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Government by and for the 37th District

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I am proud to be the only candidate in the race with 20 years experience passing progressive policy from City to State level.

 

Our community raised me to be an activist, organizer, and leader. So much about our present moment has been reality in the 37th, but only now are more people paying closer attention to the same systemic forces we’ve been up against for years. Across the state, thousands are out of work, a global pandemic threatens our health and our lives, and concurrent crises of systemic racism and community safety require transformational change to policing. 

As your State Representative, I will pursue an ambitious and positive agenda for our District's families. One based on equity and justice, and extending opportunity to all our neighbors.

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Covid Recovery & Economic Justice

I've been a leader for progressive revenue reform for almost a decade. While I served an interim appointment on Seattle City Council I introduced the first version of Jumpstart Seattle, which is now the progressive revenue measure that just passed in 2020 to help fund COVID recovery. I've been fighting as a member of the All in for Washington coalition for years to reconstruct our State's revenue system to work for working families. 

It's absolutely unacceptable that Washington has the most regressive tax system in the United States, which results in the preservation of wealth for the top 1% at the expense of all working families. It should not be the case that people who make less than $40k a year paid 10-16% of their income in state taxes, while the wealthiest in our state paid just 2%. As our economy teeters on the edge of the worst crisis since the Great Depression, our state cannot wait for the federal government to lead. We must be bold and act to invest in workers now and balance our upside down tax code at the same time.  

 

If elected, I plan to implement a restructuring of our current tax system while pursuing progressive revenue solutions, and creating thousands of good-paying union jobs guaranteed to put people to work by: 

  • Closing tax loopholes that give advantages to already wealthy corporations over working people and small businesses

  • Passing the Working Families Tax Credit, an act that works to return money to working families

  • Identifying and ending state level pre-emptions that limit local city and county control over taxation

  • Strengthening worker rights for secure hours, equitable pay and safe work conditions; including support of union jobs which lift worker benefits for everyone

  • Closing capital gains loopholes to generate millions for public infrastructure including transit, roads, parks, and schools

  • Pursuing a guaranteed employment program for all unemployed workers in Washington State

  • Creating an economic stabilization fund of at least $100 million for Washingtonians of mixed and undocumented documentation statuses 

  • Absolving families, workers, and small businesses of rent and mortgage debts incurred during the pandemic and in our recovery

Kirsten is endorsed by Washington's public employees union WFSCE, the Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO, the Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters, Teamsters Joint Council 28, and workers across the state who've united around this comprehensive vision for economic justice. 

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Fully Funded Public Education

I am the only person running for State Representative who will fight for our public schools and oppose charter schools which take money from our public education system. As a public school parent and active PTA member, I know how important funding is for our schools. Other candidates in the race favor charter schools over investing in our public schools even though charter schools have decimated the public K-12 systems of other states like Ohio and Michigan. Seattle’s public school teachers and the American Federation of Teachers solely endorsed me because I will fight to fully fund public education - not privatize it. 

  • Fully fund public education for all zip codes, communities, and families across our state

  • Increase funding for additional staff to support students with trauma and mental health needs

  • Reduce the number of standardized tests and allow teacher-designed methods of assessing learning

  • Eliminate the edTPA as a licensure requirement for obtaining a teaching certificate

  • Develop a paid teacher residency program to support a more diverse educator workforce

  • Adopt statewide ethnic studies curriculum in all public schools and colleges

  • Lower class sizes as mandated by voter-approved I-1351 (passed in 2014)

  • Increase educator, staff, and paraeducator salaries including market-based wages, full funding of cost-of-living increases, healthcare benefits, and retirement benefits 

  • Increase funding to meet the needs of all special education students

Kirsten is endorsed by Seattle's public school teachers union Seattle Education Association, the Washington Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers - WA.

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Climate Justice & A Green New Deal

I'm proud to be the only candidate endorsed by Sunrise Seattle, 350 Action, and Washington Conservation Voters. I believe we must do everything we can to build a low-carbon future - fast.

 

We have a responsibility at the state level to ensure we are doing everything we can to combat the climate crisis and the ways it disproportionately affects Indigenous, Black, Brown and low-income communities. Beacon Hill and other South Seattle neighborhoods suffer the highest levels of environmental health risks in the entire state, particularly with regard to air and noise pollution. Indigenous communities-- in this region, specifically, the Puget Sound Salish and Duwamish peoples-- have been on the frontlines pushing for climate justice and we must follow their lead by providing protections for sovereign and public lands. If elected, I commit to:

  • Working towards just transition, which will shift our economy towards one of sustainable production.

  • Expand funding for unionized, green job training, with an emphasis on low-income communities and communities of color.

  • Reinstate transit, roads, and bridges revenue

  • Building public and social housing, as road transportation emissions are responsible for 42% of the region’s total emissions

  • Ensure that the largest polluters of the region, including our major corporations, are held accountable for their emissions while working to drastically reduce them

  • Fund our state's Green New Deal through progressive revenue reform that lifts the tax burden from poor and working people and asks the wealthiest in our state to pay their fair share

Kirsten is endorsed by Sunrise Movement Seattle, Sierra Club Seattle, Washington Conservation Voters, 350 Action Seattle, and Washington Youth for Climate Justice.

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Policing Justice & Abolition

Our systems of community safety are in a crisis. I’ve been proud to lead on policing justice, ending youth incarceration, and abolition for more than a decade as a community organizer and activist with #NoNewYouthJail and #BlockTheBunker. 

As a community leader I helped pass the historic policing justice initiative I-940 in 2018 which brought healing and reform to our state's policing systems. As an activist and Black mother, I've pushed beyond and organized at the City and County levels to stop construction of the new youth jail and SPD's proposed new police "bunker". 

 

Rather than investing in the expansion of policing systems and incarceration, which is born of racial and poverty bias and control, I am committed to our values of investing in community-built alternatives that address upstream needs and care. We are called to redefine and rebuild public safety, and I am ready to build that future in Olympia. Working with community stakeholders, I will: 

  • Expand funding and local implementation of I-940, to accelerate rollout of community policing practices for local police & sheriff departments

  • Continue investment and policy development that addresses the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn Policy platform - including funding and resources for response to MMIW cases in sovereign and urban tribal communities. 

  • Improve funding for 911 call center systems - with particular focus on urban and unincorporated regions. In addition to equipment updates, expand training for anti-bias training for intact and referrals.

  • Reinstate voting rights to those incarcerated

  • Eliminate bail so no one remains incarcerated just because of their ability to pay

  • Eliminate Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) and interest accumulations which keep people from recovering credit after serving their time in the prison system

  • Eliminate solitary confinement, forced feeding, and other scientifically proven methods of induced trauma for incarcerated people 

  • Support the demands for holistic school safety put forward by Seattle and Renton Public Schools students, families, and teachers 

  • Support the divestment and investment demands brought forward by Black-led organizations and community organizing collectives to re-imagine public safety

  • End the practice of private jail and detention centers in our state, with initial focus on ending state investment for the private NW Detention Center

Kirsten is personally supported by policing justice and abolitionist community leaders and activists across Washington State like Matt Remle, Nikkita Oliver, and more

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Housing for All 

There is not a county in this state that has enough affordable housing. Our neighbors are often pushed out due to gentrification, renters have little stability or protections, and elders are often forced to sell their homes due to ever-increasing regressive property taxes. While we've owned our home in Rainier Valley since 2004, there's very little chance we'd even be able to afford to buy new in our neighborhood today. That has to change. 

 

I believe in taking a housing approach that builds affordable housing, stabilizes rent costs, and provides wrap-around care for our homeless neighbors as we accelerate their access to safe and sustainable housing. For too long, the issue of housing justice has only been on city and regional radars. We must, on a state level:

  • Invest in affordable housing inventory and green building practice for all state-funded housing projects

  • Expand renter rights to ensure affordability and access to secure and sustainable housing.

  • Implement a progressive and equitable tax structure that will allocate money towards expanding housing, such as real estate speculation taxes.

  • Lift the statewide ban on rent regulation

  • Cap the yearly rent increase at no more than 2.6% like British Columbia

  • Pass a statewide “Right to Return” policy to fight gentrification like Portland, OR

  • Create ambitious anti-gentrification policies that keep elders and longtime residents in their homes

  • Update the State's Growth Management Act to encourage more liveable, transit-oriented neighborhoods

  • Absolve families, workers, and small businesses of rent and mortgage debts incurred during the pandemic and in our recovery

  • End economic evictions throughout our state during the course of this pandemic so no person is made houseless due to COVID-19

Kirsten is endorsed by housing justice organizations like the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, the Seattle Transit Riders Union and more because they know she has the experience to fight for every Washingtonian's right to safe and secure housing.

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Reproductive Justice for Every Body

I am proud to help lead the statewide movement for reproductive justice as Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. I am also a founding board member of SURGE Reproductive Justice which is our state's first BIPOC, Queer, and Trans-led Reproductive Justice organization. At NARAL and SURGE I've led the work to pass comprehensive sexual health and education for our kids, to end the shackling of birthing people in Washington's prisons, and expand healthcare access to BIPOC and low income communities across our state. 

 

Reproductive Justice means seeing whole people, whole families, and whole communities for a lifetime of healthcare needs. All people deserve access to high-quality reproductive healthcare that is culturally responsive and comprehensive. No matter one’s gender, race, income level, ability, or sexuality; we all deserve bodily autonomy and access to high quality reproductive healthcare. If elected, I will work on advancing reproductive justice with: 

  • Comprehensive, science based, healthy relationship and sexual health education in all public school districts

  • Passing solutions on the path toward universal, state-wide childcare

  • Replacing funding for lost Federal Title X clinic supports

  • Expanding abortion coverage by public and private insurance companies

  • Funding for doula and midwifery services for incarcerated folks

  • Expanding reproductive health care and birthing coverage for undocumented immigrants and trans communities

  • Providing menstrual products free of cost for people in our state including students in school and incarcerated peoples

Kirsten is endorsed by reproductive justice advocates and organizations Jackie Vaughn of SURGE Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawai'i

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Campaign Finance Reform

We need to get big money out of politics. I'm proud to be the only candidate in this race not taking corporate donations - because I believe I'm accountable to people not pharmaceutical companies or for-profit health insurers. I was proud to help form and pass the Democracy Voucher program in Seattle municipal elections which has democratized the funding of local politics more than ever before. Yet, there are still many ways we can improve our infrastructure and systems if we want to make sure everyday people, not just big moneyed interests, are the ones leading our democracy. I will work to make sure that engaging with the electoral process is one that is accessible, honest, and inviting to everyone by: 

  • Expanding funding for the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), with priority for support of new candidates / campaigns

  • Giving our election watchers the staffing and resources they need to review and safe-guard complaints

  • Supporting public campaign financing options, such as an expansion of the democracy voucher program for use throughout the state 

  • Strengthening protections from dark dollars and their influence on our democracy; with reforms for independent expenditure and super-PAC spending rules

Kirsten is endorsed by pro-democracy and progressive organizations like FairVote Washington, MLK Working Families Party, Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Engagement (APACE) Votes, and more

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Universal Childcare

Our family is like yours. We plan, budget, and save for our monthly childcare expenses. If we truly want to invest in families in the 37th District and across the State, we have to invest childcare and childcare providers.

 

There are many short-term policies our state must pursue to lift the financial burden of childcare for families, ultimately though I will work towards passing a system of universal childcare that is $10 or less per child. This dream is achievable and is working in North America in Quebec and British Columbia. Investing in childcare is also crucial to our collective COVID recovery

  • Raise the wages for childcare workers

  • Maintain family access to childcare subsidy through the Department of Children and Families and other state agencies to maintain continuity of care

  • Raise new progressive revenues to fund universal free childcare for all families

  • Distribute the remaining $29 million in federal CARES Act stimulus funds that remain to be distributed to childcare providers 

  • Establish dedicated support for childcare programs which were forced to close due to the COVID pandemic to help them safely re-open and preserve childcare slots

  • Fund a universal system of childcare that is no more than $10

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Healthcare for All

It's beyond time our country had a single-payer healthcare system. My fundamental belief is healthcare is a human right, and the only way to ensure that is to create a system in which everyone is in and no one is out. That system should be free at the point of service and equitably accessible to everyone regardless of language, income, race, or zip code. 

In Washington State there is more we can do to increase access and affordability of healthcare: 

  • Fully fund through progressive revenue our State's first-in-the-nation public option called Cascade Care as it opens for enrollment Nov 1st and launches in January 2021

  • Manufacture our own prescription drugs as California has just announced it will pursue to bring down cost, increase accessibility, and remove the profit motive from providing basic drugs like insulin 

  • Partner with other West Coast states like California and Oregon to pursue creating our own regional single-payer healthcare system that covers all residents

  • Absolve Washingtonians of the burden of medical debt

Kirsten is endorsed by healthcare workers from SEIU 1199NW, ARNPs United, Resident and Fellow Physician Union NW, and the Washington State Nurses Association

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Paid for by Community for Kirsten (D), PO Box 23026, Seattle, WA 98102

for more info, email manager@electkht.org