As a nurse on the frontline of our state’s COVID response, I’ve seen firsthand the desperate need for real healthcare leadership in our state government. Right now, there are no nurses in the State Senate, and it shows in votes and policies that have left us ill-prepared for current challenges, and in need of compassion, experience, and clarity as we rebuild and recover.
Restoring economic and community health will require putting politics aside – and putting local families and businesses first. We need a COVID recovery plan informed by science, and life experience, one that protects essential services, helps people at risk of losing housing or health care, gives local employers the lifeline they need, and reduces the share of the tax burden paid by seniors, working families, and middle class households.
And we need to be better prepared for the next outbreak or pandemic – putting plans in place for a coordinated and swift response; including manufacturing PPE here at home, so my colleagues never have to worry about using trash bags as protective gear ever again; and making quality healthcare affordable and universal.
My son just started school, but like so many other families in the 5th District and across the state, we’ve had to juggle the uncertainty of school reopenings with a full time work schedule and a lack of available childcare. Our kids and families deserve better.
We must expand affordable childcare, and make sure students at our public schools have the resources they need to thrive. That also means improving broadband in rural communities where internet access and load times can be a barrier to a full day of learning.
Many of these challenges aren’t new but are simply exposed and made worse by the pandemic. Politicians in Olympia simply haven’t done enough to address these issues.
Our current Senator opposed the long-term care act to support seniors, voted to strip meal and rest breaks from nurses at places like Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, spoke out against teacher pay and pushed to fund private charter schools, ignoring the needs of local students and parents. He is one of the top recipients of checks from banks, pharmaceutical companies, and the chemical industry, and votes to protect their interests at the expense of struggling East King County families.
But this election shouldn’t just be about me or my opponent — it’s about our communities — the seniors, students, small businesses and families who make up our district. They deserve a Senator with a commitment to their needs and a collaborative approach for finding solutions to the issues challenging our state today. That’s why, unlike my opponent, I’ve rejected corporate donations so I can put those priorities first.
It’s also why teachers, essential workers, fellow nurses, conservation leaders – even Governor Inslee – have united around my campaign. They see someone running for office who is ready to act and who shares the same values of this community: hard work, cooperation, local focus, and opportunity for every family.
Nurses are judged on their responsiveness and responsibility – their ability to listen to what someone is experiencing, diagnose the problem, and act to make things better. It’s time to start asking the same from our State Senator.