Darya Farivar (left) and Hadeel Jeane (right) are on the top and Melissa Taylor and Rep. Javier Valdez are on the bottom. All are running in LD46 and returned Urbanist questionnaires. (Photos courtesy of campaigns)

The 46th Legislative District saw the retirement of longtime Sen. David Frockt, and Rep. Javier Valdez quickly announced his bid to replace him. That opened up Valdez’s House seat and brought five contenders to fill it. The Urbanist Elections Committee received questionnaires from four and interviewed three, with Lelach Rave the only non-respondent. The committee also interviewed Valdez and challenger Matthew Gross in the senate race. Bevin McLeod and perennial candidate Alex Tsimerman are also running but did not respond.

Rep. Gerry Pollet is running for reelection in Position 1, but did not return a questionnaire — he appeared dishonorably in our Heroes and Zeroes post. His challenger Hadeel Jeanne did return a questionnaire and sit for interview and showed an excellent grasp of urbanist issues, but she recently dropped out of a race due to a family emergency. Nonetheless, her responses are below along with the other respondents. Darya Farivar, Melissa Taylor, Nancy Connelly, and Nina Martinez were the four open seat candidates to return a questionnaire.

The new 46th LD map in 2022 is fully within Seattle. (Washington Redistricting Commission)

The 46th changed significantly in redistricting. It’s now contained entirely in Northeast Seattle after dropping Lake Forest Park and Kenmore from its borders. This change is due to the fast growth rate of Seattle compared with the rest of the state over the past decade. The 46th also lost Laurelhurst and picked up the Ravenna, Roosevelt, Green Lake, and Wallingford neighborhoods, plus a slice of Aurora. The district is expected to lean more progressive now that it’s fully located within Seattle.


Javier Valdez 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Senate

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it? 

Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent weeks in Buffalo, and Uvalde, and many more communities across the country mass shootings are not stopping any time soon. Next session my top priority is banning assault rifles in Washington. Last session we successfully banned high-capacity magazines, but there is still far more work to do. While there has been a lot of interest in the House and Senate on passing this kind of legislation, there haven’t been many champions of the issue in the Senate. 

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?

We must continue the work of last legislative session in expanding infrastructure for protected pedestrian and bike paths. These improvements will keep people safer and improve accessibility to our public transportation systems, which should, in turn, reduce the number of cars on the road. 

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?

I was a co-sponsor of 1782 and would support similar legislation next session. The housing crisis has to be a priority and I will work and strongly support housing legislation in the Senate. I am dedicated to ensuring that we have more low-income housing and are protecting communities from displacement. I would support any legislation that has an equity framework and expands housing access. 

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?

I would support legislation allowing local jurisdictions to adopt rent control if they wanted to. I am very interested in the idea of statewide rent stabilization but need to look more into how we could apply it to Washington and how it has impacted renters in Oregon before jumping in.

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?

I believe that we have to expand the use of renewable energy and transform our energy system to one that is cleaner and less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. Washington State, and Seattle in particular, is a leader in renewable energy, such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy, but more can be done. 

We must build a clean energy economy by investing in efficient energy technologies, industries, and approaches. This will have the added benefit to our state of creating local clean energy jobs to replace some of the logging, oil, and transportation jobs lost as we change our energy priorities.

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. We need to continue to pursue transportation solutions which get people out of single-occupant vehicles, reduce reliance on internal combustion engines, and increase vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from vehicles, machines, and electricity generation. We must also support other solutions that reduce U.S. oil use.

We must also place limits on the amount of carbon that polluters are allowed to emit. From outright prohibitions to corporate behavior modifications through carbon taxes and carbon exchanges, I support aggressively decreasing the amount of carbon emissions, with a goal of zero, particularly by our highest-polluting industries.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?

As I said earlier, transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Washington, adding highway lane miles is a small price to pay on a package that would make a significant impact on emissions. We simply cannot afford to risk losing real substantive progress in addressing climate change over disagreements over lane expansions. 

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?

My focus on the Growth Management Act has really been centered on where expansion and transportation intersect, I would support reforms to the GMA that encourage growth of low-income housing near public transportation and explicitly plan for climate and equity concerns. 

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?

COVID-19 has shown the weakness in taxing sales primarily for funding, when the entire population is told to stay home, and the stores are closed to prevent spread of disease. We clearly need a state income tax.

Our state tax system is broken. Horribly so. Our state is home of five of the 10 wealthiest individuals on the planet while our poor pay an extremely disproportionately high amount of tax and billionaires pay relatively little. Even our homeless pay an extraordinarily high amount of tax relative to their incomes on their few purchases, due to our exceptionally high retail sales tax.

I fully support a state income tax, but I am worried that we will not be able to implement it soon due to lack of public support and legislative will. In the meantime, municipalities should be able to impose a high earners tax. We also must pursue an increase in the capital gains excise tax.

I support looking at all I-694 tax exemptions currently on the books and sunsetting those on some type of calendar basis.

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?

We must continue our investments into pedestrian and bicycle pathways to transit and increase our support of transit systems. Many areas of the 46th District do not have sidewalks or other physical barriers between pedestrians and cars, expanding these investments will make it safer for people to access public transportation or simply walk or ride in our communities. 

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Public safety is a serious concern for me, and one of the easiest steps is making sure that our officers reflect the community that they are supposed to be protecting. Last session I sponsored legislation that will help diversify the Washington State Patrol, which had been using psychological testing to eliminate qualified candidates of color from joining its ranks and, unsurprisingly, then disproportionately searched cars of Black, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander drivers, even though they’re more likely to find contraband like drugs or weapons when they search white drivers. My top priority again though is stopping gun violence, we must consider this a public health crisis and stop future tragedy.


Hadeel Jeanne 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Pos. 1

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it? 

Housing brought me into this race. High housing prices push too many families out of their communities or onto the street. Local governments don’t have the resources to fix it, and instead subject our houseless neighbors to inhumane sweeps.

The legislature has an opportunity to rise to the occasion, but made a historic mistake when it refused to legalize “missing middle” housing and in-fill development in areas like the 46th that have good transit, parks, and schools. I will fight to fix this.

Frequent, fast, reliable transportation must also accompany housing. The pandemic hollowed out transit service, pushing people into cars. This is bad for our climate, safety, quality of life and pocketbook.

To extend transit’s reach, we also need infrastructure that makes it easy to walk or bike. As a longtime part of Seattle’s family biking community, I’ve helped families figure out how to ditch their cars. But community groups cannot do it alone. Washington can fund transit, biking and walking. We should start by stopping expanding highways.

A just and sustainable future means fighting inequality and supporting working people. We must further fix our regressive tax system, and extend supports like childcare and school transportation to all caregivers.

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?

Washington chooses driver convenience over human life and working families bear the burden. Electeds use zoning to force them to live alongside dangerous highways, so they suffer the most from vehicular violence and pollution-related health problems. I live where an I-5 off ramp and Aurora intersect and between the hours of 3pm and 7pm, I have to close my windows to avoid my home filling with exhaust from cars trying to make their way down 99.

While the State funds many local safety and active mobility projects, the scale is comparably pitiful. Far more money gets hoovered up by highway expansions. Move Ahead Washington, which was praised for its active transportation investments, poured billions more into new highway lanes than it did active transportation.

Instead, we should immediately require safety studies for all transportation projects and for all state highways – like the $50 million the legislature set aside for reimagining Aurora Avenue in my district.

We must also require WSDOT to center safety and noncar travel for all new projects. At the same time, we have to provide significantly more state funding for safety on existing streets. This includes changing the layout of our streets to emphasize the safety of all users, shorter blocks, mid-block crossings, sidewalk bulb outs, raised crosswalks, sidewalks, and hard barriers for bike lanes.

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?

I decided to run for office when I saw my own representative undermine Rep. Bateman’s missing middle housing bill, and when the legislature failed to pass even a watered-down version. In office, I will work tirelessly to legalize missing middle housing, starting with HB 1782.

We are already falling short of meeting our regional housing needs by hundreds of thousands of homes. Broad legalization of missing middle housing at the state level is an essential step to help ensure every community in Puget Sound is welcoming of new residents. Only at the State level can we stop wealthy enclaves from blocking new housing in their neighborhoods. When new housing in the urban core is blocked, it drives up housing prices and homelessness everywhere, and forces people to live far from work and the services they need. As a result, development is increasingly concentrated in working class neighborhoods and communities of color that have been disinvested in, accelerating gentrification and displacement. The lack of housing in our cities also creates pressure to relax urban growth limits. We need to build more housing here in Seattle and near other job centers, not cut down forests and pave over farmland.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?

Absolutely. Even though I’ve lived in Seattle for only 8 years, I’ve moved nearly twice that many times because of unaffordable rents and unsafe living conditions with no recourse to improve them. We must protect renters from unfair and unaffordable rent increases and stop local governments from tilting the balance so far toward landlords. Both California and Oregon have passed statewide rent stabilization legislation in recent years, and Washington needs to catch up, using those states’ legislation as a starting point.

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?

We should start with the top source of emissions: transportation. Electrification of transportation is necessary, but insufficient, since manufacturing an electric car is still carbon-intensive.

We have to reduce VMT. We have to make it easier to walk, bike, or ride transit to lower single-car dependency. This means handing over right-of-way to active transportation and transit, building more rail more quickly, providing more bus service quickly, ensuring transit connects to all the key destinations, and making transit free for all riders.

Buildings are another big emitter of CO2. I support building electrification policies and want to end new natural gas hookups in commercial and residential buildings. We need to support passivhaus or similar standards, and to liberalize sustainable wooden construction techniques that have been tested in comparable jurisdictions. These must be built in dense clusters with shared walls, for heating/cooling efficiency. Such housing should be legal in every urban or suburban residential neighborhood.

This should be built in complete neighborhoods, where people can meet most of their needs with a safe walk or bike ride within 15 minutes. Finally, we need carbon and VMT targets for local governments, and to hold them accountable if they fall short.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?

First, I am against any highway expansion, full stop. That said, I recognize that the sausage-making involved in the legislation process sometimes means supporting a bill with elements you oppose. For a bill with highway expansion to have a chance at my vote, it would at least have to dedicate more money to safety and to public transit, than it does to expansion, and it would have to overall significantly net reduce vehicle miles traveled.

It’s also important to note that the HEAL Act requires that we address environmental inequities but highway expansion policy continues to disproportionately place new highways in marginalized communities. Instead, we need to reduce the need for highways to begin with. This means making it easier for people to live closer to their jobs, schools, and communities through increased housing construction in existing urban centers, and the legalization of small scale retail in areas that currently ban it.

Reallocating funding from highway expansion will also allow us to make necessary investments in regional high speed transit which will increase mobility for all people, including those who can’t drive.    

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?

I was appalled that HB 1099, which would have added climate change to the GMA and required local governments to make plans to reduce carbon emissions, died at the last minute in the 2022 legislative session. It was unacceptable both because we have a climate emergency, and because this year was a practical deadline for forcing local governments in the Central Puget Sound region to put concrete targets into their plans.

Because comprehensive planning is so infrequent, this failure means we may lose nearly a decade in some of the communities in the race against climate change. Failures like this are much of why I am running for office. Washingtontonians can’t wait for Olympia to wake up.

At minimum, the GMA needs to have strong language that incorporates hard emissions requirements and vehicle miles traveled requirements on a per capita or absolute basis. It also needs to direct local governments to provide affordable housing in dense, mixed use neighborhoods, at levels that align with the influx of jobs and people, to reduce pressure for developments to sprawl onto farmland or forests.

I will oppose any efforts to weaken the GMA.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?

Yes! I also support a progressive income tax. I will work to broaden the tax base by enacting progressive income taxes that can help address our regressive system that relies too much on sales & property tax.

In a state that prides itself on being progressive, our working families and small businesses pay a larger portion of their income in taxes than do the rich. In fact, we are the worst in the union when it comes to this regressive structure, robbing the poor to fuel the rich’s superyachts. Years of lobbying by big businesses and the rich for carve outs and low taxes have pushed the burden onto working families and small businesses. It has to end.

We must also build on last session’s work by passing Rep. Noel Frame’s proposed wealth tax. I support reducing both the $1 billion exemption in the proposed wealth tax and the $250,000 capital gains tax exemption. This will raise more funds for needed services and ensure that not just the obscenely rich pay closer to their fair share.

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?

I support fare free transit for all.

We must increase transit coverage, so more people live and work within walking distance of frequent routes. We also need to boost frequency. Finally, to increase speed and reliability, we need large scale adoption of bus only lanes, which should be converted from general purpose lanes or parking whenever possible.

We have to drastically scale up safe, separated, protected spaces for active mobility, whether sidewalks, or heavily protected bike lanes. These are subject to “network effects” and thus have to connect to all the key areas of town, in a consistently safe way. This right of way should also come from parking or general purpose lanes.

We must ensure these options are paired with slow streets and safe crossings and ADA adapted ramps and other safety and convenience mechanisms, especially surrounding these transit access points.

We need to fund “spiderweb” connections around the city and between smaller cities, moving beyond an exclusive traditional hub/spoke downtown commuter model.

We need all residential neighborhoods to allow for mixed uses, so “mobility” doesn’t require far flung trips for basic needs.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

The way we approach policing must be addressed and changed. So much justice-informed work went into HB1054 and HB1310 to improve interactions between police officers and community members with these bills, and HB 2037’s passing to undo all of that work was disappointing and continues to put our marginalized communities, who are more likely to be subject to police violence, at risk. Included in that demographic are our houseless neighbors, who are subject to horrific sweeps and the most recent legislation coming from Edmonds which has made sleeping outside illegal.

We must invest more in upstream solutions that will address the root cause of crime in our communities. That means aggressive investment in things like mental health and addiction services, housing, and jobs that allow people to be productive members of society. It also means scaling up investments in the community based programs that are known to prevent crime, but chronically underfunded.


Darya Farivar 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Pos. 2

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it? 

My top priority is addressing the intersection of the behavioral health crisis, homelessness, and criminal legal interaction. It’s impossible to talk about one issue without engaging the other two, silos haven’t helped. In my neighborhood, Lake City, I can’t go anywhere without being directly confronted by this combination. Over 40% of people experiencing homelessness have a disability. In Washington state, our lack of a behavioral health system drives people with serious psychiatric disabilities into the revolving door of homelessness, crisis, incarceration, and institutionalization.

Our current system misses the mark because it focuses on providing care only when someone meets criteria for involuntary treatment. Many tip over this line into the criminal legal system. We must redirect our focus from involuntary services and criminal legal investments to community-based programs that intervene as soon as individuals need help — not after it’s too late. I will work for a system that provides care as soon as care is needed. To make this vision a reality, we must take care of those who care for us, listen to people with direct lived experience, and carefully reexamine our current investments. We are not getting a return on investment and there is a human cost. 

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?

Although Washington was the first state in the nation to adopt Target Zero, we have witnessed a rising trend in traffic deaths. We have heard directly from our constituents in the 46th about their concerns living on busy roads and the lack of pedestrian safety infrastructure and speed safety measures. We have heard stories of cars crashing into homes, power poles, and even killing pedestrians on Sandpoint Way. Our residents should feel safe walking through our community but the lack of sidewalks and other pedestrian safety infrastructure makes this difficult. I’m interested in redesigning roads and approaches that would lessen the disproportionate harm and financial impact to BIPOC communities. Including investing in traffic safety grants to improve roadway design, leading pedestrian intervals, and focusing on physical improvements that can be made in corridors experiencing the highest rates of collisions.

I’m no expert in traffic safety, but I know people that are and I believe that our mission toward reaching Target Zero will need to be a collective effort. My priority would be to resource and take direction from those who know and understand these systems best, and let their insights guide my proposals as a legislator. 

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?

I’m supportive of the missing middle housing bill and would support similar legislation in the future. While increasing density in our neighborhoods we need to be mindful of how we are doing it and who we are doing it for. My focus is to create affordable housing for individuals who need it the most and rely on mass transit. I’m interested in solutions which make density around mass transit possible. When creating new housing, it’s critical to take into consideration current neighbors, accessibility and pedestrian infrastructure to ensure as much access as possible.

As legislators, we must be accountable to the needs of constituents, but also to each other. Legislators have previously called out the integrity issues of the legislature; it is crucial that we elect folks who are willing to hold not only themselves, but their peers accountable. I’m used to standing up in difficult conversations and will not shy away from saying the things that need to be heard. To ensure its passage in the upcoming session, I will hold my colleagues and myself accountable to the creation of policies that allow Washington’s community to truly thrive. 

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?

Yes, I would absolutely support a bill that ends the ban on rent control, as well as measures for rent stabilization in Washington. Policies such as these, when thoughtfully designed with equity in mind, are the cornerstone of housing justice. In order to build equitable, resilient communities and address a system that has brought harm to our most vulnerable populations, we must take action to guarantee all Washington State residents the right to affordable and accessible housing, and prevent anyone else from having to worry about being priced out of their home. 

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?

In pursuing policies to meet our goals, we must center the experiences of those most impacted by the climate crisis, and be proactive in preventing BIPOC and low-income communities from experiencing disproportionate environmental harm. I’m interested in building upon the Climate Commitment Act to hold corporations and major emitters accountable in a more meaningful way, and increase reinvestment of funds into minoritized communities, such as the Nations and Tribes of Washington State.

It’s not enough to say that we need more housing, transit, or to be more environmentally friendly- we must be thoughtful about the solutions we put forward. Density is a large environmental justice issue in the 46th. Transportation is the largest source of pollution in Washington and we need to get as many cars off the road as possible by increasing access to mass transit. While increasing density in our neighborhoods we must be mindful of how we are doing it and who we are doing it for. My focus is to create affordable housing for the individuals who need it the most, have been the victims of our pollution and environmental degradation, and rely on mass transit for transportation while also encouraging drivers to opt for transit. 

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?

I am proud to say that the organization I work at in my day job, Disability Rights Washington, co-sponsored a petition alongside 350 WA, The Urbanist, and Transit Riders Union urging the legislature to prioritize investments into public transit, affordable housing, and climate justice initiatives over highway expansion. Rather than continuing to direct funding toward expanding our highways — which would increase our carbon emissions by millions of metric tons, increase environmental-related health hazards for vulnerable communities, and increase our number of traffic-related deaths, the legislature instead needs to prioritize investments into our communities. This begins with robust investments into our public transportation infrastructure, accessible and affordable housing, and strengthening our Climate Commitment Act. Washington State has made a commitment to reducing our overall carbon emissions by 2035 — continual investments into highway mega-projects, which have been proven to be ineffective in reducing traffic congestion — will make it nearly impossible to meet our goals. Washington’s residents would be better served by investments into infrastructure that will provide a healthier, more sustainable future for all. 

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?

I support reforms that would prioritize making our cities more affordable and accessible, and better able to accommodate our growing population. I’m interested in changes that would require new housing developments to prioritize density and access to public transit. Additionally, we must implement reforms that require city planners to prioritize a reduction in carbon emissions in new developments, with climate justice as a top priority for growth management initiatives.

Alongside reforms to strengthen the Growth Management Act, I’m interested in policy solutions like HB 1264 which would require equity impact statements on legislative proposals and institutionalize these conversations. Passing legislation like this would shift power dynamics in the legislative process and require legislators to directly confront the impacts of gentrification on marginalized communities.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?

Yes, we need an income tax and a wealth tax. Washington state has the most regressive tax code in the country — those with the least pay the most, this is unacceptable. We need reliable, progressive revenue. I’m supportive of a wealth and income tax. Until we can address the barriers in our state constitution preventing an income tax we need to search for other progressive tax solutions.

We need a diversified tax code which reflects our state’s progressive values. This means finding a way to create a state income tax, reducing our sales tax at least in half, increasing tax on real estate transactions and big business. We need a system where those who have the most pay their fair share to help those furthest from opportunity.

We need electeds who have deep experience working complicated bills through the legislature and know how to work on both sides of the aisle. Working in disability advocacy I’ve worked across the political spectrum and know what it means to truly listen and try to find common ground. I can honestly say that I’ve worked on legislation that has become stronger after talking with the opposition. It takes patience, trust, and humility.

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?

To increase mobility for nondrivers, it is imperative that Washington State prioritizes funding for accessible pedestrian infrastructure and public transit. It also means that all infrastructure which helps individuals get to and on transit is accessible too. This includes, at minimum, addressing missing sidewalks and curbcuts, ensuring sidewalks are maintained and kept free of snow, ice, and debris, and making sure escalators and elevators are fully functioning. In addition to robust investments into the construction of affordable and accessible housing near public transit, we must also make sure we are providing sustainable funding for transit services, especially outside the Seattle Metro area.

Above all, the state must make it a top priority to uplift the lived experiences of nondrivers for our transportation decision-making. By centering their voices to determine our priorities, we will be best equipped to create spaces that are universally accessible and most effective for serving the mobility needs of all Washington State residents. 

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities. I’ve seen the 46th district change tremendously over the years and both housed and houseless neighbors feel unsafe. When community members have what they need to not only survive, but to thrive, we all do better. Increasing public safety starts with providing care the moment it’s needed, affordable and accessible low-barrier housing, and relieving the burden on law enforcement who have had to take on the responsibilities of behavioral health professionals and social workers without adequate training.

Police are trained to respond to crimes and detain individuals, not to provide a trauma-informed approach to a person in crisis. To support law enforcement and increase public safety we need to reduce their scope of work. Professionals are held accountable to the training they receive, law enforcement should not be different. Public safety includes police accountability. I’m proud to be endorsed by Representative Johnson and Katrina Johnson, the cousin of Charleena Lyles. I will continue this work alongside individuals who have lost their loved ones to police violence.


Melissa Taylor 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Pos. 2

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it? 

My top priority is making housing in Seattle safe and affordable. I will address this by supporting inclusionary-zoning to allow for more housing density in all areas, investing in social housing, and enacting protections against predatory and unjust rent policies and increases.

I also support increased investments in the Housing Trust Fund and strengthening renter protections, increased investments in transit and incentives for cities to design communities that better support workers’ ability to reduce their expenses by working close to home. I will never stop pushing for a significant portion of our housing stock to be publicly owned and managed for the purposes of housing people at or below 30% of their income.

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?

I believe we need to stop prioritizing the convenience of drivers over the safety of everyone else on and around our roads. Our cities and towns need to develop safer road designs and implement traffic calming measures, and we need to build more walkable and bikeable communities. Many well-used streets and neighborhoods currently lack sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. Bicyclists have few protected lanes along main roads, making commuting via bike a daily danger for folks who travel that way. Investments in these areas will significantly improve safety on our streets.

Additionally, improving and expanding public transit will decrease the amount of vehicles on the road and opportunities for collisions. Building dense and affordable housing closer to public transit centers would make public transit use more accessible, affordable and attractive to more people. Improving the accessibility of our public transit for those with disabilities would allow those who are otherwise forced to walk or roll along our busiest streets the ability to take safer public transportation.

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?

I am an enthusiastic supporter of Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill. I’m honored that Rep. Bateman has endorsed me and views me as an ally in this fight.

I am actively working to build support for this proposal in my district. I’m out doorbelling and talking to residents of the 46th about this every day. There are a number of misconceptions about what increasing density actually means and looks like, and why it’s so important. I’ve talked to many people who weren’t yet familiar with terms like “inclusionary zoning” but understand how important it is to make sure their neighborhood remains one that their kids can afford to live in, and that their neighbors aren’t forced out because they can’t afford to live there anymore.

If elected, I will use these conversations to build support among hesitant colleagues. After hundreds of conversations with people in my district, I’m more convinced that not only is this the right thing to do, but our constituents will support us when we do it. When we do the work of meeting voters where they’re at and talking with them about how this can benefit their lives, families and neighborhoods, we can prevail. 

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?

Yes, I support ending the ban on rent control in Washington. I am committed to ensuring that everyone can afford a place to live — at no more than 30% of their income — and rent control can be an important tool to help us get there.

Implementing statewide rent stabilization could be an effective step in making Washington more affordable for those who are currently struggling.

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?

Transportation is still the number one contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. To date, relying on incentives and goodwill has not been enough to achieve our climate goals and secure a livable future. We have to take more definitive action, including regulation that mandates the reduction of emissions. We have to stop letting our biggest polluters off the hook through exemptions and delays.

We must also increase our investment in infrastructure that supports and encourages carbon-reducing behavior. If elected, I will lead on legislation that invests in walkable communities, public transit, and transportation alternatives that provide attractive alternatives to driving and I will oppose further highway expansion.

We must also improve existing passenger rail service and electrify all of our state fleets while offering incentives to other government agencies to do the same.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?

None. I would not support highway expansion proposals, and would instead push the legislature to focus on supporting and expanding methods of public transportation, which would also reduce carbon emissions significantly.

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?

I believe our local governments need to do their part to limit their impact on climate change and help our state meet its climate goals. That’s why I support requiring governments to plan urban development with our climate goals in mind, as proposed in HB1099. Reforms like these, in combination with reforms outside of the GMA, such as decreasing the scope of single-family zoning, would help us make our state more equitable and environmentally sustainable.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?

Yes, Washington needs to have an income tax. An income tax is a necessary step in correcting our broken tax structure. As we’ve seen, attempts at anything resembling a proper income tax have faced major legal challenges. An amendment to Washington’s constitution allowing a proper income tax, while a long shot politically, is the most surefire way to ensure the legislature can correct our broken tax system.

I will work to enable the passing of a wealth tax, support an inheritance tax, and eliminate the cap on the Workforce Education Investment Account tax.

I also support the provision of a stipend for those living below the poverty line and believe that public policy can help address the racial wealth gap. Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been piloted in many cities domestically (including Tacoma) and abroad and has proven successful in significantly increasing individuals’, children’s, and families’ quality of life with minimal monthly payments. For these reasons, I will work to support the passing of HB 2009, sponsored by Representative Liz Berry, to establish a UBI through the Evergreen Basic Income Trust.

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?

We must design communities and invest in infrastructure that supports everyone’s mobility, not just those in cars. Our state needs to add sidewalks and walkable infrastructure, and to pass laws that prioritize the safety of the most vulnerable people in transit — those not protected by a steel cage.

Centering accessibility for people most in need will improve our transit system for all riders, and part of accessibility means ensuring a proper frequency of service. We have to make transit available, frequent, and connected enough to enable people to meet their basic needs and fully participate in our society without a car.

The only way to ensure we don’t leave people with disabilities out of a sustainable future is by including them in the shaping of our future. I am focused on shaping policy that impacts the disabled community with disabled people at the table.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

In most discussions about public safety, victims have been ignored or exploited by people invested in the status quo. As a survivor of violent crime, I refuse to let the voices of fellow survivors be silenced in this critical policy debate. Often, our governments’ responses to crime are to increase police funding and create harsher criminal penalties; however, victims tend to prefer more humane, and more effective solutions, such as investments in education, mental health treatment, and rehabilitation.

Most survivors’ main concern is that the person who victimized them will never hurt anyone else, and we know that our current system makes it more likely that they will. Our current system worsens the poverty, mental health issues, and addiction responsible for most crimes. Studies show that incarceration does not increase public safety but make it more likely a person will “recidivate.”

We will achieve safer streets and communities when we invest in emergency responses and interventions that don’t include armed police officers, in programs like Health One. Even as we invest heavily in police alternatives, we must hold police officers to a high standard of accountability including zero tolerance for misconduct, especially when it comes to use of force.


Nancy Connelly 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Pos. 2

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it? 

My top priority is to improve the health and well-being of Washingtonians. In support of that goal, I will champion the growth, via the Regional Health Offices, of a network of Community Health Workers to meet individuals and families where they are to connect them to needed services. I anticipate that this program will fill a void in the integration of services, from housing to nutrition to health care, which will improve the health of all our citizens. In addition, I will introduce legislation to close the gaps in access to mental health and addiction services requiring safe discharges from institutional settings such as emergency rooms, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and our carceral system. If there is a lack of services to facilitate a safe discharge, a report should be filed so that we can more clearly delineate exactly the services that we are lacking. Further, on discharge from mental health or rehabilitation services, clients should leave with a “back door key” to facilitate re-admission without barriers. This plan would further incentivize facilities to assure that clients are discharged with a plan for success as well as measuring exactly where we need to invest to keep our population safe.

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?

The traditional approach to engineer, enforce and educate demonstrably isn’t moving us in the right direction. Increasing money in enforcement hasn’t demonstrated improvements in traffic safety. We must focus our resources on the Safe Systems approach, deemphasizing enforcement. I would advocate reallocating money we are currently spending on “visible enforcement” to re-design our roadways using principals proven to work in other places, like leading pedestrian intervals. We must design and manage our road infrastructure to keep the risk of a mistake low and when a mistake leads to a crash, the impact on the human body doesn’t result in a fatality or serious injury.

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?

We certainly need more housing. I support middle housing, particularly close to transit. Our population has grown and the available housing growth has not kept up raising housing costs for everyone. For the sustainability of our planet, we need to increase the density in which we live. For these reasons, I would support the missing middle housing bill. That said, there are multiple barriers, including homeowner objections, to increasing zoning to accommodate multiplexes. I would therefore favor building codes that required new buildings not to exceed 40% of the lot or the footprint of the previous building. This would assure the maintenance of greenspaces, while also allowing vertical density on properties and multi-family structures. I would encourage tax incentives for families to jointly own buildings encouraging co-housing to increase density and make available more housing affordable to people living at or below the median income.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?

I would not vote for a bill to end the ban on rent control. I strongly believe that we need renter protections to increase stability for renters. I believe there is general agreement that, while protecting some renters, rent control has had mixed effects often resulting in fewer units overall and higher costs at initial rental. I do believe rent stabilization is necessary as are stronger renter protections such as banning no-cause evictions and providing for sufficient notice of rent increases. In order to decrease rents, we need a surplus of housing which means we need to increase availability, by changing zoning, increasing social housing and facilitating an increase in condo and other multi-family, single structure buildings.

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?

We are moving too slowly on eliminating greenhouse gasses. We need to measure and report city-wide greenhouse gas emissions on a semi-annual basis. We need to increase the capacity of our electric grid. Buildings are the fastest growing emitters of GHGs and we must move to electrification and efficiency upgrades advocating for policies which ensure new buildings meet the highest efficiency standards providing tax incentives and subsidies to ensure that necessary retrofits are performed on older buildings. We must take into consideration where policies around increasing efficiency impact people inequitably, and nimbly subsidize these upgrades in a means tested way. 

In short, there are many things that should be done. A significant missing piece is ensuring that everyone who will be impacted by necessary changes to our energy generation and consumption is included. We need to engage all stakeholders ensuring that jobs for workers in the energy sector will be maintained even as they may be required to be agile and retrain for jobs in the post-fossil fuel economy. We must assure the hard working men and women that their qualifications will be valued and pay will be maintained commensurate with experience in the field.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?

For the sustainability of our planet, we need to invest in public transit over increased highway lane miles. We need to increase the convenience, capacity and incentives to use public transit to decrease dependence and congestion on our highways. I would not support adding highway lane miles unless it was dedicated to public transit and separated bike lanes. 

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?

It is important to have a framework for growth as we move forward and the Growth Management Act is a broad brush look at planning for the growth we know is coming. As a scientist, I firmly believe we need metrics, transparently available at reasonable intervals with which to monitor our growth. We also need a focus and to place a priority on equity. I have briefly reviewed the Futurewise Summary analysis and the Road Map Report completed by the Ruckelhouse Institute in 2019 and believe there is certainly room for both increased monitoring and for increasing an emphasis on climate resiliency in all sectors. In short, we need to increase equity, prevent gentrification, reduce emissions, and save our wilderness, forests and farms.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?

Yes. That said, I believe this is a large hurdle with our state constitution specifically banning this. I recognize that we have the most regressive tax structure in the 50 states, an embarrassment to say the least, and that this is desperately in need of reform. I believe we need to assure revenue from capital gains taxes, by closing business tax exemptions and by increasing municipalities’ power to levy property taxes over 1%. In this day where wealth is increasingly concentrated, income tax may not be the most progressive tax. We also need to reform our estate taxes to make these more progressive while building in protections for people who are property rich but cash poor. We need to assure there is financial sustainability and equity in our tax policies. 

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?

We need to invest in public transportation while increasing the efficiency, equity and sustainability of our public systems. This will be a heterogenous approach including subsidized transport using state monies to partially, and equitably fund while incentivizing the use of public transportation using public monies. We also need to increase infrastructure spending for bicycles and pedestrians.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Public safety is a large problem. I am already working in public safety in one way by caring for those that are living outside and that have suffered from poverty and homelessness. There is so much more to do which is a large part of why I’m running. We desperately need criminal legal reforms which will decrease the number of people unfairly detained and will add necessary services, mental health and vocational training among others, to those who must be detained because of imminent danger to themselves or others. I believe we need to end the ‘war on drugs’ by switching to a regulation from a prohibition stance. The only thing the war on drugs has accomplished is an egregiously inequitable attack on people, most commonly young men of color, while strengthening and financing organized crime. Ideally we would eliminate money bail and pre-trial detention for all but those deemed dangerous to themselves or others. There is good data to show this strategy does not increase failure to appear, increase arrests for a second crime between initial arrest and trial, and it does decrease costs while decreasing convictions and time spent in prison.


Nina Martinez 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire LD46 Pos. 2

What is your top priority for the upcoming term, and how will you achieve it?*

Addressing gun violence and youth having access to firearms. I have a strong background addressing youth violence to stop having access to firearms but when in office I will sponsor legislation that will do more to fund to parent engagement programs. We need to provide parents, guardians and families more resources including funding for housing for themselves to help the child that has been caught up in this gun violence culture. I also want to ban assault weapons.

Washington State adopted a “Target Zero” goal of ending traffic deaths by 2030, but fatalities are trending in the wrong direction. What do you propose to rectify this situation?*

I know of someone that recently lost her dad to head on collision with a drunk driver driving the wrong direction on major HWY. To end all traffic deaths is tough to foresee but we could look at the the Dept. of licensing and fund a task force to analyze all the data related to fatalities and look for common theme that includes high fatality areas. Also Dept. of Transportation and municipalities needs to join on this as well. I would look to sponsor proviso if needed to get to obtain the reporting to the legislature.

What is your stance on Rep. Jessica Bateman’s missing middle housing bill (HB 1782) that failed to pass last session and would you support similar legislation to legalize abundant housing statewide? If so, what steps will you take to ensure its passage in the upcoming session? If not, what policy to promote housing growth and affordability do you support?*

I would but we need different solutions to address affordable housing. I want everyone to have a safe home to live in and will be actively pushing policies that do. One area that is often overlooked is that landowners are selling their land to developers including where trailer homes are placed and forcing people out.

Would you vote for a bill that ends the ban on rent control in Washington? Why or why not? Would you support statewide rent stabilization similar to Oregon?*

I would support ending the ban on rent control in WA, but we need many different solutions for the housing affordability crisis.

Washington State has ambitious climate goals, but isn’t yet on course to meet them. What do you see as the missing pieces?*

Stakeholders need to be better informed to help with this. If they are then they can hold legislators and local officials accountable. Not every Washingtonian has knowledge of this ambitious climate pledge and that needs to change.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support adding highway lane miles?*

I need to look into this further before I make a decision.

What reforms of the Growth Management Act do you support, if any?*

In the area of resources, Cities a, counties and state government, would need to allocate resources necessary to adequately develop long range community growth management plans. Government at the federal, state and local levels must recognize, that the actions of the past, have not yielded the envisioned results, through either neighborhood planning efforts. Additionally, government growth management plans have not been inclusive nor sufficient to understand the needs of the communities of color developed in local and state growth management plans. Funding for community growth management plans is essential and fundamental to sound growth management plans for any city and county. It must work in an integrated manner, collaborating yet independent, driven by self-determination to improve the sustainability of families, and neighborhoods.

Do you think Washington state should have an income tax (yes/no)? If yes, what is the legislative path? If not, would you pursue any tax reform?*

Yes.

What more should the State be doing to increase mobility for those who cannot drive or chose not to, a constituency which composes about a quarter of the population?*

We need to continue to invest in public transportation.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?*

I have been a leader pushing legislation for safer communities, police accountability, combating hate crimes, and stopping gun violence. When elected I will continue this work.

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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 community volunteers and staff members of The Urbanist and is a standing body representing the political values of our organization.