Issues

In the last three years as a legislator I have made great progress towards fixing our education system with the help of our communities, yet there is still so much more to be done. I am seeking re-election because, our public education system is in a state of crisis and our district deserves a Representative who has a passion for our schools and for assuring that all children succeed academically. I currently serve as a school counselor in the Everett School District where I work with youth in both a teaching and counseling capacity. The stories of my students and families have motivated me to bring their voices to Olympia and impact public policy.

In my participation with various organizations, I have had the great privilege of traveling around the state to talk with hundreds of families and children who have shared with me many stories, challenges and inspirational dreams.

These are dreams of becoming doctors, teachers, engineers and a dream of making the world a better place. I have yet to meet a student that wakes up in the morning and says, “I want to fail today” or a parent who has said, “I don’t want my child to succeed.”

As the Vice-Chair of the House Education Committee, I made prioritizing funding for education and reducing class sizes a number one priority. Although, we have yet to meet our Constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education. This means we must continue finding new means of funding for our schools through taking a tough look at corporate tax loopholes that cost the state millions a year.

If we want our children to truly succeed, it is imperative we solve our statewide crisis of teacher recruitment and retention so we can keep quality educators in our classrooms. In order to do this, we must strive to have our educators compensated and treated fairly!

Businesses thrive when they have an educated work force and I am committed to building a 21st century workforce that will make sure Washington succeeds for years to come.

It’s simple really: when our children succeed our state succeeds.

Protecting the Safety Net:

For over 25 years I have worked on behalf of children and families directly in various positions at not for profit agencies. This work has given me a deep appreciation and understanding for human services and what they can do to help families and most importantly children succeed. My experience as a member of the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee has allowed me the opportunity to improve the conditions for our state’s most vulnerable and push for more funding to our safety net.

We need to make sure the resources our families need are available and efficient.  We can’t balance budgets on the backs of our most vulnerable and it is important that we find a way of funding our priorities while ensuring seniors, veterans and struggling families get the support they need in this tough economy.

We have seen thousands of lives changed through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  It is important that we be a good partner and help people navigate this new and important policy change so we can continue to get coverage for thousands of additional people and reduce costs for the state.

Jobs & the Economy

As a small business owner I know that it’s time to make critical investments in our workforce, local infrastructure and transportation system. I believe that government can be a partner in building our economy.

We need to make sure we are expanding access for worker retraining by utilizing our institutions of higher learning and providing a wide range of career options for our future workforce. I will prioritize making tuition more affordable and work to increase the number of enrollment slots in community colleges, tech schools, and four year colleges so our local kids can get the degrees they need as they move into the workforce. We must also recognize that our workforce is diverse, so we must provide more opportunity for apprenticeships in various fields.

As a member of the House Transportation Committee, I worked tirelessly to bring thousands of dollars and hundreds of jobs into Snohomish County’s through one of the largest Transportation Budget Packages Washington has ever seen.

Although we have made great strides in transportation investment, we must not stop, continuing to fund our local transportation system has to remain a top priority. Local businesses, big and small have demanded we take action and we must listen. We need to continue to reduce gridlock and invest in transit to help ease congestion along our major commuter corridors, while also protecting our environment. Businesses are losing thousands of dollars a day when our highways are clogged and we can no longer kick the can down the road.

Public Safety

As a mother I know that safe communities mean secure families. We need to make sure we are passing common sense laws and that we are investing in our local police and public safety personnel.

This means partnering with local law enforcement to ensure they have the funding they need and passing common sense laws to prevent repeat DUI offenders from getting back behind the wheel.

We have all seen the tragedies in recent years and it is time to enact real reform to ensure that no family experiences the tragic loss of a loved one.