Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

Key Issues

Reducing the Tax Burden

According to Article VII of the Washington’s Constitution, “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only.”  Since 1933, the State Supreme Court and the voters have repeatedly rejected the notion that an income tax/Capital gains tax. I agree- an income tax is not constitutional and is not in the best interest of the State of Washington.

In recent years, Seattle and Olympia politicians have also wanted to create new taxes and increase existing taxes, like the Business and Occupation Tax (B&O). I do not support new and increased taxes on working families and small businesses. The State of Washington should incentivize growth and job creation by reducing the overwhelming tax burden and eliminating onerous regulations.

Early Learning and Education

A recent study conducted by a collaborative task force of child care organizations, found that roughly 550,000 kids in Washington do not have access to child care services, and that “the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced capacity even further.” Of the parents surveyed, 18% reported turning down a job over child care issues. This is an economic issue as much as it is a social and education issue.

We need to create more opportunities for pre-kindergarten children to successfully prepare for school, develop safe places for school-aged students to play and study, and provide opportunities for parents to work and earn a living. Our community is not merely talking about this issue but proactively developing a United Learning Center. I look forward to continuing efforts to set children, students, and families up for success.

Infrastructure

The backbone to successful communities is quality infrastructure. Sewer, water, roads, and broadband all play an integral part in planning for the future.  I am committed to working with our federal, state, and local leaders to improve infrastructure. 

 The lack of reliable and accessible internet is about ”digital equity’ for our students trying to earn a quality education, seniors trying to stay connected with enrichment programs, businesses trying to compete nationally and globally, and medical providers trying to treat vulnerable patients through telemedicine. It impacts us all.

“What we need to do with rural broadband is think more regionally and not piecemeal rural broadband together,” Abbarno said of past legislative efforts.

 

Constitutional Rights

Protecting our Second Amendment rights should not be a partisan issue. In SW Washington, like most of rural Washington, gun ownership and hunting is part of the history and tradition of many families. Government should be enforcing current laws to punish criminals, not taking constitutional rights away from legal and responsible gun owners. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Our State constitutional provision in Article 1; Section 24, is unique in that the right to “bear arms” is construed as an “individual” rather than “collective” right. “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired.” Washingtonians have stronger protections, yet, the erosion of that right continues. Enforcing current laws and preventing guns from being possessed by violent and repeat criminals should be priority and CAN be accomplished without infringing on the rights of law abiding and responsible gun owners. It starts with the law being enforced by prosecutors and judges. Broad swath gun control legislation leaves criminals with guns, the innocent with no protection, and our law enforcement at a potentially lethal disadvantage.

Flooding

Flooding is one of the most important issues negatively impacting job growth, economic development, and inter/intrastate commerce in our region. I strongly support a long-term vision and commitment to our community. Without a comprehensive solution, our region will be held back from reaching its full potential.
This approach is true in many 20th Legislative District Communities like Kalama, Kelso, and Centralia. I am committed to working on funding a collaborative approach to localized and catastrophic flooding that protects business, families, and our natural resource economy and environment. Home owners, land owners, and businesses need to know their family, property, and business is safe from flooding, destruction, and ruin. This can happen by finding collaborative solutions.

Economic Development

Since being elected to the Centralia City Council, I have focused many efforts on residential and commercial growth to allow our community and region to meet its full economic potential. In 2019, I was honored to received the Economic Development Leadership Award from the Lewis County Economic Development Council for my work with local entrepreneurs. My efforts continue in the State Legislature.

Olympia needs to continue working with partners to open up new housing opportunities, create new jobs, and grow in smart and innovative ways. We can do that through infrastructure improvements, annexation, and design guide modifications. Economic Development must be diverse to be effective. Our community must be diverse in opportunities like manufacturing, services industry, tourism, art and music, sporting events, destination shopping; as well as balance our efforts between the historic downtowns, and port projects. Diversity allows a community to grow, withstand recessions, and deliver a better quality of life.

Homelessness

Homeless is not a “cause” it is an “effect” and treating homelessness rather than the causes of homelessness does not work. Homelessness does not have one cause; it is drug addiction, mental illness, lack of education, lack of training, poor decisions, laziness, traumatic events, illnesses, and many more. That is why homelessness is so hard to battle.
Many communities struggle with homelessness. I have helped build strong partnerships and coordination between the faith based community, health and social services organizations, and local government to address the issues in our neighborhoods and on our streets. Successful plans to address homelessness must be flexible and allow local governments, local agencies, local faith based organizations, and local health and social service organizations to direct the funds where they are needed most. As I discussed with the Governor on his trip to Chehalis and the Hub City Severe Weather Shelter, Cookie cutter one-size-fits-all programs we see in King County-Seattle-Olympia don’t work everywhere and clearly aren’t even working there. We need to address the causes today, as well as implement early identification and treatment of students and young adults to avoid homelessness caused my mental illness and substance abuse.

Safety

Our residents and visitors must feel safe in their homes, in their places of work, and walking through our community. I have been a strong advocate for law enforcement and their ability to keep our families safe. Our law enforcement officers are much more than “enforcers.” The complex issues of today, including causes of homelessness, have added counselor, advocate, and health and social service provider, to the long list of their already stressful job description. This year, Seattle and Olympia politicians voted to eliminate the death penalty, eliminate life in prison without parole, potentially reduce sentences for attempted robberies and drive-by shootings, and allow felons to vote while on community supervision before victims are compensated. The agenda by the majority in Olympia does not create safe streets or neighborhoods. It rewards criminals and puts families at risk.
Every citizen, business owner, and visitor to the your community should feel safe and secure shopping at local businesses, walking to school, and driving down the road. I will continue to work with our law enforcement community to provide them the resources needed to continue their job and recruit future generations of honorable officers; I will continue to support enforcing the current laws that should keep us safe; and I will not weaken the ability of law enforcement officers or private citizens from defending themselves.