Local Issues

Sustainable energy
As a solar panel user myself, I have witnessed firsthand the incredible potential of solar in Tumwater for residential users, business owners, and government agencies for transforming our local energy with long term utility savings and clean, renewable energy. In conjunction with renewing the call for a PUD in Thurston county, we can save money on utilities for Tumwater residents as we further incentivize clean energy and educate the community about the benefits of solar and other renewable sources.

Police accountability
Brutality, lethal force, and targeted harassment of minorities and vulnerable groups (such as LGBT, the poor, the Black and brown community, and Muslims) by police is unacceptable to me. The recent death of a suicidal national guard reservist at the hands of Washington State Patrol in Lacey, as well as the killing of Charleena Lyles in Seattle when she had called police for help, heightens the urgency of stopping these needless deaths and reigning in out of control cops in our state. My short term goal for addressing this problem is to immediately establish an independent police oversight councils composed of citizens, which would have final say in all hiring and firing decisions for our local PD, as well as replacing lethal weapons with non-lethal alternatives and mandatory de-escalation implementation. However, as necessary as these steps will be to stop the death toll from rising further, I recognize that reforms are merely treating the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause, which is that the institution of policing is plagued with systemic racism, sexism, and classism by default in that it requires the unilateral enforcement of unjust laws which are oppressive by design. As such, my long term goal for police accountability will be replacing the police system entirely with community policing: a strategy for trusted, democratically chosen community leaders to proactively address the conditions which can give rise to crime (poverty, unemployment, addiction, lack of access to mental health resources, etc) and then work to meet the individual’s immediate needs.

$15 minimum wage
Under councilperson Kshama Sawant, the only sitting socialist councilperson in the country, Seattle is thriving and making serious moves to address inequality and the city’s burdensome cost of living. Seattle is proof of concept that Washingtonians are ready for a city-wide $15 wage, progressive taxation of the rich, and rent control to protect lower income city residents from increasingly unaffordable housing costs. My vision is to emulate and expand upon each of these successful (or currently gaining steam) Seattle-originated socialist campaigns in Tumwater.

Homelessness
As a supporter of the HomeFund initiative and Just Housing, I am excited to see what these programs will do to combat homelessness and legalize survival in our region. But we need to do more than just decriminalize the act of existing on the streets. We know that the US has more vacant homes than homeless individuals. While we should absolutely proceed with our plans to provide new permanent homes and protect existing shelters for the homeless, I will propose the appropriation of safe, vacant properties in Thurston county for at least temporary residence, if not permanent availability, for our city’s homeless, especially for properties which have remained vacant for many months or years. All resources at our disposal must be on the table if we are to make a lasting difference for the greatest number of people.

Women’s health
As a woman with endometriosis, it is unthinkable that birth control pills should only be available at a price or through a doctor’s prescription. BC pills are used as a treatment for many conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS, help significantly with regulating cycles for many, as well as reducing unplanned pregnancies. We also know that every woman needs access to feminine hygiene products to feel clean, safe, and functional in society, especially low income women and the homeless. As such, I will propose that Tumwater make birth control pills and feminine hygiene products available to any city resident in need. Furthermore, I would like to examine the current ordinances dictating how close to a clinic anyone can be while protesting a location which provides reproductive health services, such as Planned Parenthood. No one should be intimidated away from receiving care.

Workers’ rights
Workers’ rights are central to everything that the SP represents. As such, I will advocate for the immediate implementation of wage equality for women in the workplace in Tumwater. We should work to ensure that all employers are required to provide, and are actually providing, high quality health and dental plans to their employees, though the availability of such programs ultimately should not be contingent upon employment status. Tumwater’s City Works should support and expand efforts to provide guaranteed, subsidized employment opportunities for unemployed people willing and able to work on public works projects which will strengthen, beautify, and protect their own local communities. And while I will continue to push for actual employee ownership of the fruits of their labor, I will also incentivize the equal distribution of profits to all workers within a company with tax breaks for businesses with lower disparity between their highest and lowest paid workers.