Maralyn on the Issues
SOLVING INCOME & PROPERTY TAX INEQUALITY
A successful society is one that works for all. No one who works 40-hours a week should live in poverty. We must tackle wealth and income inequality as the gap between the very rich and everyone else is now wider than at any time since the 1920s. Washington State's tax system is the most regressive in the nation. High property taxes are pricing people out and pushing people out of their homes and communities. B&O taxes drain local and small businesses of growth potential. There are currently $50.3 billion in tax exemptions at the state level and $55.5 billion at the local level. Therefore our state’s total tax exemptions are $105.9 billion. The solution is fair taxes for all.
CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC EDUCATION
High quality public education is critical to the well-being of Washington's students as a key component of equity and vital for our shared future. It is crucial to keep class sizes small, use standardized testing sparingly, support the teaching of critical thinking skills, and keep public dollars in public education.
HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
Healthcare is a human right and single-payer health care is the solution. Everyone in, nobody out! Too many people are one accident or illness away from losing everything, and 62% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. Single payer covers all medically necessary care, reduces costs and is accountable to the public. Lower costs, better outcomes.
ECONOMIC GROWTH & PROSPERITY
Our state needs a strategy for economic growth in which our businesses can successfully compete in the domestic and international markets while increasing the standard of living of our citizens. Local, small and middle market businesses are the backbone of economic prosperity in our communities and are the driving force of economic recovery in our state.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: YES / PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT: NO
A WSDOT study that clearly demonstrated passive discrimination against African Americans in our state coupled with changing sentiment in the general public for fairness and inclusion make it clear that now is the time to re-establish Affirmative Action in our state. It will take the joint efforts of our politicians and the public to ensure equal opportunity and access to education, construction contracts, and public-sector services.
COMMON SENSE GUN LEGISLATION
Gun violence is an epidemic in Washington and in our country. We can and must do more to prevent it. In Washington we have already taken great steps but there is still more to do. Our children’s safety urgently requires raising the age to purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle to 21, and making sure that people who want to purchase these weapons have gone through the same kind of background checks already required for handgun buyers.
UPSKILL, RESKILL & LIFE-LONG LEARNING: A WORKFORCE READY FOR NEW ECONOMIC POSSIBILITIES
In the future, some occupations will grow, others will decline, and new ones we cannot yet envision will be created. While few occupations are fully automatable, 60% of all occupations have at least 30% technically automatable activities. Artificial Intelligence and robotics will change or replace some jobs, while others will be created. Thousands of people in our state may need to switch occupations and upgrade skills.
With Washington State's burgeoning population we need long-term funding and planning to keep people and the economy moving. We must coordinate the multiple city, county and regional agencies that make up Washington's transit network. According to Sound Transit 3’s own estimates, there will be only a 4.5% increase of riders choosing Sound Transit 3 instead of buses. Sound Transit 3 admits that their plan will not solve our I-5 congestion problem. The real solution would be to call for increased rapid bus transit, coupled with north/south lines and east/west lines, and added connector vans.
METROPOLITAN AND RURAL BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE
Broadband is as crucial to communities as roads and bridges. If a community does not have broadband they are not able to participate in the economy. We must expand government support for broadband infrastructure. Broadband for all!
ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT
We need policy to counter climate change and mitigate its damaging effects to the economy and environment in Washington State. We need to support carbon free solar and non-fossil fuel energy development. Policies must move toward sustainable development to protect agriculture, the economy and biodiversity, rather than short-sighted exploitation of the environment. This is the urgent threat and defining challenge of our time.
A STATE BANK: KEEPING OUR TAX DOLLARS WORKING IN OUR STATE
Let's make our tax dollars work for the people of Washington State to provide crucial funds for infrastructure, student loans, and building schools and roads with no interest charges. Also, student loans could be renegotiated. A state bank could offer funding for schools and roads at near zero percent interest instead of paying 4-5% interest to Wall St. banks. A state bank could cut local property taxes in half and create thousands of good paying jobs.
Under our current policies, 40,000 children in our public schools are unsheltered along with their families totaling about 120,000 unsheltered individuals. There are many more.
We need a State Department of Housing to develop the housing stock similar to what is done in Singapore. It is the largest, most wealthy city in the world and has solved the housing challenge. They have built housing that people want to live in, the majority are large, 3 bedroom apartments that residents can purchase for 99 years. We are currently faced with huge housing instability due to lack of available and affordable housing and skyrocketing rents. We must assure fair housing opportunities for all. The current housing crisis demands a public solution.