As part of our endorsement process at The Urbanist, we ask candidates to complete a standard questionnaire to better understand and evaluate their positions on housing, land use, transportation, and other important issues. We then share this information with our readers to help inform their own voting decisions.
This year we are considering selected candidates running for US Congress, Washington State Legislature, and King County Prosecuting Attorney. We are publishing the questionnaires in full, concluding with our official general election endorsements in mid-October.
The following questionnaire was submitted by Joseph Brumbles (R-Yelm) running for Congressional District 10. Brumble’s opponent, incumbent Denny Heck (D-Olympia), did not submit a questionnaire .
Do you consider yourself an urbanist?
What can Congress do so that the ratio of representatives to people is less skewed towards rural areas and urban areas get a fairer person-to-representative ratio?
The number of Representatives determined by area mass, instead of population density. Put in place an electoral college at the state level.
Does the federal government have a responsibility to prevent sprawl? If no, why? If yes, why and what are the most impactful actions you would support?
Absolutely not. People should be able to live where they like. The states created the Federal government, the Federal government is not supposed to control every element of our lives, nor is it beneficial to us for it to do so. We need limited government.
What do you think are the three primary causes of unaffordable housing? What would be your favored policies for addressing the high cost of housing?
1.) Supply vs demand
2.) Inflation due to bad policy
3.) The permitting restrictions and time constraints, costs , zoning, etc.
My favored policies would be to fix the above mentioned.
What would you do to prevent cities from a race to the bottom poaching businesses through economic incentives?
Lower taxes for business and citizens.
Do you believe federal law enforcement should take a stronger hand in local law enforcement policies? If no, why? If yes, why and how?
Absolutely not. The states have rights. It is not the job of the Federal government to police states or cities or their policies. Policy is also more often than not, not a one size fits all.
What is your preferred legislative solution to address climate change?
Clean energy, but it must also be affordable energy. We can do this through competitive grants, etc. and by utilizing our newest technologies.
What can the federal government do to stem the increasingly segregated nature of our communities?
Get Lobbyists and their money out of our political system. Reform campaign finance. Make it so that even a poor person can win a seat in congress, etc. without selling off their values to the highest bidder. This would take away a lot of the encentive for elitests to mis inform and divide the populace, including much of their power to “steer” policy, which is what creates a lot of the segregation to begin with. Also focus on family structure in our society and inclusive programs for our youth.
What book has been most influential on your views of how cities work, their strengths, and strategies for addressing their problems? What lesson(s) did you take away?
None too special as of yet.
Would you support a higher capital gains tax on all real estate?
Would you support nationwide inclusionary zoning?
Would you support phasing out the home mortgage interest deduction?
The Urbanist was founded in 2014 to examine and influence urban policies. We believe cities provide unique opportunities for addressing many of the most challenging social, environmental, and economic problems. We serve as a resource for promoting urbanism, increasing political participation, and improving the places we live. The Elections Committee consists of various staff members of The Urbanist and is a standing body representing the political values of our organization.