A CALL TO SERVICE
My family has lived in southeastern Washington for four generations. We've worked at Hanford, owned small businesses, and have been members of our local unions. As a member of this community, I’ve always worked to make it better. From volunteering as a child to serving on boards of directors for non-profits, I know that what makes a community great is the people who come from it, and I’m proud to call this corner of the state my home. I know what matters in southeastern Washington, because I'm part of it.
I'm running to represent us in Olympia because of the hardships I've survived. Like many families in Washington who have been at the mercy of the economy and random circumstances, I’ve gone from poverty to middle class to poverty to middle class again. I got through it in the end, but I know so many people who had it even worse or are still struggling today, and I want to do everything I can to help others to not have to go through what I have.
As a State Legislator, I believe I will be able to make a meaningful difference, to ensure the government works better for the people of Washington State, not just those with wealth and power.
Eastern Washington suffers from a lack of educational equality when compared to western Washington. Our state's paramount duty is to educate our youth, but those of us who live east of the Cascades don't have the same opportunities that the west side has. We need to increase funding for our universities and community colleges, expand trade school and union apprenticeship programs, and add more non-degree certificate programs so that our children can have more choices.
We need to invest in school infrastructure, new technology, and the educators and support staff who make it all possible. Investing in the next generation of Washingtonians is an investment in our future.
Washington State’s aging transportation infrastructure needs revitalization and expansion to accommodate for a rapidly growing population. This isn’t just an investment in the economy; it’s a vital public safety issue. Every year, we are reminded of just how much still needs to be done, with serious accidents occurring regularly on some of our state’s most dangerous roads, located right here in the 9th LD: Highway 395, Route 14, Route 26, and Route 195. Spending money to correct these hazardous conditions won’t just reduce traffic incidents, but will also add significantly to our economy: many of these roads are vital commercial trucking routes. Eastern Washington is growing. It's time we expand our infrastructure to match.
Our communities are growing and we need to provide good, family-wage jobs in order to strengthen them for the future. I want to encourage tech, green energy, and other industries to settle in our district and to fund programs that would provide entrepreneurs and start ups financing to help launch businesses in areas where such incentives would have a high return on investment for the community as a whole.
I want to ensure that as our communities expand, affordable housing is available, schools and other resources are equipped for growth, and natural and historic areas are preserved.