When you travel the state as I have, you quickly learn that people feel there are two different Washingtons.
But the division isn’t east and west or red and blue. It’s not because of the size of someone’s community or because of the dysfunction we see in Washington, D.C.
It’s far more significant.
There’s the Washington that’s home to the most innovative companies in the world. This Washington is the envy of the nation with rising wages, stock prices, and home values.
But there’s another Washington that has people of all backgrounds concerned. Rampant homelessness is now viewed as the new normal, crime is on the increase and drug addiction plagues families and our communities.
The distance between the wealthy and working families continues to grow and parents worry that their children won’t be able to afford to live here.
So which Washington is Olympia helping? Not the one that needs it.
As your next Governor, I vow to tackle what I see are the biggest problems facing our beautiful state.
We need to clean up our cities and get people the help they need.
We see evidence of Olympia’s failure all around us with people living under tarps, begging next to freeways, and passed out in parks surrounded by garbage and needles. This is not wise, it’s not safe, and worst of all, it’s not compassionate.
We need a Governor with the courage to tell the truth and is committed to changing what isn’t working.
I know that we can bring addicts to recovery and improve the condition for the mentally ill and homeless. I will lead the effort to reduce homelessness and drug abuse by re-purposing under-utilized state facilities and converting them to homeless housing and recovery centers for the drug addicted and mentally ill while providing job training to help the most vulnerable become self sufficient and contributing members of society.
Western State has been decertified by the federal government and is a national disgrace because Olympia has become numb to the condition of the mentally ill.
As Governor, I will be committed to a complete overhaul of our mental health system.
We need to support our police and first responders by enforcing our current laws and equipping them with the tools they need to keep our community, and themselves, safe.
I commit to helping others and lifting up those in need. I will back up my commitment by not taking a paycheck as Governor. Instead, I will donate my salary every month to a non-profit homeless shelter or drug rehabilitation facility.
We must make state government more open and transparent.
The current practice of the Governor meeting behind closed doors and negotiating rich contracts with wealthy political donors must end. Like clockwork, our current leadership lines the pockets of his financial backers with tax increases on struggling small businesses and Washington’s poor and middle class families.
And most appalling, he cuts these deals in a back room and out of the public’s eye.
It’s not fair and it’s not right.
I will make state contract negotiations open and transparent so the public will know exactly what they are being asked to pay for.
Likewise, the Legislature passed the Open Public Meetings Act requiring local governments to conduct their business in public but then excluded themselves from this law. If my former colleagues and I in local government committed the acts our legislators routinely pull in state government, our jurisdictions would’ve been punished and fined in a court of law.
Olympia must be made to live under the same laws they pass on to others and conduct their work so that all Washingtonians know fully what is taking place and can have a say in the process.
Olympia has plenty of money, but the wrong priorities.
I promise a transparent budget and NO State Income Tax.
This year, Olympia passed a 17% spending increase and billions of dollars in new taxes in the dead of night after a deal was cut behind closed doors with no public input.
And this wasn’t the first time.
This needs to change.
Our state government has been focused on making life even more comfortable for those who are already doing fine for too long.
Schools in wealthy neighborhoods are overflowing with money while we deny educational choices for low-income communities.
We force the poor to pay more than their fair share for our roads, and then leave them in gridlock while those who can afford a $10 toll breeze home.
And as our historic state revenues continue to climb, we leave our neighbors afflicted with mental health issues behind to suffer.
Our current leadership’s priorities are not only wrong; they’re unconscionable.
I’m running to be the Governor that will put Olympia back to work for those who truly need and deserve our help.
Together we can make State Government work for all of us—with no one left behind.