Every year The Urbanist Elections Committee analyzes candidates in the Puget Sound Region to help inform your voting decisions. Our process starts with crafting questionnaires that cut to the heart of urbanist issues pertinent to each level of government. After sending them out to candidates and doing some deadline reminders, we finally dig into the responses in preparation for interviews. 

Between issuing our questionnaires and hosting interviews, Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd, sparking nationwide protests that have continued ever since. Ongoing brazen police brutality in response to those protests has sparked yet more protests and made police abolition a mainstream campaign topic for perhaps the first time ever. Diverting half of Seattle Police Department’s funding to community-led health and public safety programs became a mainstream position within the space of a few weeks. Anti-racist books like Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Wanna Talk About Race” and Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” jumped to the top of bestseller lists. In short, the dynamics of the election had shifted significantly, and we set out to ask every candidate we interviewed how they were responding.

The pandemic pushed us to host our candidate interviews via video conference this year instead of in person. After nearly 12 hours of Zooming, our fact-finding mission was complete. We stewed on the information a few days before retreating to a local park to bellow at each other from a social distance and hash out our differences, finally zeroing in on our endorsements. We’re enthusiastic about our endorsed slate of candidates and excited about what they can achieve in office. 

Primaries are an opportunity to vote with your heart–so read below to see who captured our hearts in each dynamic local race and who inspires us to stay engaged in the work of making a better world. Don’t forget to return your ballot by August 4th. Postage is prepaid.

Below are our endorsements. The questionnaire responses are compiled at the bottom of the endorsement write-ups and we’ll also be posting standalone versions for each candidate for easier perusal and sharing.

LD37-2: Kirsten Harris-Talley

Of the dozens of candidates we interviewed for state legislative seats this cycle–and certainly among the non-incumbents, who as a rule tended to speak in hopeful generalities rather than hard-learned specifics–Kirsten Harris-Talley was among the most impressive. That’s lucky for the residents of the 37th legislative district, but also unfortunate since they have to choose between her and another strong candidate in Chukundi Salisbury (and, at the time of our interview, a third strong candidate in Andrea Caupain).

Salisbury, a long-time activist and City of Seattle employee, spoke passionately, pointedly, and groundedly about the challenges he and his neighbors face. We believe he would bring a much-needed dose of community organizing to the legislature. Caupain showed a knack for clear concise answers that cut to the point. We’d love to see both of their names again. 

We endorse Harris-Talley in this race because, despite the many strengths and successes of her competitors, she brings together the full package. Harris-Talley, currently the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and briefly an appointed Seattle City Councilmember (after Tim Burgess stepped down to be fill-in mayor in 2017), has powerful ties to community organizations, deep experience making change within organizations, and practical political experience to boot. We can thank her for playing a critical role in securing progressive payroll taxation that was passed this month. Her combination of grassroots values, legislative polish, and leadership experience make her the clear choice in a strong and crowded field.

If elected, we look forward to working with Harris-Talley as she centers communities like hers in the fight to reverse the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing that is challenging many Washington cities. As she put it, the 37th district “is in so many ways ground zero for all these intersecting issues.” We endorse her support of statewide right-to-return policies for displaced residents, her advocacy for tenants rights and protections, and of course for new, low-carbon social housing across Washington. Vote Harris-Talley.

LD43-1: Nicole Macri

Incumbent badass Nicole Macri is essentially running unopposed, so this vote is really a no-brainer. Macri has sponsored a bevy of health-related bills aimed at rectifying inequities and protecting the vulnerable–not to mention sponsored several high profile attempts at serious land use reform. Macri introduced multiple bills to repeal the ban on rent control, and has committed to clean fuels as a necessity in the next transportation package. She takes a balanced rather than ideological approach, consistently links climate change, health, land use, livability, and transportation, and she brings a clear-eyed compassion that humbles us. Vote Macri.

LD43-2: Sherae Lascelles

The 43rd legistlative district exemplifies Seattle’s ongoing housing crisis and rapid gentrification–the wealth inequality is jarringly visible. Frank Chopp has represented the district since the 1990s, including a long stint as House Speaker. He’s been a consistent advocate for affordable housing funding and can rattle off the projects he helped build. But is he still the best person to represent the district in 2020?

Sherae Lascelles changed our minds. Not often do we come across a candidate that has shown effective political action, radical compassion and fierce ingenuity while in a state of constant precarity. When they see a need, they go straight to those affected, down to even producing what’s needed–forming an intuition that focuses on results and community care.

A strong believer in the harm reduction model, Lascelles has led multiple mutual aide organizations that put the Black femme and queer experience on the forefront. They founded People of Color Sex Worker Outreach Project and the Green Light Project to provide cash, sanitary supplies and material requests to sex workers. Because of their advocacy and lived experience, Lascelles is acutely aware of and actively combats inaccessible barriers to entry, a facet of policymaking and everyday life even our most progressive Democrats fail to address.

Jessi Murray would also be an improvement over Chopp. She’s a car-free renter, a reproductive rights advocate, and served as co-chair on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission. Like Lascelles, Murray would bring more urgency on issues like climate and transit funding–issues the former Speaker has had decades to address without much success. While Murray is a promising leader, Lascelles is the more transformative candidate.

Lascelles speaks glowingly of the walkable, bodega-saturated lifestyle dense cities like New York foster, and they live in the University District because it offers that. It’s clear they’re an urbanist and understand the importance of transit and density. More than that, they’re precisely the kind of urbanist that can attract new folks and break the movement out of the White male-dominated technocratic rut that can be its stumbling block. Vote Lascelles.

Washington state legislative districts in the Puget Sound Region. Stretches from the 22nd in Olympia north to the 38th in Marysville.  (State of Washington)
Washington state legislative districts in the Puget Sound Region. (State of Washington)

LD36-1: Noel Frame

Since joining the legislature in 2016, Frame has emerged as a leader among her colleagues in the tactical fight to secure progressive revenue for Washington State. Of the candidates we interviewed this cycle, she articulated the clearest vision for comprehensive reform of the state’s tax code and, as the likely chair of the Finance Committee, she should be in a good position to deliver on that vision.

We were also heartened by her clear willingness to open up the state constitution for amendment–both to eliminate the uniformity clause that stands in the way of progressive tax reform, and to eliminate the tight linkage between gas taxes and carbon-emitting highway projects. These should be baseline expectations for representatives from within Seattle’s city limits but, until they are, they continue to tally as points in Frame’s favor.

Frame’s unopposed candidacy this cycle is in part a consequence of the open seat ripe for the taking in her own legislative district (fare thee well, Gael Tarleton). But it’s also a reflection of her emergence as one of the stalwarts of the major progressive battles facing the legislature in the upcoming cycle. We affirmatively endorse her for re-election and wish her much success in delivering on her promise to “avoid cuts at all costs.”

LD36-2: Liz Berry

Liz Berry said all the right progressive things and associates with the right progressive people–and it’s heartening to know that the past four years has pushed some Democrats further left. We don’t bat our eyes at “healthcare for all” anymore–but after stalemates, our-hands-are-tieds, and lukewarm deals, buzzwords and posturing simply hurt. We need boldness and bold coalition. Berry has that bold coalition, but are we excited about her? Not exactly–it was hard to discern direction or priority. 

Both Berry and major rival Sarah Reyneveld gave weak answers on policing and racial justice–though both have since come out in favor of defunding the Seattle Police Department by 50%. Both support a full replacement for the Magnolia Bridge, squandering transportation funding on a car-centric design when a more slimmed down version would better serve people walking, rolling, biking, and riding transit while preserving funds for more pressing needs.

That said, we’re hopeful about Berry’s clear support for an immediate freeze on rent and mortgage payments. We’re elated we will have another proponent of lifting the ban on rent control. She’s even with Representative Macri in reintroducing House Bill 2780, which would reallow from a duplex to a sixplex back in single-family zones in a district hostile to change while central and southern neighborhoods take the brunt of displacement and policing. Lawsuits from neighborhood organizations in Magnolia and Queen Anne delayed city efforts to expand housing, while the police bunker continues to be a painful reminder of our reliance on over-policing rather than investing in low-income communities. Vote Berry, and let’s see those buzzwords manifested: affordable housing, new progressive revenue, healthcare for all.

LD11-1: David Hackney

Hackney has both the lived and professional experience that would best represent the 11th legislative district, a majority renter and majority minority district. The seat is currently occupied by Zack Hudgins, a White “safe” centrist Democrat who opposed life-saving policies such as just cause eviction, ban the box, and rent stabilization, all of which Hackney supports. Hudgins sponsored the bill cutting transit’s car tab funding.

Hackney, with his district in mind, talked to us about his disappointment in the Democrat-controlled government’s failure on fixing the “crisis of low-income housing”–and its environmental racism in placing the pittance of affordable housing built into high pollution areas. As a Black man, he sees government as the only way to combat segregation. Although he’s worked as a federal prosecutor, and has a practical sense of the criminal justice system, he has learned the hard way that you cannot reform the system from the inside. He’s ready to defund militarization of police and end cash bail and our overuse of incarceration.

Hudgins, on the other hand, emphasized incremental reforms that we all must identify as simply not enough. The state could play a big role in fixing policing and designing a more just system, but under politicians like Hudgins, we have reason to fear they’d aim too low and accomplish too little. Hackney offers a much more inspiring vision and the proper sense of urgency. Vote Hackney.

Senate District 11: Bob Hasegawa

We’ve had the opportunity to interview State Senator Bob Hasegawa once before in a crowded mayoral primary and we were skeptical. His criticism of Sound Transit and defense of the supremacy of cars seemed a disqualifier, especially in a race with so many highly qualified opponents. Despite our criticisms and his unopposed candidacy, he still gave us the time, answering our questionnaire and showing up for our interview.

Perhaps most importantly, we learned his strong ties to labor doesn’t mean he wouldn’t tell us his feelings about the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG). He didn’t mince words in his support for expelling them from the labor council, even before the official vote.

Hasegawa is also coming around on transit issues. While we can’t convince him to pick priorities between modes, he’s eager to acknowledge that funding is the primary obstacle to better transit. We can all agree on that.

Plus he’s been advocating for a public bank since before it was cool. Can you imagine how our Covid recovery and small business assistance might’ve been different with a public bank? What about borrowing to build transit and social housing? Hasegawa has the right values and we think he’ll continue to improve on transit. Sporting a Star Trek background on the Zoom call, he still seemed like the boldly-going optimist he must have been when he got into politics and union organizing decades ago. Give Hasegawa your vote, he’s earned it.

LD34-2: Joe Fitzgibbon

For land use policy wonks, it doesn’t get much better than Joe Fitzgibbon. He’s in the weeds on housing density regulation, regularly threading the needle between the advocates and literature (“end single-family zoning!!”) and the pearl-clutching municipalities (“but local control!!”), in a way that few urbanists can claim to track, let alone understand. He has wedged his foot in the door to ending the racist legacy that is single-family zoning: he passed a bill that restricted the ability of cities to require off-street parking for ADUs. Sound small? It is, but you’d be amazed at just how few sticks can get through the legislature, compared to carrots. His carrots work, too, though: he’s got cities across the state scrambling to update their housing policies, swinging at the piñata of grant money.  

He’s not beyond reproach. His personal involvement in the consultant short-listing process that garnered accusations of racism is notable. Fitzgibbon’s other goals, and all of the work of the legislature, will benefit by meaningfully addressing these accusations and improving the caucus’ process.

Still, Fitzgibbon keeps showing up to the land use and climate fights even as others grow weary–we have to respect that tenacity. He’s the prime sponsor of clean fuel standards as well as the bill to allow cyclists to safely yield at stop signs–and we nearly swooned when we saw his name on a bill requiring courts to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions. ‘Nuff said. Vote Fitzgibbon.

LD32-1: Cindy Ryu

Cindy Ryu is a woman on the go! Taking our endorsement interview while squished between her husband and son in a U-Haul van, she didn’t skip a beat to educate us all on the inner workings of the state legislature throughout our interview. Her background in local politics as a Shoreline City Councilmember led her to become the first Korean-American woman mayor in America. First elected in 2010 to the state legislature, it is clear that Ryu is a veteran. 

She is a proponent of a capital gains tax, clean fuel standards, and increased transit. Although we disagree with Ryu on rent control–her opposition was articulated as concerns for the supply side for affordable rental housing, which is understandable though unconvincing. Her answers on land use reform highlighted her innovative ideas for different approaches to homeownership. 

While we don’t agree with Ryu on everything (such as the House’s car tab cuts bill), it is clear that she is deeply invested in her community, represents her constituents, puts in the work to understand the issues, and has a very “women CAN have it all” vibe, which we respect despite our skepticism. Vote Ryu.

28th Senate District: T’wina Nobles

T’wina Nobles could legislate circles around incumbent Steve O’Ban. Please, for the love of all that is holy, vote for her and aid her campaign. Nobles understands that a strong transit network is key to Pierce County’s future; O’Ban has been a cheerleader for dismantling Sound Transit. Having experienced homelessness and housing insecurity, Nobles is a clear voice for greater investment in affordable housing, whereas O’Ban seems to think the private market will solve this problem single-handedly or that poor people deserve the mess they find themselves in.

If elected, Nobles would be the only Black senator in Olympia. The lack of Black senate leadership at such a pivotal moment for racial justice and restructuring police is a glaring issue. One senator can’t fix that alone, but it’s a heckuva lot better than zero. Nobles’ keen intent to fight for disadvantaged communities and her wealth of experience as University Place School Board Director and President of the Tacoma Urban League make her exactly the kind of leadership we need more of in the senate. Vote Nobles.

LD29-1: Melanie Morgan

We endorsed Melanie Morgan in 2018 and she came in on the Blue Wave that year. In her first term, Morgan led the effort to establish the State Office of Equity, the first such office in any U.S. state. Without an interview this year, our endorsement is based on her questionnaire and record in office.

The 29th historically has been a swingy district, and Morgan stances continue to reflect that. She pledges support for a clean fuels standard and a capital gains tax, but not a state income tax. While it’d be nice to have the full package, Morgan is a reliable vote on many key progressive priorities and a leader on incorporating equity into state institutions and policymaking. She definitely deserves another term. Vote Morgan.

LD29-2: Sharlett Mena

Sharlett Mena is going to do great things! She is intuitive, engaging, and knowledgeable on many issues. She’s creative, particularly with her ideas regarding zoning reform and implementing a wealth tax to fund the creation of union-built social housing. 

Mena is running against incumbent Steve Kirby. The Democrat hasn’t moved the progressive needle much in his 20 years in the state house. He was declared an honorary member of his local police union. He did not return a questionnaire.

With experience working both in Congress and at the Washington State Legislature, Mena knows the system and has concrete plans to pass legislation if elected. She will be a champion for renters’ rights, immigration rights, a capital gains tax, and investment in public transit. Her ability to explain her platform while also engaging in an honest discussion with us was heartening. She is a genuine listener and a learner and we hope to see her in Olympia next session. Vote Mena.

LD22-2: Jessica Bateman

People think of Seattle when they think of Washington’s left-wing bastions, but Olympia can give Seattle a run for its money. Beth Doglio represented the 22nd in such a fashion until she stepped aside to run for Congress; Jessica Bateman is very well positioned to carry on that progressive legacy. She’s a yes on passing a state income tax, a yes on repealing the state’s rent control ban, a yes on enacting a clean fuels standard, and a yes on increasing the share of transportation funding going to transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure.

Like Doglio, Bateman would be a climate leader in the House. She served as a Olympia City Councilmember and was appointed Mayor Pro Tem by her colleagues. Under her leadership, Olympia took bold action to expand housing options and undo the exclusionary nature of single-family zoning. Bateman also pledges to make affordable housing a priority in the legislature. She’s ready for the urgent progressive moment in which we find ourselves. Without an interview, we can still confidently tell you that based on her questionnaire, you should vote Bateman.

U.S. Congressional Districts

Washington has ten Congressional districts drawn as shown since 2013. The 6th covers the Olympic peninsula and a little bit of Tacoma. The 10th is Olympia and environs. The 9th is mostly South King County plus Bellevue. (State of Washington)
Washington has ten Congressional districts drawn as shown since 2013. (State of Washington)

U.S. House, 9th District: Adam Smith

This is the second time The Urbanist has interviewed Congressional Representative Adam Smith and it is the second time we will endorse him. He’s the only incumbent federal representative that’s taken time to interview with us, or even answer our questionnaire. Beyond being responsive, he deserves a lot of credit for being the primary actor behind the new law giving all federal employees 12 weeks of paid family leave. That law is a big freaking deal and lays the groundwork for a federal requirement covering all workers. Perhaps more impressively, Smith accomplished this with a Republican president and Republican senate. Kudos.

We highlight this because we don’t narrow our endorsement scope to just traditional urbanist issues alone. However, we’re sure our readers want to know where he’s at on those too, so, in that regard, we give him a solid “meh.” He’s generally supportive of the issues we care about, but doesn’t display enough conviction to garner trust. We simply haven’t seen any leadership on those issues. For example, Smith has signed on a Green New Deal sponsor, but it didn’t feel like it in the interview as we heard hand-wringing complaints about the effort. Just days after our interview–in which we asked him how we could break the cycle of highway investments–he touted the funding for the Puget Sound Gateway project, our local highway boondoggle.

Overall, Smith voices concern for our issues and we expect him to vote with the center of the Democratic party on those issues. Plus, he’s running against Republicans, so fill in that bubble for him. And, Rep. Smith, if you want a more enthusiastic endorsement, start untangling the mess that is our federal transportation funding (perhaps taking a cue from Representative Pressley). Vote Smith.

U.S. House, 6th District: Rebecca Parson

On paper we’re all about Rebecca Parson. Medicare for All (check), paid family leave (check), demilitarize the police (check), Green New Deal (check), and the list goes on. Without a doubt Rebecca Parson will vote well and represent a progressive agenda in Washington, D.C. That’s why we are endorsing her.

Not to mention, incumbent Derek Kilmer just ain’t great on a lot of issues. He supports using U.S. tax revenue to fund Israel’s military, recently signed a letter calling for cuts to Social Security benefits, and just generally promotes weaksauce centrist corporate policies as chair of the New Democrat Coalition. Rebecca Parson represents an opportunity to unseat Kilmer–and we’re all for it.

That said, her comfort on issues lessened the farther she got from the mooring of the Democratic Socialists of America platform. Despite touting experience with local transportation advocacy, we were surprised to hear she was unfamiliar with Vision Zero campaign to end traffic deaths and to see she doesn’t have a transportation section on her otherwise extensive issues page.

We look forward to her getting deeper on the issues while she navigates Congress both as a honorable progressive and skillful representative of the 6tth district. Vote Parson.

U.S. House, 10th District: Beth Doglio

The race to replace outgoing incumbent Denny Heck has attracted a wide range of candidates, including socialist trucker (intermittently of Twitter) Joshua Collins, ex-Tacoma mayor Marilyn Strickland, longtime Heck aide Phil Gardner, State Representatives Kristine Reeves and Beth Doglio, and a smattering of Republicans ranging from genial old conservatives to frothing-at-the-mouth Trumpists. We spoke with only a small handful of this crowd, but Doglio was the clear frontrunner among them.

While we wish we could have had the opportunity to speak with the full complement, we nonetheless feel comfortable endorsing Doglio, a climate activist and progressive state legislator since 2017. Doglio seems uncommonly persistent, savvy, and credible. It’s clear why she’s been racking up endorsements from everyone–Pramila Jayapal, Teresa Mosqueda, and what appears to be half of the current state legislature.

There is a case to look elsewhere in this primary: Washington state’s federal delegation has no Black members and Strickland and Reeves could change that. Reeves’ candidacy in particular seemed promising after she offered a car tab payment plan bill, which was a proactive solution rather than doing Tim Eyman’s work for him with cuts like some of her colleagues proposed. However, neither candidate returned a questionnaire, and Strickland’s role stoking conservative backlash as Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO during the 2018 head tax fight does not inspire confidence with us.

That left us confident in our decision to stand with Doglio, who clearly articulates a strong and progressive policy vision. She’s been a leader on clean fuel and mass transit and we foresee her continuing to push for environmental progress in “the other Washington.” Unlike many congressional candidates we spoke with, Doglio drew a straight line between federal highway spending and climate change, and committed to ending “the single-minded and carbon-intensive strategy of only expanding roads and highways.” Vote Doglio.

Governor: Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee is seeking his third term and has built a reputation as a climate hawk. He didn’t have many climate victories in his first term; in fact his 2015 transportation bill lavished billions on dubious highway expansions that surely took us backward in our climate goals.

In his second term, however, Governor Inslee got his signature climate win in the 100% clean energy bill, which phases out coal and sets a 203o deadline for making our state’s power generation carbon-neutral. Unfortunately, his carbon tax efforts fizzled and he couldn’t twist enough arms to get Clean Fuels Standard–which passed in California and Oregon–through the state legislature last session, leaving the transportation sector mostly unaccounted for. 

The transportation sector is our leading source of emissions and we will need to tackle them if we are to succeed in climate action. Governor Inslee also cut the ribbon of the new SR-99 car tunnel in Downtown Seattle and called it the “eighth wonder of the world.” We are going to need a different kind of innovation and boosterism to meet our climate goals. Infrastructure for people walking, rolling, biking and in transit must be our focus. Despite Inslee’s mixed record on that front, he’s clearly better than his challengers which include human-troll-hybrid Tim Eyman. Vote Inslee.

Lieutenant Governor: Marko Liias

Marko Liias is the best candidate. Denny Heck, who is retiring from a long stint in Congress, quickly came out of retirement to run in this race. Despite a late start, Heck charged with an aircraft carrier full of cash to be a moderate lane savior in this race. Denny Heck has had a long career as a triangulating New Democrat, but one good thing to say about him is he did seem to nudge Senator Steve Hobbs out of this race. Hobbs has been a highway-builder extraordinaire and tax-the-rich skeptic in the senate, and will likely continue to be until his seat is up in 2022. 

As a state senator, Liias has been solid on density and is a champion of mass timber green building techniques. On the other hand, he pushed for a car tab “fix” following Sound Transit 3’s passage, with none of the proposals ever including enough backfill to keep transit budgets whole. Nonetheless, he is the progressive urbanist in this race. Vote Liias.

Attorney General: Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson made a name for himself in the first half of Trump’s presidential term, such as the victory against the Muslim travel ban. Ferguson hit a trip wire with passage of Initiative 976 which thrust his office into the role of defending Tim Eyman’s terrible legislation. His office has argued they’re legally obligated to defend the measure after it passes, but it’s not clear they need to be grasping at straws and embarrassing themselves in the process. Hopefully the Attorney General manages to lose the case and Ferguson can go on to advancing progressive causes rather than undermining them. Forgive him his I-976 trespasses and vote Ferguson.

Secretary of State: Gael Tarleton 

Gael Tarleton got a signature win this past year as she sponsored 100% clean energy legislation and shepherded it through the state house. It was signed by Governor Inslee as one of the key components of the state’s climate action strategy. 

Unfortunately, Tarleton’s climate lens doesn’t extend to bicycles and car slowing efforts, which were targets of her scorn until she cleaned up her Twitter act more recently. Her endorsement of Seattle City Council candidate Heidi Wills also suggests Tarleton may have some blind spots on affordable housing and ending exclusionary zoning. She is also a Magnolia Bridge full replacement booster.

The office Tarleton seeks isn’t responsible for those issues thankfully, instead turning her attention to protecting our election system and expanding access to voting. That seat is currently held by Kim Wyman, representing the highest office to be held by a Republican in the Evergreen State. Wyman has held the seat two terms by keeping a low profile when it comes to partisan politics, but with the national Republican election strategy now more than ever built on voter disenfranchisement targeting especially people of color, it’s hard to justify keeping a Republican in charge of our election system. Vote Tarleton.

Commissioner of Public Lands: Hilary Franz

Hilary Franz has been very active as lands commissioner, making forest fire prevention and incubating Washington’s mass timber industry two of her main issues. The forest health plan she issued in 2018 ramped up the treatment of ailing state forest land, thinning out sections where there was high risk for fire. While large healthy trees are left untouched, plenty of small-diameter timber is harvested during those treatments–timber that didn’t have much conventional commercial use until cross laminated timber came along. Glued together, those small logs make a fantastic building material, which cities like Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane hope to use in large buildings.

Before being elected, Franz led Futurewise, a nonprofit that helped implement the Growth Management Act and remains focused on sustainable land use. Thus, she has a solid urbanist background, a vision for the office, and is definitely worthy of a second term. Vote Franz.

State Treasurer: Mike Pellicciotti

Mike Pellicciotti was far from our favorite state representative. He spearheaded efforts to slash the motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) without providing Sound Transit with replacement funding. We pleaded with lawmakers to not go this route, but they never came up with full replacement funds and luckily the effort stalled out

While the Federal Way lawmaker isn’t great on transportation, he did lead on government transparency and accountability, authoring and passing a bill seeking to shine light on “dark” money in politics and another increasing penalties for corporate crimes. He has long pushed to close the “revolving door” between elected office and corporate lobbying. With that background he’d make a great state treasurer. His opponent is milquetoast Republican Duane Davidson. Vote Pellicciotti. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Chris Reykdal

Chris Reykdal is seeking his second term. You don’t hear much about him, belying an effective but not flashy stint as superintendent. A steady hand works just fine in such turbulent times. He’s been a solid progressive, although clearly we need to do more to make our education system more equitable. Vote Reykdal.

The Urbanist Elections Committee consists of Hayley Bonsteel, Lizzy Jessup, Myra Lara, Owen Pickford, Doug Trumm, and Rian Watt. We’d like to recognize Tye Reed and ChrisTiana ObeySumner for their help writing the questionnaires and joining the election committee this spring. ObeySumner withdrew after beginning work on a consulting gig with one of the candidates to avoid a conflict of interest. Reed stepped back to focus more organizing energies on Black Lives Matter protests.


The Questionnaires

Liz Berry

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

I have experience responding to an economic crisis as Legislative Director to Congresswoman Gabby Giffords during the Great Recession. The stimulus saved jobs and created new ones while making investments in infrastructure, education, health and clean energy. What didn’t work was sending billions of dollars to bailout the big banks when they used the money to enrich themselves instead of keeping the credit flowing to small businesses and families struggling with foreclosures. These are important lessons learned that must be applied to our current economic crisis. Now is NOT the time for austerity measures. A decade ago, the Legislature implemented devastating budget cuts to essential programs and services, and we are still digging out of that hole today. This is unacceptable to me as a solution to this economic emergency. We must use this momentum to make major economic changes that include: balancing our upside tax code to bring in new progressive revenue, providing healthcare for all and universal childcare, doubling the state’s investment in affordable housing, and fundamentally reprioritizing transportation funding. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create an economy that works for all of us. This will be my top priority in the State House.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. The lack of affordable housing and the number of people experiencing homelessness have reached a crisis point here in Seattle and across the state. Local municipalities should have all the tools they need to end predatory rent increases that have been devastating to keeping people in their homes.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

My husband and I are proud to raise our two young kids in Uptown/Lower Queen Anne because we believe in being part of a community that is walkable, diverse and connected to transit. Land use reform must address two of the biggest challenges facing our region: climate change and affordability. Homeownership is a pathway out of poverty yet remains out of reach for too many families. I support increased affordable housing options along transit corridors, and building multi-use family homes in areas previously zoned only for single-family homes. I am proud housing advocate Rep. Nicole Macri has sole-endorsed my campaign. I look forward to working with her to push for a state-level rule change to lift cities’ restrictions on denser housing options by reintroducing HB 2780 in 2021. By rezoning to permit multi-family housing we can create neighborhoods inclusive of all income-levels and address our housing crisis. Buildings are also the fastest growing source of climate pollution. We need buildings that are healthy, safe, efficient and run on clean energy. We can do this by expanding weatherization programs, setting standards for new construction and retrofitting existing buildings. We should also set vigorous climate goals to the Growth Management Act.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

I will fight for the principles outlined in the Evergreen Future Campaign: we must urgently act to power our homes, cars, transit and industries with clean, affordable energy; promote clean water and healthy forests; craft solutions that deliver equitable outcomes for all communities to be healthy; and hold corporate polluters accountable.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Seattle’s history of redlining and disinvestment in our communities of color has driven segregation in our city, and this cycle has only been repeated with recent trends of gentrification and displacement. COVID-19 has only put a spotlight on our region’s housing emergency, leaving so many people at risk of losing stable housing during this difficult time. In the short term, I support an immediate freeze on rent and mortgage payments, and a temporary moratorium on evictions. In the long term, the state is a critical partner in helping to interrupt this vicious cycle of displacement. The top strategies the state must implement include lifting the ban on rent control and enacting just-cause eviction standards statewide. And as we expand transit and light rail, we also must push for increased affordable housing options along transit corridors. I support legislation like Seattle’s Community Resident Preference Policy to protect residents at higher risk of displacement. I also support legislation from last session to allow cities to implement a payroll tax for large businesses to fund affordable housing and to address homelessness. With rents and housing costs rising rapidly, the time for inaction has passed. The state must act to address this crisis.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

As the daughter of a special education teacher and a proud public school parent, building a world-class public education system for all of our children is paramount to me. COVID-19 has only exposed the inequalities that hinder students’ ability to thrive: many of our students rely on school lunches and don’t have access to computers, or the internet, at home. We cannot fix public education without addressing systemic poverty, and this must be put at the forefront of the conversation about rebuilding our education system. While the McCleary decision was one of the biggest steps for public education in our state in a century, there is more to do. I will fight to ensure that students have access to critical instructional staff, like teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses, health services staff, emotional learning educators and special education providers. I am also very focused on how to protect kids who are in vulnerable situations including foster care, homelessness and those in the juvenile justice system. The roadmap requires us to provide new progressive revenue, including income, corporate and capital gains taxes, to ensure we are able to fully invest in public education.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. Washington state has the most up-side down tax system in the country. People making the least pay over 15% of their income toward taxes, the middle class pays 10%, and the richest pay 3%. This is wrong and unsustainable. I support the tax reform work of my seatmate Rep. Noel Frame, and I believe we should use this crisis to create momentum to address it now. Similar to the work of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – who has endorsed me – with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I want to build a coalition of legislators who will push to pass a progressive tax package.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, we must pass a clean fuels standard to require oil refiners and importers to reduce carbon intensity 20% by 2035, and I will do everything I can do to urge the Senate to pass it. Transportation is Washington state’s largest source of pollution full-stop. We must modernize our state’s transportation funding systems and investments through a climate and equity lens. I support creating a dedicated revenue source for transportation by putting a price on pollution. I will work to deliver more transit options in our community while also promoting electric vehicle ownership by increasing charging stations and making them affordable to own.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

Access to reliable transportation is one of the biggest barriers to accessing opportunity. At least half the transportation budget should invest in multimodal transportation which will require serious funding reforms. Smart investments in our transportation system are critical for our environment, increase access to opportunity, and can help our economy thrive. We must make bold investments in our infrastructure to ensure people can safely walk and bike, speed up light rail to Ballard, increase service and reliability for Metro, and transition diesel bus fleets to electric.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

I will be a champion for making smart investments so that people don’t have to rely so heavily on personal vehicles. We must curb carbon emissions and ease traffic congestion. I am proud to raise my family in a neighborhood where it’s the norm to walk, bike and use transit.

Nicole Macri

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

The legislature punted on revenue in 09-10, in part due to the big federal stimulus package (ARRA). The 2010 midterms were devastating for Democrats, particularly in the Senate, making it impossible to pass revenue. With the “Majority Coalition Caucus” in place, Governor Gregoire and the legislature opted for deep budget cuts, especially to discretionary safety net programs. The failure to act more swiftly led to the devastating impacts we are seeing from the COVID emergency. It is essential we invest in systems that build resiliency for people across this state. Even with a significant modernization of the tax code, the revenue hole to fill is unprecedented, and will require federal assistance. We must apply an equity analysis to upcoming budget decisions, increase safety net programs, and push for a state-level expansion of unemployment to currently ineligible immigrant workers. We must continue to invest in public & behavioral health and ensure access to health care. Small businesses will need government to recover. It will be more daunting than any other budget endeavor our state has undertaken. But, if we lead with vision and persevere, we can build a more equitable economy that works for everyone, and not just the wealthy few.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. I introduced HB 2583 in 2018 and HB 2779 in 2020. The rent is too high for too many people, and the majority of evictions are due to inability to pay rent. Limits on year over year rent increases, and on fees, are one important tool in improving housing stability.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Statewide land use policy can help ensure that all communities can have the amount and diversity of housing option needed to support vibrant and diverse communities. While some locally-informed land use policy is appropriate, acting on their own, local jurisdictions have failed to implement the full range of land use policies that support adequate affordability and equity in housing access. I introduced HB 2780 (2020) to create more housing options in traditionally single-family zones, and was an active co-sponsor of bills to expand urban housing supply (see 1797, 1923, 2343, and 2570 in 19-20). Land use policy alone does not address the deep affordability needs across the state. That is why I also support greater rent regulation, the strategic use of tax incentives such as the multi-family housing tax exemption, and direct rental assistance to ensure people with the greatest housing needs can access safe, healthy, affordable homes.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We need policies and investments that eliminate carbon across three primary sectors – energy, buildings and transportation – while simultaneously ensuring justice for the most impacted communities. A carbon pricing policy paired with investments in zero-emission infrastructure is the most effective tool to do this. Incentives and regulations also expedite carbon reductions.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

We need to: 1) increase our investment in building and operating publicly financed, accountable high-quality, rent controlled housing, 2) update zoning to support the creation of more diverse types of housing in all communities, 3) enhance tenant protections including capping fees and rent increases and requiring good cause to end all tenancies, 4) make massive investments in emergency and long-term rent assistance, particularly in light of the economic impacts of COVID. To do this, we must modernize our tax code.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We need to address inequities both inside and outside of the school system to ensure all students have equitable access to education. This requires modernizing our antiquated, regressive tax code. We need to begin with investments in early learning, and increase investments in K12 basic education including special education, and the support all students and families need for students to succeed, including family support counselors and nurses. Our districts are still over-reliant on local levies and PTA fundraisers to provide the basics, setting up inequities within and across districts. We must strengthen our safety net support for the lowest income families, including TANF cash stipends, SNAP food benefits, and rent assistance programs.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. Closing the tax break on capital gains will set up a legal test that informs how an income tax can be structured. Implementing a business tax on payroll of high earners is another important step to move WA to a more modern and diverse tax code. To rebalance our tax code, we need to reduce the sales tax rate which disproportionately harms low-income families, and scrap the business & occupation tax which burdens small businesses. We can replace these out-of-date sources with graduated personal and corporate income taxes, and expand the lower-rate sales tax beyond just goods to include services.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

I’ve voted twice in the House for a clean fuels standard, and if re-elected, hope to do so again in 2021. After the failure of the bill in 2020, I joined many colleagues in signing a letter stating that the passage of a clean fuels bill will be a prerequisite for voting for a transportation revenue package. (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6780895/House-Dems-Clean-Fuels-Letter.pdf). Our need to address climate change is at least as urgent as our need to address our transportation infrastructure, if not moreso. We can and must do both.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

The silver lining in the disastrous state of our transportation budget is we can re-envision it. We dedicate only a small portion of the transportation budget to transit, in part due to the constitutional restrictions on use of gas tax. I’d approach it by setting multi-year targets to reduce car trips by increasing funding in transit, biking and pedestrian infrastructure. I don’t know what the right metrics are, but for example, Los Angeles, with a population that exceeds WA state, set a 10 year goal to reduce car trips by 20%. This requires more stakeholder input and political will building.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing personal vehicle trips is first priority. The huge anticipated shortfalls in the transportation budget call us to reconsider our entire approach. We should implement a road usage charge, congestion pricing, and increased registration fees on fossil fuel vehicles to vastly expand investments in transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

Jessi Murray

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

The 2008 Financial Crisis further concentrated wealth amongst a privileged few while critical services and investments were cut, both prolonging the crisis and imposing an unfair burden on those least able to bear them. We must not fall into the austerity trap once more. Instead we need to use the COVID-19 crisis to critically assess how we can make our State both fairer and more resilient. To do that, we need to address our revenue streams. Our tax code was already problematic– the most regressive in the nation– but during COVID the over-reliance on sales tax makes a bad problem even worse. As fewer people are spending, our state budget is projected to take huge hits in revenue. Now more than ever, we need extensive tax reform as we aim to shift away from our reliance on sales and property tax and introduce new equitable and sustainable revenue streams. It is only by creating these progressive revenue streams that we can actually realistically provide the social safety nets required for recovery. We also cannot settle for a patchwork of small taxes that fund individual projects– this is the most pressing moment to actually address our tax code as a whole.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. Providing predictability in housing costs is critical. Whereas those paying a mortgage have clear expectations regarding future expenses, renters don’t have this clarity. Everyone deserves transparency regarding future housing costs. With this comes security and the ability to live without the fear of eviction coming from an unforeseen rent increase.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Just as Oregon preceded Washington in adopting a Growth Management Act they have preceded Washington in rezoning around transit and eliminating single-family zones. However, we should go further. The segregation of land uses is often arbitrary at best or outright racist at worst, hindering the creation of diverse communities so many of us aspire to live in. Form-based codes dictated by transit frequency should be the standard, while build by-right should supplant our current process-centric approach. Generally, we should be employing smart growth land development policies. We need to work toward a future where we have dense, climate-friendly neighborhoods that are walkable/rollable with shared green spaces. Development around transit needs to catalyze the creation of distinct, new sustainable communities. We need higher standards of sub-area planning that capture the value being created by light rail to maximize the public benefit. While station planning will remain a distinctly local affair, there should be minimum development standards regarding density, accessibility, and sustainability. Furthermore, the private landowners who see massive increases in land values should start paying their fair share. For this reason, Land Value Taxes and Tax Incremental Financing are both tools deserving further exploration.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Given vehicles emissions are the largest source of pollution they should receive the most focus. Walking, bicycle, and bus infrastructure provide the greatest returns per dollar invested while increasing accessibility for all. We also need to focus on carbon sequestration, greening our building codes, and building out green energy infrastructure.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Zoning reform needs to be the first priority. However, it’s imperative we recognize that this alone will not create the volume of housing necessary to relieve our current crisis or address historical inequities, particularly redlining. The transference of surplus land by Sound Transit to non-profit developers was a good start. However, the public sector needs to start taking a more active role. Internationally, they frequently purchase property in bulk around future stations, then finance transit improvements and public housing via the development of these properties, effectively capturing the increased value due to transit. These agencies deliver affordable housing at scale with little to no public subsidy. Furthermore, by the public owning the land, existing members of the community can be guaranteed a spot at the table in planning future developments. We need stronger public development authorities that can, at a minimum, land-bank and ideally develop properties. Centro de la Raza stands out as an example of the existing community benefiting and being integrated throughout the development process. Unfortunately, this remains the exception. We also need to employ strategies for community preference in affordable housing, as racial minorities and LGBTQ+ individuals are often the first to be pushed out by gentrification.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

Washington’s education system is and has been in a serious funding crisis. For decades, it’s been grossly underfunded, creating an unsustainable and inequitable public school system. Despite McCleary, our funding system remains broken. We increased property taxes, but Republicans demanded a cap on local levies and Democratic leadership caved to their demands, leading to our schools losing millions of dollars each year. There continues to be huge gaps in school funding across the board, but especially in our lower income areas, meaning our most marginalized communities are hurting the most. Additionally, a system where property taxes make up a significant portion of funding is always going to be inherently inequitable. In a state with so much wealth, our schools should be flourishing, properly funded, and prioritized by our legislatures. Instead, many of our schools can’t afford essential staff like nurses, guidance counselors, and adequate Special Education staff or classroom supplies like notebooks and textbooks. We need progressive taxation now to fully fund schools, and we need to use a model similar to Massachusetts where education funding is weighted by student need. This is widely regarded as the best education funding system in the country for dealing with inequities.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. I believe that we need an income tax, but there are other taxes– namely, a capital gains tax and a wealth tax– that we can focus on introducing first that could clear the way, legally. Court challenges to particularly capital gains have the potential to overthrow the constitutionality issue with a progressive income. Beyond that, both the B&O tax and the way property taxes are assessed and capped are worth revisiting. We also can potentially get creative with land value taxes or flat income taxes with significant tax credits to make them functionally the same as progressive income taxes.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I would support a clean fuels standard. However, there are additional ways we could make progress in meeting our climate goals. One is shifting from a level of service standard to reducing vehicle miles traveled in the environmental review process. The easiest way to reduce emissions is to reduce vehicle use, and given over half of vehicle trips are less than 3 miles, there’s opportunity. To do so, we need to make alternatives more competitive in terms of time and experience. Just as we have Highways of Statewide Significance, which dictate standards on major arterials, we need to similarly identify and adopt standards in critical corridors for bicycles and transit. Too often Rapid Ride and bicycle projects are diluted for local concerns or receive different prioritization depending upon jurisdiction, compromising the network. It is time the state starts enforcing a strategic transit and bike network across boundaries.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

The operating budget needs expansion across most programs to ensure we are maximizing the use and lifespan of our existing facilities. The capital budget is where there needs to be a significant reprioritization of funding. Given COVID’s impact on gas tax revenues, we may have an opportunity to scrutinize past expansion commitments. Where possible, these projects should be canceled. Next, we must identify the long-term needs of transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure and commit to full funding. I cannot predict what these budget percentages would be, but I can guarantee the allocation will be radically different from the status quo.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Electric cars still cause congestion and crashes while consuming huge amounts of space and resources. Better land use planning while improving alternatives would significantly reduce vehicle demand and emissions. However, we need to invest in expanded charging infrastructure to decarbonize those trips that cannot be eliminated.

Cindy Ryu

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Lessons we learned from the Great Recession include any programmatic cuts must be done with precision and not a buzz cut. We have immediate needs thru June 30, 2021 and then we will have more time to plan for the next 2021-2023 budget cycle but I don’t foresee a full recovery even beyond then. We will seek federal funding, but we must give local governments more flexibility in how they use existing funding sources and relief for the 1% lid which preceded even the Great Recession.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

No. I am concerned about depressing the supply side of affordable rental housing with rent control. I support limiting rent increases to reasonable year-over-year rates. I also support increasing the absolute # of affordable housing units, both rental and owner-occupied in Washington State to relieve the pressures on competition for rental units driving the most vulnerable into homelessness.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state can set minimum standards such as density, allowing ADUs, and socialization of certain costs such as utility hook up fees to increase production of affordable dwelling units. I also support innovative approaches to homeownership, such as owner-occupied homes on trust-owned lands.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We need to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and put some sort of a price on carbon pollution.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

I co-sponsored HB 1783 establishing and funding of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion which would have created an “equity lens” for state agencies’ operations. Strategies include incentives to create mixed income rental and ownership units, allow bonding of revenue such as lodging tax revenue (HB 2110) for affordable housing, services and homeless youth.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We need to continue reduce class sizes, increase funding for DD students, and increase counselors in schools. We need to reform our regressive tax structure in order to do that long term.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. 10 years ago when I proposed considering a tax indexed to profits rather than business volume, the automobile dealers were hesitant. Now they are asking for us to take a hard look at our regressive scheme so that they can stay in business and paying taxes based on profits even during lean times. The path is start with capital gains then some sort of an income tax or tax indexed to profits.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes. I have been an ardent support of the bill.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

I don’t have a hard %, but I have supported increased transit, biking, and ped infrastructure at both the local government as City Councilmember & Mayor of Shoreline and in the Legislature the past 10 years.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles, because electric vehicles still take up road capacity. We waste time and energy in congestion and have very limited capacity to increase lane miles. I support tax based on miles driven.

Chukundi Salisbury

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Crises like this causes our economic infrastructure to burst at the seems, and it is once again apparent that the first seems to break are the poorest communities and communities of color. It’s hard to say we’ve learned from 2008, because we’re still facing the same economic issues at the same levels as before. Many standards we implemented after 2008 have been undone, so things are still essentially the same. The richest will keep getting richer while still siphoning money from the rest of us.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

No. You should endorse me, and this is why. I represent a population of this state that has never had a real voice in Olympia. I’m in touch with my community that no candidate is and I plan to bring that part of the community to Olympia.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state should allow for more rezoning options to increase affordable options in non-metropolitan areas.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Transition job training for new energy sources.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Since the passage of I-200, the state of Washington has been economically hostile for people of color, especially black people. As a black man that grew up in Seattle, it has been heartbreaking to see the representation of my people in this city go from 13% to 6%, and in the rest of the state it has gone from 8% to 4%. Lack of investment and opportunity for POC owned businesses have caused many to just simply leave. This has to stop and I have many ideas to do so. There are many talking points I can echo that progressive groups are already saying, but I hardly hear about providing economic prosperity for black people in this state. We are constantly focused on fixing the bottom floor without creating pathways to the middle class. We can do both. We need to raise the standards on all fronts and be more ambitious for what we can actually accomplish.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

First off, we need to invest WAY more funding into our schools. We’re way overdue for a capital gains and income tax. At least one of them has to pass sooner rather than later.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. The legislative path is for my party to be more bold and stand up to the wealthy.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes I would vote for it.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

Not going to give an uninformed answer so I can’t give you an exact number. But I can say we are not spending enough. We need to prioritize these methods of transportation for the benefit of all of us.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

The immediate impact would be seen in reducing trips. Increasing access to public transportation would reduce congestion, emissions, and accidents. Eliminating fares would help with this.

Sharlett Mena

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

In 2008, we saw the government once again rely on notions of “trickle down economics”. Trickle down economics never has, and never will work. We cannot make the same mistake again. Washington has the most regressive tax system in the nation, with the lowest earners paying almost 18 percent of their income in taxes and the wealthiest paying just 3 percent (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Washington). While this is bad in the best of times, we cannot continue to tax people into poverty for state revenue. We need relief for our families, and we need to close tax loopholes to ensure corporations and executives are paying their fair share. We need a wealth tax, capital gains tax, and a carbon fee. It’s not right that community health centers and public schools are battling for funding scraps while the wealthy pay almost nothing. To fully fund services and priorities, we will need to generate new, progressive revenue. We must also get people back to work. I support funding clean water and transportation infrastructure projects that create union jobs here at home and move us toward a more sustainable future. I believe we should be bailing out people over corporations.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. It’s time we start recognizing housing as a human right. Rent control as well as “just cause” eviction laws will be a vital tool in our fight to ensure everyone in Washington has secure housing. As a renter myself, I will be a champion for renters’ rights in the legislature.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state must play a role in creating more eco-friendly, diverse, and accessible communities; we cannot assume the private sector will take on these goals without legislative action. The Growth Management Act was a necessary first step in urban planning in Washington State. However, we cannot continue to sit idly by as our cities continue to sprawl, communities are priced out of their homes, the number of homeless individuals in our state rises, and accessible means of mass transportation remain few and far between. We must act now, and act fast. We need to prioritize putting an end to single-family home zoning, and begin focusing on building affordable housing in conjunction with expanding our transportation system. I will rely on the expertise of urban planners and activists as we begin to legislate these goals.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We need to pass a clean fuel standard, explicitly grant authority to the state to regulate emissions, implement a carbon fee, and expand our public transportation system, and invest in green jobs and commit to a just transition. Finally, we must approach the issue with environmental justice in mind.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

The detrimental effects of historical redlining– like many systemic issues surrounding race– persist today. Though zoning reform is an excellent first step in undoing some of these harms, it is not enough. The government played an integral role in creating this purposeful cycle of segregation, gentrification, and unaffordable housing, it must play an equal role in dismantling it. In the Legislature, I will work with communities and urban planning experts to ensure we are properly addressing these concerns. Along with zoning reform, I plan to advocate for: Housing First policies; aggressive inclusionary housing policy (make affordable housing a mandatory addition to all development projects); reexamining how we allocate tax cuts to developers and its impact on gentrification; remove the ban on rent control in Washington State; and implementing a wealth tax to fund the creation of union built social housing.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

I understand what it is like to work against the odds. I come from a family of immigrant farmworkers. I did not speak any English when I started school. It was hard, but with a little help from public services and a lot of hard work, I became the first person in my family to attend and graduate college. Though I am a success story, we are still far from fully and equitably funding schools and closing the opportunity gap. In Washington, the graduation rate for students of color and Native Americans trail behind the national average. If we want to achieve 100 percent graduation, we need to prioritize education. We must continue to invest in: early learning; smaller class sizes; professional development opportunities and training for teachers (especially in racial competency); and mental and behavioral health counselors. To fund these goals, we must not only create more progressive revenue for the state through means like a wealth tax, but ensure that funding is equitably distributed.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. I support an income tax but our primary tax reform goals must be to implement a capital gains tax and a wealth tax, all with healthy household exemptions. Wealth taxes are already legal in our state’s constitution so its legislative path, though still difficult, is more straightforward than the path for an income tax. We must also close tax loopholes that allow businesses like Amazon to pay so little.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Absolutely. The transportation sector is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. While the state has made strides in combating climate change through bills like “100 percent clean,” we will not meet our new, ambitious goals reduction targets without addressing transportation emissions. Additionally, I support granting the Department of Ecology the authority it needs to implement its Clean Air Rule. Finally, we must continue to build coalitions with other states and team up to meet emissions reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement. Climate change is a global problem. Yes, we have to do our part, but we cannot defeat this challenge alone.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

We need congestion relief. The population in this area has increased over the past several years and is indicated to keep growing. Anyone who has driven to Sea-Tac airport on I-5 understands there are too many cars on the road. Highway expansion, expressways, and bridges, can help alleviate some traffic congestion, but we need to shift our primary focus and investments to public transit options to get more cars off the road. I cannot predict exact percentages, but in office I would be a champion for investing in vehicle alternatives.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Both. We are currently seeing significant traffic reduction which has helped reduce air pollution. I am hopeful that organizations will continue to encourage remote working after we recover. However, people have to get to school, doctor’s appointments, and more. We need to continue to invest in clean, robust public transit.

Bob Hasegawa

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Austerity is not the answer, in fact it’s an exacerbator for recession. This crisis provides an opportunity to push for broad systems changes. Primarily, addressing the disparate impact of under-funding our social safety nets in favor of austerity economics driven by the corporatization of government. Our state’s “go-to” economic development strategy is giving corporate tax breaks under the theory benefits will trickle down to the masses; a losing strategy that cuts into the state’s ability to fund things we all need. We have an opportunity now to reform our revenue structure to make it more equitable, sustainable, and reliable.  Then we must get back to using state funds to build an entire ecosystem that supports people, which is our greatest economic development weapon, and is enticing for innovative businesses to locate and thrive here. That means investing is a world-class education system starting from early childhood, best educated and prepared workforce, most creative thinkers, best healthcare system that covers everyone, best housing for all, new strategic economic development initiatives including urban planning and growth management system reforms, with a world class transportation system to support it. Currently, we can’t even maintain the ecosystem and infrastructure we have, let alone develop it for future needs and generations because we have no way to finance it. A publicly owned state bank is a cornerstone for that change because it opens so many opportunities for us to pursue by dramatically increasing our public financing capacity, and keeping our tax dollars in Washington and leveraging them to benefit our entire state, rather than generate profits for Wall Street.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. But, voting to end a ban on rent control and then having to pass rent control is a simplistic solution that doesn’t cure the underlying problem, which is there is inadequate supply of housing to offset demand.  The solution is to build massive amounts of PUBLIC housing.  But not in the old sense of “the projects.”  Rather, we can build public housing communities that are diverse in every sense–racially, mixed income, multi-generational, mixed use facilities with storefronts, small businesses, maybe even light manufacturing, community school classrooms, retail, community hubs, social services, green spaces, mixed ownership of units (while the public retains ownership of the land), etc.  Of course it all gets back to financing capacity, which is where the public bank comes in.  We’ve been lulled into a sense that developers will solve our housing shortage and homelessness crisis.  They will not, because it’s not in their best interest to do so. They want profits and high values relative to investment costs come from a shortage of supply.  We need to get back to a public housing paradigm as the solution.  Only the public can build sufficient housing supply to keep costs “affordable,” however one defines that. 

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

#1-STOP selling off public land to developers. We need to build huge amounts of public housing, and we need the land to build it on. For example, we cannot condone selling off acres of Yesler Terrace to developers, which is some of the most valuable land in Seattle. I believe land use reform is key to addressing inadequate housing supply near jobs, which stems from the greed and profits of developers who have successfully changed the housing paradigm from public housing to “affordable” housing (as described above).

The answer to this question is interrelated to my answer to the second question below.  Briefly, we should look at our overall strategic master plan for economic development and growth management.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We need a social justice focused EverGreen New Deal.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Our growth management strategy hasn’t worked because it has created centers of extremely high density and wealth in economic magnet areas which has negative ripple effects of gentrification and displacement throughout the region.  The ripple effect is magnified for poor people and people of color. With growing income inequality, wealthy workers live in close proximity to their jobs while others are forced to move to more “affordable” places and commute.  All workers are finding it increasingly difficult to live near their jobs. We could solve homelessness, keep housing costs down, create thousands of jobs, eliminate gentrification, and resolve a big part of our transportation problem by building sufficient amounts of public housing as I envisioned above, which is close proximity to people’s jobs.

We also need to distribute economic development opportunities in other areas around the state to take the pressure off the core central Puget Sound area, especially South Lake Union.  The rest of the state is clamoring for economic development opportunities.  These types of strategically designed and located economic development zones when connected by a world class transportation infrastructure (like high speed rail) can spread prosperity around the state to places like Moses Lake, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and southwest Washington, Bellingham, etc. and take the growth pressure off of South Lake Union and central Puget Sound areas.

Of course it gets back to financing capacity, which is why we need a public bank.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

I’ve been a long time fighter for strong, equitable public education in the Legislature.  Last session, I passed 3 bills education equity bills through the Senate: SB 6066 requires OSPI to provide ethnic studies materials for all grades, including K-6, SB 6138 provides support and mentorship to beginning educators of underrepresented communities, and SB 6047 works to ensure educators can advocate for their students, and that all students will receive the support they need.  That said however, this is a broad systems level problem that cannot be solved by itself.  Look at the work of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee for their work and recommendations.  It’s not just about grades and classrooms, but also the entire ecosystem that supports education–addressing issues like homelessness, hunger, poverty, and income inequality generally, et al.  As a lifelong economic and social justice organizer and one of only seven people of color in the Senate, I try to keep an eye on an expansive portfolio for disparate impacts.  I have a responsibility to all people of color and underrepresented communities in our political system to amplify their voices, and help the Legislature see through a racial equity and social justice lens on all legislation.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. Our current coronavirus crisis is actually a once in a lifetime opportunity for systems change with revenue reform at the top of the list.  Yes, I support a progressive net income tax.  I do not support a flat or gross income tax.  We need the ability to force wealthy employers and individuals to pay their fair share to support the society that created their wealth for them.  Most small businesses I’ve talked with will quickly tell you they’d prefer a net income tax over the current gross income tax system because with a net income tax, you don’t pay tax unless you’re actually making money, whereas with the gross income tax you pay on every transaction whether or not you actually make any money.  Comprehensive progressive tax reform will help all small businesses grow and thrive, and their jobs along with them.  A state bank is an integral part of revenue reform because it will not only raise revenue without raising taxes, but it’s also about how we put progressive revenue to work for the people.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)
The key will be in the execution of that platform to ensure equitable outcomes and impacts, and live up to the environmental justice goals of the platform without placing disparate burdens on people of color, poor people and working families.  The bill you refer to last year was flawed, allowing the Dept. of Ecology to make all the rules with the authority to automatically implement them.  Lobbyists would then have the most influence without democratic accountability to the people.  It is the democratically elected and accountable members of the Legislature’s responsibility to make the law, and the agency’s responsibility to make the rules to implement the law.  We cannot allow unaccountable agencies to make the law and the Legislature should not abdicate that responsibility to an agency.  Clean fuel standards will undoubtedly most negatively impact those I referenced above who’ve been displaced and gentrified from proximity to their jobs, and have to travel the farthest because of that, especially without adequate public transportation.  The route to meeting our climate goals whatever it is, must have equity, and everyone in it to fix it.  An EverGreen New Deal that plans for the just transition is key, and a public bank to finance it is another.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

This problem is best addressed by not needing so much commuter transportation to begin with, i.e. creating sufficient housing supply near where the jobs are.  Low wage workers who’ve been displaced or gentrified are unlikely to walk or bike from Auburn to Seattle, or even Tukwila or Renton for that matter.  We do however need walkable communities. Transit service needs serious improvement to get folk to where then need to go quickly and reliably, including to their jobs, to community hubs and central business districts, and between central business districts (light rail), and between economic development hubs distributed around the state (high speed rail). This requires a rethinking of our strategic growth management and economic development plans.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

I don’t understand the high focus on personal vehicles, the solutions for which are always disproportionately negative against those who can least afford it.  Yes, transportation is 40% of the pollution problem, but much of that is also commercial, which always gets their carve outs from the solution.  Everyone must participate in the solution, including the other 60% of polluters.

Zack Hudgins

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

The recessions of both 2003, and 2008 taught me that government programs benefit the most needy, and cuts hurt the most needy. Progressive taxes could help smooth the sharpness of these cuts, but those in need will be impacted the most by budget shortfalls. Strong organizing by people can help set priorities even in difficult economic times. This Covid-19 crisis could be an opportunity to push through broader health care reform – to cover everyone, transform how we work – to allow smaller city footprints, and prove we can achieve climate goals, and inform our family centered work / life balance – to push for more policies like paid family leave, and pay equity. Investments in areas like a strong work force, digital access and equity, and green energy can offer us ways of bringing down costs and helping more people in the future. A better quality of life coupled with progressive taxes could help us smooth out the ups and downs of the sales tax dependent revenue streams, while building out a growth focused economic future.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. I think local jurisdictions should have the opportunity to experiment with new policies.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Since most land use decisions are made at the local level, it is difficult for the state to sit down with a city map and decide where the density should go. The state can however try to set policy guidelines around values such as transit oriented development, density, the SEPA processes, walkability, and progressive ideas of financing and general affordability. The state can encourage Tax Increment Financing programs, asset building programs (things I support and have voted for), and renter stabilization laws (which I have voted for), like longer notice requirements, discrimination prohibitions on income source, and longer times to pay large costs like deposits. The state can allow more financing options for localities and developers, and mandate rates of affordable units in market rate housing. The state can leverage public investments in things like parks to attract private investment – or leverage public investments to spread out the prosperity so that the problems of prosperity don’t turn the central Puget Sound area into another unaffordable San Francisco.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

I support the WA Conservation Voters Evergreen Futures campaign which pulls together climate action with goals of equity, economic development, and transportation, land use, and green energy. It includes goals such as adding climate to GMA, using an equity lens, actively sequestering carbon pollution, and working on the built environment.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

This is such an enormous problem and a huge challenge that absolutely cannot be addressed in under 200 words. We need to continue to fight towards eliminating segregation and disinvestment that leads to poverty, poor jobs, weakened school systems, displacement and unaffordable housing in our communities. We need to include communities in the visioning and implementation of changed neighborhoods, we need to hire locally and decenter the discussion from a rapid development model. We need to establish many types of adequate and decent housing options. We need focus on equitable development models focused on fighting displacement – community land trusts, displacement free zones, affordable housing requirements in development, local hires, local visions, local housing trust funds. We can stabilize renters, control land use, help people build income and assets, and use different financing strategies. I will continue to acknowledge, and educate about, and fight against systems that exclude groups of people and block their entry into the middle class, and block the building of generational wealth. Access to good jobs with good benefits as well as educational opportunities are one path forward, as well as a clear vocal contesting of the current system.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

I am a strong advocate and have a strong record of supporting equality and equity in educational access from kindergarten through higher education. Every child should have the opportunity to become their best selves. I have supported tax increases to fund our McCleary obligations, I fought as the prime sponsor of the Dream Act to expand educational opportunities to undocumented kids who graduated from our high schools, I supported smaller class sizes, and fully funding our state need grant. I was the prime sponsor of breakfast after the bell that made sure kids were ready to learn each day. I will continue to fight to close the opportunity gap, and pull resources away from a per child funding methodology towards a need based formula. My kid goes to the local public school, where poverty, homelessness, and a clothes bank in the school are realities that we need to solve.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. I believe we need a more progressive tax structure. I think an income tax would have to come from the voters to be sustained into law. If it comes only from the legislature, I think there would be distrust of the policy and it could be overturned at the referendum ballot box. I think residents of Washington as a whole would benefit from a better, different and progressive tax structure. I have supported a capital gains tax, and exploring the idea of taxing consumer data under our digital goods or advertising structures.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

As an incumbent in the House. I have voted for and do support a clean fuel standard as a step towards meeting our climate goals.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

More. Between the 18th amendment and Tim Eyman, not enough goes to automobile alternatives. We should strive for between 20% and 50%.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Both – why a trade off? Encourage walkable communities, and electrified vehicles.

Sarah Reyneveld

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Washington has the most regressive state tax system in the nation. The legislature is facing a $7 billion-dollar revenue shortfall between now and 2023. The time to make our tax structure fairer is now. Our economic recovery is in part dependent on the legislature’s ability to fix our upside tax code and make the wealthiest Washingtonians pay their fair share. We cannot tackle our incoming budget crisis from the “cut” side – we have to tax the wealthiest Washingtonians and big corporations to raise revenue. The 2008 recession highlighted how the super-wealthy continue to expand their wealth while working families struggled to keep a roof over their heads. I will fight to raise revenue progressively and fairly to save our school budgets, healthcare budgets, and other essential services for all of our community members. As a legislator I will commit to working with my colleagues to pass new progressive revenue next session and invest in vital safety net programs and infrastructure that will grow our economy.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. The 36th District has struggled with housing affordability for years which has compounded our homeless crisis. I will advocate for solutions to address this crisis including lifting the prohibition on rent control to give localities the authority to stabilize our housing market.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The State should be a leader in reforming land use while also allowing for some community flexibility. I generally support legislation statewide which would enact land-use reform to allow greater density and make sure that more options are available for homebuyers and renters such as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), duplexes, triplexes, and quads, particularly around transit-oriented development. I believe that the state should prioritize the accessory dwelling unit legislation introduced by Rep. Gregerson as it is an important first step towards removing statewide restrictions, creating greater density, and addressing the climate crisis.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Washington State must embrace a Green New Deal by making a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy by: Increasing public transportation options and making our transportation sector cleaner; Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings; Holding corporate polluters accountable by imposing a fee on carbon.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

I believe housing is a human right and as a legislator I will fight to invest in real solutions to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification and unaffordable housing in our cities. My top strategies will be: Keeping people housed by increasing tenant protections such as requiring a just cause to evict tenants and expanding rental assistance; Lifting the prohibition on rent control to allow cities to cap rent and/or passing rental stabilization legislation similar to Oregon which would limit rental increases to 7 percent per year plus inflation; Growing the supply of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing by investing in Housing Trust Fund and giving local jurisdictions the authority to create more affordable and workforce housing through expanding taxation/bonding authority to tax businesses, including, but not limited to Rep. Macri’s legislation to provide counties with authority to tax businesses and generate more revenue to construct housing and provide rental assistance; Ending the criminalization of poverty, homelessness, supportive housing, treatment beds with wrap-around services, diversion programs, and more therapeutic treatment alternatives to incarceration; Passing progressive tax reform and reduce dependence on property tax which is disproportionately burdensome to working families and fixed-income seniors.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

With state revenues in sharp decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must redouble our efforts to invest more in our public schools, not less. For too long school districts across the state have been forced to rely on voter-approved tax levies to supplement a lack of basic education funding which disproportionately impacts working families and marginalized communities. This must end. In the legislature I will fight for: Ample, equitable and sufficient revenue for basic education; Supportive classrooms with reduced class sizes and sufficient teachers, mental health counselors, nurses, librarians, family support workers, and other support staff consistent with the Washington voter-approved Initiative 1351; Increased funding for social-emotional learning, the arts, and supports for student learning tailored to the needs and learning styles of the individual child; Fully fund special education, including an increased special education multiplier, and removal of the cap from special education services; Establishing a culturally inclusive ethnic studies curriculum that invites community input throughout the state; Promoting equity, combating racism and discrimination in our schools, and closing the opportunity gap; Keeping students out of the criminal justice system by ending the school to prison pipeline by passing legislation to stop criminalizing status offenses such as truancy.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. I will work with my colleagues in the legislature and leaders such as Rep. Noel Frame and Senator Joe Nguyen who serve on the tax reform workgroup to bring a progressive income tax proposal with reductions in sales tax and property tax forward to the legislature for a vote. If it fails, I want to help build a coalition to pass an initiative. Either of these would be challenged at the courts, but it is more likely now according to my favorite law school professor Hugh Spitzer that if the legislature enacted an income tax it would be upheld.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, as an environmental champion and citizen advocate I advocated for the passage of the Clean Fuel Standards legislation in 2019 and 2020. Passage of a Clean Fuel Standard is a top priority of mine and I will advocate and fight to ensure that this bill comes up for a vote and is passed into law next session. A long-time environmental advocate I am the only candidate in this race to be endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters who have championed this legislation.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

A much larger percentage than is currently allocated! The vast majority of our state’s transportation budget funds the operation of state transportation agencies, construction and preservation of state highways and roads. Washington State funding sources such as the gas tax do not support investment in alternatives to cars because they are constrained. This needs to change. The state is at a critical turning point. In order to invest in transit, biking and pedestrian infrastructure our state must pass sustainable, equitable and environmentally friendly revenue sources that won’t burden low-income and marginalized communities.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Both, but my priority would be reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles. I will achieve this by passing a more sustainable, equitable and environmentally friendly revenue source to invest in public transportation such as an: Air Quality Surcharge fee Road Usage Charge Carbon taxes/cap and trade.

Andrea Caupain

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

I believe we need to ensure that bailouts and government assistance is going to those who most need it: small businesses and low-income families. We don’t need another bailout like in 2008 which saved only big corporations and did little to help struggling families who lost their homes.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. With 2% vacancy rates, and rising rents, working families have been pushed out of communities which were previously middle-class. High rental prices have pushed families out of the communities they were born and raised in. Removing the ban on rent control is an important step to addressing displacement of families.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Land-use reform should focus on density and a diversity of housing options. We need more middle- and low-income housing in our single-family home neighborhoods. An increase of duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes increase neighborhood diversity and provide affordable options for young people and working families.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Climate change legislation needs to focus on taxing or capping carbon emissions, transitioning to clean fuels, including public transportation, investing in new green technology and protecting wildlife habitat, especially salmon spawning grounds. I am

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Remove the ban on rent control, increase diversity of housing stock options, invest in permanent supportive housing and public housing.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

Washington State currently has a cap on special education funding for school districts with a special education student population above 13.5%. This is a serious educational inequity because school districts with lower populations of special education students receive more funding and more resources. Regardless of the school district a student attends, all students deserve access to meaningful and successful futures, and that starts with supporting our students with the resources they need.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. I think this will be a hard-fought and long battle for tax reform. We need to start with closing capital gains loopholes, and other tax breaks. Every tax incentive needs to be analyzed for its effectiveness and whether that company is bringing living wage jobs to our community.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I would vote in favor of a clean fuels standard, this is an important step to addressing our climate crisis.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

The state’s transportation budget in incredibly complex and includes funding to repair roads, build new ones and fix culverts. It’s a wide range of projects within the transportation budget, so a percentage would be hard to determine without more familiarity. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to increase alternative forms of transportation.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles is more important because we already have public transit systems which can be expanded to reduce cars on the road. Electric vehicles are important, but will not reduce congestion nor limit the needs to expand transportation infrastructure.

Adam Smith

What housing reforms are necessary at the federal level? How would you achieve them? (200 words or less)

The problems our nation and region faces with unaffordable housing are the result of a complex set of overlapping issues and challenges. Among these are wages not rising enough to keep pace with housing, which has led to too many people being forced to spend over half their paycheck on rent. Additionally, the prioritization of building high-priced units over affordable housing is also a considerable problem. The volume of affordable units does not meet the demand, particularly as our region continues to experience population growth and increasing demand for housing, all-around. Finally, zoning also plays a large and important role. At the federal level, I have supported legislation to raise the minimum wage, as well as the implementation of a task force to understand the full implications of the affordable housing crisis to improve the effectiveness of various federal housing programs. Finally, I am a proud supporter of the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act to modernize and improve our public housing.

Do you support campaign finance reform? If yes, what form and why? (100 words or less)

Yes. I support ending corporate personhood, corporate electioneering, and support regulating money in politics. Corporations are not people, and money is not speech. I support legislation at the federal level to address these concerns; I’ve previously supported the Democracy for All Amendment, which would amend the Constitution to grant Congress the authority to keep corporations from unlimited spending in elections, and the Government By the People Act to reverse Citizens United and establish a new campaign finance system. I also supported the For the People Act of 2019, to reduce the influence of big money in politics.

How do we ensure everyone in America has quality health care and can afford it? (200 words or less)

The Affordable Care Act was an important step in bringing health care to more Americans, but we must now do more to ensure that regardless of income, job status, or location, Americans have access to affordable and reliable care. This is why I have co-sponsored legislation such as the Medicare for All Act (H.R. 1384), which would establish a universal health care system. We have to do better as a country to make sure that everyone who needs care can access it.

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

As we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring that our fiscal priorities are focused on assisting working and middle-class families is paramount. The impact of the pandemic will not be felt equally by everyone – low-income individuals, minorities, frontline workers, and vulnerable populations will be more significantly impacted economically and in health outcomes. Our response must help address these underlying inequities. I strongly believe we need to reform our tax code to make it more progressive and to benefit workers and families. Our tax code has been slanted to benefit corporations and wealthy individuals. That is why I voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 and tax cut bills brought to the House floor in 2001, 2003, and 2012. I am currently a co-sponsor of the Wall Street Tax Act to impose a .1 percent tax on the purchase of stocks, bonds, and other derivatives. We need to comprehensively reform our tax code now.

To get your vote, what must a transportation funding package include? (100 words or less)

We desperately need to address the infrastructure crisis in our country. I will continue to advocate for priorities including easing rail-road congestion, increasing opportunities for mass transit and public transportation, and improving our roads. Our telecommunications and electrical power networks are in need of considerable investment to ensure everyone has access to reliable services. Overlying each of these areas, however, is that we must make infrastructure investments that help put us on a path to addressing climate change. Most importantly, this means investments in infrastructure that move us away from our dependence on fossil fuels.

What should be the federal strategy to solve homelessness nationwide? (200 words or less)

It’s crucial that local governments restructure their zoning rules, promote affordable housing development, and ensure that workers are paid a wage that allows for a decent life in even our high-cost area. As a federal representative, I am committed to serving as a strong partner to our local government leaders, fighting for better pay for lower-paid workers, and securing federal resources to help with the housing challenges we face. I also strongly support the federal Opening Doors program, which provides nearly $6 billion for federal agencies and grant programs to combat homelessness and help people facing housing insecurity. I also support many initiatives that help people who are experiencing homelessness, including: the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, the Health Care for the Homeless Program, the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) Program, the Grants for the Benefit of Homeless individuals (GBHI) Program, and Services in Supportive Housing (SSH) Grants, among several other programs.

Is a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths achievable nationwide and should we make it a national priority? If not, why? If yes, what do we need to do to get there? (150 words or less)

Yes; traffic deaths are preventable. We must make a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths nationwide a national priority. Helping state and local agencies access the funding they need to spearhead initiatives aimed at eliminating traffic-related deaths is a critical component. These initiatives can help identify promising solutions and serve as models for communities in the rest of the country.

Do you support a Green New Deal? What does a Green New Deal look like to you? (150 words or less)

Yes; I am a proud co-sponsor of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, H. Res. 109, in Congress. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. The path to addressing climate change means drastically reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, investing heavily in the deployment of renewable energy, strengthening policies that ensure clean air and water, and spurring economic growth with green energy programs. Additionally, it is vital that we address underlying inequities by looking at climate change policies through an environmental justice lens and ensure we are supporting workers transitioning sectors during this transformation.

How should your Congressional caucus wield power? Is the wiser strategy to gravitate toward a political center or define a strong position away from it and pull people along? And are there reforms you support to level the playing field for groups you see as disenfranchised? (200 words or less)

It is crucial that we work to ensure equality of opportunity for all people. I am proud to support progressive legislation that will move this priority forward. While we continue to push for these types of policies, we also cannot let the balance of political power get in the way of doing everything we can to enact progressive policies in the short-term. As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, I was proud to champion inclusion of 12 weeks of paid family leave for all federal employees in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. This is a momentous step forward in providing millions of workers with benefits they deserve. Reforms are needed to support leveling the playing field for underrepresented groups. I’m supportive of restoring the Voting Rights Act and protecting anti-discrimination laws in accessing housing and credit. We must completely overhaul our criminal justice system to make it equitable and to ensure that people of color are not unjustly targeted by the police or unjustly treated by our justice system. Finally, education and income inequality are areas that we must address. In order to address the wealth gap, we must prevent racism and all other forms of bigotry.

Joe Fitzgibbon

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Deep cuts in state and local government spending exacerbated, deepened, and lengthened the 2008-10 recession and created long-term costs for Washingtonians and for state government. One example of this is the deep cuts in the behavioral health system for which we are still paying the price, both financially and with the human toll. We should work to avoid deep cuts to critical public needs like K-12 education, behavioral health, and natural resources. Because the state is not able to run a fiscal deficit as the federal government is, that means we need to raise revenue in order to avoid these cuts. I support a combination of revenue solutions that includes highly progressive revenue streams, like a capital gains tax and increasing the estate tax, and increased taxes on products that cause societal harm, like fossil fuels and alcohol. I strongly oppose quick fixes and short term solutions like skipping pension payments, which only defer costs to future generations.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. I support statewide rent control when paired with reforming discriminatory land use laws and increasing housing capacity. San Francisco’s experience shows that rent control without increased housing supply can harm many renters. I support a package like Oregon’s – allowing duplexes and townhouses in cities statewide tied to statewide rent stabilization.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state should mandate that local governments eliminate barriers to dense development in areas where the infrastructure exists to support housing growth – particularly transit infrastructure. These barriers include restrictive single-family zoning codes and expensive parking requirements. When mandates on local governments are politically out of reach, I support stronger incentives, including eligibility for grant funding and protection from SEPA and GMA appeals, for cities that make policy changes to support housing growth. I prime sponsored two bills that passed into law this biennium making some of these changes: HB 1923 in 2019 and HB 2343 in 2020. Also, as chair of the House Environment & Energy Committee, I brokered a compromise that secured the necessary support for SB 6617 to pass, restricting the ability of cities to require off-street parking for accessory dwelling units. In the next biennium, I will work to adopt a mandatory climate element as part of the Growth Management Act and to strengthen and add teeth to the housing element of the GMA.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We need both an economy-wide carbon price and sector-specific policies in each sector of emissions. We were successful with sector policies in electricity and buildings this biennium but not successful with transportation, the most emitting sector. Our biggest next steps should be a clean fuel standard and a cap-and-trade program.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

We should reform discriminatory single-family zoning laws, use public dollars to invest in housing that is more affordable than the market will provide, and empower more households to live car-free by investing in transit and safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Several recent studies show that increased housing capacity counter-intuitively reduces displacement rather than increases it, because housing prices grow more slowly in areas that allow housing growth and enable more low-income residents to remain in their homes. We also need better state strategies for investing in infrastructure that supports housing, such as by resuming investments in the Public Works Assistance Account for things like wastewater infrastructure and significantly increasing multimodal transportation spending.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We are technically in compliance with the Constitution per the Supreme Court. However we have not met the spirit of Article IX, as evidenced by the continued struggle to fund K-12 priorities like getting counselors into all middle schools. To remedy this we must adopt new revenue, as over 50% of state general fund spending already goes to K-12 education and we cannot achieve the necessary level of spending by cutting other general fund priorities. Other steps towards addressing educational inequities can be guided by the recommendations of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight & Accountability Committee, which include expanding social emotional learning, reforming the application of school discipline (some steps taken in this direction by HB 1541 in 2016), ensuring culturally competent educators, and building better and more authentic opportunities for family engagement, particularly for non-English speaking, immigrant, refugee, and low-income families.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. Businesses increasingly understand the disadvantages that our current tax structure places on small and new businesses. Support from key businesses, building on the support that many businesses expressed for HB 2907 in 2020, will go a long way towards building momentum for an income tax. With the experience of I-1098’s defeat in mind, more work is necessary to communicate and engage with the public about what voters see as the ideal tax structure. In the meantime, we can adopt incremental steps towards a more progressive tax structure with tools like a capital gains tax and increasing the estate tax.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I am the prime sponsor of the clean fuel standard and have voted for it many times. Adopting a clean fuel standard is my top legislative priority.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

We should incrementally increase the share of the state transportation budget that goes towards multimodal needs over time until it reaches at least 40 percent. We need more voters to adopt non-SOV modes of travel in order for this to be realistic for many suburban and rural legislators to vote for, so we must also adopt policy changes to incent drivers to switch to other modes to build momentum for a more balanced transportation budget. We also need revenue streams that are not 18th Amendment-restricted as the gas tax is. One possible solution is a carbon tax on transportation fuels.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

If we are to address the climate crisis with the speed and urgency it requires, we must prioritize both of these policies, and I reject the supposition that we need to choose between them. Cleaner fuels and expanded transportation choices are complementary, not in competition.

David Hackney

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Funding state government with a regressive sales tax is a bad idea. The Covid-19 crisis has caused a significant revenue decrease because retail brick and mortar establishments are closed or have limited goods and services. As a result, the state government must address a 4-7 billion-dollar budget deficit. The state must resist the temptation to implement significant budget cuts and instead should find ways to stimulate the economy. Cutting education, infrastructure, transportation, healthcare and income replacement programs will prolong the recession. Instead, the state must find new sources of revenue like a progressive income tax, a capital gains tax or a new tax on cloud computing to generate revenue and stimulate the economy. Trickle-down economics is a hoax. The economy does not grow when you provide the top 10% with tax cuts and deregulate the economy. The economy grows when hard working Americans have spending power to buy goods and services, which results in businesses expanding and making capital investments and hiring more workers, who have more spending power. The state must use this crisis to adopt bold progressive initiatives that put discretionary income in the hands of working people and use new sources of revenue to finance these initiatives.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. Rent control provides renters protection from predatory practices by landlords. When you purchase a home, you can obtain a 30-year fixed mortgage, which is essentially a stable price for housing. Renters deserve the same protection. Communities should have the authority to decide the best housing policies for their constituents.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state should play a significant role in land use reform. The housing crisis in Washington is the result of a market failure and the state should use land use reform to address this issue. There is an insufficient supply of housing for low-income residents because developers believe they can achieve a higher profit margin on housing projects that sell at a higher price point. The state should acquire land close to transportation hubs and provide tax incentives or direct subsidies to increase the supply of affordable housing. The state should require developers who want access to public land to develop a portion of each project for low-income individuals and families. In addition, the state should require all communities to develop affordable housing and refuse to bow to pressure of NIMBY from residents of more affluent communities. The state should also not attempt to place affordable housing in industrial areas. Promoting affordable housing in industrial areas is a form of environmental racism that exposes communities of color to polluted air and water. The state should focus on land use reform to provide affordable housing on public land in every community and provide economic incentives to encourage development of affordable housing.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

The goal should be the reduction of green-house gases that cause climate change. The components should be an investment in a green new deal that incentivizes clean energy, public transportation, fuel emission standards and carbon trading. The state must use financial incentives like tax policy to finance these initiatives.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Many of the communities of color in the metro Seattle area were formed as the result of intentional discrimination and red lining. Communities of color were restricted to certain areas like the Central District and the International District. As the mega-corporations grow, their very highly paid employees began to colonize traditional communities of color and build luxury homes, apartments and condominiums the original residents cannot afford. Policy makers take advantage by enacting higher property taxes that force lower-income individuals to sell or abandon property their family held for generations. As communities of color are forced out more gentrification occurs increasing the pressure on the last remaining hold outs to sell and move. The way to break this chain is to provide relief from high property taxes to qualifying families and individuals, and rent control to renters in traditional communities of color. In addition, developers in traditional communities of color should be required to provide affordable housing as part of their construction projects. Developers should also be required to negotiate with community groups that represent communities of color for other amenities in exchange for their support of the project.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

First, in this time of crisis, budget cuts for schools should be off limits. Second, the state should commit to providing the resources to meet the educational needs of every student. This includes providing social services so that students come to school prepared to learn. Schools must ensure students have sufficient nutrition and counseling to recover from trauma they may suffer at home. The state must review school policies from a racial equity lense. Racial equity includes eliminating the school to prison pipeline and zero tolerance policies. School should adopt restorative justice and mediation services as an alternative to juvenile justice. One of the many problems with juvenile justice is that is does nothing to resolve the underlying dispute. If the student returns to school, the original dispute is still festering and results in recidivism. Schools must invest in recruiting and retaining minority staff- teachers, counselors, school nurses, advisors and coaches that have the same lived experience as the diverse student population. The state must find revenue to ensure that students in lower-social economic jurisdictions have the same opportunities as there more affluent cohorts. This includes fully funding special education which has yet to be accomplished.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. The path should be less steep in light of the pandemic. Regressive taxes are not only unfair, but they multiply the negative impacts of recessions. The need for additional sources of revenue has never been as clear as now. The current financial collapse rivals the great depression of the early 1930’s, the late 1980’s and 2008. History has taught that austerity programs and trickle-down economics prolong recessions and economic stimulus initiatives help the economy recover faster. The Democrats have a majority in the House, Senate and occupy the Governor’s mansion. The strategy is unity, and pledge to do no harm.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes. In a similar fashion to the pandemic, we need to rely on verified scientific principles to govern public policy. We must make it clear that failure to address climate change will lead to higher costs and irrevocable damage to the environment. First you concentrate on the Democratic majority and you make it a requirement to support clean fuel standards in order to get campaign support. In the same manner, the HDCC would not support a candidate that did not support civil rights, we should treat so-called Democrats who refuse to acknowledge and act on climate change as pariahs. Next we focus on Republicans in swing districts and let them know we will focus on their “flat earth” denial of climate change to voters in a campaign to label them as ignorant and defeat them. The key is to be relentless and not compromise on the future of the planet.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

90%. The time for building and improving roads is over. The future of transportation is to get people out of their cars and on to clean public transportation, safe biking and pedestrian lanes on major thoroughfares. The state still needs to ensure that existing infrastructure is safe. However, the emphasis of the state’s policies as manifested in their budget, is to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the number of cars and commercial trucks on our roads.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

I would prioritize reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles. Currently the production of electricity results in carbon emissions. Using more electric cars will slightly improve but not solve our climate change problem. Fundamentally we need to learn how to promote mass transit and safe lane for cyclists and pedestrians.

Rebecca Parson

What housing reforms are necessary at the federal level? How would you achieve them? (200 words or less)

I support federal investment in millions of green built small housing units subsidized for the homeless, the disabled, low income workers, and others in need. I believe this is a critical part of the Green New Deal. I support a national Tenant’s Bill of Rights requiring just-cause for termination of tenancy, providing public legal counsel in all eviction cases and landlord/tenant disputes, and expanding protections of tenants’ rights to livable housing. I support national rent control and a prohibition on rental deposits. I support a vacancy tax to curb rampant speculation from investors that artificially drives up property value. Housing is a Human Right.

Do you support campaign finance reform? If yes, what form and why? (100 words or less)

Yes. I support a constitutional amendment to publicly finance elections. I support Congressional legislation to ban money in politics. Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo were some of the worst decisions of the modern Supreme Court. Without packing the Supreme Court or at least getting a liberal majority, we can’t eliminate the horrific political abuse of the billionaire class outside of a constitutional amendment. That is going to require a lot of work and I support both working within congress and at the state level to enact actual campaign finance reform in favor of the people.

How do we ensure everyone in America has quality health care and can afford it? (200 words or less)

I am an advocate of the National Improved Medicare For All bill HR1384, and am committed to its passage. Healthcare is a Human Right. I am also a board member of the single payer advocacy group Whole Washington, which has been fighting to bring a single payer healthcare bill that parallels Medicare For All to Washington State via the state legislature or a ballot initiative. It is critical that we transform our healthcare system to be non-profit, taking the dollars out of the pockets of CEOs and shareholders, and putting that money into more facilities and more healthcare staff to ensure all residents can receive the healthcare that they need.

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

It is clear that current prevailing economic wisdom among the political class is wrong. We can see throughout history that the best way to rise out of recession or depression is a massive amount of government spending. When FDR’s administration began to adopt austerity in the early days of the New Deal, it caused another recession, and it was only when the full force of the American economy was converted into wartime production that the Great Depression was overcome. The 2008 crisis had a response that was completely insufficient to truly turn around the recession. We should have bailed out the taxpayers instead of the banks and the major corporations. We need to embrace a Keynesian model of economics instead of the austerity that the political elites have been championing. Each state is woefully underprepared to handle the coming economic crisis and they are lacking the tools that the federal government has. We need to deliver a massive bailout aimed at the citizens and not the major corporations like the current CARES acts have been.

To get your vote, what must a transportation funding package include? (100 words or less)

I believe that in order to increase the livability of our cities and fight climate change, we need to have a massive increase in transportation. We need to subsidize existing rail lines instead of privatizing and require them to maintain a profit. We need to build high speed rail along major transit corridors and help reduce air travel. We need to transition cities away from cars and develop more bus routes and light rail. I also believe that public transit should be fare free to encourage its use and also as a subsidy to low income transit users.

What should be the federal strategy to solve homelessness nationwide? (200 words or less)

We need to build public housing funded by and owned by the government. We need to enact rent control at the federal level. We need to enact a vacancy and speculation tax, since a huge amount of livable properties are just sitting empty for investment. Those properties could be used as public housing. We also need to enact a Medicare For All single payer system since medical bills are a huge cause of homelessness. Nobody should be worried about medical bills in the richest country in the world. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will save money as proven by an ultra-conservative think tank. I support drastically increasing the number of social workers and their pay, and would support legislation that would grant federal funds to local municipalities to do so.

Is a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths achievable nationwide and should we make it a national priority? If not, why? If yes, what do we need to do to get there? (150 words or less)

I have been unaware of Vision Zero until now, so I do not feel comfortable commenting, and have do not have time to effectively research this before your deadline due to other campaign time constraints. I look forward to being able to address this in the future.

Do you support a Green New Deal? What does a Green New Deal look like to you? (150 words or less)

I strongly support a Green New Deal. It is the only proposal put forward so far that will adequately address climate change. The Green New Deal needs to do more than just increasing green technology and green manufacturing. It needs to incorporate climate justice and ensure that all people are treated fairly during the transition. We need a robust transition program for people who are currently employed in the fossil fuel industry that is not condescending like a voucher for coding training. We need to accept that a large amount of people cannot transition like that and need to offer a buyout or some sort of job transfer program instead of just retraining. Any Green New Deal needs to incorporate international justice and recognize the damage that the developed world has done to other countries and we need to help them build up their green infrastructure.

How should your Congressional caucus wield power? Is the wiser strategy to gravitate toward a political center or define a strong position away from it and pull people along? And are there reforms you support to level the playing field for groups you see as disenfranchised? (200 words or less)

Our caucus needs to fight hard for what we believe in. That does not mean triangulating to the center immediately, that means being bold and unyielding. Be willing to walk away from a deal if it’s bad, and to block bills in order to flex the power of our caucus and make sure that the caucus is taken seriously and not just a free vote. It is not good enough to be slightly better than the alternative, we must take seriously the charge of shepherding new generations into a better world and transform the country in way that will allow future generations to be proud. To ease disenfranchisement and promote equity, we must pay reparations to descendants of African slaves, establish direct-democratic community control of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, abolish ICE. grant amnesty to every undocumented person, fully fund the Bureau of Indian Education and strengthen self-determination, a create universal public child care, provide at least 12 weeks of paid family leave to all American workers, and pass the Revitalize Unions Now (RUN) act and federal legislation similar to the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582 in 2019) guaranteeing a living wage.

Kirsten Harris-Talley

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

COVID-19 finds our governments of all levels find themselves working around the clock in emergency mode trying to care for our communities and keep the worst impacts at bay. This pandemic has also illuminated in stark contrast the cracks in our public service system. All the socioeconomic inequalities of our collective society are now viscerally obvious as our neighbors go without work, food, or education. While some are already eyeing budget cuts and austerity measures, we cannot expect to slash and cut our way out of this economic and public health crisis. I firmly believe that COVID-19 presents a generational opportunity in that it will force us to shift the way we see government. Instead of a burden of “red tape”, government is the method through which our society builds and recovers collectively, together. We must commit that lesson to memory and govern in Olympia accordingly. Nothing short of foundational, structural change in government, policy, economics, and society will build the low-carbon future we desperately need. The lessons to learn from COVID-19 are to be bold and unafraid to attack the root causes of suffering, and strengthen the public services we all depend on. Not slash, cut, and defund.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. The 37th LD has a large number of residents who are renters, and we are also ground zero for gentrification and displacement. We deserve rent stabilization policies. We must lift the statewide ban on rent regulation to stop economic evictions and keep families together.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Our state was very forward-looking when we worked to pass the Growth Management Act into law many decades ago. However, our land use policies desperately need updating especially as we stare down a shortening timeline to fight the climate crisis. Every community across our state has an urgent need to build dense, liveable neighborhoods with more types of housing for more types of families. We should reform our land use policies, and I believe that should include key policies such as: legalizing multi-unit dwellings on all residential plots across the state, encouraging transit-oriented developments, and must include anti-gentrification policies like the right to return for residents. We should also include more pedestrian and multi-modal transportation oriented reforms into our land use policy as well. Reforms should prioritize biking, public transit, and de-prioritize the use of single occupancy vehicles.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Progressive revenue reform and taxes on big polluters that funds: • Expanded public transit and bike infrastructure • ST3 completion • New funding for State Housing Trust Fund to build low-carbon social housing • Pollution caps • Change state procurement to buy clean and buy union • Pass the Clean Fuels Standard • Invest in forest health

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

The 37th LD is in so many ways ground zero for all these intersecting issues. We are one of the most diverse districts in the state with a majority of residents identifying as a race other than white. We are also a historically redlined district and we still experience the impacts of segregation, redlining, gentrification, disinvestment, wealth extraction, and the housing crisis. Historically oppressed communities like those in the 37th should be first in line for investments from the state as well. We must center those most impacted within our state policies. Myself and our neighbors have been on the receiving end of these forces, and I am committed to building up our neighborhoods in Olympia – not standing by while gentrification displaces more community members. Some of the top strategies I’m in favor of to stop this destructive cycle are: • Land use reform to build denser, mixed-income neighborhoods • Right to return policies state-wide • Lifting the ban on rent regulation, and rent stabilization policies • Building new, low-carbon social housing in every neighborhood (preferably to passivhaus standards!) • Orient development around transit and multimodal transportation options

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

Our family is a proud public school family with two young kids in the Seattle Public Schools. I am proud to serve on the PTA of the Friends of Hawthorne association and co-chair our Equity Committee. We see and experience the brilliance of public school teachers, staff, faculty, nurses, paraeducators, custodians, food service workers, and bus drivers every single day. There is no question in my mind it is a moral imperative to fully fund education in our state for every single community and school district. I emphatically support full funding of K-12 basic education that includes robust professional compensation and benefits for educators and mental health staff. We must also fund pre-school and childcare that prepares children for school and protects workers. And the investment in post-high school programs – for college and most importantly trades – is the lifeline for our growing and transitioning workforce. Additionally, I will champion: • progressive revenue to fully fund K-12 education • more nursing staff in rural and urban schools • increasing pay for paraeducators • increasing teacher pay and benefits • supporting teachers and staff when they strike • decreasing the technology gap in low-income communities • funding and building free, public wifi so all kids have access


Do you think Washington state should have an income tax?If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. Progressive tax reform has been a passion of mine for over a decade. I served on the All In for Washington coalition and on the Seattle Progressive Revenue Task Force. Our path to progressive income tax is to engage in strong outside/inside strategy with real organizing and mobilization of community members. We must use the power of the public demand to reconstruct our tax system, and we must make it clear what public services it will fund. It won’t be used to give tax breaks to corporations – but instead must be used to fund healthcare, housing, education, and more.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

I absolutely would vote for it. The fact that the Clean Fuels Standard has yet to be passed is honestly quite frustrating. When I serve in the State House I intend to lead on this urgent matter, in addition to championing additional robust climate measures that will make our state meet our emissions goals and lead with equity for oppressed communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

A lot more than is currently, that’s for sure! We have to re-prioritize our spending to public transportation, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure. Our own transportation leaders in our state government have told us that we cannot widen roads any more, it’s impossible and impractical. Considering we are effectively at capacity for car infrastructure, we need to significantly balance our state’s transportation budget to get folks out of the cars and into fast, frequent, affordable public transit and bike/pedestrian modes of transport.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing the number of trips in personal vehicles must be our priority. Prioritizing personal EVs does nothing for congestion or traffic. We must invest in policies and infrastructure that actually gets folks out of their cars and onto public transit or bikes/their own bodies. It’s healthier for our communities.

Noel Frame

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Avoid cuts at all costs. Cutting state budgets hurts our economic recovery; it does not help. We are still recovering from the cuts of 2008. This time we need to raise revenue and access funds in the Budget Stabilization Account. I think some cuts are inevitable because the revenue loss is enormous, but we should limit it as much as possible.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. Because rent is too high! Allowing completely market-driven pricing on housing has resulted in a housing crisis for our region. Housing is a human right. While I believe landlords should be able to cover their costs and make some profit, that does not outweigh the basic, fundamental needs of humans.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

The state should mandate changes where local governments have been completely obstinate. I do think, however, the approach we have taken the last couple sessions of incentivizing local governments to make land use changes, particularly around urban housing density, is working and we should continue that collaboration. The planning grants for cities have made a huge difference for the ability to move forward. I know this as a legislator, but also a community development and planning consultant in my non-legislative capacity working for a firm that is facilitated several housing action plans across the state that were a direct result of the passage of HB 1923 in the 2019 session.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

“Green” building and retrofits; transit investments; low carbon fuel standard; housing density; eliminating fossil fuel industry activity in the state (with a just transition for workers); environmental justice for disproportionately affected communities (people of color, refugees, immigrants, low-income, etc.) to mitigate past harms and build resiliency for the future.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

As mentioned above, continued collaborations like HB 1923 (urban housing density) that give cities incentives and options, but open to statewide mandates for truly egregious behavior and roadblocks. To truly address the legacy of red-lining (segregation) and now gentrification resulting in displacement of residents and businesses, we’ll need a constitutional amendment to eliminate the uniformity clause that prevents us from targeted tax relief to right the wrongs of the past. With this overturned, we could extend the types of property exemptions we allow to low-income seniors and the disabled to legacy businesses, those businesses owned by people of color, etc.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We are complying with our constitutional duties because our duty is defined as fully funding basic education. But basic education is not equitable education. We need to go above and beyond to overcome inequities, and that will take not only more resources, but targeted strategies to meet those needs. One of the most pressing issues in my mind is updating the funding formula to ensure a more realistic and necessary allocation of the behavioral and physical health professionals we need in the schools including counselors, social workers, nurses, librarians, and more. Those wrap-around services are critical, especially for children who are low-income, have significant adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), have a developmental or intellectual disability, etc.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. My strategy for structural tax reform was outlined in HB 2117. I STRONGLY encourage to read it! I successfully passed first two years of this work as a budget proviso. I am the Co-Chair of the Tax Structure Work Group. When we arrive to the 2021 session, we’ll have the best data we’ve had in 20 years on alternatives to our current tax code, and I hope we’ll act on it. That would be 2 years ahead of schedule, but then COVID-19 happened. This data includes models of a flat and progressive personal income tax.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

I voted for it twice and am a co-sponsor. Your problem is in the Senate.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

Great question that I don’t have an exact answer to, but the general answer is: a heck of a lot more than now! We need to change the constitution, so the gas tax is not so tightly restricted to road projects. That would go a long way toward helping to address this. We also need an entirely new revenue structure for transportation because even the gas tax won’t save us here.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

If you’re making me choose, I think it’s electrifying personal vehicles and the strategy would be continued investment in infrastructure, so folks have the confidence to finally leave gas-powered vehicles knowing that charge stations aren’t far way.

T’wina Nobles

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

When we respond to the COVID-19 crisis, our fiscal priorities must be focused on ensuring that working families and small businesses get back on their feet. If we continue to bail out large corporations (or banks as was the case in 2008), we are creating barriers to widespread economic recovery. We must also consider revenue sources that do not unduly burden working families. I will work with the Urbanist to ensure that our funding source is equitable and does not require more of our working families. We should make sure we are considering the various loopholes in our tax system that unfairly benefit big corporations and special interests. I am also open to new forms of revenue that may ask our wealthiest citizens to pay a little more in taxes

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. I would support ending the ban on rent control because we need to create affordable housing solutions. I would invite community members, housing advocates, landlords, and developers to the table so that we create a sustainable housing policy following the end of the ban. Localities should be able to decide the best policies for their citizens based on the conditions on the ground.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

In enacting land use reform, it is the role of the state to ensure that all reforms are equitable. Moreover, all reforms must be environmentally just and created with the health of communities in mind. Additionally, land use reform ought to prioritize meeting pressing needs such as housing affordability. This may look like advocating for multifamily housing and duplexes to allow more folks to be able to reach homeownership.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Equity, justice, and creating pathways for workers should be the major components of a climate package. As we transition to blue/green industries, we need to create opportunities for just transitions. This includes advocating for funding for apprenticeship programs for workers in carbon intensive industries.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

We need to create more pathways for homeownership in Washington state. In order to create more pathways, we need to advocate for more affordable housing options. This looks like advocating for legislation like Senate Bill 6536 in order to create avenues for multi household homes/duplexes. When there are restrictions that ensure that communities stay single-family, we are creating communities that are exclusive and unattainable for many. By allowing for more density in our communities, we will allow for more equity and provide solutions to housing affordability and gentrification.Advocating for more affordable housing options will also enable us to work toward closing the racial wealth gap. Home ownership is a significant way that Americans accumulate generational wealth. Due to redlining and other racist practices, there have been less opportunities for African Americans and folks of color in general to acquire homes. By addressing this fundamental issue of affordable housing options, more community members will be able to ascend into home ownership.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

I am a former educator, PTA mom, and twice elected University Place School Board Member. I ran for the school board because my experience in education showed me there was a need for radically equitable and inclusive schools in our communities. I knew that I could step up and meet these needs. On the University Place School Board I work to make sure every child has an equitable opportunity to succeed. For example, today I am prioritizing educational equity as a University Place School Board Director by ensuring that all families have the technology they need to complete at home schooling. I have also been a strong advocate for equity and inclusion by pressing our school administrators and the school board to consider how we can bring more diverse content to our student body in our core classes and required reading materials. Once elected, my roadmap will be to continue to ask tough questions to ensure we are always moving toward more inclusive schools. Washington state can comply with its constitutional duties regarding education by taking a complete look at the ways in which schools are currently inequitable serving students.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

 I am in favor of fixing our regressive tax system and believe that Washington state should have a tax system that reduces the burden on working families and asks big corporations and the wealthy few to pay their fair share. I will work with the Urbanist and other expert organizations to come up with a legislative path that is equitable.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I would vote for a clean fuels bill.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

I would work with the Urbanist and other organizations to come up with the right percentage. I am an advocate for finding transportation solutions that are both equitable and environmentally just. I want to see the legislature prioritize transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

We should prioritize equitable solutions that benefit the greatest number of community members. As a state government, that may look like prioritizing sustainable community transportation options to reduce the number of trips made in personal vehicles ahead of assisting community members with electrifying personal vehicles.

Don Hewett

What housing reforms are necessary at the federal level? How would you achieve them? (200 words or less)

Affordable housing is a requirement for our society to do well. Housing prices have skyrocketed while our incomes have not gained much. As a result, home ownership is dropping. With our recent covid19 crisis, this has caused many job losses and this will change what is needed for our housing reforms. There are also many issues such as foreign purchases of property as investments which are not occupied. In many cities such as Seattle this is inflating prices dramatically. Regulation at the federal level will probably have little real affect on this, most of this issue is local with the cities themselves. Areas such as Seattle (and other areas) need to increase the amount of affordable housing available and stop taxing people so badly that they cannot afford housing.

Do you support campaign finance reform? If yes, what form and why? (100 words or less)

Yes. I support campaign finance reform. I don’t feel that the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission finding by the U.S. Supreme court was in the best interest of the American public. It allows “big money” to influence our political decisions. All politicians are voted in by the public to represent the people. We are a country of the people, by the people, for the people. This decision allows undo power by large donor groups to cause or politicians to represent that group. All politics should be driven by “grass roots”. That is why I am not willing to accept large donations from these large donor groups.

How do we ensure everyone in America has quality health care and can afford it? (200 words or less)

Affordable health care is paramount for any society. We want ourselves and all of our neighbors to have a healthy and productive life, for them and for us. I think that we cannot abandon the ACA (Affordable Care Act – Obama Care). We need to fix this. As an engineer all of my life my job has been to fix what is broken. The issue with the ACA is that much money was made available and all of the pigs came running to the trough. There were no provisions to keep this from happening. What is needed now is to first audit the system and figure out where the money is going. Then, we need to work to address these abuses in the system. We still need to make certain (allow) private insurance to thrive in the market as well. The ACA needs to be a stop gap for those who cannot afford insurance. After all, we want all of us to have good health. The private health system is also being financially abused by the hospitals, drug companies, and many more. The abuses will be discovered as the ACA system is audited. Find the problem, then fix it.

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

This is a hot issue with me. This is really more of a state issue than a federal issue. The state should have made sure that we were ready for a pandemic such as this. It is not as if it was unexpected. How many movies, articles, and other materials have you seen about the upcoming pandemic? When will the next pandemic occur? It will, and probably in the next few years. Our state should have been ready with the necessary medical equipment in store to handle this. We will still need the same equipment such as ventilators, protective equipment for the next one. It was the state’s responsibility to be ready for this. We were not. Why, because the money was spent…… On items such as a 3.3 billion dollar tunnel in downtown Seattle. If only 1/10 of the money spent on that tunnel was spent on being ready for this pandemic, we would not have had to shut down our economy and would have been able to treat all who were sick.

To get your vote, what must a transportation funding package include? (100 words or less)

We spend too much money on local transportation that is not heavily used. We need to supply transportation that actually goes where people need to go. Personally, I think that we need a large high speed monorail type of system that goes straight down the center of I-5 from Olympia right up to Arlington. It would allow greater access for all of us to these cities and reduce Seattle housing prices. When you are stuck on the freeway and you see this passing you by at high speed, next time you will want to ride on that. This land is already owned.

What should be the federal strategy to solve homelessness nationwide? (200 words or less)

This is near and dear to my heart since I have helped homeless people to get back on their feet. There are as many reasons why people are homeless as there are homeless people. In 200 words, I cannot fit a particular solution, but I can give the spirit of my ideas. Instead of punishing people, we need to work to help these people get back on their feet. With the recent covid19 we are going to see a great rise in homelessness in our area. Helping people get on their feet does not mean just giving out money. It means to help these people to be able to bathe, eat, and have clean clothing. Help them to find work as well. Nobody wants to live in a tent on the street. With the homeless, I see two things. First I empathize with those who are homeless, second I see people who if they were working would be contributing to our tax base. Help them have self dignity, they are people just as you are. Everyone is only one financial crisis away from homeless. These are your brothers and sisters.

Is a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths achievable nationwide and should we make it a national priority? If not, why? If yes, what do we need to do to get there? (150 words or less)

Vision Zero is a great program. I think that we should strive as much as we can to work towards this, but realize that we will never achieve the goal of no deaths. There is much that can be done without taking away are freedoms and rights to work towards this. Sweden has been a leader in this effort and we have much to learn from them. There are two many benefits from this. First it will save many lives, and this is most important. Second, it can save us money since we will not as a society incur as much cost from these accidents. Note that we will probably reduce deaths greatly, but there will be a point of diminishing returns.

Do you support a Green New Deal? What does a Green New Deal look like to you? (150 words or less)

I do not believe in the Green New Deal a proposed. But I believe that we have real issues to work on. This is the only planet we have and there is no one who will clean up our bird cage for us. We have a real issue with pollution on this planet. This includes CO2, plastics, etc. We will not solve these problems by enforcing punishing regulations. We will solve them when people can make money from them. We need to encourage industries that solve these problems not by negative punishments, but by positive methods. For example, have you used enough plastics in your life to build a house? What if we gave corporations 5% tax on an industry that can recycle these plastics? They make money, we save the environment.

How should your Congressional caucus wield power? Is the wiser strategy to gravitate toward a political center or define a strong position away from it and pull people along? And are there reforms you support to level the playing field for groups you see as disenfranchised? (200 words or less)

Interesting question. Caucuses will always exist, both in congress, in all companies, and all communities. There really is no getting away from this. I support the voice of the people and will work to support this. I always believe that we work to support this, not our own personal opinions. My mind can always be changed, just convince me of your argument. If you want to change others opinions, convince them. Yes there will be caucuses, but I don’t think that any congressional reforms or the like will not have any effect other than creating unnecessary bureaucracy. If we work together, discuss our issues, and more often than not will come to a compromise. We do not stomp our feet and have tantrums because we did not get our way. We always work for the will of the people. Lastly, all should be listen to and heard. As it says in the Desiderata, “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”

Frank Chopp

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

There are several lessons to remember, as well as a significantly different context to the budget work now, compared to 2008:

  • Major austerity cuts must be avoided, because it makes the economic recovery longer and deeper.
  • Any serious cuts to basic human services, mental health care, education and other critical public services, will result in much human suffering, loss of life, loss of potential, and actually higher costs over time.
  • The state is likely to receive some federal assistance, but it probably won’t be nearly enough.
  • The current Governor is much more open to new revenue options.
  • The very large funding and revenue increases we enacted for Basic Education cannot be reduced since it is constitutionally protected.
  • The legislature is much more progressive on many issues, including the budget and revenue.
  • We must have significant new, progressive revenue to plug the budget shortfalls, and lay the groundwork for future investments we should make.

I am currently leading coalitions to propose specific new, progressive revenue sources to fund the unmet needs of our people, including early learning and child care, as well as foundational public health, behavioral health, community clinics, and other health care priorities.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Yes. Seattle’s affordable housing crisis is not new — I was a co-founder of the Seattle Tenants Union, in response to the reduction of affordable housing years ago.  Since then, housing in our region has become much less affordable for many. I support allowing local jurisdictions to set their own policies. 

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

We need affordable, transit-oriented and low-carbon land use development across the Seattle region.  I support density requirements to reduce car-oriented sprawl, accommodate growth along light rail and bus Rapid Ride routes for Transit Oriented Development.

This is not just talk.  I initiated the Home and Hope program that is successfully identifying and acquiring over 20 sites, in Seattle and King County, of under-utilized public and non-profit properties, for affordable housing and other community services in Transit Oriented Development.  A few examples:

  • Cedar Crossing, a project in the Roosevelt neighborhood.  I arranged state and local funding for Mercy Housing and Bellwether Housing to build 245 new affordable homes and a new early learning center immediately above Sound Transit’s light rail station.
  • On Capitol Hill / First Hill at Madison and Boyleston, I passed state legislation to transfer surplus public property at no cost, and I allocated state funding to Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing, to build a 17-story tower with 350 apartments (120 for homeless seniors).
  • Next to the Mt. Baker light rail station, I transferred 4 acres of state land at no cost to City of Seattle to build 400+ affordable homes, an early learning center, and more. 

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

In 2019, as Speaker, I enacted the 100% clean electricity mandate, and had the House pass the Clean Fuel Standard.  We must work to electrify cars and buses, and increase transit funding. I support environmental justice for low income and communities of color, and increased energy standards for buildings.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Strategies should include community organizing, local and state laws, funding for low-income housing, and development of specific projects to reverse disinvestment and displacement.

For years, I fought against redlining and racial discrimination in the housing market (I was a co-founder of the Seattle Coalition Against Redlining). I’ve helped fund over 300 rent-restricted apartment buildings in Seattle and secured over $2 billion for low-income housing statewide. 

An example of my work, I led the effort to build 350 homes for low-wage workers and homeless folks at Sand Point.  Now, 1000 people, all low-income and mostly people of color, live in the community predominantly white and well-off.  Northeast Seattle used to have “restrictive covenants” to ban people of color living there.

As part of the Home and Hope program, we are acquiring and helping develop 20 major sites for low-income people and communities of color, with a preference for people being displaced by private development.  

Many low-income renters are still being displaced.  I strongly supported Representative Nicole Macri’s work to pass a major tenant protection bill, which extends grace periods and restricts landlord’s ability to evict tenants  —  especially important for renters of color, who are disproportionately being evicted. 

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

I’m proud of my work to add billions of dollars in new state funding for basic education, provide free college and university tuition for all low-income students, and allow undocumented immigrant students to receive state aid. 

Going forward, we must expand funding for special education in our public schools and work towards lower class sizes, with additional counselors and school nurses.  We must also expand early learning to ensure every student has access to affordable pre-K education, which is crucial to long term educational success. We should extend free and reduced college tuition to more Washington families, especially middle-income families who still struggle to afford the rising cost of higher education. We should provide low-interest loans to college students, relieving families of burdensome high-interest debt.

As we face an unprecedented budget shortfall, my priority is to protect the hard-fought investments in public education we’ve made in recent years. School districts across the state are also struggling to adapt to new health measures and online learning programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to compound our state’s existing inequalities. I am working with state leaders, teachers’ unions, and parents to appropriate the funds necessary to protect and improve our education system.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Yes. We must reform our tax system, among the most regressive in the country. I’ve consistently supported progressive taxation, including the capital gains tax. I enacted taxes on corporations (including Amazon) to fund free college and university tuition for all low-income students; on wealthy estates to fund the Educational Legacy Trust; on oil companies to clean up toxic sites; on big banks to fund public services, etc.  We should work the votes towards an income tax. I am leading efforts to enact three progressive revenue sources for early learning and child care, public health, and expanded health care for all.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes!  As Speaker, I worked closely with Representative Joe Fitzgibbon and got it approved by the House, but the Senate did not concur.  It is essential that we greatly reduce transportation emissions, which are the biggest carbon source in our state.  Next session, revenue for transportation will be considered, which must include passage of the Clean Fuel standard.  We must work to electrify cars and buses to reduce transportation emissions.  This is especially critical for low income communities and communities of color, which have been disproportionately exposed to pollution and are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Ultimately, we must increase funding for low-carbon and low-cost transportation modes, like transit, cycling, and walking, which will not only reduce emissions but also increase mobility.  A key part of meeting our climate goals is implementation of the 100% clean electricity mandate, which I helped pass the legislature in 2019. 

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

To start, we should double the percentage for public transit and infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians. Less on highways, more on alternatives.  As Speaker, I helped lead efforts to greatly increase funding for Metro Transit and Sound Transit 3.  As a non-profit Director, I started Seattle Personal Transit (now Solid Ground) a door-to-door paratransit ACCESS program for disabled people who can’t walk to a bus stop.  I worked with Executive Constantine to have Sound Transit provide surplus property and “air rights” along rail stations, at little cost, for affordable housing and transit-oriented development. Going forward, we must limit highway expansion. 

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Although we must do both, reducing our reliance on personal cars and boosting transit ridership could help more in the near-term.  With the COVID crisis, tele-commuting is now commonplace, and can be made permanent in part.  Transit will not only reduce emissions, but also promote walkable, higher-density, and affordable neighborhoods. 

Sherae Lascelles, LD43-2

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

There is unbelievable suffering in our district. Countless folks are unsheltered, many are barely making rent, and others are criminalized for their attempts to survive. Human services are inadequate and inaccessible; cultures and communities are being uprooted to make room for investors; adults are sharing small studio apartments so they can afford to keep the lights on. That we have gotten to this point is an indictment of our current officials and a clear sign of how broken our systems are. Instead of empowering communities to create solutions using their local knowledge of their needs, the State spends taxpayer dollars paying wealthy consultants to draft policies that have largely served to increase harm, reduce equity, destroy lower-income neighborhoods, and leave us with a city and region only accessible to the privileged. At the core of our politics is the belief in harm-reduction; the idea that part of solving any problem is first stopping the problem from getting worse, and that includes ensuring that the communities most impacted have a real voice in the process. I will focus on reducing the harms of the COVID-19 crisis, as opposed to lining the pockets of those who paved the way for harm as was done in 2008.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Yes

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

As more people are displaced from our communities, the 1981 Raegan era rent regulation ban has only served to benefit wealthy real estate investors who are disconnected from the communities they provide housing for. Allowing for municipalities to reduce harm from rent increases is one piece toward solving displacement.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

We stand on stolen land in Washington, and land use reform must come from authentic engagement with the populations that will be affected with a focus on engaging with and providing reparations to Indigenous and First Nations residents and other Black and Indigenous People of Color who have been displaced violently and repeatedly throughout history.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

1. Reduce barriers for mass timber construction. 2. Work directly with affected populations — with emphasis on Black and Indigenous People of Color communities — to provide the resources to clean up environments, enable food sovereignty, build resiliency in community, and amend relations. 3. Increase State funding for green infrastructure projects, including green union jobs.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

1. Significantly increase State funding for housing and anti-displacement programs. 2. Focus on housing as a right (decommodification, beautiful new units of publicly-owned social housing, and land-use reform) 3. Increasing State funding for homelessness services including shelter, healthcare, and harm reduction. 4. Ending the practice of sweeps, and treating this issue as the crisis it is with compassion for underhoused individuals and families.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

1. Passing more progressive taxes to fund more equitable access to education instead of relying on property taxes as the primary funding mechanism. 2. Comprehensive and mandatory sex education that includes full gender identity and active consent content in all school districts. 3. Increase funding for State Community and Technical Colleges 4. Reduce barriers to student housing. 5. Take tangible steps toward a tuition-free future. 6. Provide childcare to every parent in the State of Washington.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? Yes

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

With enormous budget shortfalls incoming, it is going to be crucial to ensure that wealthy residents of Washington are paying their fair share not only via an income tax, but also a significant wealth tax. If they are not interested in re-investing in the communities that supported the foundation of their wealth to scale, then an income and wealth tax will put the money in the hands of government agencies who will. These shortfalls will also be covered by defunding the carceral system including but not limited to municipal police departments, Washington State Patrol, and the Department of Corrections.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, though we must work hand in hand with community towards divestment altogether in fossil fuel technology to reach our long-term goals. In this engagement, communities that have been hit the hardest by pollutants must be prioritized first through a restorative justice lens by providing material support to make greener options accessible.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

The vast majority of investment in statewide transportation is car based currently, and that dynamic needs to be flipped in order to provide multi-modal transportation services to all communities, including rural communities. In order to grow and maintain these programs in the wake of I-976, we must de-fund the Washington State Patrol and re-invest in multi-modal transportation.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Both, and. Autonomy and agency are key, and we must ensure that climate friendly options that fit the needs of all community members AND are accessible to them are available. These options must be provided along with adequate educational outreach to encourage climate friendly decisions.


Phil Gardner

What housing reforms are necessary at the federal level? How would you achieve them? (200 words or less)

The Puget Sound region has been one of the fastest growing areas in our country over the past decade. There have been benefits to that growth – including an additional seat in Congress (WA-10) – but growth has also caused many long-time residents and working families to be squeezed by the rising cost of living. A primary driver of the rising cost of living is the cost of housing, and higher housing costs result in more of our neighbors living without permanent housing. I’d continue Congressman Heck’s work on our national housing shortage, specifically finding ways the federal government can incentivize or pressure local governments to adopt denser zoning regulations, supporting the construction of more units of public housing, and promoting policies that can spur transit-oriented development. I’ll also keep defending Sound Transit from attacks by the Trump administration and local Republicans who don’t believe in the mission of the transit agency and constantly seek to undermine its work. In Congress, I’ll use my first-hand experience to continue Congressman Heck’s work leveraging federal resources to address the urgent housing and transit needs of the Puget Sound.

Do you support campaign finance reform?If yes, what form and why? (100 words or less)

Yes. Not only do I believe we must reverse Citizens United, but we need a series of reforms to our democracy and the way Washington, D.C. works to restore power back to the people, not large corporations and wealthy individuals. That’s why I’ll be excited to support the For the People Act, H.R. 1, when it is re-introduced in the next Congress.

How do we ensure everyone in America has quality health care and can afford it? (200 words or less)

There are many solutions being put forward to get us to universal coverage and contain costs. Some suggest adding a federal public option, which would allow anyone to buy into a Medicare-type program. I wish this provision was included in the Affordable Care Act when it passed ten years ago. Others suggest bringing the whole country under a single-payer system. With Congressman Heck’s retirement, the South Sound has an opportunity to send another health care champion to Congress. Whoever we send will be a first-term member with selective influence, especially over monumental issues like health care. Having been in the rooms of major decision-making in Congress, I’ll have a leg-up navigating Congress’ policymaking labyrinth and delivering real results. At the same time, it’s important to be honest by stating something refreshing few candidates are willing to say: I won’t be able to get exactly what I want. With that in mind, I believe an issue as personal and complicated as health care is best approached with the following principles. I support reform that: Covers everyone in this country. Lowers prescription drug costs. Ends surprise medical billing. Reduces the profiteering in our health care system Lowers or eliminates out-of-pocket expenses

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

American families experienced a slow, sluggish recovery after the Great Recession, a phenomenon many economists attribute to fiscal austerity measures at the state and local levels and insufficient spending on the federal level. Already we are hearing similar calls to dial down federal investments in our public health infrastructure and social services. If elected, I will be entering Congress at what is likely to be the depths of a recession or depression. I will advocate for strong, consistent federal investments so that we can shorten the recovery and get families back on their feet. Importantly, I will advocate for automatic triggers for safety net programs to ensure that Congress does not pump the breaks of fiscal stimulus too early before recovery is realized. I will also push for federal financial support to state and local governments so that they will not have to lay off their employees and cut critical services for vulnerable people.

To get your vote, what must a transportation funding package include? (100 words or less)

I believe a transportation funding package must take bold action to address the climate emergency. I will work with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to modernize the energy grid, invest in energy efficient infrastructure, and put our transportation sector on the pathway to zero carbon pollution. We also must prioritize transit, cycling, and pedestrian projects but ensure the funding is distributed in a way that addresses equity and social justice.

What should be the federal strategy to solve homelessness nationwide? (200 words or less)

The federal government ought to support communities who are on the frontlines of this work. I’ll fight to increase funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, and the Continuum of Care (CoC) program. I’ll also continue the work I’ve done alongside Congressman Heck on his Housing Task Force, aimed at identifying nationwide problems in our housing market that are causing housing shortages in communities across America. The best way to end homelessness is making sure everyone has a home, and that means we need more housing units and more support from elected leaders to make it happen.

Is a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths achievable nationwide and should we make it a national priority? If not, why? If yes, what do we need to do to get there? (150 words or less)

Yes. I absolutely believe that a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths is a worthy and achievable goal. More than 15 cities and states in the U.S. have adopted Vision Zero goals, so I believe it’s important to look to those localities to learn what works and how to dedicate federal resources. As a first step, I’d cosponsor the Vision Zero Act, which allows states to use existing federal funding streams to implement Vision Zero plans.

Do you support a Green New Deal? What does a Green New Deal look like to you? (150 words or less)

Yes. The Green New Deal provides a vision for how we can solve the climate crisis while rebuilding the middle class and investing in communities left behind by globalization. For these reasons, I will enthusiastically co-sponsor the resolution when it is re-introduced in the next Congress. The authors of the Green New Deal will be the first to admit the document is a series of principles that we should be working towards, but isn’t necessarily a specific piece of legislation meant to comprehensively make climate policy. Turning good ideas into good legislation is the next urgent step we need to take, and it’s where I put my focus while serving as a top staffer in Congress for nearly a decade. One bill I’d support is H.R. 763, a carbon pollution fee and dividend plan. It alone won’t be enough, but it’s a good place to start.

How should your Congressional caucus wield power? Is the wiser strategy to gravitate toward a political center or define a strong position away from it and pull people along? And are there reforms you support to level the playing field for groups you see as disenfranchised? (200 words or less)

Our politics should be driven by our values, and our priorities should be driven by the urgency of the problems we need our government to solve. I am a proud progressive and a proud Democrat and will always promote progressive and Democratic values: open government, honesty, a belief in science, social justice, racial equity, inclusivity, compassion, long-term thinking, and use of our collective power to relieve human suffering. The House Democratic Caucus should use our power and influence to promote these values and prioritize the urgent needs of middle and working families in our country: a stable job with benefits, quality health care, safe and secure housing they can afford, and a government whose word they can trust. In order to secure these gains in the long run for every American, we must never let up our fight to root our corruption in Washington, D.C. and protect the right to vote for every American.

Beth Doglio

What housing reforms are necessary at the federal level? How would you achieve them? (200 words or less)

Nationwide, we face a housing crisis that has challenged cities, counties and regions to adequately address housing affordability as well as a lack of housing. Housing is also a major source of carbon emissions. The federal government needs to be an equal partner – starting with increasing investments in the National Housing Trust Fund and Public Housing Authorities to build and maintain affordable housing, creating strong Clean Buildings standards, enacting stronger tenant and discrimnation protections, and coordinating with local and state governments to address zoning rules, that drive density into urban areas utilizing existing infrastructure and making public transit work better.  These are the most immediate and achievable solutions related to the housing crisis, but I have many other ideas and priorities – including addressing the complicated and interrelated challenge of homelessness.

In Olympia, I’ve been a key voice in driving record investments into the Housing Trust Fund, $288million in the last four years, sponsored first-in-the-nation Clean Building Standards, and successfully passed a Housing Alliance priority bill (1590) that gives local governments access to as much as $1.5billion for low income housing and mental health.  I will bring that same approach to Congress as a strong advocate for housing.

Do you support campaign finance reform? If yes, what form and why? (100 words or less)

Yes. Right now, in part because of our broken campaign finance system, our country’s democracy is at risk – the government is not responsive to the needs and demands of the people. We need to overturn the Citizens United decision and pass legislation like the DISCLOSE Act, Democracy for All amendment, and Rep. Kilmer’s Honest Ads Act – to name a few. We must also look at expanding public financing and participation in campaigns and reform this system to ensure effective leadership focused on the right priorities. I am rejecting corporate contributions and have signed the No Fossil Fuel money pledge.

How do we ensure everyone in America has quality health care and can afford it? (200 words or less)

I am unequivocally for Medicare for All. It’s clear our healthcare system is broken and costs are out of control. We need a streamlined system that ensures every person in this country has access to holistic healthcare.

Healthcare is a right and there is no question in my mind that we can have a system that cares for every single person in this country that will leave middle income people with more money in their pocket at the end of the day. Excessive co-pays, premiums and deductibles in a system with in and out of network providers, surprise billing, and catastrophic incidents leading to Go Fund Me campaigns has got to go. And, the amount of excess in CEO pay and reserve funds in our healthcare system is reprehensible while 70 million people remain un- or underinsured (pre-Covid).

I will work with and sign onto bills put forward by other progressive leaders in Congress to help further develop this plan, and I’m also committed to working on other immediate reforms to bring down the cost of healthcare in the event we do not elect a pro-MFA majority in the next session.

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

We need strong, progressive leadership committed to ensuring wins for working families. We cannot accept austerity measures at the federal level, and we must use stimulus packages as opportunities to address climate change and grow and create clean energy jobs.

Right now – large businesses and corporations have been able to take undue advantage of COVID resources that should have been better protected for small businesses and working families – that is not a path to success. Next, rather than gravitate toward cuts, we need to instead look at new and progressive revenue options that help the federal government invest in national programs and the needs of states. As many states face severe budget crises, we cannot repeat the errors of the 2008 crisis – we have to strongly support their efforts to avoid deep cuts as well.

Finally, a positive lesson from 2008 was that federal stimulus spending on green energy worked – in fact the 2009 stimulus bill was key to catalyzing the rapid growth of wind and solar energy. Future COVID-19 stimulus must do the same addressing climate investments from clean energy to infrastructure development – setting the stage for a future Green New Deal.

To get your vote, what must a transportation funding package include? (100 words or less)

It needs to include robust investments in mass transit, zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure, and support for creating more walkable, bikeable communities in cities and towns across the United States. The focus should be on reducing the need for driving and expanding transportation options nationwide, rather than just continuing the single-minded and carbon-intensive strategy of only expanding roads and highways.

What should be the federal strategy to solve homelessness nationwide? (200 words or less)

Any solution must address homelessness as a complex and challenging issue, understanding that no two people experiencing homelessness have the exact same needs or story. One important step is to build more housing and enact some of the reforms mentioned in the earlier question – bringing down the cost of housing and enacting strong tenant protections. Preventing someone from becoming homeless in the first place is one of the best strategies we have.

We also need to provide services for the diverse homeless populations: those suffering from addiction or mental health challenges, along with those who lost a job and found themselves unable to pay for the high cost of housing. The opioid crisis is inextricably linked to homelessness – we must bring a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach. Responding to homelessness in this way is both the right and effective thing to do.

The federal government must be a partner in this effort, rather than letting cities, counties, and states fend for themselves. I know solving this problem won’t be easy, and it may not be quick, but there’s a lot we can do at the federal level – we just need leaders who will prioritize it.

Is a Vision Zero goal of eliminating road deaths achievable nationwide and should we make it a national priority? If not, why? If yes, what do we need to do to get there? (150 words or less)

Yes, Vision Zero should absolutely be a shared nationwide priority.  After all – one death is one too many. We owe it to every community to have safe sidewalks and streets, where pedestrians, bicyclists, and more can get around safely and without fear. This goes back to my answer on transportation – federally, we need to ensure local governments are taking these ideas into account, and use national funding to help direct resources and incentivize the development of walkable and bikeable communities. This is an equity issue, everyone ought to have a safe way to get around, whether you can afford a vehicle or if you use another means of transportation, and for too many communities today, that’s just not the case.

Do you support a Green New Deal? What does a Green New Deal look like to you? (150 words or less)

Yes, I strongly support a Green New Deal! But more importantly, have the experience and knowledge to enact policies making the Green New Deal come alive. As someone who has been in the environmental space for three decades since serving as the founding Executive Director of the Washington Conservation Voters, this is one of my top priorities. I’ll work day in, day out to pass effective policies that revitalize our economy, create millions of jobs, and help defeat climate change.

We must replicate Washington state’s success, looking sector-by-sector at 100% Clean Energy and Clean Building Standards, then actually passing a Clean Fuel Standard. And, we need to make massive and robust investments – strongly influenced by climate justice – to grow clean energy, reduce pollution, retrofit existing buildings and build new energy efficient ones, implement adaptation and mitigation measures, and so much more. See my climate plan for way more than 150 words!

How should your Congressional caucus wield power? Is the wiser strategy to gravitate toward a political center or define a strong position away from it and pull people along? And are there reforms you support to level the playing field for groups you see as disenfranchised? (200 words or less)

I have been one of Washington state’s most effective legislators over my two terms in office because I am committed to bold progressive policies and ideals – and because I am a collaborative leader who can work across the caucus and across the aisle to deliver on our shared values and vision. I believe our caucus should act the same way – articulate and work toward the policies that put people first, use those to inform our legislation and identify what is achievable, and then ensure real gains are made, even if we have more work to do later. 

I am wholly committed to elevating and engaging the voices of those who have been disenfranchised – seeking out, listening to, and acting on their needs, ideas, and priorities from the beginning of the legislative process. In Congress, I will work with my colleagues in the House, advocacy groups, and community and constituents, to bring the same passion I’ve brought to the legislature in addressing issues of diversity and equity, and use my position of power and privilege to further the cause of equal opportunity and justice for all.

Dustin Gleaves, D42

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

I fully support a complete funding for our Foundational Public Health Services. As a scientist and co-owner of an infection control laboratory, the COVID-19 crisis and our handling of it are major motivators for my decision to run for office in the first place. I am acutely aware of the public health pitfalls that resulted in our current situation. Funding for proactive contagion management could have saved billions of dollars in reactive measures and economic damage but more importantly, it could have saved lives. I am 100% in favor of funding a foundational public health system which proactively prevents the spread of communicable disease, keeps sufficient contact tracing staff in reserve, and maintains a strategic medical supply reserve capable of adequately providing medical devices for patients and PPE for healthcare professionals.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Yes

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Affordable housing is a key issue for me. This issue has mounted for years and to-date the state legislature has failed to address it. Government intervention is required to lower the cost of rent and housing in Washington including authorizing municipalities to exercise rent control.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Whatcom county was home to the water rights challenges addressed in the Hirst decision. I do not believe we should throw away the GMA, however creative solutions such as water-rights transfer agreements and

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

We must fully fund our dept. of Ecology and empower the dept. to assist small family farms in meeting environmental standards. Regarding CO2 we need a Carbon tax and/or cap-and-trade permitting. To reduce fossil-fuel usage we must electrify transportation and create no added fees for electric vehicles.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? No

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Washington has one of the most regressive tax structures in the nation and I support a major tax reform which reduces the tax burden for lower-income residents. I support a dynamic sales tax which taxes more for the things that should be discouraged such as fossil fuels or stock-buybacks. I would support income-tax returns as a means of refunding a portion of sales taxes incurred by lower-income earners. The reason I don’t support a direct income tax is because taxation discourages the item which is taxed by artificially increasing the costs, and I don’t want to discourage people from earning a living, I would rather discourage purchase of items which lack prosocial benefits.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

YES. I am an environmental scientist and I greatly support improvement of clean fuel and other environmental regulation improvements.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

At least 5%. We especially need to focus on developing Urban Villages which are walk-able, and to develop public transportation which is convenient enough to meet user needs unimpeded. Research has shows that a bus at the nearest stop must arrive every 15 minutes for people to feel that public transportation is unimpeded.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

I don’t believe the two options are mutually exclusive. Higher legislative priority is to electrifying personal vehicles because it is more likely to be adopted by users and also more readily influenced through policy by limiting EV registration fees and providing state tax rebates on EV purchases. Compelling individuals to reduce commuting is not likely achievable by legislation. It can be encouraged by improving public transit and designing planning policy which creates walk-able communities.

Mary Ellen Biggerstaff, D 22

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

We need tax reform, we need to cut money spent incarcerating people and instead prioritize services for the most vulnerable in our State. This is not the time we need austerity.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Yes

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

We have to prioritize affordable housing for low income people and strengthen tennants rights. Communities should be able to implement rent control.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

It should prioritize housing that is affordable for everyone.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Transition to clean energy, protecting and restoring our existing natural habitats and waterways, environmental justice and equity, and transition to public transportation.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

The state investing in non market housing through maintaining and building non market housing, supporting community land trusts so that communities can collectively own both housing and businesses, and tenants rights. Requiring all multi-housing developments to maintain 25% of their housing for low income residents. Looking at Housing as a basic human right, not as a commodity.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We have to have funding reform – we need to rely on progressive taxation to properly fund our education system, not unequal property taxes. Our priority needs to be equity in fully funding education.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? Yes

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

I need to understand this process better – but we need to amend the constitution to implement an income tax.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I would absolutely vote for clean fuel standards. The world and our state government will be a very different place in January, and it is a good time try again at this legislation.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

I would love to see at least 50% of our budget put towards building an excellent public transportation system. I have traveled in both Asia and Europe enough to know that this completely feasible.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

I think our current stay at home orders are providing a great roadmap for reducing the amount of driving in personal vehicles – as we return back to (more) normal activity, what can we maintain about reducing driving?

Melanie Morgan D29-1

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Covid-19 has amplified the same problems for the same groups impacted by the 2008 crisis. People without access to healthcare, stable housing, and fair wage jobs have been harmed more than any other group, and the response to Covid-19 has to include supports for them.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? No answer

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

I would support a variety of options that would provide more affordable housing opportunities.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

Land use reform should require some land to be reserved for community organizations, rather than going to the highest bidder. Many organizations that provide substantial benefit to their communities cannot afford to pay exorbitant amounts for land and require support in order to continue their services.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Conservation of the natural environment is a priority for the 29th community. A climate package must include guidelines to make sure marginalized communities are not bearing the brunt of climate impacts and solutions.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

We need to stop engaging in redlining and inequitable and predatory banking practices. These practices disadvantage marginalized groups when buying a house or trying to start a business and prevent families from becoming established. Stopping redlining will reduce segregation, and fair banking practices will prevent Black families from being pushed out of their neighborhoods.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

This past session, I cosponsored the bill, which establishes the State Office of Equity, the first of its kind in the nation. This office will task state agencies to review their policies to ensure equitable outcomes for marginalized populations as well as require accountability measures. During my time as a School Board Director for Franklin Pierce School District, I spearheaded the effort to create an Equity Director in order to address educational inequities and improve student outcomes.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? No answer

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

I would support a capital gains tax.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

I would vote for a clean energy fuels standard legislation if it were to be reintroduced in a future session.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

Due to the economic impacts of I-976, I will continue to work with the transportation chair and my colleagues to find a solution to our transportation needs. In particular, my priority will be focused on the unincorporated areas of the 29th due to the lack of current transportation options.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing trips is a higher priority – a sudden shift to electric vehicles would result in a massive spike in emissions due to the production of vehicles for everyone. Additionally, improving transportation options in unincorporated areas would reduce personal vehicle use and make transportation more accessible to larger groups of people.

Jessica Bateman, D22

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

Washington’s current tax system has a regressive structure that has a disproportionate impact on working families, vulnerable individuals, low wage workers, and people of color. This regressive tax structure restricts our ability to invest in our communities and constrains local and state revenue that in turn decreases our ability to provide an adequate safety net, foundational public health services, education funding, and other essential programs that benefit Washingtonians. This is a system that was a problem in the wake of 2008. Now, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we need to look towards reforming our tax system so that the cost of funding vital services does not only fall on the shoulders of working people. I support increasing taxes on capital gains, pass through business profits, mansions and high value real estate, and an excise tax on unreasonably high salaries. In addition, we should invest in the Washington working families tax credit to provide money back to working Washingtonians. Additionally, we should amend the state constitution to allow for a graduated income tax and income-based property tax credits or rebates for low income households. These ideas are aimed at turning our tax system in Washington into one that is more equitable for the community.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Yes

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

Housing and rent prices continue to rise faster than wages can keep up, and more and more families are spending up to half of their income on housing costs. This puts people at greater risk of falling into homelessness. Rent control policies that balance the need to build more affordable housing, but that prevents excessive rent increases for tenants could be an important tool to ensure stable, and affordable housing for renters.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

It is our responsibility as policy leaders and elected officials to make the best use of our limited land, amid growing populations and the need to protect our precious natural resources. We know that communities are strongest when they are affordable, diverse, and connected. I support land use that centers development in urban areas to keep neighbors close to school, transportation, work centers, and services.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

I support reducing our carbon emissions and invest in long-term clean energy solutions. I support becoming more energy-efficient by purchasing green power, investing in electric vehicle fleets, using solar energy, building alternative transportation systems, adopting climate reduction goals, and adopting a sea level rise response plan.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

Housing insecurity is a direct effect of cycles of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing. One strategy for the state to fix these cycles is by addressing the crisis of homelessness. I led the campaign to pass the Home Fund, an affordable housing initiative creating permanent supportive housing for our most vulnerable community members. We have increased the capacity for youth shelter, created a stability site, tiny house village, and funding to faith-based organizations to host tiny houses. The state should also take more steps to promote diversity and inclusion. As chair of the general government committee I worked to include language in our citizen advisory applications to include diverse life experiences as criteria for consideration. I sponsored our Olympia’s Sanctuary City Resolution within one-month of the current president being elected.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

Washington state must continue working to reduce class sizes in public schools. A reduction in class size is proven to improve learning especially for children living in poverty. In addition, it is important that we increase the diversity of school staff in order to expand accessibility to all children in the community. In order for the state to provide all Washington students with a quality education, we have to start expanding the reach of our schools to account for students with various backgrounds. Students whose first language is not English or whose socioeconomic status is lower than that of their classmates are at risk for being overlooked and under-supported in our current public education system. In order to support these goals, we need a tax structure that not only enables us to invest in our public education system, but also a robust social safety net, and foundational public health services.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? Yes

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

During my first year of office the City was presented with a proposal to impose an income tax to pay for college for Olympia students. I supported and endorsed the measure despite significant opposition from the business establishment in Thurston County and the likelihood that it would be appealed. I fundamentally believe we must change our tax system in Washington to be more equitable, to provide a robust social safety net for all people and invest in education and workforce opportunities that enable more people to earn a living with dignity.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes, I would vote to pass a clean fuels standard. I’m proud to live in a community whose citizens are so committed to protecting our climate, our green spaces, and our region’s natural beauty. Olympia has set ambitious emissions reduction targets with the support of neighboring cities in Thurston County, and we are currently developing strategies to meet these goals. We must create an actionable plan to reduce our carbon emissions and transition to becoming carbon neutral.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

In order to reduce our climate impact, we must begin to utilize methods of transportation that reduce our carbon emissions. We must change the way people travel, reducing vehicle miles traveled and increasing multimodal transportation. I am interested to learn more from Urbanist members and supporters about what percentages of the state transportation budget make the most sense to achieve aggressive but realistic multimodal options.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

Reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles should be a higher priority. We must promote environmentally sustainable land use to minimize the amount of impact we have on it, and decreasing trips in personal vehicles will decrease the overall impact from transportation. We should turn our attention to increasing multimodal transportation. In Olympia we need to increase density downtown, along our corridors, in our neighborhood centers while increasing infill throughout the community. In addition to building energy efficiency and alternative transit options, density also supports people interacting with their neighbors and friends which is supportive of positive health outcomes. Growing our neighborhood centers will also help us achieve our goals of people having amenities within walking distance of their home, which increases the likelihood that they will walk, bike, or take the bus.

Alex Ramel, D40

What lessons about government revenues and fiscal priorities from the wake of 2008 would you apply in responding to the Covid-19 crisis? (200 words or less)

We can’t focus predominantly on cuts to the existing budget, we need to bring in new, progressive revenue. Eliminating the social safety net for the most vulnerable people in Washington is cruel, and it will prolong the recession.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Yes

Why or Why not? (50 words or less)

I support allowing local governments to put a cap on the increases in rent, which is currently prohibited.

What role do you see the state playing in enacting land use reform, and what should that reform prioritize? (200 words or less)

GMA timeline should be adjusted, for more frequent (5-year) updates. Carbon should be a planning goal. Multi-family housing, transit oriented development, and greater density should be prioritized over greenfield housing development. We also need to think through how increased access to work-from home options (post-COVID) will impact land use.

What should be the major components of a climate package? (50 words or less)

Price on carbon. Low carbon fuel standard. Phase out of new ICE vehicles. Investment in energy efficiency, electrification, district energy utilities and renewable energy. Prohibit new natural gas expansion.

What should be the top strategies for the state to fix the cycle of segregation, disinvestment, gentrification, and unaffordable housing in our cities? (200 words or less)

We need more social housing. That means public investment in the Housing Trust Fund, revenue for local governments for matching housing money, and programs like inclusionary zoning. We should be encouraging development with both social and some market rate housing. We should be setting goals to have double digit percentages of all housing kept permanently affordable in all of our communities.

What’s your roadmap to fixing educational inequities in Washington state? How can Washington state comply with its constitutional duties regarding education? (200 words or less)

We need to invest in support services like nurses, councilors and paraeducators. I’m also focused on the way that the levy swap has had unintended consequences restricting revenue for some small, rural (especially island) districts.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax? Yes

If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform? (100 words or less)

Income tax is only unconstitutional if the current Supreme Court upholds a 5-4 decision from the 1930’s that decided differently when the same question was asked in several other states. I would also support inheritance tax and capital gains.

While California and Oregon have passed a clean fuels standard aiming to meet their climate goals, Washington did not, as the bill stalled out last session. Would you vote for it? If not, what is the route to meeting our climate goals? (150 words or less)

Yes. My first speech on the House floor was in favor of a low carbon fuel standard.

What percentage of the state’s transportation budget should be for alternatives to cars, such as transit, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure? (100 words)

We should be investing significantly more in alternative transportation. The restrictions on the use of gas tax money for highways is the reason that I support shifting away from the gas tax toward a road usage fee that will allow us to invest in alternatives that reduce the needs for roads.

What should be a higher priority: electrifying personal vehicles or reducing the number of trips made in personal vehicles? Explain how to achieve your priority. (50 words).

We need both. Single occupancy vehicles have a high cost for society, so we should be bringing alternatives to scale. But there will be some personal vehicles for a long time and we need to decarbonize them. LCFS and road usage charges are part of how we pay for them.


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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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Esteves regarding your endorsement of the warmongering chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith. Watch the Youtube video, How Congress Maintains Endless War – System Update with Glenn Greenwald, beginning at the 37 minute mark to see for yourself.

    He is not a progressive in the least bit as he supports keeping troops in Afghanistan, spending most of our discretionary budget on the military while we have so many unmet domestic needs during a pandemic and recession, and he supports Trump’s efforts to resume nuclear weapons testing.

    Please reconsider your endorsement!

  2. Ferguson’s vigorous defending of I-976 bothers me. I get the legal obligation to go through the motions, but appealing the initial stay all the way to the supreme court, I felt was going too far.

    All that said, if the choices end up boiling down to either Ferguson or a Republican, I will hold my nose and vote for Ferguson because I believe a Republican attorney general would be much worse.

  3. Adam Smith is one of the worst examples of the military industrial congregational complex.
    He co sponsored legislation allowing the US Government to use propaganda on it’s own citizens. During the cold war he must have envied the soviets. Strange how now he pretends to be so concerned about Trump while he gives him the tools necessary to implement fascism. Smith is fleecing Seattle progressives.

Comments are closed.