A pedestrian crosses the street in Downtown Kirkland. (Credit: Brett VA, Creative Commons)

The Urbanist Elections Committee invited candidates throughout the Puget Sound Region to submit a questionnaire response. This post will go through the remaining responses, which include King County Prosecutor, Washington Congressional District 9, and the Legislative Districts (LDs) in the Eastside and North Sound. We’ve already gone through responses in LD34LD36LD37, and LD46, and the South Sound.

The impact of newly-drawn district boundaries is mixing things up in some races. Republicans are hoping to regain control of the state legislature, but recent polling shows they are struggling to connect with Washingtonians. The red wave might not be coming, but it all depends on what happens between now and November.

The Primary Election ends August 2nd, so do not forget to get your ballot in. Our endorsements are detailed here or a cheatsheet is below. We also encourage you to connect with your favored campaigns to help push them over the top to success.

The Urbanist Slate graphic lists following Primary endorsements King County Prosecutor: Leesa Manion	LD34 Senate: Joe Nguyen LD22-1: Jessica Bateman	LD34-1: Leah Griffin LD22-2: Beth Doglio	LD43-1: Nicole Macri LD26-2: Matthew Macklin	LD46 Senate: Javier Valdez LD29-2: Sharlett Mena	LD46-1: Hadeel Jeanne LD27 Senate: Yasmin Trudeau	LD46-2: Melissa Taylor LD30 Senate: Claire Wilson	LD48 Senate: Patty Kuderer LD47-2: Shukri Olow	LD48-2 Amy Walen LD33-2: Mia Gregerson	LD45 Senate: Manka Dhingra LD11-1: David Hackney	LD32-1: Cindy Ryu LD34-2: Joe Fitzgibbon	LD01-1: Davina Duerr LD36 Senate: Noel Frame	LD21-1: Strom Peterson LD36-1: Julia Reed	LD44 Senate: John Lovick LD36-2: Liz Berry	LD44-1: Brandy Donaghy LD37-2: Chipalo Street	WA-09: Stephanie Gallardo LD37 Senate: Rebecca Saldaña
The Urbanist Election Committee’s 2022 Primary endorsements. (The Urbanist)

Below you will find questionnaires responses for King County Prosecutor Leesa Manion, Congressional District 9 candidates Adam Smith and Stephanie Gallardo, Sen. Patty Kuderer, Rep. Amy Walen, Sen. Manka Dhingra, Rep. Davina Duerr, Rep. Cindy Ryu, Rep. Strom Peterson, Sen. John Lovick, Rep. Brandy Donaghy, and Richard May, who is one of four candidates vying for an open seat in LD42.

The new LD48 following 2022 redistricting. (WA Redistricting Commission)

Sen. Kuderer and Rep. Walen represent the 48th District, and each succeeded in winning us over. Kuderer faces one Republican, and Walen and seatmate Vandana Slatter (who didn’t return a questionnaire) are running unopposed. The 48th District lost a chunk of Kirkland, Redmond and east Bellevue, but added a chunk of northwestern Bellevue. It should remain a Democratic stronghold.

The new 45th LD after 2022 redistricting. (WA Redistricting Commission)

Sen. Manka Dhingra represents the 45th District, and faces one Republican challenger. She earned our endorsement with her responses. Neither Rep. Roger Goodman nor Rep. Larry Springer returned a questionnaire, nor do they face any challengers from the Democratic side. LD45 picked up small chunks of Kirkland and Redmond, but it lost some of Woodinville, Duvall, and Sammamish.

The new LD1 changed significantly in 2022 redistricting. (WA Redistricting Commission)

Rep. Davina Duerr (D – Bothell) represents the 1st District, which changed significantly in redistricting. LD1 gained Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Woodinville, and some unincorporated outskirts of Lynnwood, but it lost Mountlake Terrace, North Creek, and Maltby — the latter two are sprawling unincorporated communities in Snohomish County. Rep. Duerr and seatmate Shelley Kloba each face one Republican, neither of much standing. The Urbanist Elections Committee was happy to endorse Duerr for her excellent housing and climate activism, spearheading the HB 1099 effort to add climate into the Growth Management Act, which died on the goal line but should be back.

LD32 after 2022 redistricting. (WA Redistricting Commission)

Rep. Cindy Ryu represents the 32nd District, which didn’t change a ton in redistricting but did pick up Mountlake Terrace and lose some unincorporated outskirts of Lynnwood and Edmonds. Her responses and interview garnered our endorsement. Her seatmate Rep. Lauren Davis didn’t return a questionnaire. Each face one independent challenger, neither of whom are showing fundraising totals yet.

LD21 after 2022 redistricting. (WA Redistricting Commission)

Rep. Strom Peterson represents the 21st District, and we saw enough in his brief questionnaire responses to endorse his campaign. His seatmate, Lillian Ortiz-Self (D), did not return a questionnaire, nor did Sen. Marko Liias, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. Peterson and Ortiz-Self each have Republican opponents, none of who have raised much money, but Liias is facing a well-funded challenge from Republican Janelle Cass, an Edmonds business owner. In redistricting, the 21st saw minor changes including picking up more of Edmonds and southwest Everett while losing some territory to the east. It’s still be very much a longshot for Republicans to win here.

Sen. John Lovick and Rep. Brandy Donaghy represent the 44th District, and each won our endorsement with their questionnaire responses. Rep. April Berg (D), who didn’t return a questionnaire, is also seeking a second term and, like Donaghy, faces a Republican challenger. Lovick faces three Republicans. The district shifted to the south in districting. Gone is Lake Stevens and Three Lakes. In its place are North Creek, Maltby, Cathcart, and Silver Lake. The district should remain a Democratic leaner.

The 42nd District is one of the swing districts that will determine control of the state legislature. Rep. Sharon Shewmake (D) won a very tight race last time around and is seeking to move up to the State Senate, where Trump minion Doug Erickson passed away from Covid in late 2021 leaving the district without a true incumbent. The Whatcom County Council appointed Republican Simon Sefzik to fill the seat for the remainder of Erickson’s term, and Sefzik is seeking reelection, but it has a Republican challenger in Ben Elenbaas. A Democratic pickup here would all but doom Republican hopes of taking the Senate.

Shewmake’s Senate run has opened up her House seat, and two Democrats and two Republicans are in the running to replace her. The Urbanist received a questionnaire from Blaine City Councilmember Richard May and interviewed him too but ultimately opted not to endorse in this race. The other Democrat is Joe Timmons of Bellingham, who works in the Inslee Administration. We may revisit our decision in the General. Democrat Alicia Rule is seeking reelection and is being targeted by two Republican candidates. LD42 didn’t change much in redistricting.


Leesa Manion: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – King County Prosecutor

What is the role of the prosecutor’s office in an ideal world? What is it in practice?

In an ideal world, the Prosecutor’s Office and its employees are committed to promoting a justice system grounded in fairness, equity, and compassion. This includes applying applicable law to criminal cases in a fair and transparent manner that respects human dignity, protects constitutional rights, and earns and maintains the trust of the communities it serves. In practice, this means:
*Exercising prosecutorial discretion with humility and restraint in a manner that advances racial equity and justice for victims, families, and the accused;
*Openly sharing written filing and disposition standards with defense, law enforcement, and the public;
*Using data to actively identify and address disparities in the criminal legal system;
*Learning our Country’s true history and dismantling systemic racism and other forms of oppression within the criminal legal system;
*Inviting our communities’ participation in crafting and implementing restorative justice practices to effectively address harm and the root causes of crime;
*Offering culturally responsive and restorative services to victims and survivors.

By what process would you determine which criminal cases to prosecute?

With every contact with the public, the accused, law enforcement, and victims and their families, prosecutors and staff have an opportunity to build confidence in our justice system. The consistent application of criminal law is an important part of this work. I support these policies and practices:
*Publishing case filing and disposition criteria/standards to demonstrate neutrality and fairness in our decision-making;
*Maintaining convervative filing practices;
*Offering fair and appropriate case dispositions, and promptly sharing evidence and discovery with defense and the accused;
*Protecting against bias in charging decisions by requiring regular training for deputies and staff on implicit bias and using checklists and other equity screening tools to ensure neutrality and fairness in our decision-making;
*Identifying nonviolent crimes that are more effectively addressed with diversion to community-based resources to increase access to the services that address root causes of crime and offer opportunities to lift individuals out of crisis and poor decision-making.

What is the cause of crime and what is the prosecutor’s role to address that?

Inequity is the cause of crime — poverty, inequitable access to healthcare, substance use, mental health or other treatment, racial discrimination, inequitable employment and educational opportunities, too few protective factors — all of these root causes of crime are rooted in inequity.

In order to effectively prevent crime and victimization, we must build a society that supports the well-being of everyone. Prosecutors must expand their roles beyond the criminal legal system and partner with our communities to transform underlying conditions of inequity, rather than focus solely on the symptoms (i.e. crime). Our ultimate goal should be to prevent crime and victimization from occurring in the first place by ensuring an equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. This will lead to significant reductions in social problems and challenges, including crime. 

Prosecutors must also utilize therapeutic alternatives, including diversion and treatment courts to address root causes for those already entangled in the criminal legal system.

How would you define “progressive prosecutor” and would you identify as such? If so, what policies would you implement in that vein? If not, how do you identify your prosecutorial style and what does that look like in terms of your policies?

A progressive prosecutor seeks to remove racial inequity and other forms of oppression from our criminal legal system and exercises discretion in a fair and transparent manner that respects human dignity, protects constitutional rights, and maintains the trust of the communities they serve. 

As someone who identifies as a progressive prosecutor, I have taken action to dismantle racial inequities by initiating these reforms:
*Mandatory implicit bias training for all employees to promote impartial decision-making;
*Mandatory cultural competency training for employees to increase racial understanding;
*Office viewing and discussion of Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th”;
*Office viewing and discussion of “Race: The Power of An Illusion”;
*Reviewed “Three Strike” cases and successfully supported 17 clemency petitions that ended life sentences and led to the removal of “Robbery 2” as a strike offense (which disproportionately impacts Black men) and the passage of SB 6164, which allows prosecutors to review and shorten prior sentences to advance equity.

The Washington Supreme Court recently overturned our state’s felony drug possession statute in State v. Blake,197 Wn.2d 170, 481 P.3d 521 (2021), requiring many convictions to be vacated, as well as entitling many people to resentencing due to facially unconstitutional offender scores. What should the prosecutor’s role in helping to correct these errors be?

Long before the Washington Supreme Court issued its decision in State v. Blake, I successfully secured funding to double the capacity of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s (PAO’s) Post Conviction Unit (PCU) so that the PAO could proactively assist individuals seeking to vacate convictions and/or restore rights for all eligible crimes, not just drug possession. The PCU also partnered with community nonprofits, like the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and legal organizations, like the King County Bar Association to build and carry out a public awareness campaign and to enlist additional support/capacity from pro bono attorneys.

Post Blake, I increased PCU’s staffing level to expedite and streamline vacating convictions, recalculate sentences, and note hearings to release eligible individuals as the result of Blake. I believe this important and corrective work is an essential part of the PAO’s mission and that post conviction assistance, in all cases, should be offered to all individuals who seek it. 

Given that time in jail — let alone prison — can lead to defendants losing their jobs, homes, or parental rights, even a short time behind bars or a minimal criminal record can destabilize families and their communities. Historically and presently, this has been especially true for communities of color, with devastating consequences. Does a prosecutor have a duty to respond to the systemic targeting of communities of color by policing and prosecution? If so, how would you put that into practice?

Prosecutors have an absolute duty to respond to and end disparities in all parts of the criminal legal system. Our country’s history of racism and oppression manifests in the criminal legal system and serves to perpetuate the disparate treatment of BIPOC. These disparities can be insidious and covert, even in the enforcement of seemingly race-neutral laws. In order to address these disparities, police and prosecutors must guard against bias in all stages of decision-making. This includes training employees to combat bias and implicit bias, to understand and dismantle systemic racism, to use checklists and other equity screening tools to promote fair and impartial decision-making. Police and prosecutors must also collect and review data to identify disparities and proactively share this information with the public.    

How would you describe the current relationship between the police/sheriff’s department and the prosecutor’s office? What is your ideal relationship between the offices, and how will you make that a reality? If the police department chooses a policy you disagree with, will you exercise your right not to prosecute those cases?

The PAO’s relationship with law enforcement is generally strong, but frayed with some departments over juvenile justice issues. I have personally met with police chiefs and officers to mend relationships, increase understanding, and identify shared goals for addressing juvenile crime. 

Ideally, the office’s relationship with law enforcement is one of mutual respect and understanding, even when we disagree. I will attend our monthly police chiefs/sheriffs’ meeting (unlike my predecessor/boss). I will be there to build relationships, to be accountable, and to build allyship.  If law enforcement disagrees with my filing decisions, I will meet in order to discuss their concerns, answer questions, and walk through my decision-making process.

I intentionally declined to seek endorsements from police guilds. I successfully fought for resources to create a new Public Integrity Unit to review use of force cases after I-940. This review would not appear fair and unbiased if I am endorsed by police guilds.  

Would your office prosecute a homeless person arrested for sleeping on public transit, in the light rail station, or elsewhere in public? What will your policy be about responding to arrests of people whose criminal behavior clearly stems from poverty? 

I would not prosecute a homeless person for sleeping on public transit or in any public space. I believe that individuals who are struggling with homelessness and poverty are deserving of housing, services, and opportunities that serve to address the root cause(s) of criminal behavior by working to lift the person out of homelessness and poverty. Services should be low barrier, widespread and easy to access, and culturally sensitive and responsive. And, as leaders, we must ensure that we are honest about the size of the needs in our communities and find sustainable funding and resources to adequately meet those needs.

What role should money bail play in our system?

In King County, judges must follow Court Rule 3.2, which provides a presumption of release in noncapital cases. The elimination of cash bail can have the unintended consequence of limiting judges to a binary choice of either release or detention. Given an “either or” approach, many judges may choose to hold an individual in jail out of an abundance of caution in order to protect public safety. I am a strong advocate for effective alternatives to detention that serve to protect public safety, offer services to address the root causes of crime, and ensure the individual’s return to court if released. I also support the use of technology to remind individuals of court dates and the continued use of video hearings as a way to ensure compliance with court dates and to avoid the issuance of bench warrants. I also support the continued practice of reasonable bail standards/guidance within the Prosecutor’s Office.

What is the role of alternative courts and diversion programs? What strategies are appropriate to ensure access to these opportunities are equitable?

Diversion works. I believe in the power of community-based programs as our best upstream crime prevention strategy. Community and prosecutors can work together to divert non-violent cases out of the criminal legal system. We can also address youth violence by strengthening pro-social norms and protective factors in youth and decreasing risk factors. These efforts are data-driven. Research shows that connecting youth to structure and opportunities, such as employment, job mentorship and training, educational supports, and behavioral interventions can improve youth well-being and reduce violence. 

Within the criminal justice system, I am a strong proponent of using therapeutic alternatives such as LEAD, Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Veterans’ Court to connect individuals who find themselves entangled in the justice system to important services that address root causes. Eligibility criteria should be drafted and reviewed with an equity lens to ensure access to alternatives are equitable and low/no barrier.


Stephanie Gallardo: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – WA 09

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

My top priority for the upcoming term is writing legislation that funds public schools at a level we have yet to see in our lifetime. This
bill will include free Pre-K for all, full funding for our humanities, tuition free college, and a number of progressive legislative priorities
that center education. As a National Education Association Board Director and highschool teacher, I have experienced firsthand the
destructive nature of underfunding our schools and neglecting our children’s education. As I state on my Education Justice platform,
our federal government must prioritize the funding of public schools at a level that has never been attempted.

I am a vigorous supporter of Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s Green New Deal for Public Schools (GND4PS) Act. People who have followed my
campaign know from day one that I will co-sponsor the Green New Deal for Public Schools and put forward my own legislation to
further education funding for our public schools.

What can Congress do right now to alleviate the housing crisis? Are you open to expanding public housing stock? Funding social housing? Fully funding the Housing Choice Voucher program? Renters tax credits? Why or why not? If not, what would you recommend to support rent-burdened Americans?

Congress must pass federal tenant protections that prevent price gouging, wrongful evictions, and housing monopolies. Equally,
Congress must preserve existing housing stock as well as expand it. I support House Our Neighbor’s Initiative 135 which creates
funding for social housing here in Seattle. This initiative should be the model for national funding for social housing. I also support
fully funding the Housing Choice Voucher program to protect low-income families and individuals. Nationalizing renters tax credits is
a top priority of my domestic platform and is legislation I pledge to support in Congress.

Of course, we need to do more. In my capacity as your congressional representative, I will advocate for the highest possible support
for rent-burned Americans and champion these legislative priorities to address the housing crisis.

A year and a half of Democratic control of Congress hasn’t converted to much landmark legislation passed or progress on pressing issues. If (re)elected, what will you do to change this?

My agenda for landmark legislation is wide, progressive, and rooted in community. In terms of what landmark legislation I support, my
campaign has openly pledged our commitment to Educational Justice (GND4PS), Universal Healthcare (M4A), Climate Justice (GND),
expanding Labor Power (PRO ACT), and a plethora of legislative priorities that we must pass into law in order to uplift this district, and
by extension, the nation.

Unfortunately, many of these priorities cannot be funded unless we cut the bloated military budget. I will also pledge to join the
Defense Spending Reduction Caucus, started by representatives Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, and work towards a massive cut in the
pentagon’s budget.

If I am elected, I will leverage the full power of my office, the voices here in my district, and progressives in congress to press these
issues to the forefront of our nation’s attention. I plan to join the other progressive lawmakers in congress in immensely pressuring
the establishment to pass our ambitious agenda. However, I am prepared to work with Republicans to pass landmark educational
legislation, so long as that work didn’t entail sending any funding to charter schools.

Will you work to enshrine reproductive healthcare access legislatively? What will your strategy be?

The assault on reproductive rights, while serious and urgent, is part of a larger attack on our civil rights and liberties. In this case, the
Democratic party has failed to legislate reproductive rights into federal law, even though on multiple occasions they have had large
majorities in Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority when Barack Obama was sworn in.

Reproductive rights must be treated as an urgent healthcare matter, and not just a fundraising “hook” for Democrats. This requires
elected officials who are willing to hold their own leadership accountable when they fail to legislate and when they campaign for anti-choice members of their own party, like they did recently in the Texas runoff between Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros.

Since my campaign is not beholden to the Democratic Party machine, I will be in a position to fight harder than the party is willing to
fight, and to push even my own party to act with the urgency that this moment requires.

The conservative movement has orchestrated a takeover of the Supreme Court and many of the lower courts, installing in key positions partisans willing to legislate from the bench. What do you aim to do about it? How can we prevent
judicial overreach?

Since the House of Representatives has minimal power over the judiciary, I will answer with an analysis of why this country is lurching
further to the right with every election.

“Vote blue no matter who” has been a tactic that has clearly failed us. Every time we are told that we just need more Democrats and
then they will fix everything, even as they control the White House and both chambers of Congress. In 1992, Bill Clinton came to power
with Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress. He passed NAFTA and faced a right wing backlash in 1994. In 2008, Barack
Obama came to power with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. He bailed out the banks and not the homeowners, and two years
later lost his majority in Congress. The right-wing appeal to many working class Americans can only be reversed when there is a
progressive alternative that will materially improve their lives.

Something representatives can do is put forth support for efforts to reverse the conservative takeover of the Supreme Court. I plan to
take a hard stance against these partisan actors and cosponsor the Judiciary Act of 2021 to expand the court to 13 seats.

With the raging Covid pandemic and threat of long Covid, Americans are facing greatly increased healthcare needs and
costs. How should the government ensure those needs are met? Do you support universal health care? If so, how
would you achieve that?

One major piece of legislation that the government can pass that ensures the financial and healthcare needs of the American people
is universal healthcare, AKA Medicare for All. I absolutely support universal healthcare, as it is a cornerstone of my platform and a
major legislative priority of mine; if elected to office I will cosponsor Medicare for All put forward by neighboring congressional
representative Pramila Jayapal.

However, it is not enough to put your name on a colleague’s legislation and move on. This needs to be a priority for every member of
Congress who signs the legislation. We need to use the platform that is the United States Congress to speak up against the myths
and half-truths that the private insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies put out. We need to convince voters in red, blue, and purple
districts that Medicare for All is in their personal self-interest.

Furthermore, I believe it is a moral imperative that we build on our current progress by expanding stimulus payments started by the
American Rescue Plan, pushing for reduced prices for drugs and lifesaving medical procedures, and renewing child tax credits.

How would you like to see funding from the infrastructure bill spent? What are the biggest remaining infrastructure
needs? Where does high speed rail rank for you? How about the pedestrian safety crisis?

In a district with areas that are rapidly gentrifying and others left completely underdeveloped, it is imperative that we direct funding
from the infrastructure bill to projects that uplift our underserved communities. This means creating vibrant and accessible public
transit infrastructure, and subsidies to incentivize more working-class people to use public transit. We also need more affordable housing near public transit. It makes no sense that the majority of housing being built along the Link light rail lines consists of luxury condominiums.

I highly value constructing a national high-speed rail that connects our cities, providing an alternative transportation service that
works against climate change exacerbated by our nation’s overuse of gas-powered cars. Cars, roads, and highway
expansion/construction have been at the center of our pedestrian safety crisis. As your congressperson, I will direct federal funding to
create safe, walkable, transit-accessible, and vibrant infrastructure for our pedestrians.

America is a world leader when it comes to climate emissions. How will you fight to ensure America leads the way in
climate action and environmental stewardship? Do you see the Green New Deal as a model to deliver such action? Why
or why not?

I am an outspoken fighter for the Green New Deal (I have taken the GND Champions pledge). I support public renewable power,
decarbonization, and addressing the biggest polluter on our planet: the U.S. Military. My platform piece titled “Building our Clean
Energy Future” addresses this in great detail. The federal government must play a bigger role since the market is clearly failing to
provide renewable energy fast enough for the scale of the need. Our nation needs an expanded renewable power generation system. It
is called a “Green New Deal” to evoke 1930s and WWII levels of Federal spending, which for a period exceeded 40% of GNP. We need a
federal investment of 5% of GDP for a decade.

We’ve done this before, through the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of the original New Deal, and on a smaller
scale, for wastewater systems in the 1970s through EPA’s Construction Grants program under the Clean Water Act. The United States
can afford a $780 billion defense budget and yet we can’t “afford” to defend against climate change? This country needs elected
officials who will shut down business as usual in DC until the climate crisis is addressed.

How can Congress increase public safety and reduce crime? Do you support federal legislation further increasing police funding? How do you balance that with the need to fund violence prevention and diversionary programs, social services, and other priorities that are often overlooked?

While most policing is under the jurisdiction of local authorities, the federal government can play a key role through the provision of
funds and equipment. For starters, we must immediately end the Pentagon’s 1033 program that sends “surplus” military equipment to
local police departments. Multiple studies (cited on my campaign platform) demonstrate that such programs result in militarization of
the police, and encourage officers to view the public as “the enemy” to be controlled, not citizens who need protection.

I support calls by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund that Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act should cut federal funding to
any local police department that is found to engage in racial discrimination.

Federal tax dollars are a major source of funding for many local police departments. And we have, on the books, a law that would
require the federal government to cut this funding from police departments that are found to engage in racist policing, from
Minneapolis to Seattle.

Although temporary, the American Rescue Plan was effective at reducing poverty, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty and cutting child poverty in half. Should we continue or expand such relief? Would you support a guaranteed basic income program to build on this work?

I pledge to support further federal funding for violence prevention and diversionary programs, social services, and restorative justice
priorities across the board. It is imperative that we approach public safety with a community centered response.

It is a moral imperative that we not only continue, but expand on the protections and relief provided by the American Rescue Plan.
Direct stimulus, Child Tax Credit, and other legislative measures included in the American Rescue Plan that directly uplift working
families must persist, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. I vigorously support a guaranteed basic income program to
build on our progress, and I am committed to proposing and cosponsoring legislative measures to make it law.


Adam Smith: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – WA 09

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

I believe that perhaps the greatest issue of our time is economic insecurity. Middle class wages have not kept up to the cost of living. We have seen an increase in food insecurity, housing insecurity, etc. We need to ensure that workers receive better wages, affordable education, and the support they need to make it in this country. On that front, I have fought hard to pass legislation such as paid family leave for all federal employees. I have also been working hard to drive federal dollars to our community, particularly towards affordable housing. Continuing to work with unions and community organizations to combat economic security will continue to be a priority of mine.

What can Congress do right now to alleviate the housing crisis? Are you open to expanding public housing stock? Funding social housing? Fully funding the Housing Choice Voucher program? Renters tax credits? Why or why not? If not, what would you recommend to support rent-burdened Americans?

It is critical that Congress take action to alleviate the housing crisis. That means building more affordable housing units. I have and continue to advocate for significant federal investment that would drastically increase the supply of affordable housing.

Affordable housing and transit are essential to our sustainable development. I was proud to vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act that would make a massive investments in clean energy infrastructure, helping put the U.S. on a path to decarbonizing all sectors of the economy.

The Build Back Better Act also included historic investments in housing affordability. My bill, the Promoting Affordable Housing Near Transit Act, was passed into law last year as part of the FY 2022 NDAA. It establishes a process by which a non-profit organization or other third-party entity can receive a land transfer from a federal transit agency at zero cost for the purposes of a transit-oriented development or affordable housing project. We must be creative about securing affordable and efficient housing in King County and that is why I fought so hard to pass this measure into law.

A year and a half of Democratic control of Congress hasn’t converted to much landmark legislation passed or progress on pressing issues. If (re)elected, what will you do to change this?

While Congress has been able to pass important legislation like the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure bill, there is still much more work that needs to be done. I have been a strong supporter of landmark legislation in the House of Representatives. We have managed to pass the PRO Act, Women’s Health Protection Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Act, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, etc. While the House has passed this vital legislation, they have not been taken up in the Senate. I am a firm believer that it is long past time the Senate does away with the filibuster and passes these bills. 

I also think it is essential that Democrats do a better job at rallying public support for our agenda. We need to build a durable progressive majority that can get elected, govern effectively, and get elected again. I am going to fight to help build this coalition.

Will you work to enshrine reproductive healthcare access legislatively? What will your strategy be?

Yes; I am an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act and voted for its passage through the House of Representatives. I believe that a woman has the right to choose what she can and can’t do with her body. Congress must protect this right. I will continue to support and advocate for legislation that will enshrine reproductive health care into law.

The conservative movement has orchestrated a takeover of the Supreme Court and many of the lower courts, installing in key positions partisans willing to legislate from the bench. What do you aim to do about it? How can we prevent judicial overreach?

It is crucial that we work to build a durable progressive coalition that can win elections and maintain public support through passing essential legislation. In doing so, we can work to shift the balance of the courts over time. Congress must also pass crucial legislation enshrining, among others, a woman’s right to choose and voting rights into law.

With the raging Covid pandemic and threat of long Covid, Americans are facing greatly increased healthcare needs and costs. How should the government ensure those needs are met? Do you support universal health care? If so, how would you achieve that?

I am an original cosponsor of the Medicare for All Act. I have been a firm advocate for expanded healthcare throughout my career, having voted for the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions of Americans. While that was a crucial step in the right direction, there is much more that needs to be done. We need to ensure that everyone has access to quality medical, dental, and vision care.

Reproductive care is an essential part of this. I am a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act which would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade and protect a woman’s right to an abortion.

How would you like to see funding from the infrastructure bill spent? What are the biggest remaining infrastructure needs? Where does high speed rail rank for you? How about the pedestrian safety crisis?

I have been a longtime supporter of greater investment in infrastructure, provided by a wide range of means–including public/private partnerships–to promote economic growth and responsibly invest in infrastructure that helps to create good jobs, spur the economy, and provide the needed updates to our roads, highways, bridges, and transit, among others. I believe we need to build a robust high speed rail system and ensure that we are building it in a way to ensure the safety of pedestrians. I also think that the investments in broadband access in the bill are crucial.

America is a world leader when it comes to climate emissions. How will you fight to ensure America leads the way in climate action and environmental stewardship? Do you see the Green New Deal as a model to deliver such action? Why or why not?

I am a cosponsor of the Green New Deal and support bold action to combat the climate crisis. I believe that we need to take bold steps to reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible. I support the climate measures in the Build Back Better Act. I also support implementing a carbon tax and using the money gained through that tax to invest in low income neighborhoods across the country.

How can Congress increase public safety and reduce crime? Do you support federal legislation further increasing police funding? How do you balance that with the need to fund violence prevention and diversionary programs, social services, and other priorities that are often overlooked?

I believe that we need to ensure that police departments have necessary funding, while also investing in diversionary programs and police reform. I introduced a bill in the 117th Congress to divert non violent 911 calls to specialized responders and fund community-based public safety programs. By utilizing these community based programs, we can reduce violent encounters, help restore trust between law enforcement and community members, and provide better care for public safety.

Although temporary, the American Rescue Plan was effective at reducing poverty, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty and cutting child poverty in half. Should we continue or expand such relief? Would you support a guaranteed basic income program to build on this work?

We should continue to expand on the relief in the American Rescue Plan to provide a strong social safety net for the middle and lower class. I believe that the federal minimum wage should be increased to at least $15 an hour. I also believe that we need to pass many of the provisions in the Build Back Better Act such as the provisions to provide access to childcare. With the cost of childcare continuing to grow, our middle class families are being hit hard.


Patty Kuderer: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD48 Senate

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

Our economy in Washington does not work for everyone, and it is my priority as a legislator to reform our tax structure to invest in marginalized communities across the state. We need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and our tax dollars are invested in programs that we know address systemic income inequality. We need affordable housing, accessible early childhood education, and strong apprenticeship and other job training programs that will work to dismantle racial and economic disparities. We also need to build on our work to increase access to home ownership for marginalized communities to close the racial wealth gap.

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 key to reducing traffic deaths is to invest in public transportation that gets people out of their cars and to continue investing in a multi-modal system that offers safe alternatives to single occupancy vehicles. I hope that the investments from Move Ahead Washington in trail and bike lane infrastructure as well as in public transit help move us in the right direction.

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 Chair of the Senate Housing & Local Government Committee and believe housing is a human right. I was a cosponsor of the Senate companion to Rep. Bateman’s bill, SB 5670, which we heard and exec’d out of my committee. I have committed to working with Rep. Bateman and stakeholders on passing a bill that establishes a statewide floor that leverages existing infrastructure so we can build more housing faster.

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 supported bills ending the statewide prohibition in the past and believe that local governments should have the authority to enact rent stabilization programs that fit their communities. That said, there are other approaches I am open to that may get us to the same place. I am following the public housing initiative in Seattle, community land trusts are an option, and “rent-to-buy” programs could also be pathways to stabilize rents which now are tied to area median income which is higher here due to the tech industry. Regarding the Oregon model, I am still studying the data and it appears some property managers are simply raising the rent the full 7% every year, regardless of whether it is actually needed or not, and that is unsustainable in my view.

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

We have and continue to see the impacts of the climate crisis. First, we need to ensure our legislation is based on science, and take into consideration the advice and recommendations from respected groups that advocate for our environment every day. Second, we need to continually publicize the immediate and direct impacts of climate change on our daily lives and do what we can on societal and individual levels to mitigate these effects. That includes helping to transition carbon workers into green jobs and ensuring that clean energy projects continue to have strong labor standards. Finally, the state must continue to lead by example — upgrading to green fleets, using green technology in our buildings, and innovating to reduce waste. The bottom line is we must reduce carbon emissions and I will continue to support legislation to accomplish that goal.

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

When public safety demands that we add another lane and we have the space, like repurposing the shoulder into a bus rapid transit lane, then it makes sense. It makes more sense, however, to prioritize mass transit and a multi-modal transportation system.

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

I supported Sen. Short’s bill from last year that permitted the swapping of land that is not developable within the urban growth boundary with an equal size of developable land that is contiguous to the UGA in question. I am open to looking at the GMA but will not undermine the goals or intent of the legislation.

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?

We need to completely overhaul the broken, regressive tax system in our state. I was proud to support the capital gains tax when it came before the legislature and support further tax reforms that relieve the burden on our seniors, veterans, and working families, and like most people, I am closely following the lawsuit challenging it as an unconstitutional income tax. A progressive income tax is currently unconstitutional in our state due to a 1930’s Washington Supreme Court decision holding that “income” was “property,” and our Constitution says all property must be taxed “at a uniform rate.”

The uniformity clause is regressive, punitive, and unfair, and is a big reason why Washington’s tax structure is rated dead-last. The best way to address this is to amend our Constitution — an admittedly heavy lift that will require significant public support. It is, however, essential that we amend our state constitution if we want to bring equity and fairness into our tax structure. The tax system is the one that is truly rigged — loopholes for the ultra-wealthy, penalties for working people (e.g., earned income is taxed at a higher rate than passive income, the wealth accumulated from the growth in stocks/bonds). In the meantime, until we make the foundational changes to our laws that enable us to build a truly progressive tax structure, I will support reforms that we know are legal that still address our upside-down tax system and ensure the wealthiest among us pay 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?

Our Move Ahead transportation package drove historic investments in public transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure to increase mobility across our state. We made stark increases in the Safe Routes to Schools projects and other bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects to keep people safe as they move throughout their communities. I was a proud supporter of these increases, but I know we must do more to shift away from car-centric development. I support increasing the funding for these necessary projects and will champion them in future transportation budgets.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

To keep our communities safe, we must enact smart, data-driven policies proven to deter crime, dole out the appropriate consequences to people who commit crimes, and prioritize the needs of survivors of crime. People deserve to know their legislators want them to feel safe and I am committed to supporting effective public safety measures. Crime is up across the United States and the causes of that are varied and complex. Just as there is no single cause, there is no single solution. That’s why we need to be smart on crime and target our human and financial resources for the greatest effect.

For example, a quarter of all homicides and attempted homicides in King County are committed by men with a prior conviction for domestic abuse. Our response thus far is to remove guns from those convicted of domestic violence and to allow victims to seek civil protection orders in “coercive control” situations, a known precursor to physical violence. Gun violence is also up and our country is reeling yet again from another horrific school shooting. I have sponsored and/or co-sponsored common sense gun safety laws every single year I have been in the legislature. My bill to ban assault weapons will be reintroduced next year and it is my sincere hope my fellow colleagues on both sides of the aisle will see we don’t need weapons of war in civil society.

We have seen a rise in cyber harassment and stalking and we passed legislation to give victims more power to stop the behavior early on; and to prevent the tragedies of murdered and missing indigenous people in our state from getting worse, we established a Missing Indigenous Person alert system. Finally, for catalytic converter theft, another crime that is increasing, we established retailer responsibilities and criminal penalties, and created a task force made up of all stakeholders including law enforcement to recommend further legislation to stop this once and for all. Public safety also requires a capable police force, and that is why I sponsored a bill that would have required an increase in police officer pay while expanding the pool of applicants entering the law enforcement academy. I also voted to fix legislation from last year to allow law enforcement to protect our communities to the best of their abilities while making sure public safety works for all of us.


Amy Walen: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD48-2

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

Housing. HB 2020 and it’s principles will be broken into several bills and carried by housing champions.

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?

COVID put people back on the road in SOVs. We need to make public transit safe again to reverse this trend and increase law enforcement presence in the meantime. Infrastructure developments need dedicated and separated lanes for non motorized as the proliferation of E bikes and scooters will absolutely reduce vehicles on the road if we ensure riders are safe. More investment in non-vehicle transit corridors is essential.

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?

As above, my approach is HB 2020. I think we can require cities to take density but still allow them to put it where it makes sense. Some compromise with cities will be necessary to advance Rep Bateman’s bill. Density bonuses for passive housing, expedited permit review for affordable projects as well as policies already in place in Kirkland and Redmond around mandatory inclusion of affordable housing, density around transit and missing middle strategies and not allowing SEPA to be weaponized. I also believe I have the plan for anti-displacement and maintenance of neighborhood character.

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 don’t support rent control. I believe rent control artificially disguises what is a lack of supply problem.

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

All of the policies we have enacted have very long lead times. We have chosen electricity as the way to move from fossil fuels rather than allowing the innovators to determine the correct technology. For example hydrogen would use existing gas station infrastructure, saving jobs and using the network that exists rather than requiring all new recharging systems and does not require rare earth minerals for batteries / battery waste problems. We have much more to do on organics, compositing and requirements that our communities use their own waste rather than exporting it. We need multi jurisdictional coordination because our water, air, fires and floods, our climate doesn’t stay within state borders.

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

None.

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

HB 1099. I also think that we need to tie infrastructure dollars the state provides to taking (smart) growth and honoring 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. We need a constitutional amendment to enact it and to limit sales and property taxes.

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 think my transit answer above covers this topic.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

We need to transform policing. We have put every kind of crisis in our families in the hands of traditional law enforcement. We need DV and SUD and behavior health crisis action teams as part of our peace officer teams and we need to make sure law enforcement teams reflect communities they serve to build and sustain trust.


Manka Dhingra: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD45 Senate

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

Developing a statewide behavioral health crisis system to support the national 988 number is my top priority. Rep. Orwall and I passed a bill setting up the infrastructure and now we have to make sure all the details are filled in. I am working with work groups and stakeholders to ensure we have a trailer bill that can execute the vision.

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?

Eliminating traffic injuries and deaths has been a priority for so long. We know people have to slow down and not be distracted however getting people to change behavior is challenging. I think the best solution is incentivizing the use of collision prevention technology in cars.

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 need more housing options at all price points as well as high density housing especially near transit areas. The issue does hinge on local control and while there are cities that are good partners, there are others that are not. I am proud to represent cities that do want to be good partners and it is key to ensure we are working with them to get their buy in. However, at some point in time the state has to act to ensure we are making dramatic progress in addressing affordability.

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 am not familiar with what Oregon has done. I do believe we need a stable rental market — one that is affordable. I will need to understand the pro/cons on rent control. While I am proud of the work lead by Sen. Kuderer in the Senate on affordability and homelessness, we have a lot more to do in terms of rent stabilization.

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

I am proud to support our environmental policies and goals. My expertise does not lie in this policy arena so I do look to experts in this field to drive the agenda.

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

If we need to widen highway lanes to put in light rail or add carpool lanes for transit.

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

The Growth Management Act needs to be updated. This is another area where I don’t have expertise and rely on others who are leaders on this issue. Sensible, practical policies that protect our environment while addressing affordability are doable and I am eager for the legislature to make progress in this area.

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, WA should have a state income tax. All data supports that being a much more equitable taxation system. I am not sure there is a legislative path. I think the path is with the voters as an initiative. I eagerly await our Supreme Court’s decision on legality of the capital gains excise tax.

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?

State funding for programs like Hopelink’s Non-Emergency Medical transportation need to be expanded to provide transportation services to more people for more diverse reasons. Partnering with our cities to provide free local transportation in downtown areas is a good way to reduce isolation and enable people to frequent local businesses.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Public safety is not the same as police accountability. These days the two appear to be conflated. We can ensure public safety while having transparency and accountability. We also need to distinguish between property crime and crimes of violence. Rape culture, power control issues, gender based violence are what makes our community unsafe and these are the issues we must focus on. There has been a 30% increase in domestic violence since Covid first started. I have worked on years to update our protection order process and address gender based violence. I have long been a supporter of therapeutic alternatives to incarceration to ensure that public health issues like substance use disorder and mental illness have a public health response.


Davina Duerr: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD1-1

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

Adding Climate Change element to the GMA. Since we came so close last session, we feel good that we know what the sticking points are and are working to get around them.

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 need to put more money into protected bike lanes, slower speed limits, and more consequences for drivers that break the law.

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?

Yes, I would, but more than that I will work to make sure it gets out of our caucus and passes on the floor of the house

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?

It’s hard to make a prediction on whether I would vote for a bill without knowing the details. In general, I think renters need more protections and Oregon’s law makes sense to me with the addition of the California provision that prevents rent spikes before the law goes into effect.

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

Adding Climate Change as an element to the GMA.

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

If it supports transit such as BRT, if there are not transit options available or likely to be any time in the near future, or if it’s an important freight corridor and there aren’t other options for moving frieght.

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

Adding Climate Change as an element to the Growth Management Act

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. The tax structure working group has done extensive public outreach and I believe that work supports reforms such as B & O reform and an income tax. I would look to them to lead the effort. I do believe in income tax as a progressive tax

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?

People needs options other than cars. We need to do more to expand protected bike lanes and create a better commuting network for bikers. Also much needs to be done around adding sidewalks and walkability for those who don’t drive. Basically we need to be more like Copenhagen that prioritizes bike, scooter and walking infrastructure. Our transit system also needs to expand and change from one dependent on park and rides to one that covers that last mile.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Defunding police is the worst slogan ever and harms what we should actually be trying to do which is expanding our mental health and crises response for which police are not trained and would very much like assistance with.

In Bothell, we have had a Radar Navigator program which pairs a mental health professional with police to respond to mental health and crises calls for about 5 years. Mental health professionals answering crises calls lead to better outcomes as they are trained in de-escalation and are actually less expensive than deploying police to these events. Individuals in crises get the support services they need, and fewer people end up in jail. We are expanding the program in Bothell and across north King County because it is so effective. The next step is to expand the number of facilities and beds available.


Cindy Ryu: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD32-1

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

With the successful passage of HB 1815 Deterring Catalytic Converter Thefts, I am inspired to work on organized retail thefts which led to $2.7 billion losses in Washington State last year. This drives up consumer prices and presents a massive sales tax revenue loss for the state and local governments. As we continue to work on catalytic converter thefts ecosystem, I think we will find parallel boosters and black market supply chain dynamics.  

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?

New drivers aged 15-16 are required to take drivers’ education courses but older first-time drivers are not, and as more people waited to get licensed, we saw a shift from younger to older, 18-21 age group being the most likely to cause accidents leading to fatalities. So we should look at drivers’ education for all new drivers. For the other end of the spectrum, older drivers get discounts in the auto insurance rates with refreshers so building in an incentive system for how insurance rates are set could help — but the Office of the Insurance Commissioner is otherwise occupied. 

Another could be reducing impaired driving, whether from alcohol or other substances. Other countries such as South Korea have on-call DaeReeUnJeon driver paid services to safely drive the car home after imbibing.  

Lowering speeds on our roads could be another approach to reduce fatalities and severity of injuries as I learned when I introduced and passed HB 1045 (2013) Authorizing certain local authorities to establish maximum speed limits on certain nonarterial highways for the bicycle community which is being practiced in Seattle.

Finally, getting more vehicles off the roads or reducing vehicle miles as would have been directly linked with HB 2445 (2012) Regulating mileage-based insurance bill, and instead increasing usage of mass transit should help, but we must increase frequency of service and perhaps reduce/eliminate fares and instead pay for transit build-out and operations in other ways. 

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 a cosponsor of HB 1782 and as a former chair of the Housing committee, I will continue to support similar legislation.  I am thankful that the chair of Local Government Committee was able to move it out of the policy committee, and I voted for its passage out of Appropriations Committee. Losing Rep. Senn’s vote probably means there were concerns within the House Democratic Caucus and its success in the Senate was not assured in the challenging 2022 Session. Assuming Democrats retain majority in both chambers, I would suggest Rep. Bateman work closely with Democratic members of both chambers to respond to/answer the outstanding concerns. I have and will continue to support policies and funding of housing growth and affordability. 

Specifically in the 32nd LD, I am working on pre-planning for 400 units of permanently affordable housing along with a community resource center for local non-profits to be co-located on the SW and SE corners of Fircrest Campus where 12 acres of DNR land and 5 acres of DSHS land have been identified to be available. 

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 vote for bills that stabilize rent but do not lead to the unintended consequences of driving smaller landlords out of the rental market as I am worried about losing rental units and gentrification. In the Seattle Metro area, the pressures of increasing value in a tight sales market can easily convince Mom-and-Pop landlords to give up providing housing to sell to the highest bidder, including conversions to vacation rentals, REITs and alternatives like Delaware Statutory Trusts where the units are taken off the long-term rental market or the ownership and operation control will be converted to a corporate, investment model. 

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

One of the missing pieces is an office of resiliency to coordinate among agencies and to plan for the long term. I introduced HB 1147 (2021) Creating the Washington state office of resiliency after a 2-year work group convened by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. I am now serving on the National Conference of State Legislators work group to learn more about instituting resilience based on EDF work and plan on introducing a new bill for the 2023 Session. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/documents/InstitutingResilience-FINAL-Web.pdf 

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

Where there are lack of public transit and congestion is leading to unacceptable freight mobility delays. I can’t imagine adding lane miles in the Seattle metro core area, however, so we must add transit services and routes to increase passenger miles. 

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

Make SEPA process more efficient; fund local governments’ planning activities; coordinate various agencies and utilities from local to state in planning so that infrastructure investments both public and private are aligned and additive. 

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 larger Democratic margins in both chambers. Yes, I will support the work being spear-headed by Rep. Frame.

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?

Increase public transit; vehicle and ride sharing. I’ve supported safe routes to school, bicycle lanes and pathways, and sidewalks.  

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

I introduced and passed HB 2908 (2016) Establishing the joint legislative task force on community policing standards for a safer Washington and I will continue to support work being done each session. 

With HB 1815 (2022), my goal was to not add new crimes, but rather improve the ecosystem of recyclers and vehicle wreckers on how they conducted business as well as eventually fund law enforcement to develop best practices targeting illegal purchases, maintain working relationships within that supply chain, and establish a metal theft grant and training program. I will take a similar approach to tackle organized retail theft.

Improving the perception of public safety must also include providing permanent housing and supportive services for the homeless population. We must also continue to increase affordable housing units to keep vulnerable populations from becoming homeless.


Strom Peterson: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD21-1

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

Housing.

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?

Continue to increase safe streets funding.

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?

Strong supporter and cospsonsor.

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.

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

Better coordination between housing and environmental opportunities like Rep Duerr’s bill (1099).

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

Perhaps if there is a corresponding (and larger) investment in public transportation.

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

I don’t have any specific reforms in mind but there is some opportunity for updates.

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, but there is no real legislative path. An income tax would need to come from the citizens. The legislative work group has done great work on this.

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?

Proud to have voted for Move Ahead WA and especially excited about free transit for youth.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Public safety and criminal justice reform cannot be separated.


John Lovick: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD44 Senate

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

Good safe schools, good safe roads, and jobs with benefits.

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?

Not all fatalities are DUI related. However, about 1/3 are. I believe we need to follow the state of Utah and lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) level to .05.

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 support the bill.

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 give it serious consideration, but I would need to know more.

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

Climate change is real. We need to hammer that message every single day. Climate change is something we need to address.

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

I think there are areas that we probably need to add Highway lanes. Like the US to Trestle. It only has two lanes in each direction. I think a third lane would be helpful in managing traffic in that area.

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

We need to look at some of the proposals. I’m not sure yet what changes I would support.

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?

I do not think Washington should have a state income tax. I am looking forward to the recommendations from the bipartisan tax structure work group.

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?

The wonderful transportation package we passed in 2022 is a great start. We’re looking at the ability for young people to ride free on buses trains and ferries. It is not everything that we need to do. But it’s a start. More busses and trains. Building more housing near transit stations.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

I was a state trooper for 31 years, served as County Sheriff for six years. We clearly need more diversity in policing. I believe what we are doing now with accountability is the direction we need to go. When I checked there are 10 classes of recruits being trained at the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC). I believe that these men and women are going to change the culture of law-enforcement.


Brandy Donaghy: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD44-1

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

Community resiliency. This is done by ensuring that the right resources are directed to the right places to ensure that all Washingtonians have what they need to be able to thrive. This is done by viewing all policy through an equity lens and being proactive, rather than reactive.

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?

Decrease DUIs by adopting a lower limit (this has been demonstrated to be successful in other states), making sure that our emergency responders road workers are safe while doing their jobs, encouraging a shift to public transportation, replacing dangerous intersections with traffic circles when reasonable, etc.

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 need more housing at all levels, and we need to find creative ways address it. Part of this requires an greater expansion of transit and other required infrastructure to allow for growth.

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 am not an expert in rent control. It seems though, we have an issue if we have both renters unable to afford market rate housing and small business landlords unable to maintain their properties below market rate. When this happens we need to be able to address the multiple causes of this to prevent future issues while also addressing the need for resources to make sure that everyone has what they need.

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

More focus on large corporations’ impacts on our climate, while providing resources to help those who live and work here do what they can as well.

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

Highways are still a pathway for individuals, transit systems and current shipping infrastructure. We need to maintain that access until there is a new infrastructure in place that would adequately address those needs. Additionally, there are many areas that don’t have adequate public transit, necessitating other options, and sometimes work needs to be done to make sure people are safe when traveling.

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

I think we need to ensure that we are recognizing the technological changes that impact this, along with how the current state of being aligns with prior projections, and if/how that requires change.

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?

Income taxes can be less regressive than our current system; however, in order to shift to an income tax we would need to be prepared to decrease/eliminate the regressive taxes that are designed to address areas that would be covered by the revenue from income taxes. This would be difficult because the people would have to be willing to support something like this in a multi step process.

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?

Additional multimodal transportation infrastructure.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Building community resiliency includes steps to holistically address public safety by addressing the myriad issues that currently increase risk.


Richard May: 2022 Urbanist Questionnaire Responses – LD42-2

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

Affordable housing.

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 already need an increase in public transit, which would reduce traffic, which would improve traffic behavior with less chaos and more room between vehicles. I helped lead a citizens initiative in Bellingham that passed 68% to rethink traffic calming measures. In my 10 years as a planning commissioner, we found that many design features could cause cars to slow down on residential streets with things like rumble bumps, curved streets, speed indicator displays, parked decoy police cars, blinking yellow lights etc. Better planning and designation of which streets are arterial and which are to be calm is important, but realistically allowing capacity for arterial traffic in order to deter arterial traffic from cheating onto side streets in attempts to quickly speed past jammed up traffic.

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?

With many great bills this past two years, it is important to figure out who will torpedo your bill and why, and then seek them out and have realistic conversations about what would reduce their opposition. Simply being on the best side of an issue will not ensure that your bill passes. After my 10 years as planning commissioner and two terms on my county permit appeals board, I know the difference between intent and outcome on many zoning policies. There are symbolic and small cutout concessions that could get a bill passed that would do 80% of what the Bateman bill intended. Sometimes that’s the progress you can get.

Myself, I would vote yes on that bill if it’s the only version in front of me, but I would be more enthusiastic about having restrictions with mandated affordability tied to median income, for any upzoning. Predatory investor landlords will take away a single family house, and then replace it with a two or three unit luxury homes project that is no more affordable. The thinking from 20 years ago that increased inventory will always lead to reduced prices, is not factoring in the billions of dollars in hoarding and holding that investors are doing to purchase whole neighborhoods. As long as people keep paying the outrageous prices, there is zero incentive to lower the price. And of course people pay. It’s a necessity. Canada is laying down the hammer, and so can we.

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. Vancouver, Canada has a rule that rent can’t be raised more than 5% per year. Period. We can do that here. In Bellingham, I know people who had their rent raised 40% this month. Nobody can afford that.

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

The free market will charge as much as people will still show up and pay. So currently the cost of electric cars and many other electrification is out of the budget of average families. The point is not to hand over taxpayer money to pay the outrageous prices, the point should be to have lower prices. (Same problem about Obamacare, it still had twice the price other nations pay per person for care). People want to go green, they just need to be able to afford it. Local food supply and realistic seasonal shifts in diet can greatly reduce the amount of trucking and fuel used to cart around food from thousands of miles away. Better, more efficient tech for generating energy is still needed. I supported Mona Das’s single use plastics and percentage of post consumer paper bills in the last two years.

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

Paired with a lot of mass transit, and only where there is existing highways, so that the traffic that would still be on roads could flow and go home rather than sit and stop and go while emitting exhaust. Europe, and the NorthEast USA have fantastic train systems that are worthwhile and functional enough that people prefer to use them and get there better than if they drove. Mass public transit reduces traffic, more lanes in some key areas increases flow which reduces emission time and improves quality of life.

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

I supported the recent bills in the last biennium to adjust the GMA to be more forward thinking towards transitioning away from sprawl and from fossil fuels, such as HB 1099 and SB 5042.

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?

Like it or not, our state constitution prohibits progressive tax, and it would require a 2/3rds vote of the state to change that. We do not have 2/3rds of the state in agreement. I have participated with the legislative tax reform work group, and it will take many smaller measures to get the results we want. If we retain the sales tax model, I propose a two tiered tax, with more like 6% for necessities, and 11% for luxury items. I support reworking our business tax. I opposed Boeing getting billions in tax breaks and then still moving the jobs away.

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?

See my answer above re: mass transit.

What approach will you take to promoting public safety?

Everyone deserves due process and a day in court. New technology is needed so that a person could be detained with nearly no harm to the detainee or the enforcement officer. Anything else is unacceptable. The root causes of property crime, drug use, and violence need to be addressed at the core, not simply by continually locking up people who are reacting to the conditions that lead to these behaviors.

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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.