Legislative Issues

5th Legislative District Democrats – Our Values

As Democrats we place the well-being of the people as our highest priority. We fight for Freedom, Family, Jobs and Justice.  We believe in the values of community, empathy, equality, tolerance, opportunity, and the common good of the interdependent world we share. These values provide the basis for our ideals and are supported by our state and federal Constitutions.

The people have a right to expect their elected representatives to govern in a manner that will protect and promote their civil liberties, human rights, and quality of life.  We expect elected Democrats to publicly and actively work to bring the principles of these values to fruition using all available legal and parliamentary procedures.

Our actions define our society, our freedoms, and our responsibilities. To fulfill the potential of our values and ideals, we encourage every citizen to participate in civic activities, including continuously raising awareness of the issues contained within this Platform.  And we invite everyone to join with us in advocating for legislation that ensures peace, prosperity, liberty, and justice for all.

The 5th Legislative District Democrats focus on the following issues and legislation in particular:

HEALTH CARE

We believe that healthcare should be accessible and affordable for all. We support the defense and adequate funding of Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Protect healthcare for all that is comprehensive, affordable, simple to access, and secure
  • Oppose ending the Medicare Trust Fund for any voucher system, which would limit access to affordable medical care for seniors
  • Reduce health care and prescription drug costs by government involvement in negotiating lower costs

EDUCATION

  • Eliminate the school funding “levy cliff” to avoid layoff notices for teachers and services cuts for students, including kids with special needs.
  • Fully fund basic education by 2018 as required by the state constitution and Supreme Court, including the higher costs of special needs students. Any necessary new revenue should be progressive, such as a capital gains tax, and local school districts’ ability to raise local levies must be protected.  Oppose un-democratic requirements for greater than majority votes to raise revenues.
  • Oppose the Republican school funding proposal to eliminate local levies and replace them with a new statewide property tax, lowering funding for more than 605,000 students and implementing the largest property tax increase in history. It removes local control and local levies that are one of the reasons schools in the 5th Legislative District have the best teachers, outstanding graduation rates, and state-of-the-art resources in each classroom. It is built on the myth of Puget Sound region wealth and a desire to tax here and spend elsewhere.
  • Increase teacher pay so that Washington is not one of the lowest in the nation.
  • Oppose arbitrary tax decreases, or arbitrary lids on tax increases, that do not have specific offsetting expenditure decreases.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN SERVICES, IMMIGRATION, LEGAL SYSTEM

We believe that a sustainable economy with strong communities requires living-wage jobs, tax fairness, opportunity, and shared prosperity for all. All immigrants should be afforded full human rights and a fair, safe, and timely determination of their status.

  • Protect the integrity of our borders while recognizing the basic human rights of immigrants and protecting them with transparent due process in all proceedings and a clear and equitable pathway to documented status and citizenship if desired.
  • Oppose religious tests in immigration and travel by foreigners to the U.S. and policies that exclude immigrants based on country of origin. Protect Immigration as not a matter of homeland security.
  • Increase funding for construction of affordable housing in Washington State
  • Protect our farming and service sectors, including preventing discrimination in wages and working conditions for immigrant workers. Protect immigrant worker access to safe and adequate housing, medical care and educational opportunities.
  • Improve gun safety, which is a public health issue, while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners.

TRANSPORTATION

We believe that an efficient, well-planned, multimodal transportation system promotes a healthy economy, environment and community.

  • Accelerate state funding for a new interchange at Highway 18 and Interstate 90 by five years to 2018. Planning funding does not currently begin until 2023, which is not soon enough given the significant traffic delays, the number of accidents, the danger from the increasing level of frustrated drivers performing illegal traffic maneuvers, and the hampering of commerce and that is hurting Washington’s businesses — particularly freight travelling from Eastern Washington to our ports.
  • Obtain state funding for a roundabout at the Cedar Grove/ SR 169 intersection. Because of the congestion at the SR18/I-90 interchange, more drivers are taking alternate routes, clogging SR 169 between Maple Valley and Renton. A DOT traffic safety study last year indicates that a roundabout at the Cedar Grove/ SR 169 intersection could speed up the flow of traffic in this area.
  • Obtain county, state and federal funding to mitigate impacts of regional traffic on district roads. Regional traffic avoiding clogged I-405 is taking much of the capacity built and paid for locally to handle local needs such as the SR 900, Sunset Interchange and Highlands Drive.
  • Expand rapid transit and accelerate timing of extending light rail to Issaquah

ENVIRONMENT

We believe in protecting our environment by addressing climate change, adopting sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, fishery and forestry methods, enforcing antitrust laws that apply to agribusiness, and deciding about water resources based on sound, credible scientific and economic information, including local concerns.

  • Oppose national efforts to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Oppose weakening the Growth Management Act

Protect and expand parks, open spaces and critical environmental areas including wilderness areas, old growth forests, wildlife habitat areas and corridors, wetlands, lakes, streams, riparian areas, the Columbia River, Puget Sound, coastlines, oceans, and other bodies of water through vigilant monitoring and planned growth management.