Planned Parenthood. I believe as Planned Parenthood does, “all people deserve access to preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and contraception.” Consistent access to birth control gives women the ability to control when, and if they have children, giving them more career and education opportunities, healthier pregnancies, and making them less likely to depend on government programs.

On the City Council, I authored the Resolution for “Public Safety and Support for Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood.” I have stood in front of our local Planned Parenthood office with signs on many occasions and will continue to do so as your next State Senator. As a state, I would like us to move in a direction that includes affordable healthcare for all, no matter the services. I am pro-choice, and support the right of women-identifying individuals to have access to reproductive health services, such as abortion, birth control, and free health care screenings. 

2. Jobs and Economic Development

Family-wage job growth is possible, and we need to focus on smart job growth and planning for our future. Whatcom County needs to work together on a Regional Economic Development strategy, so we can build on what we have; growing technology, farming, industry, manufacturing, renewable energy, outdoor recreation and tourism. The creation of more middle-wage jobs will also help close the housing affordability gap. We can also help small businesses be successful, by finding solutions to help them grow their businesses.

When we look at creating jobs in rural areas, especially family wage jobs, it’s clear that we can’t continue to rely on resource extraction industries that have supported these areas for decades. We need to make sure that the transition to the high-tech economy is happening outside of just King County, that people in the 42nd district see opportunities for new green manufacturing businesses and jobs. And for farmers still running the agriculture that we rely on for our food, we need to make sure that they have the best technology and support that we can provide so they can increase yields, reduce pollution and run-offs, and support and grow the rural economy. We can turn that poop into Methane and power our homes with it. We also need to ensure that our farmers have practical regulation, whether it’s dairy, potatoes, berries, fishermen, or cannabis farmers. Farms cannot grow and survive in Whatcom County is we are putting impossible standards on them. 

3. Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is about increasing supply and access, with a focus on smart growth. There is no panacea, and this is a nationwide issue. Whatcom County is a beautiful place to live, but it is an increasingly harder place to afford as more and more people move here. Affordable housing is also at the crux of our very complex issue of homelessness. We need to increase the supply of affordable rental housing and add more diversity in housing types to provide an entry to home ownership. We also need to ensure continued funding for low-income housing, like CDBG Grants, HUD funding, and encourage a county-wide initiative, like the Bellingham Home Fund, which supports new affordable housing construction, and rehabilitates existing affordable housing. We also need to encourage urban villages and responsible housing design, with high standards in building codes to ensure energy efficiency and a focus on net zero, along with addressing zoning and land use decisions that reduce our carbon footprint, focuses on infill not sprawl, and ensures adequate green spaces. Additionally, we need to increase state investments in bike lanes and transit options.

Sharon Shewmake, State Rep. Pos. 2

Top Three Legislative Priorities:

1. Expansion of state-funded pre-school
2. Leadership on climate change
3. Affordable housing

Comments: The U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than other OECD countries and gets worse results; it's clear something else is needed. I'm open to a variety of solutions whether it's public option, medicare for all, etc. One area that doesn't get enough attention is the need for clear prices in healthcare. My two-year old fell and punctured his lip. We took him to the ER and they fixed him up with glue! That's amazing, but when I called to find out how much it would cost, nobody could answer my question. This shouldn't be the case. I had options and need to be able to know what an ER visit might cost so we can plan for emergencies and/or compare prices with other providers.

Legislative District 43

Nicole Macri, State Rep. Pos. 1 

Top Three Legislative Priorities:

1. Increase access to affordable housing.
2. Increase access to high quality, affordable healthcare, including behavioral and reproductive health services.
3. Protecting civil rights, especially for LGBTQ individuals.

Comments: I’m so grateful to partner with HCFA-WA on ensuring everyone in WA can gain access to the care they need, when they need it!

Legislative District 44

Jeff Sax , State Rep. Pos. 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities: Eliminate Tolls, lower property taxes, increase public access to government employee records.

Comments: N/A

Legislative District 45

Manka Dhingra, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities:

My number one focus is affordability. Ensuring that our state is a more affordable place to live for all families and individuals. We need to ensure families can afford both health care and housing, so that our communities are safe and healthy.

I am passionate about reforming our criminal justice system by investing in mental health, substance use treatment, and protecting the rights of women, immigrants, and underrepresented minorities.

Lastly, I want to ensure our schools are fully funded in a way that is sustainable and responsible to ensure our next generation can be the leaders we need in our country.

[No Comments.]

Legislative District 46

David Frockt, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities: My top three platform issues are maintaining and expanding health care access for the people of Washington, continuing to advance sensible firearm regulation, expanding access and funding for K-12 and higher education, and many other issues. candidates responded to this survey.

Comments: Last legislative session, I introduced SB 5701 (the Senate version of HB 1026), to establish the framework for a public state-based universal health care plan.

Gerry Pollet, State Rep. Pos. 1 
Top Three Legislative Priorities:

1. Fully funding education and access to the opportunities of higher education for all Washington residents
2. Making our tax system more fair and able to provide sustainable support for education, health care and human services
3. Ensuring that we address the social determinants of health for all Washingtonians

Comments: Washington State should lead in providing every resident with quality health care; not just insurance. We have expanded insurance through the ACA, but that is not the same as providing ACCESS to health care. I will continue to sponsor legislation offering a state option for everyone to have health care.

Legislative District 47

Mona Das, State Senator
Top Three Legislative Priorities (updated 8/17):  Housing (Housing First), education, and equitable access to public services including healthcare and mental healthcare for all.

[No Comments.]

Legislative District 48

Vandana Slatter, State Rep. Pos 1
Top Three Legislative Priorities (updated 9/12/18):

1. Making the Healthcare system more accessible and affordable. Too many in our state cannot find or afford the treatment they need. I’ve fought for lower prescription medication costs and greater consumer advocates on State Boards.

2. Standing up for science. I believe it’s important our state innovate using data-driven analysis and evidence-backed decision making. I’m committed to reducing use of fossil fuels and fighting climate change, exploring new technologies like hybrid airplanes, and always recognizing the importance of scientific research.

3. Improving our education system. We need to ensure local districts have the support they need to give each and every student an opportunity to succeed. I always look for diverse approaches to closing the opportunity and have worked on legislation to improve educator data collection, fund student robotics programs, and address learning disabilities like dyslexia.

Comments: Thank you for all of your critical work towards creating truly affordable healthcare!

Cindi Bright, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
Equity. In this bucket of Equity is Pay Disparity, Education and Healthcare.

Comments: I plan to take my fight into Olympia that pushes for all people, all citizens, are worthy of fair market wages for pay -= which in turns help provide access for education, healthcare.

Amy Walen, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1. Reduce preventable gun violence by raising the purchasing age of semi-automatic firearms, and introducing other provisions protect our communities from gun violence.
2. Invest in proven mental health and addiction services, so that treatment is available on demand. Addiction is not a personal failure, but rather a public health crisis and should be addressed as such.
3. Increase housing options and continue to provide innovative and affordable housing choices for all.

Our dynamic, growing region needs experienced leadership to address housing affordability, advocate for environmental protections, keep our kids and communities safe from gun violence, and invest in proven mental health and addiction services. I am committed to helping working families, seniors, and small businesses, and will work to replace high property taxes with solutions that tax wealth, not jobs and hard work. I care about people and I care about decisive, responsible government. I want a government that works for all of us. This is what we need in Olympia and this is why I am running for State Representative. I have a proven track record as Kirkland Mayor and years as a City Councilmember in involving neighbors in decisions that affect their lives and families. This is why I am the best candidate for the State House of Representatives in Legislative District 48 (Position 2).

Legislative District 49

Monica Jurado Stonier, State Rep. Pos. 2
Top Three Legislative Priorities:
1. Continuing to provide high-quality public education.
2. Providing access to healthcare services by increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rate, especially in areas where access to providers are limited.
3. Highlighting and eliminating the areas of our system that drive healthcare costs up for Washingtonians.