Strengthening Our Schools

We have made progress in increasing funding for our public schools, but the work is far from done. In recent years, I have helped increase public school funding for special education, student meals, materials and supplies, and classroom construction. This year, I authored a successful bill to increase funding for paraeducators to help students get more individualized instruction. Our state constitution says that “the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children…” This is a lofty, but vital, goal – and I believe we have not reached it yet. I am excited to keep raising the bar in supporting excellent public schools.

Fighting For Our Share Of Transportation Dollars

Being stuck in traffic is bad for our wallets, bad for the environment, and bad for our economy. Our region has not seen the investments in transportation needed to keep up with population growth over the past few decades; we need to catch up and plan for future growth. The most pressing steps are addressing the huge commuter bottleneck at the 405/522 interchange (including improving transit access to express lanes), ramping up transit service for commuters, and keeping up with maintenance and safety issues. Many of our park-and-ride lots are at capacity and need expansion. I believe the key is to have options – making bus service and bike access more available and more functional will help alleviate pressure on infrastructure. The legislature has significant work to do in the next few years to make targeted investments in transportation infrastructure so residents of the 1st District can get to work and everywhere else they need to go.

Creating Jobs

As a champion for the Public Works Trust Fund and a former member of the Community Economic Revitalization Board, I have worked to help communities all over our state build their top priority economic development projects. I fought to strengthen our Buy Washington laws to make sure local companies get the first crack at state and local contracts so our hard-earned dollars create jobs here, not overseas.

Gun Safety

We know that guns in the wrong hands are the source of tremendous tragedy, and there are common-sense steps we can take to prevent thousands of gun violence incidents each year. This is not just about mass shootings – it is also about addressing preventable accidents and suicides. Responsible gun owners store firearms safely and don’t give children unsupervised access; we need a safe storage law. We also need to treat people in crisis seriously; for example, gun purchases should be restricted for people who are involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

Protecting Our Clean Air and Water

Thriving communities need clean air and clean water, and outdoor recreation is part of the Northwest culture. As we manage growth, we need to preserve access to natural open spaces and recreational areas, such as through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. We must also work to undo the damage of the past, including fixing thousands of culverts on public land which are blocking salmon habitat all over our state. I will continue working to keep Washington State one of the most beautiful places to live in the world.