As part of our endorsement process at The Urbanist, we ask candidates to complete a standard questionnaire to better understand and evaluate their positions on housing, land use, transportation, and other important issues. We then share this information with our readers to help inform their own voting decisions.
This year we are considering selected candidates running for US Congress, Washington State Legislature, and King County Prosecuting Attorney. We are publishing the questionnaires in full, concluding with our official general election endorsements in mid-October.
The following questionnaire was submitted by Ted Cooke running for Legislative District 47B (which includes parts of Auburn, Covington, and Kent) on the Republican ticket. Cooke’s opponent, Pat Sullivan (D-Covington), did not submit a questionnaire.
Do you consider yourself an urbanist?
Do you support an income tax?
How do we keep Sound Transit 3 (ST3) timelines on track given that the Trump administration is slow-walking or eliminating grants for transit projects and construction costs are skyrocketing?
I think ST3 should be put on hold indefinitely and a fraction of the amount spent on new roads and highways. ST3 was sold to voters under false premises. Voters were told the average adult would pay only $14 per month. That number assumes a total of around 12.5 million adults in the state all paying every month for 25 years. But there are only 7.4 million people total in the State. So the real cost would be $26 per month for every individual in the state–from a newborn in Okanogan to an elder on the Makah Reservation. [Editor’s note: Sound Transit taxes and fees only apply in the Sound Transit Taxing District which includes neither Okanogan or the Makah Reservation. The district includes the urbanized portion of King County, the southeast corner of Snohomish County, and urbanized Pierce County.]
Stretched along I-5 the 62 miles would not reach from the center of Olympia to North Seattle. If we want to do light rail we should re-purpose the many mile of existing railroad grade around the I-5 corridor which has had rails removed and been turned into biking and walking trails. It would cost pennies on the dollar to put back tracks, and several times more people would gain an hour or two per day riding the rail which they could use for exercise–and family, and hobbies–elsewhere.