Quality Affordable Housing, Health Care, Child Care & Public Education for All
Affordable, Accessible Housing
Everyone deserves safe, quality affordable housing in a thriving community. But our housing system is broken and needs repair now.
Washington has a shortage of over 200,000 homes, driving affordability challenges for too many people. Statewide reform is needed to create significantly more housing choices in all communities. Legalizing duplexes, triplexes, courtyard apartments and ADUs gives moderate income families a better chance to buy a starter home, choices so multigenerational families can live together and elders can age in place. Enabling more dense housing by transit creates options for working people and reduces vehicle miles traveled to help meet our climate goals. Reforming our existing zoning is a Fair Housing issue, reversing impacts of racist practices including redlining, restrictive covenants, and disinvestment. As we allow for more housing choices, I support investments in permanently affordable homeownership for first-time homebuyers and policies to help low-income homeowners repair and keep their homes.
We must dramatically increase publicly financed housing that is affordable to low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities on a fixed income, not subject to market forces. I support more streamlined state investments in Permanent Supportive Housing–housing paired with critical health services– the proven, cost-effective solution to address chronic homelessness. As displacement continues to destabilize communities, particularly communities of color, I will support a new statewide grant program to finance housing, including preserving buildings, designed by and for impacted communities.
People shouldn’t have to worry constantly about rising rents, they deserve predictability in housing costs. Across Washington, tenants continue to experience exorbitant year-over-year rent increases, with rents rising faster than wages, and out-of-sync with the realities of people living on a fixed income. Rising rents are connected to rising rates of homelessness, disproportionately impacting low-income families, people of color, women, immigrants, seniors, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. I support giving tenants notice for significant rent increases, addressing unreasonable year over year rent increases and giving flexibility for local jurisdictions to improve standards to meet the unique needs of local communities. I support efforts to protect people from housing discrimintation, including formerly incarcerated people and their family members.
With over a decade of leadership experience, in national and local nonprofits and local government, I will bring urgency, a track record of passing creative solutions and building diverse coalitions, and an understanding of how local, state and federal governments can work together to solve this complex issue.
Universal Health Care
Health care is a basic human need. Too many Washingtonians still don’t have access to affordable health coverage and care, due to inequities related to income, immigration status, disability status, race, ethnicity, age, and gender, sexual identity. We need high quality universal health care. I will support recommendations from the Washington Universal Healthcare Commission to advance health care for all and also support immediate steps to address health care costs and access.
Fixing our behavioral health care system takes addressing systemic issues, like chronic underfunding, that prevents people from getting timely and adequate care. I support solutions to increase community-based behavioral health services, including culturally appropriate care and policies and investments to recruit diverse, fairly compensated and trained providers. I will continue an emphasis on housing first investments that provide the stable foundation for people to get the behavioral health and substance abuse treatment they need.
Child Care & Early Learning
All families, regardless of income, deserve access to affordable, quality childcare. As a working mom and a nonprofit leader who creates early learning facilities, I know first hand that quality child care is essential for children and youth, working parents, and the economy. Today, child care options are limited, especially for low-income families, costs are too high, and childcare workers are among the most underpaid.
I support expanded assistance and capped costs for working families. Caregiver retention is good for children and families. We should increase direct, flexible, financial support for child care programs and ensure living wages, benefits and workplace safety for childcare workers. I also support investments to build and expand child care facilities, including in communities with limited access and in centers with culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
Quality public education is essential for a thriving democracy. As a child of public school educators, the product of public schools, and the parent of public school students, I will bring a laser focus on ensuring that public schools are fully funded and have the tools they need to support all children.
As a legislator, I will support education funding and policies to ensure that districts and colleges have the resources and flexibility to provide equitable learning opportunities for each student, including funding to serve the highest poverty schools. I support investments in qualified educational support staff and community-based partners who can provide academic, mental and physical health support for students.
Our schools and colleges should be welcoming, safe, and engaging teaching and learning environments for all. I support devoting resources to culturally and linguistically appropriate curriculum to students and efforts to retain a more diverse workforce.
Safe, Healthy Communities
We all deserve to be safe from violence. I support investments in partnerships with mental health crisis responders and social workers, and other interventions that connect people in crisis with the resources they need. Community-driven violence prevention and restorative justice programs, which reduce violence and incarceration, are essential.
Part of public safety is rebuilding trust through strong police accountability. We need to continue efforts to address racial bias and over-policing needs, expand police training, and listen to impacted communities.
Public safety begins with upstream, proactive community investment, that addresses the root causes of violence. As a legislator, I will prioritize investments that tackle poverty and expand opportunity for all.
Gun Violence Prevention
Gun violence is a public health crisis that deserves a comprehensive public health response. I support stronger gun laws that remove guns from our communities– bans on assault style weapons, longer waiting periods, tougher background checks and stronger “extreme risk” laws. I also support sufficient funding for the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention to make investments in community-based violence prevention programs.
We must take urgent action to address our climate crisis. Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 requires an intersectional approach to housing, transportation, energy and the economy. I support efforts to transition to clean energy with jobs that include labor standards like prevailing wage, apprenticeship utilization, and priority hire for women- and minority-owned businesses. I support deep investments in grid improvements to increase renewable energy and continued transportation electrification, and acceleration of clean cars and changing networks.
We urgently need more inclusive housing near jobs and transit, so that we can reduce transportation emissions. I support policies to address carbon emissions from our building stock, like an aggressive timeline to reach carbon neutrality in publicly funded housing and other projects, new financing to retrofit existing housing with fossil fuel free heating, and cleaner cooling options for low-income families and fixed income seniors most harshly impacted by hotter summers.
We must prioritize environmental justice solutions led by communities that bear a disproportionate impact of pollution and climate change, including communities in the Duwamish Valley that are especially vulnerable to sea level rise, increasing temperatures and air pollution.
Reliable transportation is necessary to connect people to jobs and health care, and to create connected and sustainable communities. Building off the record investments made in Move Ahead Washington, I will continue to prioritize investments in transit service, bike and pedestrian improvements. The ferry system is a lifeline for Vashon-Maury Island; predictable, reliable, affordable service is essential. I will work to improve reliability and improve investments in ferry staffing. I support continued efforts to electrify our transportation system, ferry electrification investments.
A Strong, Fair Economy
Balancing Washington’s Tax Code
We all want a thriving economy, where we can care for our families and our communities. But Washington is the worst in the nation when it comes to our regressive tax system – where the lowest income families pay the biggest share for our state’s critical services like affordable health care, accessible public transportation, and clean air and water. I support progressive policies that build a more fair tax structure by asking the wealthiest and most profitable corporations to pay their share.
Washington has a strong economy, but prosperity is not shared. I support efforts to expand good, family wage jobs and support the right of workers to organize and join a union. To address the significant retirement waves and worker shortages facing sectors like nursing, teaching, and skilled trades, I support investment in creating a highly-skilled workforce, including apprenticeship pathways and job training programs, with equitable access for women and people of color,
Small businesses and arts and culture make our communities vibrant. The 34th District is home to many cultural organizations–performing venues, art galleries, nonprofit programs. I support efforts to strengthen our creative economy and support affordable arts spaces.
Our state must invest in programs that promote the economic well-being of our communities.The Working Families Tax Credit is a smart tool to help low and moderate incomes with direct, flexible cash to meet their essential needs, especially in a time of rising costs. I support strategies to create broader economic security, including savings and wealth generation options like baby bonds and Universal Basic Income. A person’s zip code should not determine their economic opportunity. We need investments in historically disinvested communities, so that everyone can participate in and benefit from a growing economy.
Justice for All
Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice
As former Planned Parenthood organizer and a mother, I will be a champion for equitable abortion access abortion and reproductive healthcare.
Washington state law protects the right to have an abortion, but barriers remain that prevent full access to reproductive healthcare. With the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe to dismantle federal constitutional abortion protections, Washington must promote, protect, and expand access to abortion, including by making Washington a sanctuary for people who come here seeking care.
I support legislation and investments to address barriers to abortion, such as high insurance deductibles, and the costs of taking time off work, childcare, and travel. I support policies to hold health entity mergers accountable for providing affordable, quality care, including reproductive, end-of-life, and gender-affirming care.
Voting is an essential part of a thriving democratic society. We need to make voting accessible and ensure a fair and non-discriminatory election system. I support efforts to strengthen the Washington Voting Rights Act, including enforcement mechanisms that ensure communities of color are able to elect candidates of choice and support increasing language access for immigrant and refugee voters.