Develop a clean energy economy, revitalize American manufacturing, and create millions of good-paying jobs
Prioritize climate justice and invest in communities with new green infrastructure
Bring back 30 years of environmental leadership to Olympia
Climate change threatens the future of our planet and our way of life – but it doesn’t have to be a catastrophe – instead, we should see it as an opportunity to reinvest in our communities, our infrastructure, and our country – creating millions of jobs in the process.
I’ve spent much of my career in the environmental space – and I’ve seen firsthand how elected officials have ignored climate change and punted on the necessary policies we need to implement to transition away from the use of fossil fuels. As a result, the consequences of continued inaction have only become direr, leaving us with just a decade to take the urgent and necessary steps required to prevent the planet from irreversible global warming.
If I’m elected, I will once again approach this challenge with the appropriate focus and lens: Climate change affects every issue we care about – the economy, healthcare, immigration, housing, social justice, national security, and of course, the environment.
We are lucky to have the policy building blocks in place in Washington state: 100% Clean Electricity, Commercial Building Performance Standard, the Climate Commitment Act, a ban on super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons, and the Clean Fuels Standard. The specifics of how those policies play out in the next decade are very important, something I will address with my expertise. I will put forward legislation and engage in regulatory processes to continue on the path of creating a robust clean energy economy, decarbonizing our buildings, drastically reducing our carbon emissions, holding big polluters accountable, and prioritizing environmental justice, so that all communities thrive free of pollution.
Protect women’s health and expand access to reproductive healthcare
Continue to work toward affordable and accessible healthcare for all
Lower prescription drug prices and other inflated costs
Women’s health is a top priority. As a former NARAL Pro-Choice Washington organizer, I’ve been on the front lines of the battle to protect access to reproductive health. I was proud to vote in support of the Reproductive Parity Act that has made Washington a national leader in ensuring reproductive care. I will be an unwavering voice for protecting choice. I will do everything in my power to fight against the Supreme Court’s decision to destroy our rights in this country.
Healthcare is a human right – and one’s quality of care and access to treatment shouldn’t be determined by their ability to pay.
Today, however, our healthcare system is broken and costs are totally out of control. Despite the real progress made through the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many people still don’t have access to insurance or are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.
The price of insulin and other common drugs continues to rise. Patients are greeted with surprise medical bills after an emergency room visit. And higher and higher deductibles and co-pays are becoming the norm, even for those with good quality insurance.
I was proud to support and vote for Washington’s first-in-the-nation public option in the legislature and will sponsor legislation to continue our work to make sure everyone has access to affordable and accessible healthcare.
Continue to invest state dollars in capital and operating for housing for our most vulnerable neighbors
Bring a comprehensive and holistic approach to solving homelessness
Support transit-connected, walkable, cyclist-friendly communities, and end exclusionary zoning.
We are facing a housing crisis in our district, in communities across the state, in communities up and down the West Coast, and cities all over America. The cost of housing is skyrocketing, rental costs are shooting through the roof, and buying a house is becoming harder and harder, especially for young people. These increasing costs are driving homelessness, leading to more people living on the streets, in their cars, in shelters, and in need of a safe space to live.
As a volunteer with the Noel House Homeless Shelter, I worked with homeless populations and learned about the wide array of challenges and complications that lead someone to housing instability. In the Legislature, I was a leader on housing, ensuring investments in the Housing Trust Fund and new options for local communities to finance housing. For the past year, I have led the effort of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance to help communities across the state to pass a small local tax directed to housing and mental health services. This was a tax that was enabled by HB1590 (which I prime sponsored and passed in 2020). Working with housing leaders across the state has given me a broad perspective.
We also need to provide services for the diverse homeless populations: those suffering from addiction and/or mental health challenges and/or disabilities. In the 2022 legislative session, I teamed up with Rep. Chopp and SEIU to pass a bill that creates the Apple Health and Homes program at the Dept. of Commerce. This cutting-edge approach centers on housing as a healthcare priority.
I know solving this problem won’t be easy, and it may not be quick. We need to build more housing, utilizing existing infrastructure and making the best use of space to comfortably house more people. Housing like accessory dwelling units (ADUs), mother-in-law cottages, duplexes, and multiplexes add additional housing while maintaining the character of neighborhoods and utilizing shared resources.
To defeat climate change, we need leaders to ensure that new buildings and housing produce zero-carbon pollution and that existing buildings are retrofitted to eliminate the use of gas for heating space and water. We can deliver thoughtful city planning and good design to protect open spaces, improve parks, and create walkable and transit-connected communities.
Create safe schools and communities by enacting common-sense gun laws
Uphold our ban on assault weapons, implement stronger background checks, and close dangerous loopholes for gun purchases
Enact red flag laws and Extreme Risk Protection Orders
In the wake of three horrific acts of violence in Uvalde, TX, Buffalo, NY, and Laguna Woods, CA, targeting members of the African American and Asian American communities and countless others, we must stand up to white supremacy and the proliferation of guns.
The victims of these hate crimes are people who were loved by their friends and family. This is a time of moral reckoning – the result of centuries of racism and decades of lax gun responsibility laws. We have to stand up to racism. We have to get guns out of the hands of people who may hurt themselves or others.
The epidemic of gun violence tragically touches communities across the United States every single day. As a mother of two children, it is unconscionable that our students, families, and communities live in fear at school, places of worship, movie theaters, shopping malls, and beyond.
I’m proud to have been named a “Gun Responsibility Champion” by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and to have been given their A+ Rating. Gun violence is preventable, but only if leaders are willing to pass the laws that will make our communities safer.
The only way to end the NRA’s stranglehold on the safety of everyday Americans is to elect people who will bring the vision, the experience, and the drive needed to take on the gun lobby and support lifesaving reform – I pledge to continue standing up, speaking out and working to pass bills that save people’s lives.
Raise wages, increase safety
Close the pay gap and end workplace sexual harassment
Reinvigorate workers’ rights to fight for higher wages and safe workplaces
We have an economy that doesn’t work for everyone. Compounding this is inflation, high gas prices, the continued pandemic, and the war in Ukraine…making it more challenging for people to meet their basic needs.
Why are young people working two or three low-wage jobs? Why is the uncertain gig economy continuing to expand? Why is it harder for working families to take the time to take care of very young children or the very old unless they have a high-wage job? And why do women continue to earn wages lower than men doing the same work?
While we have seen the average worker’s pay increase rise 11%, the average CEO’s pay increased by 31%. The average CEO-median-worker pay ratio as of 2020 is 235:1, up from 212:1 three years before. I will once again prime sponsor my bill to put a B&O surcharge on companies whose CEOs make more than 50 times their average employee.
In Washington, there have been innovative and groundbreaking ideas and reforms passed by our state’s legislature that have helped Washington become ranked the best state for workers and the best state for business. We know that good laws not only grow an economy but make life better for the working people and their families that power it.
Washington led on paid family and medical leave, and as a result, we have one of the top-rated programs in the country. Everyone ought to be able to take time off work and care for family after the birth of a child or a serious illness.
In Washington, we’ve shown that having one of the highest minimum wages in the country doesn’t crash the economy but actually grows it.
Washington state has also passed landmark legislation aimed at eliminating the pay gap, ensuring pay equity, and ending workplace sexual harassment.
Now we need to make sure our childcare workers are paid living wages to confront the shortage we are experiencing while making sure it is accessible and affordable to all parents.
Perhaps most importantly, I will continue my work to strengthen the union movement and make it easier for employees to organize just as I did in a bill I passed giving half-time state employees (often women) the right to organize. Washington has one of the highest unionized workforces in the country, and, as a result, workers here have seen higher wages and better benefits.
Increase education accessibility from universal pre-k through affordable higher education
Invest in schools and recruit and retain a diverse body of educators
Holistically measure student growth beyond standardized tests
As the daughter of two educators and former PTA President at Roosevelt Elementary, I have seen the power of education to transform lives, grow opportunity, and create a foundation for lifelong success.
I also know that we have work to do across all stages of our education system – from early education to post-secondary education, and everything in between – to improve equity and opportunity for every child. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Washington educators every time I’ve run for office – they know how passionate I am about this issue.
America’s kids need better access to early learning, which is why I support universal preschool to ensure all kids are put on the right educational path from the beginning. Investing in early learning has been shown to greatly improve outcomes for students, while also decreasing the cost and current inaccessibility of childcare.
I am a strong advocate for investments in public education and the students and educators who make up our schools. We need to put more funding into STEM and arts programs, both are critical for creating well-rounded students with the tools to succeed in today’s economy. I am committed to ensuring good wages for our educators and will continue to assist with efforts to recruit and retain the best educators possible in every neighborhood in Washington. We need the ethnic and gender diversity in our educators that our student populations have, and I support programs designed to bring more diversity into the education field.
We should be focused on creating the best public schools possible. Drawing from my father’s tenure as the Superintendent at Kankakee, IL District 111, I support increased funding for districts serving low-income communities to help create a variety of creative program options like STEM, arts, computers, and more, as we seek to give children and their families options that approach learning in different ways.
We also need to reduce the weight and importance put on standardized tests. These kinds of evaluation measures create perverse incentives – teachers teach to a test, not the skills and tools kids actually need to succeed. We need to take a more holistic measure of student growth – looking at how much students have learned, not just how well they can take a test. If elected, I would work with educators (and with their organizations like AFT and WEA), students, parents, experts, and school administration to support testing and evaluation reform that actually makes sense for all the different kinds of schools and students around the country.
We need to make college tuition affordable for all. I was proud to support Washington’s landmark affordable college and technical education bill, which I believe has created a model for the nation for how we can ensure all students have the opportunity to go to university, college, or trade school without facing gargantuan loans and overbearing student debt. We must also address and work to eliminate existing student debt, so that people around the nation can learn, work, and thrive free of that burden.
I have a record of accomplishment in this issue, and as a legislator, I listened to the education community and:
- Rounded out a teacher shortage bill with language allowing retired bus drivers, para-educators, and counselors to substitute without impacting their pension.
- Prime sponsored a bill that directs school districts to provide information to parents regarding students’ rights to education, regardless of immigration status or religious beliefs as well as other protections regarding students’ immigration status.
- Prime sponsored a bill that would require cultural competency for all those engaged in public education (administration, board, educators)
- Worked diligently to increase funding for the School Districts within the 22nd – specifically working on an amendment to the 2019 operating budget to free up rainy day funds for the three districts
- As Vice-Chair of the Capital Budget, worked to drive $1 billion into school construction in the 2019 Capital Budget
- Helped secure $4 million for climate change curricula
While the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have broached the national consciousness and raised justified outrage over police brutality and white supremacy, similar atrocities – the killing of unarmed people, predominantly Black and Indigenous Americans – occur across the United States regularly. These are accompanied by the many other racist, ineffective, and costly outcomes that stem from our country’s criminal justice system as a whole. There is no doubt we must take action.
In our community, we’ve witnessed these tragedies firsthand – the deaths of Manny Ellis and Jackie Salyers at the hands of Tacoma police, and the police shootings of Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, which left Bryson permanently paralyzed, in Olympia, among others. After Bryson and Andre’s shooting, leaders in our community came together to address Washington’s broken laws that prevented prosecution of police violence. They asked me to sponsor a bill in my first session addressing the issue. I said yes, making my first bill in the Legislature focused on ending police violence and holding police accountable.
I was committed to this issue then, and I remain committed to it now. We must work to defend the bold change in the policies Washington state has adopted. I will continue to work to demilitarize police, implement effective and comprehensive implicit bias training, ensure civilian oversight, create a database for centralized collection and reporting of police shootings and killings, demand actual accountability for police brutality and murder, and so much more.
I support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and Rep. Ro Khanna’s Peace Act. Ultimately, we must ask Congress and our local governments to review how we invest in our community, diverting resources from ineffective and dangerous methods of policing, and instead reinvesting back into the community – supporting programs and services that improve lives.
Beyond policing, we have a lot of work to do in our criminal justice system to address embedded racism and create better outcomes for the people it is supposed to serve. Let’s start by working to prevent incarceration in the first place – reforming our laws to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, end the failed War on Drugs, and expand the use of addiction and mental health courts rather than criminalizing poverty, addiction, and mental illness. I will also call for the end of the inhumane practice of capital punishment.
We must break the school-to-prison pipeline by connecting kids, students, and young adults with educational, after-school, and community programs; addressing the extreme racial biases in school disciplinary methods; and committing to juvenile justice reform.
The United States has the largest prison population of any country by far, jailing nearly a quarter of all of the world’s prisoners, with Black, Brown, and Indigenous people imprisoned at exceedingly disproportionate rates. The era of mass incarceration must come to an end. We must abolish private prisons that profit from keeping people locked up; end prison gerrymandering, as we have in Washington, which disfigures electoral representation; and improve conditions for female and transgender prisoners who face regular harassment, assault, and abuse.
Marijuana should be legalized nationally with federal regulations that ensure industry safety and fairness across state borders. We must prioritize new business and local prosperity for the communities who have been most impacted and devastated by the War on Drugs, along with expunging criminal records for marijuana-related convictions.
Finally, we must do a better job supporting those who have served time and who seek to rejoin society. We should support programs that improve reentry for former prisoners, helping them develop job skills and find a career. I am proud to have voted and worked to ban-the-box and prevent past mistakes from limiting future opportunities. And, nowhere in America should someone be prohibited from voting because of their past criminal record.
We cannot have true justice in our country until we correct and transform our broken systems of policing and criminal justice. I will listen first to the community members who have been most affected by these policies and systems for decades and who have been doing the work to demand reform on these issues and more. Together, we can act on the energy of this moment and the inspiring mass movement for change, and build a justice system that matches our ideals and embodies our values.