Finding Affordable Housing Solutions

A complete and welcoming community includes housing for all people. Working families are weakened by long commutes to work. Kids need their parents at home, not on the 405 for 2 hours a day. Our office worked on bills in the last session and this one, that allow real estate excise tax to be used to support affordable housing and homelessness, density bonuses for affordable housing on property owned by religious organizations, and created an incentive for the creation of accessory dwelling units with a limited property tax exemption for the value of construction.


Preventing Firearm Violence and Suicide

I was proud to sponsor a number of bills that would increase firearm safety. Our communities have been demanding that we debate firearm violence prevention policies in public. Unfortunately, the debates on some of these policies were effectively filibustered. There is great resistance by some in our community, to any kind of regulation of firearms. I think the fear that any regulation is an infringement of rights, or the beginning of a movement to confiscate firearms, feed this unwillingness to discuss and debate. I am proud that we were able to create an office of Firearm Violence Prevention, which will collect statewide data and develop and coordinate best practices, helping local agencies create programs to reduce preventable gun violence. It’s not as far as I would like to go, but it is progress.



Restructuring our Regressive Tax Code

We must restructure our unfair, regressive tax code. Amy will look at smart reforms that reduce the burden on lower and fixed income families and small businesses, and require a fair share from the wealthiest in our state. As a business owner, Amy is aware of the barriers small businesses face. She will work to ensure a healthy balanced business climate, and fight to achieve workplace equity for women and other underrepresented communities.


Supporting Working families

A focus on debt collection reform was important to me. Both in my day job and in the legislature, I try to advocate for families like the one I grew up in, where things were not easy. With the support of my colleagues, I was able to eliminate the collection of “zombie debt”, where collection action happens after the statute of limitation has expired, reviving the debt, and reforming the collection practices that can be used by “debt buyers”. Debt buyers buy old debt from creditors, often for pennies on the dollar, and work to collect from debtors. Those debtors may no longer even recognize the debt. Our new laws have created one of the strongest consumer protection standards in the country. The debt buyer and collection agencies worked with me in partnership on this, and I appreciate them.


Healthy Communities 

We passed comprehensive Sexual Health education this year. I had been disappointed that it did not pass last year, but I think that we have ended up with a better policy, so my impatience was rewarded! We had many concerned families worried that we were implementing a piece of education that should only take place within a family. We know that we are always making policy for the most vulnerable, and not all kids have a healthy family that is equipped to give them important information about their bodies, about good touch and bad touch, and that they are perfect the way that they are. The specific curriculum will be developed by each community but must reach the state standard. Parents can opt their children out. In my own family, much harm and suffering could have been avoided, if children had received this important education.

Protecting our Environment

This year we passed a plastic bag reduction policy statewide. This was an issue I began to advocate for in Kirkland in 2010 (the year I was elected), so I was proud to vote for this some 10 years later. Together with our work on transitioning to clean energy, clean buildings, clean cars and away from super-pollutants and suction dredge mining, and Orca protection, we did some great work. Next year we should consider the low carbon fuel standard, in the context of a transportation package that will need to comply with the $30 car tab initiative. This should take into account all of the costs of transportation, not just for working families without access to transit, but those who work out of their vehicle, and the cost to freight and farmers. I am proud of my Compost procurement bill, which requires communities to buy back the end product of their yard waste collection, creating a “virtuous cycle” where our compost is used in our own parks and public works projects, rather than being shipped to other parts of the state or out of state.


Next Session

Yes! I am running to be your State Representative again. It’s a challenging but fascinating and rewarding job, and I feel privileged to serve. Should you elect to send me back, I will continue to advocate for housing, for firearm violence prevention, and looking at policy through the lens of working families. It’s become very obvious that we need to scrutinize how our healthcare system is structured because it serves some and not others. Lack of COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment is completely unacceptable. Our small business community has been exposed as extremely vulnerable. Our working families need a safety net. Our state must fight for its share of Federal resources.

In the wake of this virus, it seems certain that we will be facing drastic revenue decreases, and in a way, I feel that it’s even more important that I be in Olympia to represent you than it was last year. My personal business is in the throes of difficult decision making already, trying to support our team and keep our doors open so they will have jobs to return to. Similarly at the state, serious prioritization will need to take place, and we will be facing service cuts. It is going to be crucial to have creativity and compassion when looking at these issues in order to take care of our community and make sure no one gets left behind. We must be more responsible than ever with taxpayer resources and hold our agencies to even higher standards in delivery of services to our communities. We must deliver a transportation investment package, we must support all sectors of our economy and focus on economic development, we must protect the most vulnerable, we must educate our children and take care of our elderly. We must invest in behavioral health services including substance use disorder, and we must ensure that our workers are safe. We must strive to be the strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient state that we all deserve. I would like to be your partner in this work, and would be honored to earn your support.