High School Math Teacher
Experience (Max 500 characters)
As a high school teacher, I have worked tirelessly to address the diverse needs of all my students and build community. I will bring this background to Olympia to address the needs of all my constituents and create consensus.
Town where you live
What steps will you take to ensure the health and safety of essential agricultural workers during this pandemic?
First, we must ensure our farms have the resources and support they need for best policies and practices to operate with worker safety as the top priority. This means making available PPE and housing resources. Additionally, we must incentivize the use of these policies and practices. Further, I would fight for additional sick days for essential workers to allow them to stay home when necessary without fear of losing jobs or pay. A key step to make this possible is to streamline getting those who are facing unemployment available to support our growers during these challenging times. Growers are the backbone of our economy and feed the entire state. We need them to have enough workers. I will advocate for the high value of these essential workers and the crucial roles they play in our food systems. Beyond that, I would work to ensure the health and safety of essential workers, now and in the future, by fighting for health insurance to be a right for every Washingtonian.
What steps will you take to ensure social distancing in businesses and organizations?
We need to support our business and organizations in this process by providing funding to cover the cost of new tools and furnishings to make distance easier. Providing paycheck protections to keep employees on payroll while they operate at smaller capacities will keep our community employed and business solvent. Also, forgivable small business loans to cover the additional costs and lost revenues of operating safely will help encourage business to run in safe ways and incentivize these steps rather than just threatening fines or further economic hardship. We could create temporary jobs for folks needing work to help sanitize more frequently, and/or rearrange business and organization lay-out to encourage social distancing and cleanliness. This will help with unemployment and minimize the burden being placed on our small business and organizations.
How will you ensure adequate funding for state agencies serving our most vulnerable residents during a time of reduced tax revenue?
We have seen the wealthiest across the nation, finding more wealth during these challenging times. We need to work to make the tax structure in this state more progressive. We need to alter our taxes so the biggest corporations and wealthiest residents are paying their fair share of taxes. This will help minimize the losses in tax revenue to minimize the need for cutting funding to essential programs. Additionally, we must prioritize the services that support the most vulnerable in our communities. Ensuring that our residents are able to have a safe place to sleep, adequate food, and the health services they need must be our top priority as a state.
How will you ensure adequate funding for schools, already suffering in some cases before the pandemic?
Education is one of my top priorities, and I'm proud to be endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers WA chapter. School funding needs to be a statewide priority that is not dependent on the property values of the district or schools earning high test scores. We must shift how we fund schools to be equitable and based on the unique needs of each and every district. COVID has highlighted the incredible number of vital roles our schools serve in our communities, and we must not forget that as we prioritize the funding of schools who need the most. I want to work to institute tax structures so the wealthy pay their fair share, and make sure that these increased revenues are distributed equitably to our school districts.
What will be your priorities in addressing homelessness in your district as well as state-wide?
We need to focus on subsidizing, stock, siting and services. We need to subsidize housing for the most vulnerable and those with the lowest income to assure that all of our residents have a safe place to sleep. Next, we must address the stock of available housing and ensure that there is a wide variety of affordable options to decrease competition for housing. In my district, a huge focus is supporting projects that will create affordable housing for agricultural workers who permanently or temporarily live here. Another crucial step is where this housing is sited or placed. When affordable housing sites are near grocery stores, transit, and other services, it helps support those communities to have access to daily essentials. Finally, we need to have services at our housing sites that are culturally responsive and meant to reduce harm. This will help bring stability to those most vulnerable and help them transition into their own more stable housing situations.
What revenue raising efforts and what budget cuts would you support in order to rebalance the budget?
As previously mentioned,I believe we need to restructure our taxes to hold our biggest businesses and wealthiest residents accountable for paying their fair share of taxes. We cannot continue to depend on sales taxes and property taxes that disproportionately affect low-income, working and middle class communities. I would look to ensure that we are efficient in all of our government operations. I would support addressing this deficit by examining cuts to the WSP to ensure that they are serving their communities, are not being militarized and that the scope of their job is within their level of training. Another avenue for addressing our deficit is to institute a State Bank. This will dramatically reduce the state's costs for financing infrastructure projects and generate additional revenue for the state without instituting new taxes all while providing equitable low cost loans for students and small businesses.
What Legislative actions would you support to ensure our local and regional hospitals remain viable and able to serve our diverse population with its multitude of issues?
I endorse Whole Washington. We need a single payer universal health care system to ensure the state is able to fund and invest in crucial infrastructure like hospitals in our rural communities. These sorts of essential services are too vital to leave in the hands of corporate hospital CEOs who are only considering their bottom lines and not the needs of our communities. Until we are ready to support healthcare holistically as a state, we will not see adequate investment and support for these hospitals to be able to provide the necessary services to our communities.